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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My daughter is a student and has signed an assured short term

Customer Question

My daughter is a student and has signed an assured short term tenancy agreement for one year as a joint tenant with 6 other students. The deposit is paid but no rent has yet been paid (it's due to start in July for a 12 month fixed term period). The relationship has already broken down and my daughter does not want to share with this group. Advised by the letting agency that the only way out was to find a replacement tenant she did just that but the joint tenants have to agree and they will not. How do we get out of this contact.......I am executor.

Sue
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Its not particularly good news I'm afraid.

Whatever the relationships within the group, this is a binding contract in law. If she does not move in then she is in breach and liable to pay for the remaining months due.

Mind you the other tenants will be jointly and separately liable so they could also be pursued for her rent and they would have to sue to recover from her. If they realise that then that might focus their minds upon the need to seek a replacement tenant.

If she does leave early then the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a replacement. The other tenants would have to agree as they would need to sign a new AST but they are likely to do that in the end if they appreciate it could have an impact upon their own rent.

There might also be a break point at the 6 month point so she could invoke that if the worst comes to the very worst.

I'm very sorry.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70124
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo, thanks for that. We had no intention of not paying ....although I am afraid moving in is now no longer an option either. We have tried to hint at the responsibilities of the other housemates but they are aware that without their permission we have to pay.....I don't care for the idea of being sued. When you say the landlord has a duty to mitigate losses, what does that mean? There is a reference in the agreement that this does not become binding until the deposit and advance rent are paid. The deposits are paid but no advance rent ....first payment being due on JUly 1st. There are 2 references in the contract to it ending at the end of the fixed term (12 months) but no less than 6 months ...could this be the break you are referring to?


 


sue

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Yes, that will be it.

It won't come to that anyway. They will find a replacement fast enough.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last question Jo, I spoke to the letting agent today who echoed your advice and suggested we liaise with the tenants through him. He also made reference to the fact that the landlord had not signed the contract and will not do so until all the first months rent has been paid he said that in effect this means the contract is 'not fully legally binding' what does this actually mean?


 


Thanks again


 


sue

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thats an agent being optimistic to be wholly honest.

he is trying to argue that because the agreement is not signed its not binding. I'm afraid I cannot agree. A deposit was paid and so there clearly is an agreement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He air acting for the landlord but that is what he said?? I take it we are fully liable whether we pay the first months rent or not then? He implied that we should consider 'not paying the first months rent' therefore preventing the landlord signing the contract and making the contract fully legally binding??


 


sue

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Well, you can try that but I'm afraid I cannot agree that a court would say that a contract doesn't exist.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

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