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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Where a tenant wishes to leave early under a 3 year fixed term

Customer Question

Where a tenant wishes to leave early under a 3 year fixed term tenancy (with no break clause) and the agreement states that the tenant is liable 'until the term expires or the property is relet', does the landlord have an obligation to try to relet the property as soon as possible or can they do nothing and just continue to be paid rent by the tenant who wishes to vacate?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Are you the tenant or Landlord please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Tenant -
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Ok - the Landlord can't just sit there. The Landlord must 'mitigate their loss'. That means they must be active to find a new tenant. They cant just sit there and do nothing.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please? Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Landlord is asking for 6 months extra rent, agent's commission for duration of agreement and deposit in return for release. Says finding a new tenant difficult though unlikely to be so.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
No he cant do that. He can ONLY claim for rent for the empty period (and even then on a monthly basis) and any extra charge from the agency for finding a new tenant. The Landlord MUST readvertise and take active steps.Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
One of the advice sites I visited suggests that the 'mitigation' aspect may not be so straightforward because the amount owing would be debt rather than damages, and mitigation only applies to damages. Landlord's websites also suggest that there needs to be an agreement with the landlord in order to leave, otherwise the rental amount just keeps running. Landlord is saying he needs time to redecorate, difficult to find tenants until September, October etc. Redecoration not needed and property is good inner London mansion block so probably not difficult to find new tenant quickly.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Well its a contactual breach and therefore mitigation applies regardless. If you are going to move out then you would need something in writing.Landlord doesnt need to redecorate and even if he does, that is not your problem. You are not responsible for anything beyond fair wear and tear and therefore if the Landlord wants to redecorate, he would have to do that at some point anyway. So either way he would need to do it without a tenant there.You are NOT responsible for that period as the Landlord on any view would need to do it.Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry just one final fact, the amount he is asking for in order to end the agreement by June (rent is already paid until then) is nearing £20K if that makes any difference.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
makes no difference. The Landlord still must mitigate and minimise any loss. Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok thanks Alex W. Looks like he is going to be difficult about it and try to enforce the agreement , but your advice is helpful. I am going to respond to him with request that he relets. We will be responsible for costs and for rent until he/or we find a new tenant.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Yes sadly you would. Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
That's fine, we accept the costs/rent until relet. It is just being asked to pay effectively £20k for the sole purpose of being released from the agreement early that seems unfair. Anyway thank you.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
It is unfair. I dont think you should pay that for the reasons we have discussed.Can I help with anything else today?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No thanks. I think the next step is to respond to the landlord's request for agreement to these payments.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Great. If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site doesnt credit me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance. ALex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Of course. That seems a bit mean.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Good luck. Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Welcome.

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