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View Full Version : Help ending a tenancy early



tiggywilson
10-10-2011, 10:43 AM
Hi.

i have been living in the property i rent since April this year. initially the contract was for 6 months so was until 30th September 2011.

in July my landlady contacted me early to say that she wanted to know if i intended to stay on as she was pregnant and due in September so wanted to try and sort it out early. at that time i thought i did so i signed the contract, in effect 2 months early.

however i then found out recently i am 5 months pregnant (im hardly showing and not really had any symptoms). i cannot stay in the property as its only 1 bed and so isnt big enough. i told my landlady on the 5th October that i wished to move out and she said she would get back to me.

she now says she cannot afford to release me early. she is getting an agent involved to advertise the property and i myself have listed it on some rental forums to see if i can find another tenant.

however what happens if i do move out early and in effect breach my agreement?

im really annoyed as feel like i did her a favour by signing the contract early and had i known i was pregnant at the time i would never have agreed to stay on. just wondered if i had a case given the change in circumstances i have experienced and the fact i signed the agreement early.

what are my other options? as i really need to move out at the end of this month. im moving in with my partner. is no way i can afford the rent here and fund a baby. i also have quite a lot of debts so am seriously contemplating declaring myself bankrupt. what would happen in this case if the landlady decided to pursue me in court and what would i end up liable for paying?

thanks

tacpot
10-10-2011, 11:03 AM
I assume the tenancy agreement you signed was for another fixed term of six months?

As this tenancy agreement has now come into force, this is the agreement that your are liable for.

However, the landlady has said she now says she cannot afford to release you early from the contract, but this does not mean you cannot negotiate your way out of it. You will need to cover the landlady's costs in finding a new tenant (but may be able to reduce these by introducing her to someone who meets her letting criteria). Subject to you agreeing to meet her re-letting costs, AND the rent that you will owe for the six months if she doesn't find someone, she should allow you to sign a document that hands possession of the property back to her so she can find another tenant. If she does so, you will still have to pay her reletting costs (and perhaps a small amount of rent), but it is likely that she will find a tenant quickly and that you will not have to pay all the rent. If she does fail, and you don't pay, she will be forced to seek her money through the courts. This will wreck your credit-worthiness for six years if you don't ultimately pay up, but that is the price for not honouring your agreement, and the court will probably give you more time to pay that she will think is reasonable...

The landlady is also likely to be annoyed because she now has to find a new tenant whilst dealing with her own new baby. I think you should be fair to the landlady and try to leave the property in such a way that the inconvenience to her is minimised.

Snorkerz
10-10-2011, 15:50 PM
You remain liable for rent on the property until the earlier of:

1 - The end of your agreement
2 - A new tenant moves in
3 - You agree a compromise with the landlord

The landlord has no obligation to look for a new tenant or accept any tenant you find for her.

She also has no obligation to agree a compromise with you.

If you want him to do either 2 or 3 then you will have to make it worth her while.

Do you have a guarantor? Did you pay a deposit? Do you intend working in future? Do you intend to rent a new property with your partner, or even buy a place?

I'd suggest that if you offer to move out ASAP but pay the landlord a urrender fee equal to a couple of months rent, then if she agrees you avoid being liable for 6 months rent (win for you) and the landlord has a chance of making a small profit (win for her).