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winter no-go clause and exit fees... legal or not?

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Author Topic: winter no-go clause and exit fees... legal or not?  (Read 67 times)
Newbie
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« on: November 09, 2020, 07:19:00 PM »

Asking for a friend. Her contract has lapsed onto a periodic tenancy. She wants to go back to Spain. She handed in her notice but the estate agency pointed her to a clause which states she cannot move out in the winter months, moreover, after she has waited 3 months to move out she will still have to pay £500 exit fees. Is any of this legal?

Sr. Member
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2020, 07:29:07 PM »

What kind of periodic tenancy? One that arose by statue at the end of a fixed term tenancy, or one that's contractual as defined in the tenancy agreement?

Quote
she will still have to pay £500 exit fees. Is any of this legal?

Almost certainly as in 99.999999999% nope. Tell the agent to GTFO.
Newbie
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2020, 07:50:29 PM »

What kind of periodic tenancy? One that arose by statue at the end of a fixed term tenancy, or one that's contractual as defined in the tenancy agreement?


One that arose by statue at the end of a fixed term tenancy.
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2020, 07:58:51 PM »

Then the clause about not being able to end the tenancy between certain dates "shall not have effect while the tenancy remains an assured tenancy*". Notice to quit - in writing, at least one month, ending on the last day or the first day of a period of the tenancy.

I am assuming this is a normal residential tenancy within England & Wales btw, if it's elsewhere you need to say.

* An assured shorthold tenancy is an assured tenancy.
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2020, 09:14:04 PM »

Then the clause about not being able to end the tenancy between certain dates "shall not have effect while the tenancy remains an assured tenancy*". Notice to quit - in writing, at least one month, ending on the last day or the first day of a period of the tenancy.

I am assuming this is a normal residential tenancy within England & Wales btw, if it's elsewhere you need to say.

* An assured shorthold tenancy is an assured tenancy.

The  "shall not have effect while the tenancy remains an assured tenancy* quote - does that really refer in particular to the ability to end the tenancy at at a certain time?

Thanks by the way for responding to my posts.
Sr. Member
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2020, 09:39:32 PM »

It's from section 5(3)(e) of the Housing Act 1988.

A clause which place limit on when the tenant can or cannot end the tenancy is a "term which makes provision for determination by the landlord or the tenant".
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2020, 10:33:00 AM »

Once again this would bring to mind my thoughts about how both Landlord and Tenant really do depend on the goodwill (or naÔvety I guess) of the other party in the PRS. Landlords or Agents can try to be clever and insert all the beneficial clauses they like the sound of into their agreements... professional cleaning is one, no pets is another... this is the first time I've personally heard of a "you can't end the tenancy during winter"... but even though it is the case (one presumes, anyway) that both parties had sight of the agreement they were about to sign their name to prior to the tenancy commencing, and no-one was stood over them in a threatening manner while they did that, it all comes out in the wash... and various odd-sounding (often one-sided, so I don't bemoan them being challenged) clauses that are baked into tenancy agreements signed with open eyes have little real world value... unless you can depend on that goodwill or naÔvety. Once challenged, and Googled for assistance on forums, they do quickly seem to evaporate.

In this case... it seems like a Landlord got burned with an empty property for months over winter and has tried to protect themselves from that happening again, or it's an Estate Agent 'value-add' which meant they wanted to kick-back and relax over the winter months... who wants to go out doing viewings and suchlike in the snow and sleet? No-one. Clever Agents. On the other hand, I have always found January a good time to get new Tenants in... plenty of relationship break-ups happen around Christmas time (imagine this Hippo rubbing his hands with glee as he sees a recently single middle-aged male applying).
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2020, 02:16:52 PM »

That bit about Christmas is absolutely true.When I started I thought it was a joke when my LA told me that.I got a call on Boxing Day from said agent, and a red-eyed South African smelling of whisky, who had been sleeping in his office with his dog was moved in that night.He was already renting with that agent.
I hope that fine old tradition still applies,as a tenant of mine moves out on December 1st.He planned to stay for 2 more years,but  he has fallen in love. Damn.
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