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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69520
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have given 4 weeks notice to vacate my rented flat. The

Resolved Question:

I have given 4 weeks notice to vacate my rented flat. The agent replied that I need to give more notice that ends on the day of my rent payment. This means that I have to give 7 weeks notice. Is this true given the "Special Conditions" written on the rental agreement below:
"Break Clause Both parties have the right to terminate the tenancy at the end of the first six month period by giving to not less than two months' notice in writing from the the landlord and one months' notice from the tenants to take effect and upon the expiration of such Notice this Agreement and everything herein contained shall cease and be void subject nevertheless to the right of the parties in respect of any antecedent breach of any of the covenants herein contained. The period of notice must expire at the end of a period being on the (date) of a month".

We also believe that our landlord may be in breach of the contract as we have given written notice of essential repairs that have not been completed by the landlord for many months. The bathroom ventilator (no windows in the bathroom) has not been repaired since our request to repair it in November 2013. Live wires are protruding from the unit, it was making a very constant and loud screeching noise that annoyed our neighbors and kept us awake at night. The landlord asked for a photo of the unit so he could replace it. We provided the photo but the landlord never repaired nor replaced it. The shower panel is also broken and not repaired despite since October and so we have constant flooding. The floor boards have also driven us mad and the neighbors have complained about the squeaking boards since our first day.

Due to the complaints from the neighbors about the noisy floorboards, the landlord invited us ('verbally') to leave and breach the contract prior to the six month date. This was last November. Since then, we have been searching for a new school for our children before giving notice. Now that we find a new property and a school, we find ourselves stuck because we cannot afford 7 weeks notice whilst keeping placement for our children in a school which provides only 4 weeks hold on placement.

What can we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I am sorry but the landlord is right.

Your notice, and in fact his as well, may be given upon any date but it will not begin to run until the next term date. So if your rent date is the 1st of every month and you give notice on the 15th it will not begin to run until the following 1st and end on the 1st of the next month.

So, in short, it might well be that your actual notice period is much longer than one month depending upon when you give notice.

There is no way around that sadly. They are entitled to notice to run from a term date.

They do have to look for another tenant as soon as you give notice so it might be that they can replace you within the 7 week period and, if so, they cannot charge you.

I'm very sorry but thats your position I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you ?

Jo
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69520
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Does that apply to all tenancy agreements or is it just this special clause?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
No, it would be the presumption with any periodic or AST.

Actually though that is a fairly standard term within these agreements.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We have just had people round to view the property. They were interested in letting it straight away and we were shocked to hear the agent say that the property is not available until after our 7 weeks extended notice. The agent said to them that the property was not available until the 10th June.



We also know that the landlord wants to upgrade the property because the neighbors have complained about the squeaky floorboards. We suspect that he will start major improvements on the property when we vacate this weekend and even though we continue to pay rent until 5th June.


It appears that he is taking advantage.


 


We are also concerned with Slades Letting Agents as they appear to be playing us off with the landlord. They knew our situ, know we need to get out and yet allow the landlord to not rent until after our 7 weeks.


 


What advice do you offer?


 

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
What did you want to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

is the landlord allowed to use this period of notice to do his repairs and do all the floor boards in the apartment when there is a tenant who wants to move in straight away but was told that they have to wait?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Well, he can do what he likes in relation to repairs.

What he cannot do is charge you a rental price while the property is being renovated. Renovations have to be done upon his time not yours.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, but we will vacate this weekend, he knows that and he has a key to get in and do what ever he wants for the next 5 weeks.


 


You stated..."They do have to look for another tenant as soon as you give notice so it might be that they can replace you within the 7 week period and, if so, they cannot charge you."



He is saying that the property is only available after 10th June and so is not really trying to replace us any time soon. We continue to pay rent to cover his upgrades. Why else would he say not available until 10th June.



do we have room for negotiation? how do we best go about this?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Obviously he won't accept that you are not liable.

The only way to contest it is to refuse to pay and invite him to sue and then defend on the basis that he was seeking a replacement to begin on 10th June. If you have evidence of that then you should not be charged for that period.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. We though as much.


 


I also asked previously..


 


"We also believe that our landlord may be in breach of the contract as we have given written notice of essential repairs that have not been completed by the landlord for many months."


 


For example, there is no ventilation in the bathroom without windows. We asked him to repair the vent but he then ignored us. Neighbors also say that they have complained to landlord about the squeeky floorboards for many years. These neighbors have not been pleasant to us in the hope that we move out and stop walking on the floors. Obviously, he knew this before we moved in.


 


How can we also use this to add to our negotiation? How do we best go about this?


 

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
That doesn't really change much.

The very highest point arising from that is a disrepair claim against him and that is not the best. That wouldnt' do anything about the notice periods.
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69520
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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