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View Full Version : Landlords, any reason not to give a break clause?



Teaboy
25-04-2009, 14:56 PM
I am a tenant, currently living in a friend's flat. I pay the rent directly to him and there's no agent involved. I've been looking to move because he wants to move back into this flat, and I found a place just around the corner. I made an offer, requesting a 12 month contract with a 6 month break clause. I specified that if there were no problems with the flat and agent that I would like to stay there long term.

The landlord accepted my offer on the condition that I take a 12 month contract with no break clause.

This is ringing alarm bells - why is he scared that I might want to move out after 6 months?

The reason I'm weary is because of a flat I used to live in. It was with let through an agent - Ludlow Thompson. They are the worst agent I've ever had to deal with and unfortunately I did not request a break clause. When I viewed the flat it was in a complete mess and smelt like drugs, but it was a nice building and the agent was adamant that the flat would be "professionally cleaned".

I moved into the flat and it had not been cleaned. The toilet was blocked for 3 months, there was mice infestation which took 10 months for the agent to acknowledge. It was generally a horrible place to live and I had to put up with it for 12 months.

I don't want to make the same mistake again!

Perplexed
25-04-2009, 15:06 PM
No reason to be alarmed just because of the 12-month term.

Some LL's perfer longer contracts (I do, unless I have doubts about the tenant) so as to minimise void periods and also save on any rental guarantee (2 x 6-month policies are more expensive than a 12-month policy).

This time just make sure the property is what you want before you move in.

Hope that helps.

Poppy
25-04-2009, 15:15 PM
Why not agree to sign a six month tenancy if that's what you prefer.

I personally would not accept a tenant on a twelve month tenancy with a six month break clause.

I hope you have carefully examined this property. That means trying out the heating and hot water. Opening and closing all windows. Turn all taps. Look for limescale on sanitary fittings. Check all included appliances work. Opening all cupboards. Looking for lurking mould. Using your nose. Sufficient mobile phone reception. Do the people above/below have children, uncarpeted floors, dogs, leaky washing machines, loud stereos, B.O.?

Also try asking questions to gauge the level of knowledge of both the landlord and the agent. The better they know their stuff, hopefully you'll be more fairly treated.

Teaboy
25-04-2009, 15:44 PM
Why not agree to sign a six month tenancy if that's what you prefer.

The landlord will only accept a minimum of 12 months.



I hope you have carefully examined this property. That means trying out the heating and hot water. Opening and closing all windows. Turn all taps. Look for limescale on sanitary fittings. Check all included appliances work. Opening all cupboards. Looking for lurking mould. Using your nose. Sufficient mobile phone reception.

No, I didn't do that. I feel a bit intrusive when someone else is living there. Especially when they're standing there watching me look around.



Also try asking questions to gauge the level of knowledge of both the landlord and the agent. The better they know their stuff, hopefully you'll be more fairly treated.
The girl who showed me around seemed quite lazy and not very knowledgeable. When walking up the stairs to the flat she was saying "Oh, I don't do stairs". And when inside the flat, her attitude was "Do you really want to see the roof terrace? I can't really be bothered to open the door because it means locking it again". But I've found most of London's agents like that. Luckily the flat is exactly the same as my current one, so I didn't have to look around too much. And I didn't see any signs of rodent activity, so I should be OK.

Next time I will probably look around a bit more thoroughly.

I think I'm just being paranoid because of the hell I went through with Ludlow Thompson. I just hope this agent is OK!

Lawcruncher
25-04-2009, 16:49 PM
No one should take a property without looking at it properly.

No one should expect anyone to take a property without them looking at it properly.