Being made to pay two months' notice - Please Help

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  • HansChaermann
    replied
    jpkeates and others - thank you for your continued advice.

    Yesterday, we did as you suggested. We have taken dozens of photos, and have handed the keys back to the agent (and have taken a receipt). Now to try and reclaim the deposit.

    Thanks for all of your support.

    Yours ever,
    Hans

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Yep.

    I would make a single last note to the agent and landlord that the gap between the end of the tenancy on 20th June and when the inspection is scheduled to take place will make it meaningless because you will have no control on what happens to the property after the 20th June.

    If it were me (and I am, obviously, safely far from the situation and bravely typing) I would be tempted to point out that the advice that the agent is giving the landlord is wrong and that they (the landlord) might want to get a second opinion.
    The advice that the agent is giving the landlord means that the check out will be done a month late and might lead to the landlord making an invalid attempt to make a claim on the tenancy deposit.

    Leave a comment:


  • HansChaermann
    replied
    jpkeates MdeB

    And so the saga continues. The landlady is directing me towards the agents, and the agents are directing me towards her. This is the latest email from the agents, after I explain that the landlady is directing me towards them. They are refusing to book in an earlier appointment:

    As I said before, the landlord is booking this check in - not me.

    She has so far told me it will be on the 20th July, I don't have a time yet.
    I know there is some disagreement with the end of the rent liability date, however as we have made you aware before, you're due to pay rent until the 20th July as it stands, unless the property is let before that which at the moment it isn't.

    I'm sorry I can't be any more help than that at the moment.


    So I guess it means doing photographs and posting keys?

    ​​​​​​​Hans

    Leave a comment:


  • HansChaermann
    replied
    jpkeates ; blinko ; MdeB

    Thanks guys for following up. Really do appreciate it.

    So I have followed all of your advice so far.

    - The standing order is cancelled

    - I have been asking for a check-out date of the 19th as per your suggestion MdeB. I have even suggested doing any day that week (I am leaving on Saturday so I don't mind to be honest. I have been told that the clerk is fully booked until the end of July. The agent is saying its up to the landlord, and the landlord is saying its up to the agent.

    - With regards to what you have said, we will thus plan to leave everything in the best possible order (we are getting a professional clean and so forth. We are absolutely cooperating as much as we can, and have even offered to do video viewings and so forth.

    ​​​​​​​- blinko - I do have direct contact with the landlord.

    Hans

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  • MdeB
    replied
    I notice that the last day of the tenancy is a Sunday.

    If possible it would be best to vacate on a day (before the end of the tenancy) when Agent is open and to hand the keys over, preferably getting a receipt for them. It is much harder for them to argue that you did not return possession in that case than if you just post keys through their letter box.

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  • blinko
    replied
    yep as above take photo and video of evidence of you also posting the keys through the letter box (believe me you can't trust agents) in this case you really have to cover every single instance and you should be ok.

    Good advice above take photos as many as you can, and video of the property being in a clean state before you leave. They may even try and charge you/landlord check out fee.

    Do you have direct contact with the landlord by any chance

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    ignore any requests for rent.
    This is most important.
    Provided yo vacate the premises and return the keys before the end of the fixed term, then the tenancy ends and no rent is due.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    I would tell them that you're planning to move out when the tenancy ends at the end of the fixed term and ask them to arrange a proper check out.
    Regardless of what they say about notice, they still need to do the check out.
    If they continue to disagree, you might suggest that they take some "advice" (as you have done, they don't know it's only us and we can't give proper "legal advice").

    If, for some insane reason they refuse to do the check out, take lots of photos and video of the property as you leave and post the keys through the agents door when they're shut (if they refuse to accept them).

    Make sure you cancel any standing order and ignore any requests for rent.

    This is exactly what I would do in your situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • HansChaermann
    replied
    Thank you very much DPT57, jpkeates, MdeB and others.

    Apologies for the slow update, however I have been trying to find further concrete legal advice.

    I am getting nowhere with Shelter and other free providers as they seem to be totally over-encumbered at the moment. I have sought advice from commercial channels, but that seems to be rather prohibitively expensive.

    Given that there is some experienced consensus here that this is unenforceable, what next for my approach? Do we simply move out next week and then wait to see what happens? Surely they will contest this? Do I need to say anything further?

    Thank you for any further guidance; all of your thoughts are very much appreciated.

    Hans

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by HansChaermann View Post
    Does that clarify?
    The answer is "NO".

    It only tells you what you already knew.

    It does not tell you if the term is likely to be deemed unfair.

    It does not tell you what the LL could do if you breach the term.

    It does not tell you the likelihood of te LL being successful in any claim.

    It does not tell you what the LL might be awarded if LL is successful in a claim.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    That "advice" is wrong.

    As a tenant, you can't serve valid notice at month 11 - and then the rest of it would be true if you didn't have the right to leave at the end of the fixed term.

    If I thought it would do any good I'd suggest complaining.

    If you want a second opinion, talk to Shelter.

    Leave a comment:


  • DPT57
    replied
    That is very poor advice. I hope you didn't pay for it.

    From what you've said I think you probably have a regular fixed term tenancy. The clause in your TA requiring notice to end it is very likely unfair, having been declared so by the former OFT. In your situation I would inform the agent/landlord that I was leaving at the end of the tenancy and believe that their clause is an unfair contract term. I think it is highly unlikely that they will attempt to sue you and if they did I think they would probably lose.

    Leave a comment:


  • HansChaermann
    replied
    Thanks all. So I decided to heed the advice to get additional "legal" help...although I am not sure as to the trustworthiness of "Just Answer UK Law". After they reviewed, I got a prompt response saying:

    Ordinarily, you only need to give a notice at the end of the agreement or on month 11.

    However here, its different - you have a signed tenancy agreement.

    It clearly says:

    If the Tenant intends to vacate at the end of the fixed Term or later he must give the Landlord at least two clear months prior notice in writing.

    As such this contractual clause overrides whatever else you think

    Does that clarify?


    I am getting really confused folks!

    Hans

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    The loss has to be directly related to the breach, as the intent is to put things to how they would have been had the breach not occurred.
    Generally speaking, the landlord would have to show that there was some kind of cost associated with the breach that would otherwise not have occurred - voids between tenancies are common and it is next to impossible for a landlord to be able to show that they were so surprised by the tenant's leaving (as they were entitled to) that it delayed taking on a new tenancy in any material way.

    It might be remotely possible if the landlord could show that they'd turned away a prospective tenant entirely on the basis that they thought the tenant was staying on - and they would still have to overcome the need to mitigate any loss, so why didn't they ask the tenant what their intentions were?

    And, in this specific case, the tenant has told the landlord that they intend to move out before the end of the tenancy, just not 2 month's before, so the landlord has no chance of making any claim for loss.

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post

    Loss if landlord won breach of contract case - I guess award of no more the 2 month's rent plus small claims fees - £50?
    Given that the T has given the LL a month to find a new tenant, I would have thought the award would be at most 1 month's rent (and in my opinion, tat would be a very generous judge).

    Leave a comment:

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