assured shorthold tenancy

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  • assured shorthold tenancy

    Hello, could anyone please help.

    I entered into a 6 month ast on 9th dec 2005 with my partner.
    The landlord then phoned us two weeks before this expired and asked us if we were staying, we said yes but were under the impression from the letting agent that we could now rent on a monthly basis but he would only renew for another 6 months ast, so we had no choice but to renew.
    We have now purchased a property and would like to get out of this agreement. Our contract has a clause in it which says if we can find someone else to move in then we can end our agreement. The landlord however has been very awkward and said he may not want a new tenant in his property because he hasnt decided whether he is going to sell it, move in himself or have his sister move in.

    Are there any other ways of getting out of this contract?
    What would happen if we just left?

  • #2
    You can leave the property but you will be responsible for the rent until a new tenant moves in.

    Your landlord must actively look for a replacement for you though and can't just sit there cashing the rent from you.

    You may also be responsible for the readvertising cost if you leave early.

    When you say you have purchased a property, does it mean you have put on offer that has been accepted or that you already have exchanged contracts?
    If you're only at the "offer accepted" stage do bear in mind it can take a couple of months or more to complete depending on how long the chain is etc. so you might not have to leave early after all.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mikeb19 View Post
      I entered into a 6 month ast on 9th dec 2005 with my partner.
      The landlord then phoned us two weeks before this expired and asked us if we were staying, we said yes but were under the impression from the letting agent that we could now rent on a monthly basis but he would only renew for another 6 months ast, so we had no choice but to renew.
      Normally what happens here is that the letting agent pushes the option of renewing the AST because that way they are able to cop for another wodge of fees, which a 'periodic' tenancy doesn't generate - not sure what's happened in your case but whatever - you signed up so I'm afraid you now have a contract. You'd have been better pushing for the tenancy simply to go 'periodic', maybe with the threat of moving out if refused.

      Originally posted by mikeb19 View Post
      We have now purchased a property and would like to get out of this agreement. Our contract has a clause in it which says if we can find someone else to move in then we can end our agreement. The landlord however has been very awkward and said he may not want a new tenant in his property because he hasnt decided whether he is going to sell it, move in himself or have his sister move in.

      Are there any other ways of getting out of this contract?
      What would happen if we just left?
      Doesn't really matter want the landlord wants; if he intends to hold you to the contract then legally he has to be seen to make 'reasonable' efforts to find a new tenant (his indecisiveness indicates he may not do so.) In the interim you will still be liable for the rent, and the landlord's reasonable costs for advertising etc.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mikeb19 View Post
        Our contract has a clause in it which says if we can find someone else to move in then we can end our agreement. The landlord however has been very awkward and said he may not want a new tenant in his property because he hasnt decided whether he is going to sell it, move in himself or have his sister move in.

        Are there any other ways of getting out of this contract?
        What would happen if we just left?
        I think if your landlord doesn't want you to be able to assign the tenancy then he shouldn't have put a clause in your tenancy allowing you to do it, but that's a different issue.

        Whatever you do though don't just up and leave as this won't do you any favours. Does your tenancy contain any clause about how to deal with ending it within the fixed term (i.e. paying reasonable reletting costs etc)?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mikeb19 View Post
          Our contract has a clause in it which says if we can find someone else to move in then we can end our agreement. The landlord however has been very awkward and said he may not want a new tenant in his property because he hasnt decided whether he is going to sell it, move in himself or have his sister move in. Are there any other ways of getting out of this contract? What would happen if we just left?
          It sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it! You have a right to leave as soon as you have found a substitute. It is up to him whether he grants a new lease to whoever you find - but that is not your problem. If he is adamant that he doesn't want a new tenant, you could simply offer him early vacant possession.
          Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lawstudent View Post
            It is up to him whether he grants a new lease to whoever you find - but that is not your problem.
            W-e-ll yes but the LL still has the right of veto over whoever the old tenant may come up with - the LL can reject the new person if they don't fulfil the LL's normal selection criteria (which the LL would need to be able to justify).

            Comment


            • #7
              Eric. Lawstudent has a valid point! The clause concerning finding a substitute tenant will depend on the wording in the AST about the quality of that substitute. If it merely says a "substitute tenant" then that means a person or persons who are willing to take on a tenancy and offer the same rent even if they are potentially vagrants! It could conceivably be permissable to assign the tenancy dependent upon what is stated. The landlord might want to decide on the suitability of a tenant but might only be able to do so if he has stated that they have to meet the same required standard or words to that effect.
              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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              • #8
                Thank you for all the responses

                The property we are buying is not in a chain as the previous owner has moved out allready adn wants to sign ASAP

                If we were to sign tomorrow for example and we moved out, would the landlord then be required to start looking for a replacement tenant?

                Also the second AST was not witnessed by anyone so could we argue we didnt sign it and were under the impression that we were on a periodic aggrement. (I dont plan doing this as it would cause far too much hassle and would then be unfair to the landlord but I was just curious!)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mikeb19 View Post
                  Also the second AST was not witnessed by anyone so could we argue we didnt sign it and were under the impression that we were on a periodic aggrement.
                  There's no legal requirement for the signatures on an AST to be witnessed anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wouldn't you have sent the signed agreement back to the landlord?? If you meant that you deny you signed it I doubt it would work and in any case wouldn't be honest and fair towards the landlord.

                    As regards to the landlord having to find a replacement if you left tomorrow, yes he'd have to either let you off completely or actively ty to find a replacement to mitigate his loss.
                    It would still cost you in advertising cost and rent while the property is vacant.

                    Finally, even if there is no chain, buying a property can take a while. The first house I purchased had no chain and it still took 3 months (it was over Xmas admitedly).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No,the LL came round to the flat with the agreement.
                      This was just pure curiosity though.

                      Comment

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