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Landlord problems

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875 views 2 replies latest reply: 14 November 2013

I have been in this flat for 3 months, but it is damp, it takes the landlord ages to do repairs, some have not been done since I moved (including one which is a fire hazzard) So I have found somewhere else & gave him notice, but only a week. Now he has said that I am responsible to pay the outstanding 3 months… which from reading I maybe, but he is saying that he will charge me until it is re let, is this legal or is he breaking the law by saying that I will have to pay until it is re-let. As I am on JSA & my rent is paid for by the council I cannot pay him this money……
I paid a deposit, but he has taken that as the first months rent…


If you’ve signed a 6 or 12 month AST without a break clause then you’re legally liable for the rent for the whole term. Some LLs will allow early termination in return for reletting costs, but they don’t have to. This is why you have to be sure you understand what you’re signing before you sign any contract. The LL would be expected to honour the full length of the AST so it’s only fair that the tenant does too.

Are you sure it’s damp and not condensation? Did you put your requests in writing to the LL? Damp, unless the house is deemed uninhabitable, is not a legally valid reason for terminating the contract. What is the fire hazard? Have you contacted Environmental Health about your concerns?

I don’t understand how the LL could take the deposit as the first month’s rent. Did you not pay the first month? The deposit is an entirely separate issue.


If the AST was for 6 months you signed a tenancy agreement agreeing to rent the property for that length of time. Here is the law:
As an assured shorthold tenant you are legally bound to the fixed term period. You may only leave the tenancy if;
• you have come to the end of your fixed term. You should make sure your landlord is aware that you are going to leave and ensure that you have ended the tenancy before the last day of the tenancy.
• you give notice to quit if your agreement allows it or you have a periodic tenancy (notice must be in writing for at least 28 days before the last day of the tenancy)
• the landlord agrees to your surrender of the tenancy (ensure you get written confirmation)
• you are able to assign your tenancy to another individual (subject to your tenancy agreement).

In terms of the reason you left, did you put any of this in writing to the landlord before you left or involve environmental health to inspect the property? Do you have any evidence that the property was not habitable? If the landlord pursues you in court for the remainder of the outstanding rent, you will need this type of evidence if you have a chance of a defence.

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