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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 8550
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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AST? They put in writing my costs that I would have to

Customer Question

AST? They put in writing my costs that I would have to pay... so I agreed.
Middle of my tenancy yes.They have now sent the termination contract.
I have not signed it yet. It states.1) pay £350+ vat for administration and advertising.2) vacate the property on 24th August and carry on paying for a period of 7 days after.3) hand the keys back on the 24th although still paying rent for 7 days.4) pay electricity costs and council tax for the 7 days after vacating.Basically the want to do maintenance to the property before the next tennant moves in... so they want me gone but the want me to pay the costs whlist they have contractors in.I rented the property for 3.5 years.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi, by signing the AST you are legally bound to pay the rent for the full term, so if a Tenant wishes to break the Agreement early, I'm afraid that it is normal for these charges to be made, and you will have to either accept it or face the possibility of the Landlord not allowing you to break the Agreement early. On a side point, normally, Landlords will allow a Tenant to break the Agreement early provided they pay rent until a new Tenant has been found, and signed the new Agreement. I hope this assists and sets out the legal position. Kind Regards Al

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Not sure you answered my question!The landlord wants me to pay rent after I have vacated the property. He wants to do maintenance for 7 days before the new tenants move in. So I leave and then have no access and have to continue pay rent. Is this fair?Also further more he wants me to pay the electricity bill for the week he will have contractors in. Why should I pay the electricity costs when it's his choice to do routine maintenance?Furthermore they want me out of the property on the 24th of August 7 days prior to new tenants. They also say I'm on the hook for damages etc even though I have vacated and won't know who is going in or out of the property. If contractors are in working for the landlord after I have handed back my keys why can I be held acountable for the electricity they use and or any damages? Is this fair and reasonable?How is he at a loss?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

If there is a fee, which is noted in the contract, which says that you must pay when you vacate, then that is enforceable.

However if they want you to vacate the property on 24 August, then you are only liable for rent until 24 August. The same applies to the electricity and council tax and I suggest that you make sure you make a note of the meter reading on the day and take a photograph of it.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The contract states that I must compensate the landlord for costs associated with breaking the agreement early.I have paid rent in full until the 24th August. One would assume that it would be fair and reasonable to pay rent until the tenants move in. So the landlord is not out of pocket for a 7 day period.However they have chosen to have a 7 day handover period and want all my belongings out of the flat 7 days prior to the 24th. They also want the keys back and I will not be allowed to enter or access the property.Surely as a Tennant I would not be liable for costs associated with the hand over period. Surely a landlord would have these costs anyway even if I stayed till the end of my tenancy agreement.So far I have agreed to pay for all the advertising fees, administration fees, council tax and ulity bills until the 24th August. I have covered all of the landlords fees and remained in the property and paid in full everything associated with the property up to the day they want the keys back.Can I refuse to pay rent for the additional 7 days?They have refused to answer why I must pay this and refuse to describe how this puts the landlord out of pocket.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

You haven’t mentioned that you were leaving early.

You are actually liable for the rent until the end of the term or until the landlord gets a new tenant. Hence, it doesn’t matter when you move out, you are liable for rent until a new tenant moves in.

The landlord is under a duty to try to get a new tenant which it appears that he has done.

You would therefore be responsible for that period between you moving out and the new tenant moving in. You would have to prove to the satisfaction of a court, if this ended up in court, that the landlord had deliberately delayed the new tenant going in to get you to pay rent during the period of the cleanup.

You are correct that the landlord would have to stand those costs if you had gone to the end of the term, but you have not gone to the end of the term.

It is debatable whether you are liable for the advertising fees to get another tenant because the landlord would have had the advertising fees in any event when you left, the only difference is that he is paying them sooner rather than later.

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