Getting out of a contract - advice needed

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    Getting out of a contract - advice needed

    Hi there! I have a bit of a dilemma and hope someone is able to give some advice.

    We have been renting a property under a 12 month lease and due to personal reasons I would like to get out of the contract, if possible.

    We have spoken to our landlord and they are very hesitant to let us out of the contract until someone is willing to take over the contract. I have a feeling this won't happen for a while as the property is unfurnished and we have been told they aren't very popular as most people renting do not own furniture.

    Our landlord initially offered us a 6 month lease but we opted for 12 as we didn't think we would want to move after only 6 months. I'm not sure if this gives any leeway in the matter as they were more than willing for us to have only a 6 month lease.

    The contract doesn't state anything about a break clause and they are not willing to offer us one.

    We are also looking in to getting advice regarding to cigarette smoke that comes through our window from people smoking outside of the pub next door (front and back windows). Is this potentially something to look into for ending our contract or even something the landlord needs to resolve for our flat to be suitable to live in.

    Any help that can be offered would be very greatly appreciated.

    Not sure if it makes any different but we are renting in Scotland.

    Thanks.

    #2
    A contract is a contract, you could have signed for 6 months, you did not want to.

    Your landlord may be willing to release you if you cover all his costs of re-letting. That is reasonable.

    People smoking outside a pub is not something your landlord can control, it would not be grounds to repudiate your contract.

    The laws in Scotland are different but I think these comments still hold good there.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by nchadwick View Post
      the property is unfurnished and we have been told they aren't very popular as most people renting do not own furniture.
      Huge generalisation and depends on the area and type of house; but as a landlord who lets unfurnished by choice, I'd say that was rubbish.

      We are also looking in to getting advice regarding to cigarette smoke that comes through our window from people smoking outside of the pub next door (front and back windows). Is this potentially something to look into for ending our contract or even something the landlord needs to resolve for our flat to be suitable to live in.
      So you failed to spot the pub next door when you took the place on? And it didn't occur to you that occasionally people smoke outside them? Answer - if smoke leaking in to the property was the real reason you are trying to extricate yourself from the contract, then you might have done so

      Not sure if it makes any different but we are renting in Scotland.
      Yep - big difference: that's why there's a separate forum here for Scottish Rental and Legal Issues.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by nchadwick View Post
        Not sure if it makes any different but we are renting in Scotland.
        Well, you'd have been better off posting in the 'Scotland' forum

        However, I agree with JTA, if you were in England you'd be liable until the earlier of
        - the end of the 12 months
        - a new tenancy begins
        - the landlord agrees a release

        To get the 3rd option, you are going to have to make it worth his while - how about offering a release fee? A fee equal to 2 months rent means you lose less money, and he has a chance of making a small profit (though that is by no means certain).

        Comment


          #5
          Unless there is something SIGNIFICANTly wrong with the property (eg no leccy, big 'ole in roof, loads of damp unrepaired after months of letters to landlord) then nope, same comments above apply in scotland.

          Only possibility would be seeing if he's registered the property - see
          www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk
          - if not fine can be £50k so maybe some "discussion" about being let go early?? Even so all landlord has to do is apply to register...

          It;s down I think to negotiating with landlord & being really really helpful with viewings etc so he lets you do what he does not have to allow...

          Painful lesson!
          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
            If there is no notice period you can give any notice you wish
            Try writing to him with a months notice and wait for a reply

            There should be a part in the rental agreement that states minimum term.

            If it's 12 months it may be an assured tenancy, not a short assured tenancy

            Call the council landlord liason officer- he / she should be able to give you advice

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by baldelectrician View Post
              If there is no notice period you can give any notice you wish
              Really???

              My understanding is that an SAT can be for an initial period anything up to two years. What makes an SAT an SAT rather than an AT is the serving of an AT5, I think.

              Required notice period should be set out in the lease, but if not then not less than a month should be given.

              In your position, and speaking as a Landlord, if you really want to leave early then ask your landlord if he would mind if you advertised for a replacement tenant and find out what criteria he would apply to the new incumbent, e.g. if it was me (and it often has been) I would ask the tenant who wants to leave to accept a "To Let" board going up immediately and be co-operative with viewing appointments. I would ask them to pay a 50% share in the cost of advertising - locally around 25p-50p per shop window, £19.99 for a six week online insertion on a particular "in Scotland" letting website I use (please - no Gumtree freebies) and maybe an insertion or two in the local press. If you work, does your work have an employee corner on it's website where you could advertise your home internally? I would also make the tenant aware of the criteria to be applied to the propsective tenant, e.g. if there's going to be a rent rise on next occupancy, if the deposit required is going to be increased and anything they would need to know about the referencing process that they would want to be in a position to speak about to anyone responding to the advertising. Your landlord may be prepared to let you find the new tenant, however, in your case you may need to fund the whole cost of advertising. It could still be a lot cheaper than paying rent for the balance of your contract, which is the alternative.

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