Did not give 1 months notice for my 6 months AST, am I liable to pay more rent? | The Tenants' Voice
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Did not give 1 months notice for my 6 months AST, am I liable to pay more rent?

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225 views 1 replies latest reply: 30 January 2017
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Tenant

I signed a 6 months AST in a HMO house share. I have paid my rent every month and have been a good tenant. At the start of the the tenancy I made it clear I wanted to rent for only 6 months. I did not realise I had to give notice 1 month in advance before leaving. I clearly did not process this portion of the contract at the time of signing:

“1.8 TERM

For an initial term of 6 MONTHS to commence on 29/7/16 and ending on the 28/1/17 inclusive and thereafter to continue on a monthly rolling basis until determined in accordance with clause 1.10

1.10 Tenants Break Clause – The Landlord agrees that the tenant has the right to terminate the tenancy after the initial 6 month term by giving the landlord not less than 1 months’ notice in writing to end the agreement. To avoid any doubt between the parties it is agreed that the notice period cannot commence any earlier than 29/12/16 and cannot expire any earlier than 28/1/17.”

I vacated the house today (A day before my initial 6 months ends) but now the letting agency is demanding I pay rent for the 7th month, despite me no longer being at the property.

Am I liable to pay rent for the next month? Or just compensation for the breach in the contract?

I note a similar case which the tenant won on a technicality:

http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/landlord-fails-in-claim-after-tenant-quits-without-notice/

Currently in the house there are two further empty rooms and no potential tenants have visited the property in the last month.

Me not giving notice a month earlier has not prevented further tenants from moving in. So in theory any compensation should be minimal.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. So far the agency appears intransigent.

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Tenant

This is why you don’t sign a tenancy agreement without knowing what it says and what it means for you. I’d say your chances are 50/50. You did sign a binding document, which makes you obliged to follow the rules. 

However, there are a couple of arguments in your defense. 

The thing no landlord wants to tell you about fixed terms is that you’re entitled to walk out on the last day of the fixed term, without giving notice. This information comes from Tessa Shepperson, who is one of the more famous Landlord and Tenant Law specialists. So, provided you’ve paid your rent, cleaned to a proper degree, did not cause damage, and returned the full set of keys, the landlord shouldn’t have any claims from you. 

How did you tell your landlord that you want to rent only for 6 months ? If you used email or a written letter, then this may count as a form of notice. It contradicts the rules, set in the tenancy agreement, but at least it’s there. 

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