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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70715
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Blackmail, uni student in shorthold assured tenancy, joint

Customer Question

blackmail, uni student in shorthold assured tenancy, joint and several liability, blackmailed by co-tenant, threatened with violence if didnt pay money, so terrified paid the money and now is moving out. making statement to police, threat in text, payment by bank transfer. have all evidence. what are rights inrelation to terminating tenancy agreement. is this agreement frustrated under the doctrine of frustration
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: what kind of details
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
moved in to property on 1 july, threatening text received on 5 july. have all records. i am terrified for my physical and mental safety. Also, potential to get out of control and other student getting involved and leading to breach of peace, etc over which i have no control. i am supposed to find replacement tenant but don't believe I could bring another innocent person into this without knowing why i am leaving. I just wan to walk away but I do not want to be pursued for rent etc. i must have some rights. tenancy from 1 july 2016 to 30 june 2017
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what are my rights if I walk away from this tenancy. Can i be pursued for rent, etc. Does the doctrine of frustration apply to the agreement. I cannot live in the property with a co-tenant who is threatening violence and I am not prepared to bring in replacement tenant unless they know the circumstances of my departure
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is there anything else you want to know
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

If this is an AST and the essence of this is that you have had a dispute with the other tenant then that does not give you rights to leave until the end of the AST.

If you are leaving early then you will be liable until they can find a replacement.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

It is in your interests to find a replacement as if they do not then you will remain liable.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you can be pursued until a replacement is found.

No, this isn't a frustrated contract. The property is there for you. There is no frustration.

You may well take the view you don't want to remain but that is a different issue.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If a crime has been committed against the tenant and violence has been threatened by a co-tenant are you saying that the tenant must put their physical safety at risk and continue to live in the premises
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

No, you can leave as you choose.

You remain liable for the rent under the contract until a replacement is found.

You don't have to stay.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have no choice, we cannot stay because of the threat of violence, so how can there be liability
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are the victims of a crime, money demanded with menaces. tenant terrrified and paid over the money, police to be involved
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

yes, you mentioned that.

That does not mean you can escape a contract with the landlord.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

The landlord is not responsible for the disputes between tenants.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we are not choosing to leave, we have to leave. Why not, the house we contracted to rent cannot be inhabited by us because of violence of another tenant. Do we and landlord not just walk away. unforeseen circumstance, not the fault of the landlord and not our fault thus, frustration. can,t even bring another tenant to a potentially dangerous situation without making them aware of situation
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
WE are not saying the landlord is responsible for disputes. landlord is as much a victim of this crime as we are. But how can any of us carryout the terms of the agreement. Should the landlord even bring another tenant without lettting know the situation
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

I'm really sorry but I am not going to be able to tell you that you can leave without liability for this reason.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Come what may, the property is there. The landlord is not responsible for the fact that you have had a dispute with the other tenant and he is entitled to claim from you if you leave without replacement.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

There is no particular reason he has to tell the incoming tenant that you have had a dispute with the other tenant.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In other words you cannot answer my question. we have an interface between civil and criminal law here and no one seems to know the answer. If we cannot live there without risk then the same applies potentially to a new tenent
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I can answer your question.

You are liable until a replacement is found. The answer is known.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Sadly, I just can't give you the one that you want and I'm sorry.

However, it doesn't really help for me to give you an incorrect answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is not a dispute, it is a serious threat of physical violence in a text, demanding money by a certain date and police being involved
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

I'm really sorry but I am not going to be able to tell you that an aggressive text allows you to break a contract.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you are saying the law in uk provides that it is legal to endanger someone
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

I think I've given you my answer above.

I am a bit worried about repeating myself.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

And therefore wasting your time.

I'm really sorry

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying this is a grey area and you just don't have a definitive answer
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

No.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

it is not a grey area. The answer is clear.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

There is a definitive answer.

You are liable until a replacement is found.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

There is nothing indefinite about it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The answer is not making sense at all because you are saying that someone who is the being threatened must continue to put themselves at risk or pay up. How could that be equitable
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

I cannot really comment on that.

I can only tell you the law.

Equity and fairness has no relevance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think you are wrong there. Equity and fairness are certainly relevant in law. Moreover the maintenance of law and order and the protection of citizens physical safety is paramount, failing which our society would implode
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am terribly sorry but I am not happy with this answer. I think it is not as black and white. I know you may not want to give anything other than a black and white answer
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Ok.

Best of luck.