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804 views 1 replies latest reply: 22 February 2015

Hi all,

This is my first post so aplogies if i have put it in the wrong place! 

The building i used to reside in was purchased by a new owner who saw fit to increase the rent, which i disputed but was given the old “dont like it move” line. I signed the new tenancy agreement which was very generic and appeared to be for new tenants and some of the clauses were not relevant i.e deposit amount and setting up a direct debit. I have an email from the letting agency asking me to hurry up and sign as the solicitors need the paperwork and not to worry and that it would not effect my tenancy.

A few months down the line i found a new cheaper premises and gave over 1 months notice to the letting agency. I did this by letter and email. I heard nothing for 2 weeks and emailed again asking for follow up. They stated they were no longer the managing agency but were unable to tell me who it now was but said tbey would sort it and return deposit and check the flat etc. They were also unable to tell me who the landlord was as it was in the process of beimg sold again.

On the last day of my tenancy i had a snotty email from  the letting agent saying “by the way the landlord is not happy as you are still in a fixed term tenancy. Apparantly i had foolishly signed the new tenancy aggreement and not accounted for this fact!

They want me to pay 2 months rent till the fixed term is over! Is there anyway out of this as i cant afford it. The deposit scheme was all done correctly and i have asked them to keep my deposit. I feel the letting agent is at fault here as they accepted my notice and had they pointed this out in the beginning i would never have moved. I may just wait and see if they will take me to court. Is there anyway i may be able to get out of this?

Sorry for the long winded story i felt it necessary to give you the details! Thank you for any advice!

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Hi Megan

What does the tenancy say about how/where notice should be delivered?

Being within a fixed term does normally bind you to the tenancy and you would need the landlord’s agreement to leave early without being responsible for the remaining rent (called ‘surrendering’ the tenancy). Surrendering a tenancy requires agreement, not just notice, which is problematic here. I’m not sure you could assume that from the agent’s silence.  

It’s strange that if the agent is not managing the property anymore they are still dealing with the check out – perhaps that’s not entirely true and they’re trying to avoid the fact that someone there didn’t properly handle your notice when it came through. However, I’m not sure that would be enough to help you.

The problem is that both sides of a tenancy must be in agreement for it to be surrendered and you have no proof of that other than the fact that the agents didn’t object. There’s more info here on surrendering a tenancy. I would get some advice from a law centre on whether the landlord’s agreement can be taken from the agent’s silence or whether there’s anything that will help you in the fact that the agent didn’t reply until the last day of the tenancy. I suspect not but I’m not a lawyer and it might be worth asking someone who is as there’s two months rent to pay. The trouble with just letting them take you to court is that it could end up being even more costly for you so that’s a big risk to take.

Sorry not to be of more help.


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