How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Remus2004 Your Own Question

Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69362
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
12826847
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Remus2004 is online now

One of my tenants in a basement flat I own sent me an e-mail

Customer Question

One of my tenants in a basement flat I own sent me an e-mail on 21st July to complain of damp in the living room. I went round within a couple of days and found a problem. I immediately contacted a damp proof specialist to investigate and an independent surveyor for his opinion. There visit was on the 29th July but so far have not had their report. Since then I discovered that having had the flat fully damp-proofed 19 years ago the 20 year guarantee is still relevant until November 2015. In the meantime, the tenants whose lease doesn't end until February 2015 want to now leave the flat. I have agreed and said I would return their deposit subject to the terms of the lease. They have now asked me to sign a 'surrender document' releasing them from their contract. This document however is for a periodic tenancy but they hold an assured tenancy agreement. My concern is that their lifestyle may have contributed to the problem i.e condensation caused by drying wet clothes indoors with no ventilation and the recent installation of a condensing tumble dryer in the hallway. Ideally, I would prefer to wait until the Surveyor from the original company gave his opinion as to the possible cause before committing myself too much. Can you please advise?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Should I accept the tenants wish to break their tenancy agreement before knowing the cause of the problem and surveyor's report and is it necessary for me to sign a surrender document?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
The practical reality here is that it doesn't matter all that much whether you accept their wishes or not.

Even if you do refuse and they go in breach of the AST, you are under a duty to mitigate your loss by seeking another tenant and you don't get forever to achieve that. Usually Courts will allow a landlord one month or two at the outside. The tenant is only liable until you find another replacement. Therefore, the reality is that whether you accept or not, you would still only get one to two months rent from them.

If the tenant tries to sue you for disrepair, that is a different matter entirely. Then you should vigorously defend this if there is any evidence that this is down to the manner of occupation rather than the condition of the property.

If you decide to release them formally then there should really be a surrender document but that protects the tenant not you so I wouldn't panic too much about that.

Can I clarify anything for you ?

Jo

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Remus2004

    Remus2004

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2427
    Over 5 years in practice.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Remus2004's Avatar

    Remus2004

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2427
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    414
    UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    42
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4708
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/Aston Lawyer/2013-10-8_19517_JAPROFILEPICTURE.64x64.jpg Aston Lawyer's Avatar

    Aston Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1823
    LLB(HONS) 20 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg chatham-chamber's Avatar

    chatham-chamber

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    828
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    241
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
 
 
 

Related Property Law Questions