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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Last year I was in a 12 month tenancy agreement which I needed

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Last year I was in a 12 month tenancy agreement which I needed to end early, at the end of August 2015.
As was outlined in my tenancy agreement, I found an alternative tenant and agreed with the letting agency that she would be taking over the tenancy. We agreed on a date when I would vacate the property (which I did so) a couple of days before the new tenant would be moving in.
Unfortunately the new tenant was not happy with the condition of the property (damp and mould, general disrepair) and decided she would not be moving in. The letting agency refunded her deposit and came back to me, saying that it was now my responsibility to find another replacement and to continue paying the rent until I did.
I responded to say that I did not believe it was my responsibility and, in fact, that due to the condition of the property, my tenancy agreement was no longer legally binding because it didn't match the condition of the property.
I received no further response from the letting agency until the 15th October requesting payment of £70 with no description of what it was for. I replied, requesting that they deduct from my £300 deposit which they were yet to refund to me.
Now, at the end of February 2016, they have contacted my guarantor to request a debt of £1390 is paid (again, there is no breakdown of what this cost covers).
I sent them an email to ask why they had not contacted me to ask for this money, to which they didn't reply. So today I gave them a call. They said that they had been contacting me and asked for my email address which I gave them, but reassured them that I had not received any contact from them since my email at the beginning of September when the new tenant refused to move into the property.
They told me over the phone that unless I paid the £1390 that my guarantor would be taken to court. I requested that they sent me details of the debt but they were rather irate by this point and hung the phone up on me (even though I was quite calmly stating that I had done exactly as was outlined in the tenancy agreement).
I am unsure of where I stand on this now (and very shaken up by the phone call) and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Just to be clear, the new tenant signed his/her own tenancy agreement?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Alex,
I don't believe she had, as I remember seeing the landlord put a tenancy agreement in the main hallway with her details on it. I do believe that they had taken the deposit from her, however.
Ok, if the Landlord has signed it and the tenant has, you are released.Unless YOU were offering a guarantee in any form for the new tenant then you are not liable.Its a matter between the Landlord and new tenant.In any event its a condition of the property dispute, that is not your fault. Its between new tenant and Landlord.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Alex.To clarify, the new tenant did not sign a tenancy agreement. I have just checked her correspondence with the letting agency which she kindly forwarded to me last year - see below for a quote:"Thank you for speaking with me on the telephone at 13.11 today. We discussed my intention to withhold my signature from the tenancy agreement as the condition of the room was not as stated in the contract and the landlord had not fulfilled his duty to keep "in repair and proper working order the installations at the property...for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences)". You were not aware that I had not signed this agreement and needed to discuss your position moving forward with one of your colleagues. You kindly agreed to contact me following this discussion with them."
Ah ok - your case is not as strong as if the tenant has signed it. If the tenant had signed it then you would not be liable.However the situation is not as clear now. You could argue its the condition of the property and therefore you are not liable as you have no control over that.Your responsibility ended when a new tenant was found. That is how you need to argue it.Can I clarify anything else for you?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Alex.I have just been reading through the other emails between the new tenant and the letting agency, and have found evidence that the new tenant had been given keys to and entered the property without the landlord.Regarding the condition of the property - the landlord had been made aware of the issues by other tenants living at the property, mainly regarding the bathroom.Do you believe that I have a strong enough case to allow this to go to court?
Its a hard one to call. It really will depend if you get a sympathetic Judge. I think you have a real shot at defending this yes.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Alex.Just one more thing - the letting agency moved a new tenant into the room in September or October last year (I can get more specific dates from other tenants living at the property). As such, are the letting agents still allowed to charge me for the rent of the room beyond that point? Because I think the amount they are requesting is for the remaining period of my tenancy agreement (until May 2016).
No they are not. They can't ask for further rent for that period or beyondDoes that help?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's perfect, thanks Alex.So just to clarify, if my agreement ran from May 2015 to May 2016, and I moved out at the end of August 2015, they can only charge me for a months' rent if a new tenant moved into the room at the end of September 2015?
Correct.Does that clarify?Alex
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's wonderful news, thank you Alex.