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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6717
Experience:  Solicitor
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I spoke with your recently about an issue with our tenancy.

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I spoke with your recently about an issue with our tenancy. The situation has moved on since then and we have now received a solicitors letter from our landlord confirming what we already knew, which is that he has accepted an offer on the house. The letter states that the landlord wants us out by 3pm on 12th October. We have met the buyers a few times as they have been to the house to view and bring builders round and also were there when they had a full structural survey done on the property on 28th September (at a cost of £1500). They have confirmed that they need to be in the house well before the end of October.Our landlord has instructed a solicitor to write to us saying that he requires us to pay his legal fees for conveyancing of £1,663.20 and also the commission (£7,200) to his estate agents. He also requires us to sign over our deposit of £2,769.23 to him (there is no damage to the house) and he wants us to pay a full month's rent of £2,000 direct to him and he will refund anything that we have overpaid. If we do not make these payments (total £11,632.43 plus the £2,000 rent) he says he will pull out of the sale and make us stay there.I have today made payment up to the deadline of 3pm on 12th October (£764.37) in respect of the rent due and we moved out of the property this weekend just gone - we have not yet advised the landlord of this and still have the keys etc. We have paid the council tax and all relevant utility bills as normal.We really don't know what to do next. I had considered writing back to advise that we have paid the rent, vacated the house and will surrender all keys etc and pay all bills up to the deadline but we are unable and unwilling to make any further payment to him. The house has sold for £720,000 which is about £20,000 above what the estate agents that we originally rented through believed it would actually sell for.Can he do this to us? Surely if he has sold the house and is giving us a deadline to leave, demanding money in this way with this threat of withdrawing from the sale is unethical, both to us and to his buyers who have already invested money in surveys, builders etc? I have attached a copy of the letter that we have received. I can send across the others that have gone back and forth if you need them.many thanksStephanie

Hello Stephanie my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry i dont follow you? Have you read my email?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We want to know how we should respond and whether we are responsible to pay his fees for the sale of his house.

Forgive me my fault, I was not clear enough,

If you have a tenancy until 2018, on what basis are they saying YOU are liable for their legal fees and estate agent commission etc?

In short no - you are renting it.

You are NOT liable for:

1) Solicitor fees

2) Estate agent commission

3) He gets deposit.

You are in a contract, he is in a contract until 2018. You could make him delay the sale and not do anything until that time.

You are NOT I repeat NOT in law obliged to pay anything beyond your rent obligations.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi JamieThank you - I am a little less panicky now! I don't know if you have access to the previous emails that I have had with another adviser on this subject but it was my husband and I who instigated this situation as we initially approached him to see if he would agree to end the agreement early, which he declined to do. He said that he was not prepared to rent it out to anyone else, but would sell it and that we would have to stay there until he did. It's now sold and he is seemingly annoyed that this has happened quicker than he anticipated (assumption on my part i know) but of course this means that he achieves less rental income than he had anticipated as the buyers want to complete quickly. This is why he is trying to extract money from us we feel.Are we ok to reply to his solicitors and say that we have paid the rent, will pay the bills, will surrender the keys to the property and undertake to leave by the deadline but we will not agree to any of the other demands?Thank you, ***** ***** understandably worried sick about this.Regards, Steph

Yes that is right.

They are the ones wanting to sell etc, its not your fault.

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, by clicking on the 5 stars or happy face, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One final thing.... (and you will get a smiley face and a hundred stars!). IF and its a big IF (He'd have to be mad but its possible) IF he did actually follow that through and pull out of the sale based on us refusing to pay this money to him, would he be able to revert to the shorthold tenancy agreement and insist that we were liable to pay the rent until 2018 and take us to Court? If he did take us to Court, would the Law protect us at all? thank you for your help.

If they have agreed to release you in writing then no, you would not be bound.

If the release was conditional upon you paying the sums in the letter etc, then yes you would be liable.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
did you see the letter that I attached? It is conditional on us making the payments I believe but would the Law not see an action like that as unreasonable?

I would agree, its not reasonable.

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it does. I'm sorry but I just need to be clear before I put us in a situation which could affect us and our children. I know that a contract is a contract however, the fact that there is no break clause in ours and the fact that we have offered mediation and everything else that we can think of puts us in a position, in my eyes, where we have been reasonable at every stage but are, to put it bluntly, at his mercy and being bullied and blackmailed by him. i would like to believe that a judge would see this also.

I would agree, they have been totally unreasonable. Does that help?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you. and I am sorry to have been a nuisance.

No problem - if I could invite you to rate.

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