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Can i be forced to stay?

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Author Topic: Can i be forced to stay?  (Read 204 times)
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« on: February 12, 2020, 12:50:38 PM »

Thank you all for taking the time to read this.

We rent a property through an agency.

We moved in approx a year ago and we signed up for 36 months.

However,our finances have changed and we can longer afford to pay the monthly rent and need to move to a cheaper rent able property. 

We have explained this to the agent and they spoke to the owner. Apparently, and according to the agent the owner is saying we must honour the 36 month contract.

Do we have any way rights in this situation? surely it is not reasonable to force people who are financially struggling to continue to pay.

cheers all
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 05:33:19 PM »

Of course it is. Think about it - the Landlord also took a risk on you, signing up for 36 months - not many Landlords would do that (I wouldn't). One assumes you wanted it at the time, even if not you obviously agreed to it. And therein lies the point - you've agreed to it, you've understood it and you have gone and signed your name to a contract. This is the whole point of a fixed term contract - it gives both sides security in favour of flexibility. It's binding. The fact that your circumstances have changed isn't relevant - you could have won the Lottery and sent to move up in the world but the agreement still stands - the point is the Landlord side of this agreement shouldn't lose-out financially because of you.

That said, a sensible Landlord wouldn't want you there if it looks like you're not going to pay - but rent is a priority debt (dealt with first, before overdrafts, credit cards, car payments and holidays) so the Landlord knows you should pay him first - so reasonable negotiation is key... are you able to put an offer in front of the Landlord whereby they don't lose £s? Something where you find a new suitable Tenant and handle any reasonable reletting costs in exchange for being released..? Over to you.
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 06:39:27 PM »

I know what you mean and we wish we could stay here but we need eat, keep warm, have light etc..

I have seen this in the tenancy agreement.

Schedule 5
1. 6 Month Break Clause.
Notwithstanding Schedule 3, this agreement may be ended by either party on or after the 1st of August 2019, providing sufficient written notice is served on the other party. This notice must be a minimum of two month’s written notice by the Tenant, and minimum two month’s written notice by the Landlord.


Does this mean we can just give him a written two month notice? and have no comeback?
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 06:51:49 PM »

Yes.

That's quite a big thing to forget exist in the tenancy agreement....
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 08:36:02 PM »

Haha, yeah - that's one nice clause for you to work with... "...on or after..."
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2020, 12:06:36 AM »

Obviously, we dont want to finish the tenancy on a sour note.

So i hope we do need to bring this up.

We would rather he understand our position and we can shake hands.

So just to be 100%  This is a clause he or they cannot deny and as long we give two month writren notice we are actung correcty?
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 07:58:59 AM »

There's no sour note if you're simply following the AST they asked you to sign, and you signed.

Be interested if there's a reason they protest. I'd get the notice served, reference the clause.
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 10:14:40 AM »

I have never had to deal with a break clause,so perhaps I have it all wrong.I would read this as saying August was an opportunity to withdraw,and that you decided to continue with the remainder of the lease.If the situation had been the other way round your query would have been "Can I be forced to leave?".You would feel pretty aggrieved if you thought you had security for 3 years,only to have the landlord try to wriggle out of it.Changing tenants is time consuming and expensive.I would expect you to offer to pay for the fees involved in getting a new tenant ,and continue paying rent/council tax until they moved in.The change of circumstances may not be your fault,but why should the landlord have to take the hit?   
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2020, 10:20:19 AM »

I suspect it's quite badly worded... being quite (completely!) open-ended in any English sense:

Notwithstanding Schedule 3, this agreement may be ended by either party on or after the 1st of August 2019, providing sufficient written notice is served on the other party. This notice must be a minimum of two month’s written notice by the Tenant, and minimum two month’s written notice by the Landlord.

It's essentially - at least to me - a standard six month fixed term masquerading as a three year fixed term (and, quite possibly, deliberate on the part of the Landlord... hmm?).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 10:22:13 AM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2020, 01:35:12 PM »

Interestingly, the agents contacted me and asked us to sign on for another 6 months or 12 months two weeks ago.

So far i have not resigned anything.

I got an email from the agent saying the following on the 31st January 2020.


''Good Morning your tenancy is up for renewal could you let me know your thoughts on having a 6 or 12 month tenancy


Regards''
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 01:38:40 PM by Frank machin »
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 02:41:44 PM »

We moved in approx a year ago and we signed up for 36 months.

Maybe this is the bit that isn't the case, then?
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2020, 02:43:01 PM »

''Good Morning your tenancy is up for renewal could you let me know your thoughts on having a 6 or 12 month tenancy

Regards''

I'd reply to this, enquiring - "Can you please clarify the date that my tenancy ends if I do not renew?"
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2020, 02:49:03 PM »

I shall do that Hippogriff.
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