Ending a tenancy

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  • Ending a tenancy

    I have a 12 month tenancy, 6 months in and we want to end it early. The reason is that there are many issues regarding this property which the landlord just cannot or will not address. The house seemed very nice when we moved in but many jobs have been done shoddily (curtain tracks hanging off walls, oven damaged and uncleanable, filthy when we moved in, washing machine not working, lights not working) and needed fixing. Now we have water pouring through the ceiling downstairs and no apparent remedy can be found. We have had a constant stream of contracters through here and now, because the latest one cannot find the problem, he says we must be doing it ourselves!

    The fix for this might well run into thousands and I suppose we are going to have to hire a lawyer and engineer to come in and find the problem to exonerate us. Meanwhile, we have had water pouring down since December.

    Yesterday, a man, unknown to us, let himself into the house with his own set of keys and told me son who was there at the time that he was there to do the garden (there is no rear access except thtough the house). My husband hit the roof when he got home and called the man to ask that he phone us first before coming in the house. The man was extremely rude and said he had always had a key given him by the owners when they lived here and could and would come and let himself in any time he darn well pleased and would sue us for loss of earnings if we tried to obstruct him.

    We have a lot of very expensive equipment in this house and I have NO intention of letting this man into our house unattended. He doesn't even have a proper business card and just handed us a piece of paper with his name and mobile on it.

    Frankly, we are sick of the whole situation and want to leave on the grounds that our quiet enjoyment of the property has been interferred with. There is no way a solution can be reached because of the agreement the landlords have with the letting agents to do no work without their prior consent, which they can hardly ever be bothered to give.

    Anyone know where we stand on this?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    What are the exact terms of your tenancy agreement in terms of length of tenancy? Normally an AST would have a break clause after 6 months anyway.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davonvw View Post
      What are the exact terms of your tenancy agreement in terms of length of tenancy? Normally an AST would have a break clause after 6 months anyway.
      ASTs do NOT normally have any break clauses at all. Whyever did you think otherwise?
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


      • #4
        The landlord or anybody on landlord's business has no right at all to enter your home without your permission except in an emergency. You should write to your landlord immediately informing him of this and change the locks, changing same back when your tenancy is ended.
        Normally you would be liable to pay the rent due on the property up to the time your tenancy ended, or the time that a new tenant could be found to replace you and your landlord's reasonable costs in finding such a tenant. However as the landlord has breached the law in entering the property without your permission then you have a possible case for ending the tenancy early. Perhaps Jeffrey or some other expert could comment further on this.

        P.P.
        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          ASTs do NOT normally have any break clauses at all. Whyever did you think otherwise?
          By normally, I actually mean "only from my experience with all AST's I have seen".

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by davonvw View Post
            By normally, I actually mean "only from my experience with all AST's I have seen".
            No; only a few versions give T a six-month break clause. If L lets for six months, as majority do, why would there be a six-month break?
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


            • #7
              A 6mbc (six month break clause) can be beneficial to both landlord (LL) and tenant (T). If the T needs to move for outside reasons, then he knows he won't be stuck for 12 months rent, but only for six months. Conversely, if the LL requires possession (multi reasons), he knows he can obtain possession after six months (all things being ideal). Both parties assume at the start that the 6mbc won't be activated and the T have a home for 12 mo. and the LL has a T for 12 mo. I could be wrong, but that is how I see it.
              ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a similar situation a while back- landlord and landlord's representative letting themselves in. I approached a lawyer at that time who helped me draft a letter to my landlord.

                Sadly this seems to be quite a common problem as I've passed on the content of this letter for to various friends who've suffered the same problem since.

                The letter started with me stating in detail the events that had ocurred, then asking for an explanation in writing, then the bit of legalese text below. Obviously it's entirely up to you whether you use this or not.

                Please note that according to The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 it is an offence to do acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant.

                Any further breaches of my rights by yourself or any of your representatives will result in my taking action for harassment, which is both a civil and criminal offence.

                Should any such incidents arise during the period of my tenancy I will contact the police immediately to try and resolve this manner and will also consider any alternative legal remedy available.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by heathdweller View Post
                  The man was extremely rude and said he had always had a key given him by the owners when they lived here and could and would come and let himself in any time he darn well pleased and would sue us for loss of earnings if we tried to obstruct him.
                  WTF?

                  Where do these muppets come from FFS? Unbelievable!!

                  dor77 has the right idea.
                  Now signature free.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    6 Month Break Clause - please help!

                    Hi. I signed a "Common Law Tenancy Agreement", for 12 months with a 6 Month Break Clause, through an estate agents. I had been there for 4 months on 8th April. I indicated to my Landlady (who also lives at the property), about 3rd week of April, that I was going to put my notice in to leave in June but she said I couldn't do it. I spoke to the estate agents who firstly said, if I hadn't indicated to STAY after 6 months, I'd have been out. A day later I spoke to them again who said I couldn't put my 2 months notice in until the 6 months was up, which would mean I couldn't leave until August. This is what the Landlady thinks also (although she admits having originally been told notice in April for June).

                    The Agreement does NOT explain what is meant by "6 Month Break Clause with 2 months notice" at all. I have met with the owner of the estate agents who said it means 2 months notice at the 6 months point. This is besides me having sent him lots of Internet links that explain one can put 2 months notice in to leaver at or after the 6 months point.

                    My Landlady has signed my 2 months notice, to leave on 30th June, but this, she says, is only her "acknowledgement" of my notice NOT an agreement.

                    It seems that I can leave on 30th June providing they have found someone else to move in immediately after me. If there isn't a replacement, then I'm to pay rent until 8th August (even though I won't be there anymore).

                    I believe this is incorrect. It also means that, if I refuse to pay rent after my departure, I will lose deposit (of circa £2,500).

                    Can anywone tell me where I can go / who to contact to get legal confirmation about this 6 Month Break Clause please.

                    Living with hope and anxiety... thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As L is resident too, your tenancy is NOT governed by Housing Act 1988. It cannot be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. That is probably why it is labelled "Common Law Tenancy".

                      You therefore have little protection once fixed term ends.

                      A "break clause" is simply a provision under which one party can serve a Notice on the other in order to end the letting earlier than its term expiry date- by giving two months' advance warning, in your case.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment

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