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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70109
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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If a landlord enters into a fixed term contract then will not

Customer Question

If a landlord enters into a fixed term contract then will not make the property available on the date the fixed term begins is the contract void?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jo,

At the beginning of the tenancy the landlord refused to allow us access to the flat for 3 days after the start date. We now find we need to end the tenancy because of my ill health but the land lord insists it is fixed term and we will have to pay her at least two months more rent. She was informed we needed to leave a month ago and the rent is paid in full in advance.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Obviously the fact that the property wasn't available for you on the start date is a breach and you may have had the right to refuse to move in but you did not.

You do have the right to a proportionate reduction in rent to cover those three days.

However, that does nothing about the fact that you are also in breach. Had you refused originally then you may have had a challenge but you did move in and you are bound by a contract.

If you leave early then you will be in breach and liable, in principle, until the end of the contact. That said, the landlord is under a duty to mitigate the loss by seeking a replacement so in truth you would probably only be made to pay for one addition month while he did so.

I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for a frank response. However we had no choice but to move in to the flat three days late since my pregnant wife would have been homeless if we had not. This kind of flagrant exploitation of individuals in need of housing should be illegal even if it is not.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Well, possibly but that doesn't do anything about the fact that you have accepted the breach and moved in and so are bound by the contract.

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