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SASH_Law, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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Dear JustAnswer, Due to Covid, remote working and family

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Dear JustAnswer,Due to Covid, remote working and family health concerns, I am looking to end my tenancy agreement early and move to cheaper housing. Looking over the early termination clause, I would just like to confirm that they are legal and seek advice on ending tenancy agreements early in general.I will paste in the specific clause below. Hopefully the formatting isn't too bad. I planned to notify the landlord and request they put the flat on the market. I am happy to stay in the flat and pay rent until a replacement is found, at which point I request a minimum of 2 weekends to arrange moving out.19.2 Early Termination Costs
19.2.1 If the Tenant vacates the Property prior to the end of the Fixed Term (or break clause if applicable), the
Tenant will remain liable to pay Rent until the Fixed Term expires unless otherwise agreed.
19.2.2 The Landlord is not required to allow the Tenant to end the Tenancy early but if the Tenant asks the
Landlord to end the Tenancy early i.e. seeks the Landlord’s agreement to surrender the Tenancy, the
Tenant agrees that:
 The Landlord may market the Property to look for a new tenant; and
 The Landlord may grant a tenancy to a new tenant on reasonable terms and on the
commencement of that new tenancy this Agreement shall be terminated.
19.2.3 Where the Tenancy is terminated early (surrendered) at the Tenant’s request, the Tenant agrees to
pay:
 an amount equal to the difference between the original Rent and new lower rental figure up to
the end of the original Fixed Term, if the new tenancy is for a lesser rent;
 an amount equal to any pro-rata commission fees that have been incurred by the Landlord for
the unexpired portion of the Tenancy, if the Tenancy is terminated during the Fixed Term; and
 the Landlord’s agent’s reasonable costs in respect of the termination of the tenancy.
Example: if you rent a Property for £1,950.00 pcm and wish to leave the Property with 6 months
remaining on the Fixed Term and it takes 2 months to find a new Tenant you would be required to
pay:
 an amount equivalent to 2 months’ additional rent i.e. 2 x £1,950.00 = £3,900.00;
 an amount equivalent to 4 months’ commission, calculated as original commission paid
((£1,950.00 x 12 = £23,400.00) x 13.2% (inc VAT) = £3,088.80), minus commission paid for 8
months ((rent of £1,950.00 x 8 = £15,600.00) x 13.2% (inc VAT) = £2,059.20) = £1,029.60;
and,
 if the Property is re-let at a lesser rent e.g. £1,940.00 pcm, you would be responsible for paying
an additional sum equal to £10.00 pcm until the end of the Original Fixed Term, being the
difference in the original Rent and the new lesser rent, which would be (£1,950.00 - £1,940.00)
x 4 months = £40.00.
Therefore in this example the total owing would be £4,969.60.
19.2.4 For the avoidance of doubt this clause shall not take effect where the Tenant is operating a break
clause contained in this Agreement.Kind regards,
Munir

Hi, I'm Lea

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. If there is a break clause in your agreement, then that is the simplest way of bringing your tenancy to an end earlier. If there isn't a break clause, then you are subject to negotiating with the landlord. The clauses you included specifically state that the landlord is not required to allow you to end the tenancy early (19.2.2) which means that if the landlord refuses you are stuck until the end of the fixed term (any break clause excepted).

I would suggest you approach the landlord and explain that you need to leave for the reasons you stated and point out that if you remain you may not be able to afford the rent. If the landlord has any sense, he'll accept you leaving, as the reality is that until you are six months in arrears of rent, he cannot evict you quickly as the pandemic law has extended notice periods to six months until March 2021.

Whilst your contract is solid - if you genuinely can't pay, I would suggest you focus on that and explain to the landlord that it is in both your interests to end the tenancy sooner rather than later.

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Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hello Lea,Thank you for your quick reply.I went back to the document and searched for a break clause, but none are stated in the tenancy document itself. Something to note for future reference.I will approach my landlord as suggested and present my case and hope he sees sense.Thanks again and kind regards,
Munir
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hello Lea,Sorry to bother you again.If the landlord does refuse to end the tenancy earlier, what are my options?Is it something I can challenge in court?Kind regards,
Munir

I gave you your options above...it really is to negotiate, and if not successful, then to point out that forcing you to stay may result in large rent arrears.

All the best.

Please open new queries in new threads.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
My apologies, thank you for your answer.

Welcome.

All the best.