Landlord wants to end Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement early

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  • Landlord wants to end Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement early

    Hi,

    We have recently been contacted by our landlord who would like his house back early in order to live in it himself. Our current 6 month agreement (with no break) ends in April 2012. He has said that he would let us out of our contract early but we enjoy where we currently live so without some form of "compensation", I want to hang on until April 2012.

    Do I have any grounds to ask for this? I was contemplating that we would move out in mid-January and ask not to pay the 1 months worth of rent leading up to this.

    Am I being unreasonable, as we would essentially be allowing the landlord to break the tenancy agreement?

    Any help and thoughts would be most appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by earlparkly View Post
    Hi,

    We have recently been contacted by our landlord who would like his house back early in order to live in it himself. Our current 6 month agreement (with no break) ends in April 2012. He has said that he would let us out of our contract early but we enjoy where we currently live so without some form of "compensation", I want to hang on until April 2012.

    Do I have any grounds to ask for this? I was contemplating that we would move out in mid-January and ask not to pay the 1 months worth of rent leading up to this.

    Am I being unreasonable, as we would essentially be allowing the landlord to break the tenancy agreement?

    Any help and thoughts would be most appreciated.
    First off you need to be quite clear in your thinking here:

    1. You have a contract that allows you to stay at least until April - you already have this you don't have to ask for it.

    2. By using the phrase 'let us out of our contract early' he seems to be trying to make out he is doing you a favour - he isn't - this contract has 2 sides what is actually happening he is asking you to let HIM out of the contract early. There are basically 3 answers you can give: Yes, No, Maybe if the deal is right.

    First, lets see what happens if you say no. He can serve you a section 21 (a notice seeking possession)that will expire at the end of your tenancy. If you wish you can can sit tight and wait for a possession order so you would end up leaving May-June time.

    If you say yes you move out and that's that.

    Your third option is to discuss a deal - probably avoid using the word compensation as that suggests you have suffered a loss - you haven't, you are just discussing a deal.

    If you want to go down this road start by thinking what your ideal outcome is - e.g. move out not before Jan and get 2 months rent paid to you - or whatever you want. If you go in too hard e.g. I want 100K to move out he will just say stuff it and wait til the end of the contract.

    If you want to go down this route I would say your first step is to write him a letter (NOT a phone call) saying something like.

    Dear Landlord

    Following our conversation of the XXX I understand that you are interested in negotiating an early surrender of the existing AST relating to ADDRESS. This contract currently runs until the XX of April 2012.

    Please let me have details of your proposal, in writing, at your earliest convenience.

    Please note that due to Christmas I am afraid I will not be able to entertain any proposal that involves our vacating the premises before the XX of Jan.

    Yours sincerely etc.

    In the last para put any 'deal breaking' restrictions you want, the one I have used is just an example.

    I wouldn't mention money at this stage wait to see what he comes up with first.

    Depending on how important this is I think a reasonable expectation is - get him to provide:

    1. Your moving costs
    2. Your fees
    3. Return your deposit in full without quibble and immediately
    4. Your last months rent.
    5. A commitment to provide a glowing reference to any and all future landlords

    If you push for much more than that he is likely to say stuff it, and wait until the spring and you will have soured the relationship. You would be better off by starting just saying no - not interested at the outset.

    Do everything in writing, preferably letter, although email will probably do in a pinch.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you fletchj, that is of great help and confirms what I thought might be the case.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just want to add that fletchj's answer (imho) is perfect.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the above answer is very good but there is one other factor that needs to be considered. One of the grounds for eviction under section 8 is that the landlord requires the rented property for his only or principal home. Section 8 is an eviction procedure that could be used to get you out of the property before the end of the fixed term.In order for the landlord to evict you under this ground there are two requirements that need to be met:

          1)(unless there are exceptional circumstances) he will have to have to given you notice at the beginning of the tenancy that there was a possibility he may require possession for this reason. Have a look in your tenancy agreement for any mention of it or 'Ground 1 of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988'; and

          2) the landlord lived in the property as his only home before. It is difficult to check this, but it may have come up in previous conversation.
          Disclaimer:

          The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

          Comment


          • #6
            The landlord would have to give the tenant 2 months notice when using a Section 8, Ground 1 notice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bhaal View Post
              Section 8 is an eviction procedure that could be used to get you out of the property before the end of the fixed term.
              Not under ground 1 according to s.7(6) of HA 1988, if I read it correctly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for your attention guys. He's not forcing us to leave early, just wanting us out as soon as possible. I will try to go along the trying to get the last months rent free route in return for us letting him out of his end of the agreement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                  Not under ground 1 according to s.7(6) of HA 1988, if I read it correctly.
                  Quite right, the only real relevance of Ground 1 must be to assured tenancies rather than ASTs. OP you can disregard my post.
                  Disclaimer:

                  The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

                  Comment

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