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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16065
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have rented a small office for the passed year and I am

Customer Question

I have rented a small office for the passed year and I am coming out of the agreement after 12 months. Unfortunately I didn't give the 3 months notice — I didn't realise it was 3 months — and only gave 2 months, although the rent payments covered 2.5 months. The landlord has said I didn't meet the terms of termination, but would accept a further 3 months payments to cancel. Can he do that?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Gloucestershire, UK.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: No steps yet, other than handing in my notice.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I also emailed him twice way in advance of giving my notice, stating my intent to do so, so he knew in advance.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore maybe delayed in replying.

are you asking if you are liable for the further 3 months?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He says that I didn't give enough notice — which I didn't to be fair, I gave 2 months — but I had already emailed that I was going to do this twice previously, 3 and 4 months earlier.The rent payments also covered 2.5 months, so paying another 3 months seems harsh.But if he is within his rights and it's the law...
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

If you had already given notice prior to this but stayed on, I cannot see why you cannot rely on the earlier notice.

I would need to see the tenancy agreement and to know the dates of the previous notices, and why you didn’t leave and also know the date of the latest notice.

Ultimately, you simply walk out after two months notice, the landlord is going to have to chase you for the other one month or three months, depending on the terms of the tenancy agreement and pursue you through the Small Claims Court if necessary.

Many landlords are reluctant to do that in case it goes to court and the judgement goes against them because then it would apply to all the other tenancy agreements they have.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay, thank you.The problem I guess is that I didn't previous 'give' notice, I informed him that at 12 months we will be coming out of the contract and the reasons why. So I only gave the notice once, which is what he is disputing. But he was fully aware of my intent to do so, so it was no surprise.But I guess that is irrelevant and he is in his rights to charge another 3 months?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Can you attach the agreement please? I need to know exactly what the notice provision is. Thank you

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am away from my desktop at the moment, which is where the document is, but I found the attached from the landlord on an email.Also, I have found a Head of Terms on an email from the estate agents:
'The lease will be written under the statue of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 excluding the renewal provisions contained within s24 to 228 of the same.'
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. The clause is useful but I need the full document. It will do later.

If you did not give the three months prior notice, it could well be that you are stuck until the end of the term, however long that is, in which case the three months may be a good deal.

I would not know until I saw the whole document.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. Thanks.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Until later then. Please don’t reply as a matter of course, otherwise the question comes back into my inbox as it thinks you are waiting. Thank you.