Illegal Eviction?

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    Illegal Eviction?

    Hi All,

    I entered into a 6 month AST in Sept '16 ends in March '17.

    We've asked to negotiate an early surrender, we had a response from the agent that did not refuse, but did agree to re-market the property ASAP if we gave two months notice to end tenancy for March and to end tenancy early if new tenant in before then. A reasonable/fair response given the contract.

    We're moving out at the moment and informed the LL and Agent that the property would be vacant for a period in excess of 14 days (as required by the tenancy) and that we would turn off heating and drain water etc. (also as required by tenancy agreement).

    We've now had emails from the agent requesting we complete a checkout form and one from the landlord asking us to leave the heating and water on and he will pay the bills from now on. Also asking us to take and provide all meter readings to the agent for the day we moved out. He's also asked us to confirm the keys will be returned to the letting agent when we are moved out.

    So my question is where does this leave the tenancy, is it becoming an implied surrender? we'd be delighted to surrender early and end our now financially challenging rental obligation, but I'm not clear where we stand now.

    Also where does this leave us for council tax would we still be liable?

    To answer the other bits of the new poster questions that seem relevant: the property is in England and the AST covers the whole property.

    Thanks, TenantX

    #2
    I don't think landlord is forced to let you off paying rent by any law. It depends on what you agree(d) between you. Also there may be a contractual agreement for you to reimburse him the council tax.

    Try to approach the agent with an attitude of compromise rather than 'I know my rights'.

    Comment


      #3
      If the landlord accepts the keys and retakes possession of the property, the tenancy probably ends.
      Implied surrender is only helpful if the landlord accepts the implied offer.

      It's really going to be down to exactly who has said and done what.
      The wording of your notice ending in March, for example, and anything the landlord/agent has said about why they want the keys back.
      If the landlord is simply intending to pay the utility bills and visit from time to time to keep the place safe and secure while your tenancy continues, it might be ongoing.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
        Try to approach the agent with an attitude of compromise rather than 'I know my rights'.
        Thanks, but I don't 'know my rights' here, hence the question

        I should also have mentioned that the agent has set a date for the checkout in March - I'm a little uncomfortable returning the keys now but doing the checkout in 10 weeks time - how do I know the property will be as I left it then?

        I'd be happier to return the keys and checkout now so my only remaining liability is the rent (and maybe council tax).

        Thanks, TenantX

        Comment


          #5
          Agree with the agent/landlord when the tenancy will actually end and what the liabilities are for both of you.

          It might be simplest for you to agree to pay what the rent would have been (or negotiate a different figure), so no one's out of pocket, but to end the tenancy now, so it's nice and clear.
          You and the landlord/agent sign a deed of surrender, the check out is done, any deductions agreed - there's no confusion about council tax and the utility bills and the landlord/agent can let the place again without any problem.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Agreement to end Tenancy

            Hi all,

            I've been negotiating an early surrender and there has been a back and forth on terms.

            I now have an email that says roughly (precise figures removed)
            Your landlord has agreed to end the tenancy on the proviso you pay £X, the alternative is the tenancy runs to the end of the fixed term.

            If I agree to this, is it legally binding? Does it override all other offers and counteroffers that have gone before and can I sleep confidently in the knowledge that £X is the full and final amount I will have to pay to end the tenancy?

            Thanks.

            Comment


              #7
              If that really is the full & complete wording, yes: (Assuming landlord is a man of his word: Which landlord isn't eh?)

              Me, I'd have said that plus you the tenant guarantee to leave by dd/mm/yy and pay any damage costs beyond fair wear 'n tear, and specify the end date.
              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


                #8
                It's the full wording bar the date (of fixed term end) and precise number.

                I agree I'd have expected a date etc. I suppose the fact that I've vacated already and they've found a new tenant (and entered the property without notice or permission today) may mean they overlooked the vacating the property aspect.

                Regards, TenantX
                Last edited by TenantX; 09-01-2017, 19:18 PM. Reason: clarified date

                Comment


                  #9
                  If it has already been relet the final figure has probably been reduced taking this into account.

                  I would say it's full and final.

                  I do hope they haven't signed a new tenancy agreeement before receiving your surrender.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks. I'm not sure about signing a new agreement, but they have listed the property as 'Let agreed' on Rightmove, so I guess it's possible.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi All,

                      So I emailed back accepting the offer and now the Agent are saying I'm liable for other fees too.

                      At what point does this become a legally binding agreement? I thought a contract was formed once an offer was made and accepted?

                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Offer, acceptance, intent by both parties to form a contract and consideration (essentially some kind of payment or promise of payment).
                        That's a contract.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I guess their getout then is to claim they didn't intend to form a contract?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            They're the one's sending an email with an offer they want you to accept.
                            That's hard to do accidentally!

                            Seriously, it's more likely to depend on how the offer is worded - if the wording is vague or conditional it might not be an actual offer, but simply preamble to an offer "assuming our client agrees and the cost is right, we could probably do this" is different to "If you agree to pay three weeks rent, our client agrees you can end the tenancy next Tuesday".

                            If you're confident that the agreement is made, you can probably ignore any further negotiation and keep to your end of the agreement you are confident you have made.
                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The wording is pretty much as the first post:

                              Your landlord has agreed to end the tenancy on the proviso you pay £X, the alternative is the tenancy runs to the end of the fixed term.

                              I'm confident this is the second agreement we've made and now they're trying to change it again.

                              Now to get them to return the deposit....

                              Thanks.

                              Comment

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