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housemates changing minds

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352 views 1 replies latest reply: 18 January 2017

In August 2016 me and my girlfriend moved in 2 bedroom flat with another couple, already living there. The property is managed by an agency for a landlord. The contract is for the house and in the name of all the 4 tenants. The contract has a 2 months contract termination notice period.

On the 7th of January 2017 we informed our flatmates of our decision to leave the flat. They asked us to wait before sending the notice emil to the agency.

On the 8th of January they let us know that they were staying in the property and would be in charge of funding replacement tenants. Me and my girlfriend emailed the agency letting them know that we were leaving the property. The agency confirmed they only needed to swap tenants on the existing contract. The other tenants put an ad on spareroom and organised viewings of the room.
On the 16th of January me and my girlfriend found a new flat, made a holding deposit for it and initiated the reference checks. the move in date is the 20th of February. The same evening our housemates informed us they changed their minds and they were moving out too. They sent the notice email for the entire flat to the agency the same night.
On January the 17th the agency let us know that the last day of tenancy will be the 16th of March.
This puts me and my girlfriend in a difficult position were we might have to pay 2 rents from the 20th of February (move in the new flat) and the 16th of March (get out of the old one), simply due to our housemates changing their minds, not because of something we did.
How can this be avoided? Are we still liable for the contract even though we confirmed we were leaving?
Please advise.

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If the contract has a two-month notice period then your original move out date would be the 8th of March. So you’d still be paying double rent for 18 days.

I guess you have to negotiate with the letting agent, but they will likely not agree to move the termination date forward to align it with your original notice. Furthermore, now that ALL tenants are moving, it’s no longer changing the existing contract, but terminating it, which requires two-months notice from ALL tenants before possible. 

This means that even though it’s not your fault, you’re likely liable for the rent regardless. 

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