Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify that you gave written notice to the agent that you wished to end your tenancy please?
Thanks. Just reviewing the above...
thank you. Agents will commonly misunderstand the contractual position relating to tenancies in the circumstances, in some cases no doubt intentionally, but in others genuinely. however, in other events, the legal position is as follows and nothing the agent can say or do can alter this position
the position is that cheering the fixed term of the tenancy, neither you nor your ex boyfriends as joint tenants can leave the tenancy unilaterally as you are both jointly and severally liable for rent and so on under the contract. Therefore, an agent is quite correct if he tells you that if you leave the tenancy before the end of the fixed term you will be liable jointly with your ex-boyfriend for the rent to the end of the fixed period. however, the position changes radically once the fixed period ends and this is where letting agents often go wrong.
once the fixed period has come to an end, one joint tenant can move out either before the end of the fixed period, owing no further rent after that fixed period has expired or they can move out after the fixed period has expired giving one clear months notice which notice must expire the day before a rent day. after this point, that joint tenant has no further liability under the tenancy and it is not a question of the agent refusing to remove that tenants name, whether the agent chooses to do so or not, there is no further contract between that tenant and the landlord
would you like me to apply the above to your circumstances specifically does the above give you enough information for you to work out your liability?
Could you tell me the start and end dates of your fixed contract - I believe I understand correctly that you sign a new one every 6 months?Could you also tell me the date you gave written notice and the date you advised you would leave?
Thanks was the original agreement you signed a 6 month tenancy?
thank you. On what date did you leave the property and did you return your keys?
So to be clear your tenancy began 2 Nov 2012 and you moved out on 15 September 2013 but gave no written notice and did not return your keys to the agent. Is that correct?
Thanks. And finally at the point you moved out was rent in arrears and if so by how much roughly?
Would you like to continue?
Thanks. the position is that a tenancy does not automatically renew unless you sign a new tenancy. At the end of the six-month initial period, unless you sign a new tenancy, the Housing act intervenes and provides that the original tenancy will continue to run on a month-to-month basis whereby the landlord can end the same subject to 2 months notice and the tenants can end the same subject to one month's notice. in order to end your liability, you need to serve written notice on the agents or at the very least return your keys to the agents. I'm concerned that you have done neither and therefore the agents may seek to claim that you continue to be liable under the tenancy. you may wish to consider serving a written notice on the agents that you moved out on the 15th September. Strictly speaking the agents could seek to continue to charge you rent for one clear month after that until the next rent day - presumably 1 january 2014.
providing you serve written notice, this is sufficient to end the contract and it is not a question of the agents not taking your name off the contract. In law, your written notice ends the contract as above and should the agents seek to demand further liability from you in the future, you would retain a copy of your written notice and this would form a defence against any further claims
if you experience issues with the agents, many agents are members of the property ombudsman service. you can use this website to find out if your agent is or not:http://www.tpos.co.uk/find-member.php
if they are a member, you can raise a complaint in respect of any issues you are unable to resolve between you and if you remain unsatisfied, you can refer your complaint free of charge to the property ombudsman for a determination. if they're not a member of the ombudsman service, then it is up to the agent to issue proceedings against you in the County court if they claim that you owe monies to them following your written notice and you would defend such a claim on the above basis
the agents can require you to give one clear months notice which notice must come to an end the day before a rent day. In the assumption that rent is payable on the second of each month, providing you give notice before first December, this would bring your liability to an end on 1 January 2014 and you would have no further liability for future rent or penalties or any other form of costs in respect of the tenancy beyond this date. it is irrelevant from this point as to whether the agents refused to remove your name from the tenancy or not is your liability under the contract ends irrespective
is there anything else I can help you with in respect of the above?
consider that youhave a joint liability with your ex partner for any rent and reasonable fees incurred under the tenancy up to the point your notice expires (1 Jan 2014). once notice expires, whilst you will not be liable for any future rent or fees, this does not mean that you are not liable potentially for any rent and so on before that date. The agents could pursue you for such monies even after 1 Jan. it is simply that they cannot hold you liable for any rent and liabilities incurred after 1 Jan 14. you can give the notice at any time but it can only come to an end the date before rent is payable.
accordingly, if you wish your liability to come to an end as soon as possible, you will need to ensure that you give your written notice before 1 December. Therefore consider giving it today or tomorrow as presumably they are closed on Sunday.
Quite. They cannot charge you rent as well as him. If there are no arrears at the point your notice expires, then there is no further liability to pursue you for. There is only an issue for you if there are any arrears owing up to the point your notice expires.
It is irrelevant which tenant pays from the agents point of view.
If your ex pays then the agents can demand no more from you.
He is still liable along with you for the rent. You notice changes nothing other than ending your liability after your notice expires.
Providing you have not signed a new contract then anytime. You have to give one months clear notice and the notice must expire the day before you are supposed to pay rent. Those are the only requirements.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
No. The Housing Act provides that it renews month to month not for 6 month periods. If you had signed a new tenancy after the first expired then the above is possible.
Quite so there will be no further 6 month tenancy - just month to month as above.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
That is exactly right. After 1 Jan whatever arrangements they do or do not come to with him is a matter between them and irrelevant to you.
Any new joint tenants is a new matter and has no relevance to you. You need not worry about it after your notice expires.
A great pleasure