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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70695
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In a dispute with my landlord. I have 6 months left on my long

Customer Question

In a dispute with my landlord. I have 6 months left on my long term contract for residence with no break clause, and he does not want to settle a deal (I offered 2.5 months notice period and payment of agent fees). I need to move to another country and close my UK bank account. He wants to stick to the agreement to the dot - and therefore we shall.
My tenancy agreement does not stipulate how the payments should be made (cash, bank transfer, check, standing order, etc) - it simply states that I must pay a specified sum by a specified date.
Would I be in breach of contract if I inform landlord that I will continue making payments, however that I now choose to make my payments in cash and that he must physically come to my new country of residence to pick it up? Would it be legal for me to make such a request?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
So your AST is not at an end but you want to leave?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Exactly. It's a 2 year contract with a break option after one year that I did not exercise.
I started the second year - but now have to leave the country for family reasons, and need to break it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe that if I tell him that I now no longer want to sign a surrender agreement, and that I will instead pay him cash - but that he must come pick up those payments. And I will send a cleaner to clean the house one a week during my absence, he will be more inclined to do a deal.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.
Obviously if you do so then you would be acting unlawfully. Leaving otherwise than by the contract is a breach.
He has a claim against you for the money due and there is no defence in saying that he needs to travel abroad to collect. It is your duty to pay him not the other way around.
However, if you do leave early then the landlord does have a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a replacement. He would have to prove that he had looked and was unable to find a replacement which is hard to do. Usually landlords can recover one to three months rent before courts start to find it incredible that a replacement couldn't be found.
Also, the truth is that he isn't likely to sue if you are abroad.
What might be an issue though is the adverse reference if you ever seek to return to the UK.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The adverse reference being his reference which I can opt not to give? Or is it filed somewhere in a central database?Am I fair to offer him to pay:
2.5 months notice rent and agency fee and other related costsIs that a fair deal or would you suggest otherwise?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, the problem is that unless he agrees it is a deal you can't enforce.The question is how quickly could he replace you if he were genuinely trying to mitigate his loss. In fairness, two months with the property empty is usually long enough to find a replacement.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Jo, that was very helpful!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem.
All the best.