I have a tenancy agreement for the next three years that runs from 2/4/05-1/4/08. I would like some advice into finishing my tenancy agreement early, as I wish to move to a new area closer to my family, what sort of penalties would I have to pay and how much notice would I have to give? I do not mind losing my initial deposit and have rented my house 3 years prior and have signed another 3 year contract which I would like to end. Would it be a case of just negotiating with my landlord? Thanks for help!!
22-12-2005, 23:06 PM
The simple answer is, no you cannot end the tenancy as such early. However, there are still several options available to you, I shall attempt to detail them below(in order I would do them):
- Check your AST for a break clause. It is quite possible that in such a long term contract there may well be such a clause, allowing you to give notice during the tenancy. However, this is still unlikely, but definitely worth checking.
- Negotiate with the landlord. A landlord may be quite receptive to you just sitting, talking to him, and telling him that you would like to leave if possible. They may also be receptive to a financial settlement to break the contract, a couple of months rent may be amenable.
- Give notice and leave. In this situation, you are responsible for the rent still, however the landlord must make every reasonable attempt to find a new tenant, and realistically finding a new tenant should not take any longer than 2 to 3 months - of course depending on the property and the area. I do not think that the notice period would matter, as you are more giving him notice to look for new tenants than giving notice that you are breaking the tenancy and stopping rent payments. But I wait to be corrected on this. However, it is obviously advisable to give as much notice as possible.
- Assignment. As long as it is not prohibited in your AST, you have the right to assign your tenancy to someone else. This means that you can find someone else to take over the tenancy from you, and this cannot reasonably be refused. However, I think they have to pass the same credit checks etc as you did.
- Sublet. Again, as long as it is not prohibited in your AST(most do prohibit it) you can sublet the property to someone else. NB: it is an unfair term to prohibit both assigment and subletting, so if both are, then you can basically choose either, as the terms are null and void.
- Remember that you are only responsible for the rent until a new tenant is installed, and the landlord must make every reasonable effort to mitigate his losses i.e. find a new tenant.
As a side note, can I suggest that you not take on such long tenancies in future.....it is very very easy for circumstances to change in 3 years! Remember that on a 6 month or year tenancy, this does not mean you can only stay for that time, you can stay after if both parties are happy on a periodic tenancy.
Hope this helps.
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