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Terminating my fixed term agreement - am I liable?

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516 views 1 replies latest reply: 31 July 2016

Hi guys,

Really stressing at the moment with regards to whether or not I’m going to be held liable for the rent for the rest of my fixed term contract!

I won’t bore you all with the details of what’s gone on the past month, but basically, I verbally agreed with my landlord a few months ago that I would be leaving before the end of the contract and he said it wasn’t a problem. I then formally issued my notice (via text message) at the start of July informing him I would be leaving in one month’s time, he replied accepting this, and then asked me for an exact date to which I immediately responded with one. All good so far!

Problem has been with one of my current housemates, she has been unbelievably difficult throughout the entire search for a replacement. I’ve been using Spare Room and have organised a number of viewings for potential candidates but she has rejected every single one. My two other housemates have been fine it’s just her that’s had issues. She hasn’t made much of an effort to tidy or even turn up to some of the viewings, but she’s been dictating the terms of who we get in (must be male, in their 20’s etc.) and the landlord seems reluctant to upset her so he’s been rejecting anyone who she makes a fuss about.

He’s now telling me I’m liable to continue paying rent until a suitable replacement is found, but I’ve read numerous times now (including on the Citizen’s Advice website) that if a landlord has agreed to “surrender” the property then I’m not actually obliged to do so. Can someone help me out with this?  Is a text message enough proof of the agreement?  He gave no pre-conditions, he just said that it was fine for me to leave and that he recommended I use Spare Room to find a replacement (this wasn’t a pre-condition to his agreement at all).  I also have numerous messages from him which prove an agreement was reached – a group text to the entire household announcing I was leaving, requests for updates on the search for a replacement etc.  I’m hoping this is enough to save me but I’m not sure it will be!

I’m very angry about the entire situation as I feel I’ve been jumping through hoops to satisfy my housemates (also at the request of my landlord as he wants a “peaceful household”) when I really didn’t need to. I’ve had enough now because my landlord assured me the situation would be dealt with by the end of today, but I’ve just been told (by my difficult housemate) that we’re back to square one because she didn’t like anyone we met tonight.

Everything up till now has been based on good faith in the house but I’m worried I’m about to get stung and I can’t afford it, I’ve been a perfectly good tenant, rent paid on time every month, no complaints ever, tidy etc.

What’s my position here?

Thank you to anyone who can help!


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You haven’t said what type of tenancy agreement you have with your landlord.

How many tenants have signed it?

If your housemates are not proving co-operative then you can give them the choice of them finding a suitable replacement or paying your share of the rent. There is also the possibilty of creating a new tenancy agreement?

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