Surrender of Tenancy/Replacement Tenant?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Surrender of Tenancy/Replacement Tenant?

    (Don't know where to put this sorry!)

    So basically I rented a room in a flat in October and, because the agency running it are thoroughly incompetent, I asked the landlord if I could surrender my tenancy by the end of February (Asked mid January, gave 5 weeks notice). Now, it was a 12 month AST with no break clause (annoyingly I rushed into what I should have seen is a substandard flat). The agency has a long list of incompetencies... A lock broke and I rang their 'maintenance hotline', to receive 'sorry, everyone's asleep, why don't you sleep on the floor'.... The maitenance team took some of my possessions to 'test' them, after failing to correct and electrical fault (which, they later fixed, after doing exactly as I suggested).. my items were never returned (nothing expensive but.. still theft). The list could go on... but anyway.

    The contract outlines that, if the landlord accepts the surrender, I pay 2 weeks rent to the agency so that they re-let the flat (it literally says that this is to cover the agency's re-letting costs). Fair enough. I'm happy to pay that to leave, i'm asking to break the contract early, that's fine.

    The response from the agent however was that the landlord will allow you to surrender, 'on the understanding' that I find a replacement tenant at my own expense, at which point a 'replacement tenant agreement' is signed... This is not in the contract at all, and I was given a list of 'terms'... including 'the new tenant cannot stay longer than the end date of your current tenancy'. These terms aren't in the contract. I understand it's easier to swap with a new tenant lined up, but if this is all 'subject to contract' can you actually accept "with conditions?". They also told me the new tenant pays the deposit to me, and they just sign over the deposit... slightly dodgy sounding...

    This also seems a bit vague. There is a provision to countersign the tenancy, but I haven't asked for that. Are they just trying to 'countersign' when really I want to surrender.. perhaps they, the agency, haven't told the landlord (I wouldn't be surprised as they truly are awful) and are trying to cover themselves?

    Now, another tenant had the same situation, and was asked the same thing, to find another tenant. They spoke to a solicitor, who sent an email to the landlord, and... 4 days later she moves out straight away and the agent is now finding a new tenant for the room.

    Also, i've signed a contract for just my room, but we're technically liable for bills on top (again, I rushed into a stupid tenancy), including council tax... what is this place? 5 people live here but we're not joint tenants, and the council tax bill is only in one of their names (2 students live there too). Is it a 'flat' or this is simply an HMO and some creative council tax avoidance (my understanding being that the landlord pays CT or incorporates it when charging rent, according to the Council website).

    So... I don't know where I stand. I've always paid my rent, never broken the contract and have constantly said i'm happy to pay their fees (£500 I may say!!), but my inkling is that this stinks a bit... help?

    #2
    Can you confirm the landlord does not live there?

    Do you have your own tenancy - or are all of you on the same?

    Does that tenancy relate to "Flat 1, 123 High Street" or "Room 1, Flat 1, 123 High Street"

    Can you give us the exact wording with regard to breaking the contract early?

    What does the tenancy agreement say about CT?

    Comment


      #3
      The landlord doesn't live there, the agency runs and manages it on their behalf (the agent signed the contract for them).

      I have my own, separate tenancy. Its for "Room 1, Flat etc etc". The tenancy states I am responsible for paying council tax "for the premises" (presumably property would mean the whole flat and premises relates to what i'm renting? Its not defined in the definitions section of the contract) - either way we rang the council who were suspicious.

      The wording:
      re the 2 weeks rent fee: it is"to cover the costs administering the required documentation and our re-letting costs."
      and, after surrender, I am to "allow the property to be marketed by us for replacement tenants "

      Comment


        #4
        Understand the agent runs things but is the named landlord on the agreement "Mr Landlord" or "Agent xxx"?? Appreciate address may be c/o agent,...
        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


          #5
          The landlord is listed in the contract as the landlord. Their address is listed as the agencies one. (But in a separate document is a completely different address)

          Comment


            #6
            You can stick to what the contract says, the agent can not impose extra conditions on you - that could be knocked out of court on half a dozen different grounds.

            Paying a share of bills is common. With the council tax, the landlord has the legal liability to the council (if its not paid, it is him they will chase) BUT that doesn't stop the landlord charging you an appropriate share (in addition to rent) if the tenancy agreement permits it, which it does seem to.

            Comment


              #7
              So if I write a letter/email saying something like "excuse me but I think, subject to contract means this"... Would they ostensibly let me go? Unless they were really pig-headed? The contract is vague in saying "allow" though, right? Like I'm not compelled to let them market it... And "reletting" isn't defined... It's an assumption based on the terms?
              Or is it essentially that why would the contract say that if not for them to re-let it?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                You can stick to what the contract says, the agent can not impose extra conditions on you - that could be knocked out of court on half a dozen different grounds.

                Paying a share of bills is common. With the council tax, the landlord has the legal liability to the council (if its not paid, it is him they will chase) BUT that doesn't stop the landlord charging you an appropriate share (in addition to rent) if the tenancy agreement permits it, which it does seem to.
                Unless I have read this incorrectly the LL is not seeking to impose extra conditions into the contract? OP has asked to break the contract and due to the exit clause LL has to agree but is putting a condition on that agreement?

                The basic issue in the opening post is that the T wants out early as they have now come to realise that they did not take sufficient care to find out about the property before they moved in, did not find out about what costs would be due and to who, did not see that it was a sub-standard property, items have been supposedly stolen which matter could be easily dealt with if the OP wished to, and did not find out what the full terms or conditions would be or could be as a price for an early surrender.

                Appears to me that OP has asked to be released early, LL is saying okay, IF you do X, Y or Z?

                One thing occurred to me is that if the LL wants the TAs to all end at the same time, if the ending of the next TA in October 2015 is critical, then the OP may only have limited time to find a replacement?

                If you write that letter they might ostensibly let you go but you will be stuck there for the 12 months.

                Edited to add: if they do not agree to you going they are not being pig headed, they are holding you to your contract with them.

                pm
                Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well, I asked to leave, the contract implies they market it to a new tenant... They've agreed on the condition that I find a new tenant... When another tenant (same contract) in the same situation got their solicitors to write a letter, suddenly agency changes their mind and is now marketing their room.
                  I understand I'm breaking a contract I signed up to, but they're flagrantly ignoring their half (letting the electrical certificate expire),.. I had to ask for a gas cert (sent 2 months into tenancy)...

                  Anyway, we all have separate TAs, but I have no idea why they're trying to get me to fill the rest of mine with someone else, rather than let me... Surrender the contract and let a new tenant start a new one... Other than because they want the money and are too lazy to market it themselves...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by MArch42 View Post
                    Well, I asked to leave, the contract implies they market it to a new tenant...only if the LL agrees and accept your surrender, which he has not unless and until you satisfy the conditions that they have set. They've agreed on the condition that I find a new tenant... When another tenant (same contract) in the same situation got their solicitors to write a letter, suddenly agency changes their mind and is now marketing their room. what did they put in their letter to the LL? Find out.
                    I understand I'm breaking a contract I signed up to, but they're flagrantly ignoring their half (letting the electrical certificate expire nothing to do with this issue),.. I had to ask for a gas cert (sent 2 months into tenancy)... nothing to do with this issue

                    Anyway, we all have separate TAs, but I have no idea why they're trying to get me to fill the rest of mine with someone else, rather than let me... Surrender the contract and let a new tenant start a new one... why not ask them? Other than because they want the money and are too lazy to market it themselves...why should they work when you are the one who wants out? You want out, you provide a new tenant, zero cost to the LA and zero effort, win win for them, good business sense
                    How are you getting on finding a new T?

                    pm
                    Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No luck. Full time occupation and all. I have a few adverts up in all the usual places. Only had two viewings, starting to get annoyed really.

                      Comment

                      Latest Activity

                      Collapse

                      Working...
                      X