Breaking AST

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    Breaking AST

    Hi everyone

    I am about 2 months in to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The contract ends in October 2013, and I have a privately-rented flat.

    I currently receive housing benefit, but have a job offer on the table. This means I need to leave the property, because the job doesn't pay enough for me to afford the rent.

    So I need to break the contract, and I would like your help on how I can do this.

    If someone could give me their interpretation of my tenancy agreement's break clause, I'd be really grateful:

    'The tenant may end this contract early by giving one month's notice in writing at any time in the event of obtaining secure accommodation through London Borough of Camden's Choice-Based Lettings Scheme or any other allocation scheme adopted by London Borough of Camden or any other local authority or registered social landlord.

    If the tenant is offered a secure tenancy through the Choice-Based Lettings Scheme or any other allocation scheme the landlord will accept a shorter period of notice and London Borough of Camden will use its best endeavours to mitigate any rental loss suffered by the landlord by finding new perspective tenants under the Private Renting Scheme who could take up occupation for the rest of the term as long as this is not less than six months and the property is in good repair and in a habitable condition for the use by the tenant (as determined the London Borough of Camden).'

    It doesn't appear to mention what happens if I move to another privately rented flat, but I think it means I can move to a council or housing association place if I give one month's notice.

    Am I right? What do you think it means in terms of my options for leaving?

    Thanks for your help, and sorry for the lengthy post.
    Last edited by CAGW; 03-01-2013, 18:36 PM. Reason: clarification

    #2
    To me it means you can end the tenancy by giving a month notice if you get a council house, otherwise you're stuck for the full 12 months unless landlord agrees otherwise (but he has no obligation to)

    Comment


      #3
      Whilst it appears you are stuck to the 12 months speak to your Landlord and explain situation. If property easy to relet he may be sympathetic.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by CAGW View Post
        Hi everyone

        I am about 2 months in to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The contract ends in October 2013, and I have a privately-rented flat.

        I currently receive housing benefit, but have a job offer on the table. This means I need to leave the property, because the job doesn't pay enough for me to afford the rent.
        If the new job doesn't pay enough for you to be able to afford ALL the rent, you may still be eligible for SOME Local Housing Allowance.

        Have you checked with the council? What was their response?

        Comment


          #5
          Presumably this is a council or housing association tenancy near Camden. Talk to landlord - they may have people keen to move in & be prepared to be flexible. Congrats on job offer.
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by CAGW View Post

            If someone could give me their interpretation of my tenancy agreement's break clause, I'd be really grateful:

            'The tenant may end this contract early by giving one month's notice in writing at any time in the event of obtaining secure accommodation through London Borough of Camden's Choice-Based Lettings Scheme or any other allocation scheme adopted by London Borough of Camden or any other local authority or registered social landlord.
            Have you obtained secure accommodation through LB Camden etc? No? Then the clause doesn't apply.

            It doesn't appear to mention what happens if I move to another privately rented flat
            Correct. That means that the clause doesn't apply to your circumstances, and you are committed to the full fixed term unless you privately agree a surrender with the LL.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the response. I'll talk to my LL about possibly leaving early, and see if he agrees. I could try to find a council house, but that's very difficult in this area.

              And thanks for the tip about receiving LHA while working - I didn't know you could do that.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by CAGW View Post
                Thanks for the response. I'll talk to my LL about possibly leaving early, and see if he agrees. .
                Landlord has no obligation at all to agree - therefore you may need to think of ways to make it worth his while (£££s?)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for all the replies.

                  Just one more question: what would happen if I gave, say 2 months notice, and then just walked away? I read somewhere I would be liable for the rent until the end of the contract or until the LL found a new tenant (which ever is sooner). Is the correct?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    yes that is correct.

                    try claiming tax credits as well as housing benefits. Go to the council and see what you are entitled to.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It's correct, although the landlord doesnt have to find a new tenant. He might, or might not
                      All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by CAGW View Post
                        what would happen if I gave, say 2 months notice, and then just walked away? I read somewhere I would be liable for the rent until the end of the contract or until the LL found a new tenant (which ever is sooner). Is the correct?
                        It makes no difference whether you give 'notice' or not; the notice would have no effect. If you vacate, all you're doing is making an offer to surrender the tenancy, an offer which the LL is totally free to accept or reject.

                        If he accepts/re-lets the property, your tenancy and your liability for rent ends when the replacement T's tenancy begins. If he rejects/treats your tenancy as continuing, the LL may pursue you for rent for the remainder of the fixed term

                        It is far more sensible to approach the LL and attempt to negotiate formal terms to surrender the tenancy.

                        Comment

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