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Agent lied on break clause

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534 views 1 replies latest reply: 04 May 2016

Hi everyone,

In short, when we renewed our contract, the agent lied to us on the break clause by emails, we agreed on a 2-month break clause but we signed a contract with no break clause in it… Following the full detailed story:

We are currently renting a flat, managed by a letting agency, and we plan to move out next month. We gave them a 2-month notice already.

We had an initial 2-year contract, which came to an end. This first contract had a clause in it, stating what should be the rent increase at the end of the 2 years. The landlord wanted to increase the rent more than that clause and to draft a new contract, and we accepted, providing we would keep the 2-month break clause from the initial contract. We agreed on that by emails with the agent (we still have the emails as proofs). However, the agent had us sign a 12-month contract with no break clause in it. He used the terminology “fixed contract with break clause” in his emails, which we now understand is a non-sense and which confused us.

Of course it was our mistake to sign this new contract, we didn’t know it was even possible to not have a break clause in a letting contract (we’re not British) and we trusted what the agent had told us. However, this contract does not reflect our previous written agreements by emails, and we are questionning the legality of the agent telling us something and having us sign something different.

We wonder if the emails we exchanged, and our first contract, should not have a legal value.

We’d rather not make a fuss, pay the fees they’re asking, let them find a new tenant which we don’t think should be difficult as the flat is nice and well located (just getting too small for us with 2 kids). However, they are now advertising the flat at £1560, which we believe is way overpriced for a 1-bed in our area (we pay £1213, our neighours upstairs with a similar flat pay £1300), and we doubt they can find a new tenant this way. Again, we wonder if this is legal from them. Don’t they have an obligation to prove they’ve been looking for a new tenant in a “reasonable” way if they want to claim the rent from us as long as they can’t find a new tenant? Paying an extra rent for 5 months is not an option for us.

Do you think it is worth asking a lawyer to help us on that?

Thanks if anyone can help us on this 🙂


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Very simply put- the contract is binding. Had there been a clause that had favoured you in soem way, this too would be contractually binding. However, shoud you wish to surrender your tenancy a Landlord or Agent has to be seen to be reasonable in accommodating this request.

As the agreement was signed after the email discussion it over-rides anything stated. Check if the agent is a member if any regulating body or ombudsman and see what they advise when you contact them.

Hope that helps

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