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SW2010
01-02-2010, 13:21 PM
My partner and I recently moved into a flat and have encountered a number of issues with the landlord, all too many to go into but enough for the two of us to regret moving into the property.

Therefore we are seeking to break the agreement but are unsure what the terms of the break clause mean or if we can enact them early.

The AST commenced on the 02/01/2010 and ends on the 01/01/2011.

The clauses in questions are:

"The Landlord agrees that the Tenant has the right to terminate the Tenancy after the first 9 (nine) months of the Tenancy, by giving notice to the Landlord not less than two months notice in writing to end the Agreement. To avoid any doubt between the parties it is agreed that the notice period cannot commence any earlier than 03 October 2010."

and

"If the Tenant vacates the Premises during the Term, the Tenant will remain liable to pay rent and any other monies payable under the Agreement until the Term expires of the Premises are re-let whichever is the sooner whether or not the Tenant chooses to continue occupying the Premises."

Is it correct to interpret the break clause such that we can issue our notice to end the tenancy 2 months before 3 October 2010 i.e. 3 August or can we only issue the notice on 3 October and therefore only move out on 3 December 2010?

Are we in a position where we can instruct an agency to find tenants to replace us in the flat. My partner and I are in the position where if necessary we can place our possessions into storage and move in with friends/family whilst finding somewhere else to live. If this is possible, when do we need to involve the landlord? Do we need their permission to instruct an agency to find tenants for the flat?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Anthony

Lawcruncher
01-02-2010, 14:15 PM
"The Landlord agrees that the Tenant has the right to terminate the Tenancy after the first 9 (nine) months of the Tenancy, by giving notice to the Landlord not less than two months notice in writing to end the Agreement. To avoid any doubt between the parties it is agreed that the notice period cannot commence any earlier than 03 October 2010."

If we only read the words in blue there is some doubt as to whether it means you can serve notice to terminate the tenancy at any time after the first nine months or whether no notice can be given until nine months has expired. The words in red remove the doubt and mean that no notice can be served before 3rd October 2010.

westminster
01-02-2010, 14:51 PM
Are we in a position where we can instruct an agency to find tenants to replace us in the flat. My partner and I are in the position where if necessary we can place our possessions into storage and move in with friends/family whilst finding somewhere else to live. If this is possible, when do we need to involve the landlord? Do we need their permission to instruct an agency to find tenants for the flat?
It's likely that your tenancy agreement does not allow you to sublet, in which case, no, you can't instruct an agent to find a replacement tenant.

In order to end the tenancy early, you will need the landlord's consent.

If he refuses, then you will remain liable for rent up to December (assuming you exercise the break clause).

If he agrees, it will probably be on condition that you remain liable for rent up to the date a new tenancy commences, and that you pay any reletting fees. Note that the landlord has no obligation to find a new tenant as quickly as possible, nor to accept a replacement tenant you may find for the property.

JK0
01-02-2010, 14:55 PM
What is wrong with the flat? Is it noisy neighbours or is it something that can be fixed?

SW2010
01-02-2010, 15:16 PM
Thank you to everyone for your replies and advice so far.

The issue we have is that when we negotiated with the agency for the flat, which was marketed as available either furnished or unfurnished, our offer included the condition that the landlord would remove the two beds and sofa in situ as we had our own to bring into the property. This was agreed verbally but not written into the agreement. The Head Lease (House Rules) section of the agreement states:

"The flat is let out on as "as is" basis and all items in the inventory must remain in situ, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the landlord".

When queried with the agency whether the items of furniture to be removed needed to be specified, they stated that it was not necessary. Thus we signed the document - a huge learning point from our point of view.

On moving in, the landlord claimed to have no knowledge of our condition and as such refused to remove the items of furniture from the flat. Currently in our two bed flat we have 3 double beds, 1 single bed, 2 two seater sofas and a corner sofa unit - as you can imagine space is at a premium!

The landlord since has proven very unsympathetic, refusing to compromise on any point. They have refused all requests to meet in person to discuss the issue.

The agency, whilst not admitting fault, has stated in email that the condition was definitely accepted by the landlord and their representatives and should be honoured. They have even presented us with the offer letter sent to the landlord at their two addresses.

My partner and I are unclear how to proceed with this issue. IN an ideal world we would be released from the agreement to find another property to live in.

What are the thoughts on the points raised above regarding being allowed to have a "quiet and peacefull occupancy"?

Thanks again to everyone so far

Pepzofio
01-02-2010, 15:30 PM
I would say that as A was acting on L's behalf and that you have written proof of A's letter to L confirming the agreement re the furniture (you did get a copy, didn't you?), then this constitutes written agreement with L, although IANAL.

I would get three quotes for storage of said items of furniture, then write to L cc'ing A, asking for furniture to be removed within 14 days or you will remove to cheapest storage facility and deduct the storage costs from the monthly rent. Point out that you have a copy of A's letter to L.

SW2010
01-02-2010, 15:53 PM
We have the letter sent out by the Agents to the landlord as well as emails from the agents to the Landlord after our move in date confirming that an agreement was made.

The landlord paid 6% fees to the agency for 'finding' us the property. Does this have any implications?

Thanks

Pepzofio
01-02-2010, 16:15 PM
So the A is not managing the property, they were just paid a 'finders fee' by L?

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along to clarify, but I wouldn't have thought it would make any difference, if A was employed by L to negotiate a tenancy on his behalf then any agreement made by A should be binding on L. It is then for L to take it up with A if he believes they acted without authorisation or inappropriately/against his wishes.

If L is saying that A was NOT authorised to negotiate terms on his behalf, then surely the entire tenancy is nul & void? (I am assuming here that A handled all of the paperwork in drawing up the tenancy.) L cannot have it both ways.

JK0
01-02-2010, 16:17 PM
No. I think Pepzofio's advice sounds very good. Wish I had thought of it.