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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I'm a student. I moved into a private owned student accommodation

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I'm a student. I moved into a private owned student accommodation earlier and later to discover the accommodation is next to the train track. The management changed my room once but the train noise still around and cannot be eliminated. I have suffered from insomnia and have had to take sleeping pills since. I requested to cancel the contract but was told not until I found a replacement tenant for them.
I'm seeking legal help now. The agreement is the assured shorthold tenancy type. How much is the legal fee approximately? Do I have any winning chance? I wish to cancel the contract the ASAP but I hope to get back my full rental payment, excluding administration cost.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I am sorry but its bad news. There is no prospect of recovering anything. The only issue is what is the extent of your liability.
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. Noise because of the location is not acceptable.
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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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo


Thank you for your prompt response. Do I have no winning chance at all even if I'm developing psychiatric illness because of the noise? I had anxiety before and I think continue living in the flat is putting my mental health at risk. Can I get psychiatrist assessment and use it as a ground to break the contract?



Kind regards

There is a ground to escape ASTs on the basis that your health is in substantial danger but the court is not going to accept this falls into that category I'm afraid. An example of that type of situation would be thing like an instant gas leak.

Whether or not they will bother to contest this is another matter. Landlords do not always.