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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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Hi - I am a tenant and signed a contract with Foxtons.

Customer Question

Hi -

I am a tenant and signed a contract with Foxton’s. The term is for two years with no breaking clause. My boyfriend and I want to move out (on 10 Aug we will be living there for 1y) as the flat is actually too expensive for us. According to Foxton’s if we cancel the contract before the end of the term (i.e. 2 years), we need to find new tenants and pay 11% + VAT of our rents for the 12months. The rent is £2,816.67 hence we would have to pay c.4,500 to Foxtons which evidentially is a lot of money. I thought a breaking clause was mandatory in a contract?

Can you please let me know if I am able to fight this with a lawyer?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that there is no mandatory or implied break clause for tenants in assured shorthold tenancies. If there is no break clause in the tenancy agreement then you cannot terminate the tenancy.

I'm afraid you will be bound by the full term of the tenancy agreement unless property is unfit for human habitation (which would also entitle you to terminate as it would be what is called a repudiatory breach of contract

If you still wish to get out of the tenancy then landlords are generally under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a suitable tenant and your focus now should be on finding one. If the landlord acted through agents then you should explain your situation to them and press them (and continue to press them) to find you a replacement tenant. If the landlord acted on his own then you should speak to him to check that he would be amenable to your finding a replacement tenant. You can then use to find a tenant (private landlords frequently use this service.

You should offer to pay Foxton’s admisntrative charges for finding a tenant that you bring to them in terms of their vetting procedures, but they should not be much more expensive than the ones that were carried out on you.

If they state that you still have to pay the 11% + VAT on top of finding them a replacement tenant who is willing to pay the rent for the remainder of the term (ie. no loss to foxtons) then you should see a solicitor about writing a letter before action to them stating that you consider this a penalty which is an unfair term under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract legislation. Hopefully they will relent at this point.

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Kind regards,

Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Is there any further information you require?

I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on your position. Please remember to rate my answer, if you are satisfied.

Kind regards,