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Moving out- no fixed term specified

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297 views 2 replies latest reply: 04 December 2015
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Tenant

I am currently renting a room in a two bedrooms flat. I’ve never met my landlord. I signed my contract (with my flatmate, her name is on the contract as the landlord) last April and, as it stated, moved in in August. 

There is no fixed term specified so, with 2 months notice, I told my flatmate that I was planning on moving out because I will not be able to afford this place anymore. She wasn’t too happy about it but understood the situation. 

After one week she told me that the landlord was demanding that I paid the rent for the 3 months between the signing of the contract (April) and my actual move in (August) because he was expecting me to stay for around a year. I never specified how long I was planning on staying. The day I signed the contract I mentioned my intention of staying until May but since I am still a student with part-time jobs my situation could have changed. I did not have to pay any deposit.

Can the landlord actually force me to pay anything extra (either for the 3 months of him keeping the room for me or the rent until the mentioned month – May?)

Thank you

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Agent

 Hello Ang,

I would suggest you seek legal advice urgently but what struck me was the fact that you say your contract has been signed by your flat mate – and not the Landlord? Therefore, in the eyes of the law, I would say that you have no contract at all with the Landlord. Does the Landlord even know about this? You say you have never met her and you only have your flat mates word for it that the Landlord is demanding this extra rent? I dont understand why if the Landlord was expecting you to stay for a year – until August 2016 presumably – why would he or she accept three months rent in lieu? Surely they would try and insist on the years rent? If the Landlord wanted to try and sue you for the rent they feel they are owed, they would have to take you to Court and rely on the contract you have – which was never even signed by them!

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Administrator

Hi Ang

It sounds like you are subletting – i.e. your flatmate is the person who has the contract with the landlord and she is renting a space rented out to her, to you. Who do you pay your rent to? If the name on the account into which you transfer your rent is your flatmate’s then, as suggested above, it’s likely that your landlord doesn’t even know you are there. As a subletter you don’t have a huge number of rights but you also don’t have any obligation to the head landlord either.

It sounds like your flatmate might be trying it on here to try and get some extra money. Even if the landlord is involved, as Martine says, it would be impossible to take you to court for a contract to which the landlord is not even a party.

Alex

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