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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have an assured tenancy of 12 months with no break out clause.

Customer Question

I have an assured tenancy of 12 months with no break out clause. It runs until november 2013. i want to leave in august primarily because i was not made aware of anti social neighbours when i moved in but which was known to management company and residents committee. equally my landlord did not fix an insecure window which was flagged up when we moved in and also did not repair an electric oven even though they committed to repair when we again mentioned it when we first moved in - well first time we used it. Its the anti social behaviour that is the prime reason we are moving but i believe the property was in effect mis sold as i asked about the neighbours to the letting agency. Its a managed property but do i have enough grounds to get out of the terms early by citing landlord breach of contract either by misselling or failing to repair. We have been in the property7 months

thanks john
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What is the end date on your contract?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

23.11.13

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry but its bad news although the liability may not be as bad as you think.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

Unfortunately ASTs are very hard to escape. You pretty much have to show that the property is gutted by fire damage or flooding and so you cannot live in it. Another acceptable reason would be that a person's life is in immediate danger like a gas leak.

I'm afraid that things like change of circumstances of the tenant or the fact that the premises is not salubrious is not sufficient.

You could try to negotiate with the landlord. Sometimes they will agree to allow tenants to leave as its in their interests too on occasions.

If that is not possible here then I'm afraid you will be acting unlawfully if you leave early. However the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a replacement tenant and he will not get forever to achieve that. Realistically, if a landlord is really trying, most properties can be let to another tenant comfortably within a month. You will only be liable up until the time that the landlord is able to replace you which will be nothing like the remaining months due under the contract.

Of course, there is a risk that the landlord will not be able to find a replacement. If so, the Court will ask him to prove that he has looked for a replacement. If he is able to do so to the Court's satisfaction then you would be liable for that period but that is very unlikely.

That is not to say that you don't have a disrepair claim against the landlord.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If the landlord or letting agency which manage the property misled me by not telling me of complaints about a neighbour or not doing enough checks to find out not in effect mis selling the property


 


Also is not the failure to repair a window which has been insecure for 6 months with a risk of burglary attached and not being secure against the weather a breach of obligations to maintain property. they actually mentioned it when we moved in, got some one to look at it promptly and then nothing


 


i do not feel the letting agency will want or get the landlord to agree to let me surrender the tenancy under what i consider to be natural justice

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am really sorry but I cannot agree.

They are under no obligation to reveal the complaints about the neighbour and the window is not the best disrepair point and anyway doesn't allow you to terminate.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
i need to know what obligations apply for a letting agency to fully inform a prospective tenant about anti social behaviour in a block of flats in my case my immediate neighbour. i asked when i viewed the property and they said they had heard no complaints and not from the previous tenant - i doubt this is true but i do know that the flat management company knew and resident committee knew of the noise issue and ASB from neighbours. Is there no obligation to ensure that you are given accurate information before you sign up. Is not a failure to repair a breach of the landlords obligations - in my case not repairing an insecure window which let property at risk of burglary and cold
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
As I've said really, they are under no obligation to reveal the complaints about the neighbour and the window is not the best disrepair point and anyway doesn't allow you to terminate.

I am sorry and I wish I could give you the answer you want but this just plain does not give you rights to terminate.

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