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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We, Uwe Reiche (retirees from Germany) and Loreta Jonusiene

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We, Uwe Reiche (retirees from Germany) and Loreta Jonusiene (Lithuanian citizenship)) live in Dunstable LU6 1EP. Weeks ago we informed our estate agent that we intend to change our living place. Now we have the opportunity to rent a house in Standish (WN6 0PH) . We are willing to pay 480 GBP punishment, since the contract is terminated prematurely. Our Estate agent informed us that the landlord only accepted if we end up contract in September and for another 4 months rent (780 GBP) we must pay immediately. The necessary reference for new property agency in Standish, for which we paid 30GBP yesterday, the Estate agent refuse to send because we did not pay rent until September. We thus lose the opportunity to rent and move another house. Are these requirements legally right? We invested in the organization of the finding new apartment a lot of money. Our finances are limited. What can we do? Thank you for your help.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. From what you say I understand you have an assured shorthold tenancy with a minimum term expiring in September?Could you kindly confirm whether your tenancy agreement contains a break clause please - this is a clause providing that you can end the tenancy early, normally after the first 6 months by giving a notice to the landlord. Not all tenancies have such clauses but they are not uncommon?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Mr. Joshua,

There is nothing written about ending your contract earlier, but our agent informed us that there is no problem if we pay for agency penalty in 480 GBP. Important thing is that our contract is signed, either by, or on behalf of, the landlord by Mr. ***** *****, who is not our landlord or the flat we are renting now.

Thank you. Are you able to kindly clarify who signed your tenancy agreement - did the agent sign it on the landlords behalf?Have the agents confirmed in writing to you that you can be released from your agreement for a payment of £480?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Our tenancy agreement was signed by agent - we never had contacts with Landlord. All information we received was in verbal form. The penalty for ending our contract earlier shoud be payed for agency. Do we need to pay additional penalty for Landlord also?

Thank you. Finally did the agent state in writing that if you paid £480 you could end you tenancy early or did they not confirm this in writing and are not saying that you must also pay remaining rent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We did not receive any written information about ending our tenancy

Thank you very much for the above. If you wish to leave the tenancy, before the end of the fixed term subject as follows the starting point is that you cannot unilaterally leave during the fixed tenancy period as this amounts to a breach of contract. However it is possible to escape early from the tenancy by asking the landlord to remarket the property or by finding satisfactory tenants to replace you on the tenancy yourself. The landlord has a common law duty to mitigate his losses and costs and as such must do his best to remarket the property or must accept any replacement tenants that you find to replace you subject to satisfying standard referencing. You would be liable for reasonable marketing costs (if you ask the agent to remarket for you) together with any reasonable agency fees for referencing new tenants etc. The agent cannot charge more than he would charge his clients normally. However your liability would end on the earlier of the end of your existing term or a new tenant being sourced to replace you both. The landlord cannot refuse to do anything at all or he will find that he is limited in the amount of continuing rent he can attempt to recover. The landlord is not required or entitled to insist on granting the replacement tenants a new tenancy and he is not entitled to increase the rent or offer different terms other than by agreement between him and the new tenants. He is obligated subject as above, to allow the new tenants to take over your tenancy on the same terms and same rent for the remainder of the existing term or alternatively release you from the tenancy if you no longer wishes to rent the property The first step if you wish to leave is to pisomething in writing as you will find that in the event of a dispute, your memory of events will frequently differ frequently to the agents memory. Email trails can take out any disputes as to facts whereby the agents can claim that they never refused a replacement tenant and so on. Many agents prefer phone calls for exactly this reason but you can counter this by either corresponding with them by email and if they insist on phoning you rather than replying to you, you can follow up any such telephone calls with a further email to them confirming precisely what was discussed and agreed. You can commence by reminding the agents of the landlords above common-law obligations and inviting the landlord to replace you with the new tenants on the same terms failing which you will consider making an application to the court for an order that you are released from the tenancy owing to the landlords refusal to find replacement tenants on idential terms which would amount to a failure to mitigate as losses In addition check that your deposit is protected - you can check online with one of the four schemes that it could be registered with - they all have online search facilities (the Capita scheme is new and as yet has a small share of the market): The landlord has a legal obligation to protect your deposit and one of the four above schemes within 30 days of you paying the deposit to him. If he has failed to do so, you can claim back your deposit together with additional compensation between one and three times the amount of the deposit. The landlord cannot protect the deposit late if he has failed to do so within 30 days of receipt. This may be useful in negotiations. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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