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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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The lease on our current flat expires on 23rd Auguest 2014.

Resolved Question:

The lease on our current flat expires on 23rd Auguest 2014. In May, the agent wrote to us to advise landlord s planning to sell and our contract will not e renewed in August. We have now find a property and are hoping to move on 8t August. However landlord has refused our request to lease us from the lease as of 8th August. Are we legally liable to pay rent up until 23rd? I think it's very unfair. We signed the rental contract under the impression it would be long term. Now moving again will cost us hundreds of pounds in agency fees, removal and cleaning costs. It's also very stressful as we have a one year old baby.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
I’m afraid that if you have taken a tenancy of a flat with a fixed term to expire on 23rd May then you will be bound to pay the rent up until the end of the term.
The only way that tenants in these circumstances can get themselves out tenancies is where they are able to produce a replacement tenant willing to take over for the remainder of the term. In your case though I should think it extremely unlikely because there is probably not many people will to take over a tenancy for only two weeks.
If they have not served a section 21 notice on you requiring possession at the end of the fixed term then they cannot evict you. They cannot apply for a court order for possession (which they are legally required to do if you don’t leave) until they have served the s21 notice and waited for the notice period to expire. Info here:-
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/eviction_of_private_tenants/eviction_of_assured_shorthold_tenants
See “section 21 notices on the above link”. If they have not served this on you then they cannot evict you until they have and waited for two months notice to expire. IN these circumstances I would tell them that you will stay and insist on them serving the notice and waiting for it to expire unless they release you early on the 8th. If you did this you would need their release in writing from them.
They may have represented to you before you signed the contract that they would consider renewing the tenancy at the expiry of the fixed term, but unfortunately although this is morally wrong it’s not something that you can sue them over to recover the costs of relocating because the written tenancy agreement basically trumps any oral representations made to you in this regard.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Tom
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