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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6293
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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We want to break our tenancy agreement early, as we are

Customer Question

Hi there, we want to break our tenancy agreement early, as we are facing major disturbances from the neighbour in the flat downstairs. In spite of the fact that this has been brought up to the landlord in the past and we've asked if we can reach a mutual agreement with 1 full month's notice (and that we will help find new tenants), the landlord refuses to sympathise, stating that it's ''not his problem'' and wants us to cover the rent for the rest of the tenancy period.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: no
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: Ferdinand Street, Camden, London
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We are a professional couple and have a fixed tenancy period until August 2020. There is no explicit break clause in our tenancy agreement but we have recordings of the disturbances from the neighbours downstairs and in his response, the landlord has claimed that "this is the first he's hearing of it".
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 month ago.

Hello,

Please see the following excerpt from guidance for tenants under the Tenant Fees Act 2019:

"EARLY TERMINATION FEES

Q. Can a landlord or agent charge me if I want to leave a tenancy before the end of my fixed-term or the end of my notice period? A landlord or agent can require you to make payments in connection with the early termination of the tenancy if you have requested this, but there are restrictions on what can be charged.Generally, the costs charged for early termination must not exceed the loss incurred by the landlord (usually the loss in rent resulting from your decision to leave and/or the costs of re-advertising or referencing), or the reasonable costs to the agent (such as referencing and marketing costs). If a landlord or agent agrees to your leaving early, they can ask you to pay rent as required under your tenancy agreement until a suitable replacement tenant is found. This is because you are liable for rent until your fixed-term agreement has ended or in the case of a statutory periodic tenancy, until the required notice period under your tenancy agreement has expired (if no replacement tenant is found during this time). However, a landlord is not able to charge more than the rent they would have received before the end of the tenancy.If a landlord agrees to terminate your tenancy early, you should make sure that this is clearly set out in writing. It is good practice for a landlord or agent to agree to a reasonable request to end the tenancy early. Where this is agreed to, landlords and agents should consider on a case-by-case basis whether it is appropriate to charge an early termination fee, for example, whether there are any exceptional circumstances which require the tenant to leave early. However, they could reasonably charge a fee to cover any referencing and advertising costs that they have incurred because of you leaving early, but they should be able to provide evidence to demonstrate these costs.Please note: a landlord or agent should not require you to pay any charges in this circumstance if you are exercising a break clause in your contract which permits you to leave before the end of your fixed-term (if you have given notice as required by the terms of your agreement). Q. What can a landlord or agent charge if a replacement tenant has been found? A landlord or agent may be more willing to let you leave early if you offer to help find a suitable replacement, as this is likely to reduce the up-front costs. Where a suitable replacement tenant is found and the landlord has agreed to an early termination of the tenancy, the landlord or agent can only charge you rent until the new tenancy has started. If a landlord or agent does not stand to lose any rent because of your decision to leave, they are not permitted to consider lost rent as partPage 72 of 81 of any fee charged for early termination. The landlord or letting agent could reasonably charge a fee to cover any referencing and advertising costs that they have incurred because of you leaving early, but they should be able to provide evidence to demonstrate these costs.Q. What should I do if a replacement tenant has not been found? If there is no replacement tenant and the landlord or agent insists on you paying rentuntil the end of your fixed-term agreement, we would encourage you to continue paying your rent monthly (or as required under your tenancy agreement), until a new tenant is found. You are not required to pay the outstanding rent amount as a lump sum unless you still agree to terminate the tenancy and agree this with the landlord.Q. Can I sub-let a property as an alternative to terminating my fixed-term agreement early? You should not sub-let a property unless your tenancy agreement allows this and this has been agreed in writing by the landlord.If it is not appropriate for you to sub-let the property, we would encourage a landlord or agent to let you leave the tenancy agreement early provided that a suitable replacement is found. "

The above is from here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819635/TFA_Tenant_Guidance_190722.pdf

May I help further?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks for this - very useful. Unfortunately, it seems that he is unwilling to reach a reasonable agreement here in spite of the fact that we've said we will help him find a new tenant and is insisting we cover the rent for the remainder of the tenancy period. We are in a tight situation and want to leave as we cannot sleep properly with the constant noise from the tenants below. There is also the very real threat of more abuse from the neighbours downstairs. We have asked them, politely, on more than one occasion to keep the yelling down but they have retaliated with more yelling at us. I believe there is some legal ground here for us to leave, based on the fact that there is a threat of abuse from neighbours.
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 month ago.

Your landlord has the obligation to ensure that the landlord and others allow you quiet enjoyment of the property, see here: https://levisolicitors.co.uk/news/quiet-enjoyment/

You may inform the landlord that your right to quiet enjoyment of the property has been breached and that the tenancy is terminated on that account.

It is then up to your landlord to pursue you for rent for the remaining months.

Please click on 5 stars if this helps.