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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My 27 yr old son moved into a shared flat in Clapham on 17/10

Customer Question

My 27 yr old son moved into a shared flat in Clapham on 17/10 2015. He then was asked to share with an old school friend, so decided to move out
, so there is only one person from the original agreement on 19/12/2015.
The landlord said that was OK if he found another tenant to replace him. My son has done his best to advertise for new tenants on gumtree etc with no luck .He thinks the flat is too expensive and he only took it because he was desperate.
When I looked at the AST he had signed, I see it was not for 6 months but for 3 years from 19/02/2015 when the original 3 tenants signed. In fact Barney signed a deed of assignment with another new tenant, so there is only one person from the original agreement.
I am worried that my son is liable to pay two sets of rent for another 2 years, if he can't find someone to take over. 6 months is one thing but 2 years is unreasonable.
Can I send you the documents ?
I see that on the deed of assignment the signatures were witnessed by my son's boss when they were not present and the 3 new signatures were witnessed by a colleague of my son's when only my son was present. Also this document was not dated. I don't believe this can be legally binding.
Can you help ?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you
You can attach the files here.
Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Many thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Why did he sign it for 3 years if he didn't want that?
Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I think he presumed it was the usual 6 month AST like ones he had signed in the past at other flats he had rented.. He was about to be homeless and was desperate.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
It's bad news I am afraid - if he signed the agreement and he didn't read it was three years that is his own fault. He signed for three years and was bound by that. If he is saying he was told it was six month and it was three years that may be a different matter, then it's a lie because it's fraud.
Your son is liable to pay rent with the other tenants during the three year term. They are joint and severally liable.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you after and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clairfy anything else for you?
Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How can the deed of assignment be legal if it has not been dated and the signatures not witnessed properly ?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
The main tenancy is fine, so legally binding.
But because a contract is not dated does not mean it is not legal. There is no legal requirement for a witness to sign it. It's only when there is a dispute does it become an issue.
Does that clairfy?
Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you.
This may be a very expensive lesson for my son. Don't sign anything legally binding without taking advice.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Indeed. I am sorry it's not better news.
Alex
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