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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69790
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need to break a fixed term contract (24 months with a

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hi, I need to break a fixed term contract (24 months with a break clause after 18 months)and before the break clause which is next year in June. I have experienced many issues with the agency where they have not been professional and now while they have been showing the flat to new tenants they left the flat open and unlocked while I was out of the country. I would like to know if I can go ahead breaking the contract without having to pay the administration fee of £2500. Thank you
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

How far into the contract are you exactly?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I rented the flat Oct 2015 and the break clause is after 18 months so June when I can give notice in April(2 months). I have been in the hospital and when I came back on Sunday I found it open. The rent is 2000pm we have been renting it with my ex partner and paying the rent on time always. Becausw we broke up we asked to see if we could hold the flat in one name but the credit check was asking a guarantor for both of us which we could not provide. They said initially we couls sign a deed of surrender ans pay the early termination fee, then they said we will be liable to pay the rent until new tenant is found and also pay the early termination fee. I have been very upset with leaving my flat open and I would like to know if that could be a breach from their side.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

I have been asked to look at this.

What are the issues you have experienced?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
When i took the flat i asked the agent on what furnitures was the landlord going to leave in the flat ( as the landlord was residing in the flat and going abroad) and the agent advised me that the landlord was leaving those furnitures i questioned about. When i entered the flat i realised they had been removed. The agent denied that we had that discussion and the service provided was really bad. I explained that she has provided missleading information and they finally bought the furnitures missing. Then i asked her if they could remove the bed linen,duvets etc and she said you can throw them away. When i received the inventory i asked the agent to remove them from there as per our conversation earlier. She responded that she can't do anything but she doesn't think that the landlord will charge me after the contract has finished for thowing away the linen and the duvet! When the dishwasher broken i e mailed them and it took them as far as i can remember 2 weeks to reply and same when we now had to request info as to how we could break the contract no one was coming back to us and they kept saying we will call you tomorroq ans they never did. I had to tell them many times that i will be raising a comolaint.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Ok. That doesn't entitle you to leave the contract I'm afraid. There is case law on what allows a person to break an AST and it is a high test.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

If you are locked into an AST then you cannot lawfully leave otherwise than by using a breakclause.

The starting point is that you would be liable for the remaining months due under the contract.

However, they are under a duty to mitigate their loss by seeking a replacement tenant.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

and they don't get forever to achieve that. Normally one or two months is deemed adequate.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

when they have done so your liability ends.

They cannot just levy randomly administrative charges. That is a fine for breaking the contract which will not be upheld.

But equally though you cannot leave without some liability.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can see at the end of the tenancy mentions that in such situation i will be responsible for outstanding comission due from the landlord until the end of the tenancy. Couls you please then advise if i would still need to pay the pro rata fees the landlord has paid as well as the rent until a new tenant is found.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

It may do that but they have a duty to mitigate and when they have found a new tenant your liability ends.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

You will only be responsible for your rent until a new tenant is found.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sorry i didn't understand. Is my liability only to pay the rent until the tenant is found or do i also have to pay the comission as well as the rent until the new tenant is found.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Your liability is only to pay rent until a new tenant is found.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you Jo. Maybe my question wasn't clear. There is an extra fee in the contract for early termination. Do I need to pay this?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Your question was clear and it has been answered above?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69790
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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