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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a private tenant and have been renting the property since

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I am a private tenant and have been renting the property since November 2013.In January I received a call from the agents requesting a date to inspect the property.We agreed a mutual date,the inspection was carried out and was advised that we "passed with flying colours". at no time during this inspection was another inspection mentioned.I assumed that these visits would as in my previous tenancies with different agents be annually. The agents have now contacted me to arrange an inspection date in May 2014 and that the visits will be quarterly as part of their management service to the landlords.I think this to be totally unreasonable and an incursion on my privacy.

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

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I feel a quarterly inspection to be extreme.There is nothing mentioned in the tenancy agreement and we were not advised of this before taking up the tenancy.All monies and deposits and rentals were and are paid when due,so I see no reason for the frequency of them.As I had not been informed before taking up the tenancy can I now break it.It is a 12 month tenancy began 01/11/2013

Does it have a break clause at the 6 month point?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It has a break clause but states notice to quit cannot be served earlier then the end of the sixth or twelth month depending on the tenancy term

Notice to quit can be served but it cannot be effective before the 6 month point.

If I'm right though, the 6th month point would 1st May?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes that is correct 1st of May

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.

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.

Im afraid that you are too late to use the break clause as even if you gave notice tomorrow it would not expire on the 1st May.

On your substantive point above, I'm afraid that the fact they want to do inspections is not a ground. In fact, they have a right to 'reasonable access' to the property and quarterly is entirely reasonable. They could easily justify monthly inspections.

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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