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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71046
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter was bullied into signing a lease on a flat ("until

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My daughter was bullied into signing a lease on a flat ("until you sign we cannot tell you what renovations landlord is prepared to make). Her husband, who would be responsible for the rental payments did not sign. They both gave their Bank details but have not paid a deosit. The flat was to be available from 1st May.
They have now found another flat which doesn't need to be renovated.

What is their responsibilty fr the first flat.?

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

When are they supposed to move in and is this an AST please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Lease to commence 1st May. What is an AST?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Am I still awaiting reply to question? Various e-mails confusing.

Assured shorthold tenancy agreement?

Has she told them yet she doesn't want to move in?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for yourhelp. Yes she has and they are sayingone signature is binding.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She notified them a week ago. She was also unhappy about their insistence on 18 month break clause.

Well, thats a problem if she has signed it.

Does she accept the only break clause is 18 months?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

she did verbally agreeto that

I am sorry but its bad news although the liability may not be as bad as you think.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

Whichever way you look at this, she is liable. She has signed an agreement. Her husband has not and so he is not liable but they will just pursue your daughter and she is.

Unfortunately ASTs are very hard to escape. You pretty much have to show that the property is gutted by fire damage or flooding and so you cannot live in it. Another acceptable reason would be that a person's life is in immediate danger like a gas leak.

I'm afraid that things like change of circumstances of the tenant or the fact that the premises is not salubrious is not sufficient.

You could try to negotiate with the landlord. Sometimes they will agree to allow tenants to leave as its in their interests too on occasions.

If that is not possible here then I'm afraid you will be acting unlawfully if you leave early. However the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a replacement tenant and he will not get forever to achieve that. Realistically, if a landlord is really trying, most properties can be let to another tenant comfortably within a month. You will only be liable up until the time that the landlord is able to replace you which will be nothing like the remaining months due under the contract.

Of course, there is a risk that the landlord will not be able to find a replacement. If so, the Court will ask him to prove that he has looked for a replacement. If he is able to do so to the Court's satisfaction then you would be liable for that period but that is very unlikely.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information

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