problem flatmate/six-month lease

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  • problem flatmate/six-month lease

    Hi

    Six weeks ago I moved into a shared flat (I didn't know any of the occupants previously). I have very serious problems indeed with one of the housemates (extreme rudeness and deeply unpleasant behaviour). I don't think anything this person has done could quite constitute breach of her tenancy agreement, although I could probably draw up something under the "not behaving in a way subject to cause annoyance to other tenants" clause. I'd rather not do this as she is extremely combative and would deny/fight any charges I would place if it reached such a formal level.

    I want to get out of the place as soon as possible (can go immediately to a friend's). Given that I have signed a six-month lease, it seems to me that my options are:-

    - if I say to the landlord that I will move out immediately and continue to pay him rent until I have found him another suitable person to move in, is this offer likely to be accepted? Am I on any legal grounds at all to do this?
    - if I move out and say that I will forfeit my deposit (which I am prepared to do, the situation is this bad) what is my legal situation regarding the six-month lease? I'm happy to forfeit the deposit, but is the landlord likely to chase me for the remaining four months of rent?
    - if I have no other option but to say this person is in breach of her own tenancy agreement and I am moving out as a result, how should I proceed here?
    - if I cannot prove she is in breach of her agreement and none of the above works, do I have any other options?

    Many thanks

  • #2
    Hi,
    These situations are a nightmare for tenants and unfortunately for you, your Landlord does hold most of the cards here.
    You seem to have considered your options and have hit on a few salient points.
    Most Landlords will be happy for you to continue to pay the rent whilst searching for a replacement tenant to 'take over' your lease. However, a 're-letting' fee is sometimes applied by the Landlord to cover the cost of setting up a new tenancy agreement. You are not legally required to inhabit the property that you signed for until the end of the tenancy but you are legally responsible for the rent.
    Most Landlords will not accept you forfitting your deposit then moving out, they will most likely chase you for the rent.
    If you have signed a joint tenancy with the other person then they can also be held responsible for the total remainder of the rent (including yours!). If you signed seperate tenancies then you are solely responsible for your portion of the rent.
    Unless it states in your tenancy agreement that behaviour such as that shown by your flatmate is a breach of contract you would find it difficult to claim that you are entitled to leave for that reason. Most Landlords will class this as the equivalent of a domestic dispute, for which they are not responsible.
    The best advice i can give you is to discuss the option of finding a replacement tenant with your Landlord and see if you can reach an agreement. Alternatively, grit your teeth and discuss the possibility of your nightmare flatmate finding someone else (another friend maybe?) who may want to move in with them.

    Good Luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by se london
      Hi

      Six weeks ago I moved into a shared flat (I didn't know any of the occupants previously). I have very serious problems indeed with one of the housemates (extreme rudeness and deeply unpleasant behaviour). I don't think anything this person has done could quite constitute breach of her tenancy agreement, although I could probably draw up something under the "not behaving in a way subject to cause annoyance to other tenants" clause. I'd rather not do this as she is extremely combative and would deny/fight any charges I would place if it reached such a formal level.

      I want to get out of the place as soon as possible (can go immediately to a friend's). Given that I have signed a six-month lease, it seems to me that my options are:-

      - if I say to the landlord that I will move out immediately and continue to pay him rent until I have found him another suitable person to move in, is this offer likely to be accepted? Am I on any legal grounds at all to do this?

      Yes, basically give him notice that you are moving out, but tell him you will continue to pay the rent in the meantime. He has to make every reasonable attempt to fill the space though.

      - if I move out and say that I will forfeit my deposit (which I am prepared to do, the situation is this bad) what is my legal situation regarding the six-month lease? I'm happy to forfeit the deposit, but is the landlord likely to chase me for the remaining four months of rent?

      He should and probably would chase you.....this is not really an option.

      - if I have no other option but to say this person is in breach of her own tenancy agreement and I am moving out as a result, how should I proceed here?

      I do not actually think, I could be wrong, but don't think this avenue would be open to you. It would then be up to the landlord to evict them, I do not believe it would have an impact upon your own contract.


      - if I cannot prove she is in breach of her agreement and none of the above works, do I have any other options?

      Many thanks
      Another option. Check your AST.....most will prevent you from subletting, but not many will prevent you from assignment.You are allowed to assign your tenancy to someone else, so you can advertise a room, and if you can find someone to fill the tenancy, you can assign the tenancy to them, subject to certain constraints - search for "assignment" to find out some more.
      Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

      Comment


      • #4
        "- if I have no other option but to say this person is in breach of her own tenancy agreement and I am moving out as a result, how should I proceed here?"


        Their tenancy agreement is between them and the landlord, nothing to do with you.

        Comment


        • #5
          My first piece of advice would be to just sit down, and discuss it with your landlord. They can be reasonable people, and I'm sure he will understand the situation. Just be open to compromise and negotiation, and I'm sure the landlord will be the same - put forward the options, and ask basically if he can help you out.
          Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have also just been made aware that apparently, according to the OFT, it is unfair to completely prevent subletting, it must be put in the AST that subletting is prevented with out the landlords permission, and such permission cannot reasonably be refused. Can anyone confirm for me whether this is correct?
            Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

            Comment

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