house fire and AST agreement

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  • house fire and AST agreement


    The house that my son and his two friends (students)were renting recently burnt down, they have lost everything because foolishly they did not bother to insure the contents. The letting agent could not find them alternative accommodation so they were forced to sleep on friends floors for two weeks whilst they were checked out for a different property.

    At the moment the agent is refusing to return the unused rent or deposit because the landlord wants it for loss of earnings. And yesterday i received a letter saying if i do not continue to pay the rent for the remaining time of the lease that they will be taking legal action against me, I put my name down as guarantor. Does any body know if they can do this


  • #2
    Who or what caused the fire.

    If it was tenant negligence, then I am afraid the landlord can rely on you as guarantor unless there is a clause in the agreement that states what happens if the house is uninhabitable because of fire/flood etc.

    I would be checking that your position as guarantor was executed properly - i.e. were you given a copy of the agreement - in which case you could check the above point?


    • #3
      As David states it depends on who caused the fire, but normally when the premises become uninhabitable because of fire the tenancy is normally ended by frustration as obviously neither party can continue with the lease.

      If the tenants are not responsible for the fire then the landlord cannot retain the deposit or insist on anymore rent as he should be insured against such a situation; if not he is also going to lose out!

      Rent should only be payable until the day of the fire.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


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