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Moving out of a shared rented house (Deed of Assignment?)

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564 views 1 replies latest reply: 12 May 2015
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Tenant

Hi, I am currently in a fixed term (1 year) joint tenancy agreement with 3 other co-tenants. The contract ends in 4 months, but for financial reasons I need to get out as soon as possible – ideally in the next month. ​

We’d like to find a new tenant to replace me on the contract so that I am no longer liable for any rent or council tax. I have read that this is done through a Deed of Assignment, something that the letting agency/ landlord, and all tenants (including incoming and outgoing) have to sign.

My plan is to tell my letting agency that this is what I want to do, but I’m worried that they will cause problems in some way, e.g. take some of our deposit, or make it difficult for my housemates to renew the contract at the end of the year. I wanted to check what we are and are not allowed to do beforehand.We just want to do it all legally and not get into financial or legal difficulties in the process.

My questions are about this Deed of Assignment:

1. If I ask to assign a new tenant on the contract, will the letting agent or landlord be able to cause problems for me or my housemates? Are we breaking any rules?

2. Am I required to give a certain amount of notice before I assign the new tenant?

3. Do I have to notify the letting agency before I start looking for a replacement tenant, or can I find/search for a replacement tenant first?

4. How long could the process take?

Thank you so much

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Administrator

Hi Ozymandias

You’re not doing anything wrong by asking to do this, no, but you do need to have the landlord’s permission to do it as you’re still within the fixed term of the contract. If you walked away without the landlord’s permission (even if you gave notice) you would still be liable for all the rent up until the end of the fixed term.

Most landlords (and letting agents) shouldn’t have an issue with this. In fact letting agents will probably love it as they will be able to charge you to draw up the document. You’re not required to give notice and you don’t have to notify the letting agent when you start looking for a replacement but the timing will be the landlord’s to dictate – most landlords will agree to something like this on the condition that there is a replacement ready to move in on the day that you leave so as to avoid any lost rent.

So, make sure you get the landlord’s permission in writing and then find a replacement. In terms of timing it depends what the landlord/agent agrees to, and how soon you can find a replacement. There are no set rules on this – you’re essentially asking to break the contract early so it’s largely up to the landlord to agree or not to the timing you suggest. If the landlord doesn’t want to use a deed of assignment the remaining tenants and the new tenant could simply sign a new tenancy.

Alex

 

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