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Early Termination - Nightmare Landlady & Pregnant Tenant

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525 views 1 replies latest reply: 07 November 2016
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Tenant

I am currently 7 months pregnant and due to ongoing issues with our landlord we would like to vacate before our end of tenancy – February 2017.

Our landlord served us notice after the first few months due to us having some standing order issues – all of the rent payments were on time and never late but she sent reminders through at 9am on the day the rent was due. Sometimes this was due to us being paid on the same day and the standing order not going out until later that day.

She then decided to retract this notice and offered for us to stay a few months later due to “personal circumstances”. We asked her if we were able to resign for a further year there and then as I was pregnant and we required some security. She declined to do this but has not confirmed or denied whether she is looking to keep us on as tenants after this date.

We have just had some issues with our boiler which she is slightly neglecting to fix as she cannot afford to fully replace the boiler as needed and is trying to seek payment from us to do so.

We do not think she will resign with us in Feb so have decided that due to the timing – i.e. I will have just given birth mere weeks previous and having a newborn in toe – we would like to move a few months earlier. Unfortunately we don’t think we really have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to ending the tenancy early.

Any advise? The letting agents are relatively useless and just advise us to “speak with the landlord” and we don’t feel like we have much control over the situation. This is obviously effecting my wellbeing a little.

Any help would be appreciated 🙂

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Tenant

Hello Jess,

Unfortunately, you don’t have too much of a leg to stand on in this case. Fixed tenancies offer the security of tenure for both the landlord and tenant. This means neither can break free without having the tenancy agreement fundamentally broken AND this mostly counts for tenant’s breaches, not landlord’s. 

The other option you have for breaking is the so called break clause, which may or may not be added to the tenancy agreement. You need to check yours if any is included. The break clause determines the exact condition when both tenants and landlords can end the fixed term tenancy. Usually, it’s half way the tenancy or six months in for the standard twelve-month tenancy. 

Of course, by the agreement of both parties, any tenancy agreement can be terminated or changed as pleased. 

In your case, personal circumstances, though definitely understandable, don’t give you much more power than the above.

Your options are to either try to find a new tenant to step in immediately after you and negotiate to be allowed to surrender. 

You may also look to move a month in advance and have a peaceful transition as you’d have a free month to move all the stuff, arrange cleaning at both properties, order and organise your home, etc. This is the most expensive option as you’d be paying for one more month, but it will give you SOME tranquility as you’re closing in on laboring. 

OR, to stay in the property and begin a legal combat with the landlord who may try to evict you. This is probably the worst option as you don’t want the stress of facing eviction on a daily basis as you’re giving / have just given birth and will require all the peace in the world. 

Hope this helps, 

good luck ! 

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