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neillizieri
02-03-2010, 13:06 PM
have been renting a property through an estate agent for nearly a year. We were due to vacte te property on the 27 / 03 / 10. However were happy to leave earlier if this was possible in order to save some rent. We were phoned by the agents and inofrmed that someone was able to move in on the 7 / 03 / 10 and we were therefore liable for a refund of around £750. A surrender agreement was sent and signed by myself and we were assured by the agent that it had already been signed by the landlord.

I recieved an email this morning informing me that the surrender agreement was no longer valid as the agent has had an issue with the new tennant moving in on the 8th. I am unsure on the legality of this as I have fulfilled all of the requirements asked of me and was assured that the move was guaranteed on the 7th.

Not only will this cost me £750 in rent that we will not be refunded, I have also had to cancel the van that I have already rented to move out and am missing a day of work unneccesarily in order to try and be out of the house by the original date. I would estimate that the total cost of this move by the estate agent will be well over £1000 which I am not in the position to lose.

I would really appreciate any answer on the legality of the move by the agent. As explained previously the surrender agreement has been signed by myself and I have a recorded telephone conversation assuring me that it had been signed by the Landlord. The surrender agrrement makes no mention of the need for their to be a new tennant, whicih appears to be the only thing that is slowing up this process.

Many Thanks for your help.

westminster
02-03-2010, 16:24 PM
A surrender agreement was sent and signed by myself and we were assured by the agent that it had already been signed by the landlord.
Who drafted this 'surrender agreement'? Was it something the agent gave you to sign and did it require a witness to your signature?

What did the agreement say? That you would get a refund? That it was conditional on a new tenancy being signed? Etc...

I assume you did not receive a copy signed by the landlord?

Lawcruncher
02-03-2010, 16:50 PM
We need to know exactly what the surrender document said.

neillizieri
02-03-2010, 17:36 PM
I have copied the surrender agreement below. It was sent to me by email and was posted back signed and dated. The agreement came from the agents dealing with the property. I have not seen the landlords copy but am fortunate to work in an office where all calls are recorded so have a record of the agent confirming reciept of the signed copy from the landlord.

Thanks very much for your help in this matter. It really is much appreciated.



This SURRENDER AGREEMENT dated the 25th day of February 2010
Parties


(1) Mr XXXX XXXXXXX (the "Landlord")

2) Mr Neil XXXXXX (the "Tenant")

Relating to: XXXXX (the "Property")

Background
By a Tenancy Agreement (the "Tenancy Agreement") dated 6th March 2009 and made between (1)
the Landlord and (2) the Tenant the Property was let by the Landlord to the Tenant upon the terms therein contained.

Agreement

1. The Tenant hereby surrenders to the Landlord the Tenancy Agreement and the property from the
7th of March 2010 and the Landlord hereby accepts such surrender.

2. The Tenant also hereby agrees that a full professional clean will be done prior to the surrender date.

3. The Tenant will also still be liable for any dilapidations not attributable to fair wear and tear
following on from the check out report to be done at the end of the tenancy. The deposit will then be returned to the Tenant once the Landlord and Tenant have agreed on any applicable
deductions.

4. In consideration of the Landlord accepting the surrender of the Tenancy Agreement and the Property, the Tenant hereby releases the Landlord from all future claims, demands, liability and obligations in respect of the obligations in the Tenancy Agreement to be complied with by the Landlord.

5. In consideration of the Tenant surrendering the Tenancy Agreement and the Property the
Landlord hereby releases the Tenant from all future claims, demands and obligations in respect of the obligations in the Lease to be complied with by the Tenant.

Dated this day of 2010
Signed by the Landlady __________________________________
Mr XXXXX
Witnessed by
Name:
Address:
Signed by the Tenants __________________________________
Mr XXXXX
Witnessed by
Name:
Address:[/I][/I][/I][/I][/SIZE][/SIZE]

Lawcruncher
02-03-2010, 20:28 PM
Unfortunately the surrender is not in the form of a deed which is what is needed to put the matter beyond doubt.

We can however ask whether the circumstances are such as to constitute an equitable surrender.

The first question is whether the simple act of signing is sufficient. It may not be as where an agreement is signed in two parts there has to be the suggestion that there is no contract until the two part are exchanged. When the agent said he had the landlord's signed part did he say anything further that indicated that he considered the matter concluded?

If we succeed in establishing that there is some written evidence of surrender it needs to be accompanied by some act of part performance on your part. What exactly did you do on the assumption that the surrender was agreed?

Preston
02-03-2010, 21:35 PM
It is unfortunate also that the document is not terribly clear on the issue of apportionment of rent - in other words it doesn't say explicitly that you are entitled to a refund of rent for the period from 7th to 27th March.

This aside, another question which may be relevant to the issue of surrender, can you give the exact wording of the email in which the agents said the following:

"I received an email this morning informing me that the surrender agreement was no longer valid as the agent has had an issue with the new tennant moving in on the 8th."

Clearly what would be of greatest benefit to you is wording which suggests that the surrender had been agreed but that the landlord had now changed his mind because of factors not directly relevant to the agreement.

neillizieri
02-03-2010, 23:23 PM
Lawcruncher- It was made fairly clear in a telephone conversation (recorded if it helps) that the agent had recieved the deed from the landlord and and that the matter was concluded once they recieved my signed copy, which they have. In terms of our part, I have already cleared the property of my belongings, moved out and have arranged for the property to be professionaly cleaned. In addition I have informed the council, and utility companies that the tenancy was coming to an end on the 7th. I don't know if this helps but the agent has referred to the signed agreement as a deed on multiple emails.

Preston-wording of the email is as follows

I am writing to advise that unfortunately we cannot release you from your liability for the above property at this point in time as the new tenant has not confirmed she is ready to move in on the 8th . We will be in touch shortly to confirm if she can indeed take up the tenancy earlier and if necessary will redraft the deed of surrender accordingly.

The key thing I see is the redrafting of the deed of surrender. Is this allowed once it has been signed by both parties.

Again, thank you very much for your help and advice.

neillizieri
03-03-2010, 19:23 PM
Hello again,

Thanks for your responses yesterday, any further advice would be much appreciated.

One further point. I was informed this morning by a neighbour that the property was viewed whilst I was at work. I was not informed of this viewing and it specifically states in my contract that reasonable notic must be given prior to any access by the agents. What does this do in terms of my situation?

Thanks a lot for all your help.

Preston
03-03-2010, 21:33 PM
Preston-wording of the email is as follows

I am writing to advise that unfortunately we cannot release you from your liability for the above property at this point in time as the new tenant has not confirmed she is ready to move in on the 8th . We will be in touch shortly to confirm if she can indeed take up the tenancy earlier and if necessary will redraft the deed of surrender accordingly.


Hmm, I don't think this helps very much, because it doesnt really answer the question that Lawcruncher refers to about the exchange of separately signed documents.


Lawcruncher- It was made fairly clear in a telephone conversation (recorded if it helps) that the agent had recieved the deed from the landlord and and that the matter was concluded once they recieved my signed copy, which they have.

So this is the key issue, I think. If you can prove this, it seems to me that the deed is good, but this is more Lawcruncher's area of expertise so it would be worth looking out for any further comment he is able to make.