AST: break clause date passed; can T give Notice now?

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  • AST: break clause date passed; can T give Notice now?

    I've had a quick look around the forum and can't find any post that matches my situation, so I apologise in advance if I'm repeating an already asked question. So here goes ...

    I'm a tenant with an AST of 3 years which includes a break-out clause of 12 months. The first 12 months has pasted and the LL has put the house on the market, but not served us notice. We are taking viewing on the property on a regular basis.

    My partner is 5 months pregnant, of which the LL is aware, so we decided, and informed the LL of this fact, that we could not wait for the LL to sell and then give us notice. This would mean that we would have move when my partner would be practically ready to give birth, so we found an another property. I notified the LL that we have found a new place and would give her a months notice. She has said that due to the terms of the AST we have to give 2 months notice. In a panic I sent a notice letter to the letting agent 4 days ago stating the will wish to give notice from a certain date, but not stating the notice period or the date of departure.

    I've subsequently attempted to negotiate a 6 week notice period with the LL, which the LL has declined.

    The new LL has been very understanding and is willing to push back the start of our tenancy even though the property is unoccupied, but cannot hold it for 2 months, so we will lose this property if this current LL does not negotiate. I have informed the current LL of the too, but the LL will not budge stating that she cannot afford to drop two weeks rent.

    I'll be taking advice from CAB later today, and will take legal advice if necessary.

    Where do we stand?

    Can I change the locks, not pay anymore rent, and then tell the LL to take legal action? Or at least inform LL of this recommendation in and attempt the negotiation.

    I will of course relinquish our deposit of 6 weeks, and be out well before 6 weeks.

    What would happen if I took this action?

    We've always paid our rent on time and have been good tenants, and will be leaving the place in better condition than we found it.

    I really feel like we've been stitched up here. We wouldn't be looking for somewhere else to live if it wasn't for the LL's intention to sell. The problem is exacerbated by the fact the my partner is 5 months pregnant.

    Please help the worry is affecting my partner and thus our unborn child.

  • #2
    You are "ScottieBoy". Is the property in Scotland or in E&W?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
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    • #3
      I can see how that name could be misleading

      England.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ScottieBoy View Post
        I'm a tenant with an AST of 3 years which includes a break-out clause of 12 months. Break clauses are very specific and you must follow it exactly to be able to rely on it. This could include the need to give 2months notice. Check though, the notice for the break clause could be different from other situations.

        The first 12 months has pasted and the LL has put the house on the market, but not served us notice. We are taking viewing on the property on a regular basis.Check yuour agreement ot see if the landlord is alloweed to do viewing a) for selling the house, and b) throughout the term. If both are not true you are under no obligation to do viewings. You don't want to be awkward, but it may help negotiate.

        Can I change the locks, not pay anymore rent, and then tell the LL to take legal action? Or at least inform LL of this recommendation in and attempt the negotiation. It depends on if two wrongs make a right. If you have sufficent funds this could be a much more expensive route, particularly if by chance she was able to argue the loss of a sale in a falling market. DOn't get dragged down, act on the basis of values.

        What would happen if I took this action?You would be in breach of contract and potentially liable to the landlord for her losses and costs. Apart from financial do you really want this stress iwth the baby coming?

        We've always paid our rent on time and have been good tenants, and will be leaving the place in better condition than we found it.There seems to be a coincidence in lettings about how often good landlord and bad tenants and bad landlrods and good tenants meet!

        I really feel like we've been stitched up here. We wouldn't be looking for somewhere else to live if it wasn't for the LL's intention to sell. The problem is exacerbated by the fact the my partner is 5 months pregnant.It is a little harsh to say you were "stiched up". You had the chance to decide to take that proeprty or not and to refuse the property on certain terms. Essentially you agreed to this situation, even if it was unwittingly. You has possibly just obtaine a very useful education, ALWAYS read the small print.
        You should understand that legally there is no reason you cannot go and rent another property immediately. This can create the peace and stability to seek, obviously it has to be dependent on being able to afford the two for space of time.

        I presume your tenancy is an AST in which case lok carefully into if the rule sof TDP have been complied with (see other threads). If not, this could give good negotiation power or at the extreme pay for the rental of two properties.

        All to best to you and your family.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would attempt to refuse viewings if I were you. This should give you some leverage.

          Comment

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