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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69269
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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(UK Renter) I am currently working through a break lease

Customer Question

(UK Renter)

I am currently working through a 'break lease' situation. I am in a 18 month contract and at this moment I am in my 12th month. I provided my landlord and estate agent written notification of my intended move out date - 6 months in advance. Ie: I advised in November that I wanted to leave the property in April (this month).

The agent advised that I would be released under 2 conditions: 1) I paid an early termination fee and 2) a new tenant is found.

They also advised that I do not have a break clause in the agreement and that it was up to the landlord to agree to releasing me from the contract.

The landlord does have a break clause in the contract that covers them asking me to leave after 6 months of the tenancy.

Since March this year the property has been on the market, advertised at a higher rate than I am currently paying.

I originally requested a move out date of end of April, however the landlord has requested to move into the property for 2 weeks - so has enforced that the property be advertised as available from 23 May.

My questions are:

1. Is the break clause in the contract 'unfair' in that it is 1-sided, and can I use this clause to be released from the contract ?
2. Is the property being advertised at a higher rate, and the date available being 2 weeks more than our actual intended provide any basis for claiming that the terms imposed are making the situation dificult, providing any grounds to be released fromt eh contract ?
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.

What are you currently paying?

What is it being advertised that?

Please explain about the landlord moving into the property, why he is doing that and the relevance of it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am currently paying £385 per week. The property was advertised at £395 for the first 6 weeks, it is now down to £391. A small increase however the terms are not the same.


The landlord wanted 2 weeks in between our tenancy ending and the new tenancy starting (when found) for personal reasons not explained.


What that meant to us, is that the property is being advertised 2 weeks more than when we would have to vacate the property. I am not sure if that is relevant or not, but wanted to include the full picture.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.

I don't think that the small increase in rent is going to make much difference and nor will the terms unless they are grossly different such as the garden has been removed from the let or the garage is no longer included or something like that.

If the landlord manages to get another tenant you can successfully argue that he is not entitled to the rental from you in respect of the two weeks when he occupied the the property. It was not available to let and you did not occupy it. He occupied it and therefore he is not entitled to rent for that period.

Regarding question 1 You can always try the unfair clause angle however if the landlord will not budge, that would be one that would have to be decided in court and that could be an extremely expensive battle.

The landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by trying to get a tenant and it appears that he is doing that albeit at a slightly increased rent. If, despite his best efforts he cannot find another tenant, you are responsible for rent until the end of the original term or until he does find a tenant. If he finds a tenant on less favourable terms you would be responsible for the shortfall. Unfortunately, you would not be eligible for any surplus if you rent it at a higher rent!

If you can convince the landlord that you should be able to rent the property out quite quickly he may accept a "premium" as a little windfall if you were prepared to pay him say, one or two months rent extra as a consideration for letting you move out earlier. You are under no obligation to do so and he is under no obligation to accept that if he thinks he is going to get a tenant very quickly, it means that he would in effect be being paid double for a short period.

I have already answered question 2 in the earlier paragraphs.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69269
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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