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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70187
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter had to leave a property quickly as a result of

Customer Question

My daughter had to leave a property quickly as a result of domestic abuse. The case was dealt with by the courts and the partner pleaded guilty. The police advised her to leave the area as the partner was considered dangerous. However, my daughter had a tenant's contract up to June 2015. We have resigned to the fact that we will have to pay the rent up to June.
The property was vacated in Dec 2014 and was left in an exceptional condition and redecorated throughout. The letting agent informs us that the landlord can insist on repairs and replacements up until a new tenant is found or the end of the contract is reached.
The landlord appears to have a free licence to keep identifying problems. I have asked the letting agent for an end date with regard to repairs and replacements but received the response that we will have to wait until the end of the tenant's agreement. Please can you advise.
Best wishes,
Richard Zecca
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
She is liable for rent up until the landlord finds a replacement.
But he cannot just perform any repair he likes at her expense. He can only demand that she repairs any actual damage that she caused. Things like redecoration are for the landlord not the tenant. That is just simple wear and tear.
The landlord should also be trying to mitigate his loss by finding a replacement tenant which will not take until June if he is trying properly.
The inventory will not be provided until a replacement tenant is found but that doesn't mean he can just leave the property empty without trying to find a replacement.
I wouldn't get involved in an argument with the agents about the matter. Just refuse to pay and invite them to sue if they disagree. The only thing is that I wouldn't make domestic violence a live issue in this case. It hasn't got the remotest relevance to the contract and the problem with is that she is in danger of sounding as though she is making excuses. I'm afraid that some women do pretend to be victims and make allegations of abuse to avoid responsibility and unfortunately what they do impacts upon everybody else. I notice increasingly that courts are becoming less sympathetic. Also, it has no relevance here. She is just plain a tenant who has left in breach of her agreement. Obviously she is in breach but that doesn't mean the landlord can redecorate at her expense and not look for a replacement.
At court they would probably get one or two months rent and compensation for any actual damage caused during her tenancy.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We have never questioned the fact that the contract exists for another five months. However we are becoming increasingly frustrated with the landlord who keeps adding to the list of items to be replaced or cleaned. My daughter decorated throughout, had the carpets professionally cleaned, left the oven and kitchen in a clean state, pressure washed all the garden area and removed all rubbish.

The landlord has now requested that my daughter cleans the oven. My wife cleaned it to a good standard but they seem to want it cleaned to a new condition. It appears that we are now being asked to clean the inside of the windows!!

Throughout my daughter's tenancy ( 2 years)she has requested that a large damp area in her living area, should be remedied. The landlord did not do anything to stop the damp penetration and this is particularly annoying now as he is adding to the list of things to do.

There is no damage to the property. In fact, my daughter added to the value of the property- £1,000 spent on garden- £700 spent on a new fireplace.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I understand and he cannot just add things unless she has caused damage.