Can I void my AST if I didn’t pay a deposit

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    Can I void my AST if I didn’t pay a deposit

    Hi, is there any way I could void my Assured Shorthold tenancy with a private accommodation if I have:

    - not moved in
    - not paid a deposit
    - not paid any part of the rent yet
    - signed the tenancy online

    They are constantly ignoring my request to access the tenancy agreement so I can’t read it again to see how I could end the tenancy.

    We are also both trying to find replacement tenants but they do not seem to actually try and will not update me so I’m lost. I can’t afford this place anymore due to breaking up with my boyfriend and it’s a one bed we were going to share.

    Any help is welcome.

    #2
    When was the tenancy due to start?

    Comment


      #3
      "Void" is not quite the right word here; a void contract is no contract at all. What you can do is to repudiate the contract. That does however carry the risk that you will be sued for damages. Given that you have not paid a deposit or rent the landlord will no doubt take a view on whether or not to cut his losses and get on and find another tenant.

      There may though be something in the tenancy agreement which saves you. Is there anything in the agreement which say it is conditional? If there is, please quote the exact wording.

      Why exactly do you wish to get out of the contract?

      Comment


        #4
        I wonder if signing online is covered by distance selling regs and you can change your mind if you tell them within 14 days ??

        Comment


          #5
          Doubt landlord would sue for unpaid rent, but you never know

          Was this a "room only" tenancy or a joint AST with others?

          Tenancy in England doesn't even need to be written.

          You've signed (-ish) a contract but it's not yet a tenancy unless other joint tenants have moved in.
          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 Mrs Mug View Post
            When was the tenancy due to start?
            The tenancy is due to start on the 5th of September.

            It is a one bedroom apartment where there is no other tenants but me.

            And I no longer can afford this place as I am no longer moving in with my partner.

            I also do not have access to my tenancy agreement and the landlord is ignoring my request to get a copy.

            Comment


              #7
              There are two elements of your agreement with the landlord, a tenancy and a tenancy agreement, which is a type of contract.

              As long as you don't move into the property, there is no tenancy created, so that needn't concern us (which is good news, because getting out of an actual tenancy can be difficult/expensive).

              If you don't move into the property on or after the 5th September and pay the rent etc, you will be in breach of contract.
              The landlord has three options:
              1 - They can (in theory at least) get a court order to compel you to honour the contract
              2 - They can do nothing
              3 - They can claim compensation for their losses as a result of the breach.

              1 won't happen - it's expensive and might not actually succeed. I've never heard of anyone even attempting it.
              2 is unlikely, but it might happen. I'd just relet the place personally, stuff happens and life's too short.
              3 is the most likely outcome in my view.

              The landlord can only claim any loss that was reasonably foreseeable when the breach occurred and they have to mitigate the cost (which is legal for keeping them to a minimum).
              They'll probably claim for more than they're entitled to.

              First of all, write (letter, envelope, old school) and tell than that your circumstances have changed and you will not be renting the property.
              Wait for a claim for quite a lot (or nothing to happen).
              Send them some money that you think is reasonable to settle the issue and hope they accept it and go away.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                Send them some money that you think is reasonable to settle the issue
                But not before they ask for any.

                Comment


                  #9
                  jpkeates,

                  How much money do you think they can claim if my rent was £180pw? The whole matter is currently being handled by their managing agent which is the Student Accommodation, but it’s a private landlord. Should I contact the landlord directly?

                  I also finally got a hold of my tenancy agreement and it says I agree to move in within 4 weeks of the tenancy start date (“A12 - I will move into the Room within 4 weeks of the start of the Tenancy Period.”) and agree to pay the deposit before moving in (“At the beginning of the Tenancy Period, I have paid the Tenancy Deposit to the Landlord”) - which obviously I won’t do either of those. The agreement says nothing about cancellation on my part, only cancellation on their part if I cease to be a student or if I breach my contract.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would cease replying to whoever is handling things (other than stating you expect any funds & fees back promptly) and simply see if an court action happens suing you.

                    Suspect landlord/agent won't sue, but you never know.
                    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


                      #11
                      So I just wait and do nothing?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        But not before they ask for any.
                        Exactly

                        Revised...

                        First of all, write (letter, envelope, old school) and tell than that your circumstances have changed and you will not be renting the property.
                        Wait for a claim for quite a lot (or nothing to happen).
                        If they do, send them some money that you think is reasonable to settle the issue and hope they accept it and go away.
                        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
                          What should I write in my letter apart from the fact that I will not be renting?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nothing.
                            You might give them a reason if you are minded to, the expression "can no longer afford it" would be good to get into their thinking.
                            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
                              Most landlords would understand relationship breakdown and resultant unaffordability. You should be honest and explain 'my relationship has broken down and the property is unaffordable to me on my lone wage'.

                              As a landlord I would let it go with that explanation. Most would I think, with entitlement to be annoyed.

                              Comment

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