How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jamie-Law Your Own Question
Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7720
Experience:  Solicitor
96104960
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Jamie-Law is online now

I would like to know if I can terminate early my lease

This answer was rated:

HI,I would like to know if I can terminate early my lease contract as my deposit is not protected. I'm renting a room in a shared house, every flatmate has his own contract with an agency. The duration of the contract is between 6 month to 1 year renewing. When I asked the agency why the deposit is not protected, they have told me the following:2 "This Agreement is not intended to confer exclusive possession on the Licensee or to create the relationship of Landlord and Tenant to the parties. The Licensee shall not be entitled to a tenancy, an Assured Shorthold tenancy or Assured tenancy, or to any statutory protection under the Housing Act 1988 or to any other statutory security of tenure now or when this Licence ends."4.2 "A Deposit on signing the Licence, which the Licensor will return in accordance with clause 4.3 below on vacation of the Room and the Property by the Licensee on the Termination Date (or the date the Licensee leaves the Room and the Property if after the Termination Date). This is subject to a deduction of a reasonable amount to compensate the Licensor for any damage or losses occurring through breach of this Agreement to include but not exclusively any unpaid Licence fees, damage to the Room or Property, failure to give appropriate notice to vacate in accordance with the terms of this Licence Agreement, any reasonable professional and legal fees payable by the Licensor in respect of enforcing the terms of the licence. No interest is to be payable to the Licensee in respect of th deposit monies. You must pay a deposit to the Landlord at or before the time you sign this agreement (see 1.9 above). The deposit will be held by Dammack Property Ltd as stakeholder."When I talked to the Citizens Advice Bureau, they told me that my deposit has to be protected even if in the contract says no.Is that right?Thanks for your help.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with your question today. I am reviewing it, please give me a moment.

Does the Landlord live in?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No, landlord doesn't live in. it's an agency who rent the rooms and do the maintenance of the flat. I can attach the contract if needed.

you can sue for x3 the deposit. Yes, you can leave early.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value, you would need representation for trial.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for this, regarding "You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy." is there a formal letter to follow? Do I need to send as well a termination letter (can I leave whenever I want) or is ok with one letter saying termination date and refund? Thanks

No formal letter as such. Just set out your position. It can include the fact you are terminating.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
ok, I understand there is not a minimum stay for termination, I can terminate next week, for example. right?

Yes, but you are better off doing it sooner, rather than later.

Does that assist?

Jamie-Law and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
perfect. thanks!
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Jamie, I'm leaving the room and send the letter this weekend. What do I need to do with the keys? Shall I leave them inside the room or do I take them with me? Thanks

Hand them back.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Jamie, after writing the letter for termination and refund of my deposit, the agency has come back to me saying "1/ In regards ***** ***** claim of the protection of the deposit. There is no failure from our part in protecting the deposit. As you do not hold a Tenancy agreement but a Licence Agreement the legislation is different and there is no obligation from us to protect your deposit. "
Please, note that the landlord and none of any member of their family live in the property. Could you tell me if this is correct what they're telling to me? Thanks.

If it looks like a tenancy then it is a tenancy.

You have exclusive access. As such it is a tenancy.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
sorry,I don't understand your reply. Does it mean that they're right and I can't claim my deposit back?

they are wrong. It can only be a licence if the landlord lives in.