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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70289
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, im trying to terminate my tenancy agreement early due

Customer Question

Hi, i'm trying to terminate my tenancy agreement early due to poor conditions such as damp cause by water ingress. my land lord wont agree. what can i do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank your for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes it is.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

What are the dates of it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

13.10.12 to 13.10.13

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

Is there a break clause at the 6th month point?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no this was not put in the contract. as a thought, if they didnt put the desposit in a secured scheme, would be enought to get me out of the agreement?



Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Are you saying they didn't secure your deposit?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no they didnt as far as i know, they have not supplied me with any paperwork to prove they have. i was in the understanding that this should be done within 30 days.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Yes, it should but its never that simple.

Even if he doesn't protect it ever at all, that is still not a ground to cancel an AST I'm afraid. What it is though is the basis of a claim for three times the sum of the deposit. The practical reality though is that its very unlikely you would have a claim for more than the sum of the deposit. The Localism Act gives courts discretion to order between one and three months and its very rare that a court orders more than the repayment of the original deposit.

That said, of course the landlord will not want to be sued for this sum and so might well agree to you leaving in order to escape action.

The damp alone is not sufficient though. Its the basis of a disrepair claim but not the basis of an escape from an AST.

I'm very sorry if this is bad news.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hi, how would i go about making a claim regarding the deposit and the disrepair claim. Also if i decide just to move out without giving them m forwarding address what is the worst that could happen?



Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
The worst that could happen is that they will sue for the remaining months due under the contract. That is not likely to happen though because the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking another tenant. Landlords do not get forever to achieve that.

You can issue here
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

would it make a difference if i moved out back in Feb and asked the landlord is she would try and re rent the property? as this is what happened, due to the conditions. they have since then tried to repair the issue by means on re-papering the wall and running a de-humidifier. the De-humidifier was only removed from the flat within the last 2 weeks.




Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Not really.

If she can't let for disrepair reasons then the court will say that she hasn't properly mitigated her loss.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

am i able to claim against the LL while still in term? if so what would the likely outcome be.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Yes, you are.

You should be aware that disrepair claims tend not to attract very large awards.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ideally all i want is out of the tenancy, I've tried to be nice and reasonable, i have continued to pay the rent since i moved out in feb, but can no longer afford to pay 2 lots of rent.


If they evict me for non payment of rent, can they still claim the remainder of the term?


also if i decide to claim for not securing the deposit, would i need to send the LL a letter before issuing proceedings?



Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
In principle they could but they won't be able to because of the duty to mitigate.

You don't need to sent them a letter before action really. Its worth doing but there's no obligation to.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

how long does this take to happen. as it stands i am techniclly 1 month in arrears with the next payment due on the 13th june.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
It can take several months to get a small claims court claim listed I'm afraid.

Of course, the inevitable consequence of this is that he would counter claim for rent arrears which might match the sum of your claim unfortunately.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so sending them a letter before action may be the best option. is it worth me sending them photo's of the damp? to try and prove the issue?



Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Yes, its what I would suggest.

They won't want to be sued and letting you go early would be the escape route for them.

It does no harm to take photographs of the damp and send them over to them.

Disrepair isn't necessarily your best point though. Your best point is the failure to protect the deposit.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

do you think its worth stating both reasons? also would you be able to point me in the right direction for a letter before action?

Also, i dont really want them having my new address, can i do this via email or does it need to be by recorded mail?



Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
No, there's no way of doing that.

If you are going to sue they will have to be given your home address. Its revealed on the papers I'm afraid.

You would really need to disclose it upon a letter before action as well or there is no realistic point in such a letter.

If you are going to send a letter before action then it is worth setting out your reasons.

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