My complaint against my landlords is ….

by Readers Question

11:16 AM, 22nd March 2015
About 4 years ago

My complaint against my landlords is ….

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My complaint against my landlords is ….

So glad there is a platform for tenant support – I feel really screwed! My complaint against my landlords is ....

So my partner and I have been living in a property for just under one year. When we originally looked and moved into the property, WE requested two years as we wanted to keep the high London costs to a minimum for the two years we expected to live at the property.

However, I have been made redundant 9.5 months into our tenancy, and can no longer afford the rent in London, and my partner and I have decided to move out of London.

We have the landlord 9 weeks notice, stating we would like to leave on May 16th, (one year after starting the tenancy and one years early termination).

Our landlord has agreed to this and is happy to find new tenant.

HERE IS THE PROBLEM

He has stated that on starting the agreement, our landlord paid the letting agency the value of 7% of 24 months rent (what I believe is a finders fee).

As we are ending the tenancy early, he has said we have to pay that remaining fee! Approximately £1300!!!

I understand that if we end the tenancy early we have to pay until the agreement ends (or as soon as other tenants are allocated) but I don’t see why we have to pay HIS fees?!

Can you let me know if we do have to pay this!?

Thanks

Lewis Fountain



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:34 AM, 22nd March 2015
About 4 years ago

Dear Lewis

This is not going to be the response you were hoping for I'm afraid. I really don't think there is any substance to your complaint.

Try to put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. If you hadn't been made redundant, and your landlord had asked to put your rent up after 9.5 months or asked you to leave .... what would your reply have been?

At the time you entered into your contract it suited you both.

You are both legally bound to this contract unless a further agreement is entered into by mutual consent. Your landlord is perfectly within his rights to hold you to paying the full rent for the remaining term and to take legal action against you if you fail to do that. This could lead to your credit rating being severely impaired.

From what you have explained, I think the terms your landlord has offered to you in respect of him allowing you to terminate the contract early are extremely generous. My advice to you is to accept his terms. If you antagonise your landlord he may well withdraw his offer and hold you to paying the full rent and Council tax on the property for the entire remaining term of your contract, and commence litigation against you in the event that you fail to do so.
.

Gary Nock

14:40 PM, 22nd March 2015
About 4 years ago

Agreed. I normally allow early termination providing that tenant pays up until a new tenant is found and all ancillary costs like utility and re-let fees. In this case the landlords offer is probably a lot less than another 12 months rent. I would snap his hand off.

Anthony Endsor

10:10 AM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

As a Landlord, this kind of thing really gets my goat. A tenant decides to leave early but then expects to get off scot-free, not taking into account the expenses they are creating for the Landlord.
To me the Landlord is perfectly within their rights to expect you to at least pay reasonable costs, but could if they wanted to make you pay the full amount of the tenancy for the remaining 12 months, so count yourself lucky and pay up and get out.

Steve From Leicester

10:10 AM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

Mark and Gary are right.

Your landlord is legally entitled to rent for the full 24 months. Instead of enforcing this he's seeking new tenants and merely asking you to pay his out of pocket expenses.

Tony Atkins

12:09 PM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

I'm afraid I agree with everyone else: the landlord has incurred these costs with his letting agent, and it is highly likely that he will not be able to recoup them if you break the tenancy agreement and leave early. The letting agents are devils that way: I've even know them charge a full one year fee when a tenancy agreement includes a six-month break clause, and when the tenant exercises the break clause, the landlord is stuffed: she's had effectively to pay twice over for the finding fee because she will face another fee to find a new tenant.

You would face the same situation if you try to cancel your mobile phone contract or a lease agreement for your car: the other party will say that you signed up to a fixed term, and you have to pay a penalty to end the contract.

You have actually got off fairly lightly, because there are some organisations out there who would force you to pay rent for the whole of the remaining term, even if you had moved out of the property.

Steve From Leicester

14:28 PM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "23/03/2015 - 12:09":

Why do you say "The letting agents are devils that way"?

We're in agreement that the tenant and landlord agreed a deal at the start of the tenancy, and we're in agreement that if the tenant wants to go early the landlord shouldn't lose out.

Equally the landlord and agent agreed a deal at the start of the tenancy. Its not the agent's fault that the tenant wants to go early, it's not the agent's fault the landlord has agreed to let him go early. So why should the agent be out of pocket?

John Frith

14:56 PM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

So I suspect I'm going to show my ignorance here. I was under the impression that an AST was only binding for the first 6 months, regardless of how long the contract was for. And that after 5 months, the tenant was only legally obliged to give 1 rental months notice?

Anthony Endsor

15:11 PM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Frith" at "23/03/2015 - 14:56":

John, the AST is binding for however long it runs for, whether that be 6 months, a year, 2 years or 500 years.
Most AST's are either 6 or 12 months, so that may be where the confusion lies.
But yes, at any time the tenant can give notice 1 month before the end of the contract.

Mark Alexander

15:12 PM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Frith" at "23/03/2015 - 14:56":

An AST can be for up to 5 years, but must be executed by way of deed if it for more than three years. You cannot have an AST for more than 5 years, after that it would become a lease and different regulations would apply.

NOTE - most mortgage lenders T&C's don't allow for AST's to be granted for more than 12 months, but some do, e.g. TMW has no problem with AST's for up to three years and commercial mortgage lenders are generally very happy with anything from 6 months to 5 years.
.

Joe Bloggs

23:39 PM, 23rd March 2015
About 4 years ago

what is being overlooked is:

- is it right that the tenant should have to pay for the landlords stupidity in paying the agent such an extortionate and unreasonable finders fee?

- the landlord will benefit from the tenant leaving early as the new rent to an incoming tenant will undoubtedly be higher due to london rent inflation.

rip off antics like this give landlords a deservedly bad name.

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