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Ending tenancy early


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Hi, this is my first thread here so I'm somewhat nervous.

There should be some similar blogs already but couldn't really find one that matches my particular situation.

 

overview: My tenancy (ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY AGREEMENT) started on 1 April 2009 for an 1-year period. I have 6-month break clause (i.e. I can end it at the end of September without having my deposit forfeited with a 2-month notice). Due to my work requirement and visa probalem, I am getting relocated to overseas in early August.

 

My contract says "Should you wish to terminate your tenancy before the end of the tenancy and the landlord agrees that you can terminate early, you will be responsible for the payment of the outstanding commission due from the landlord for the remainder of the tenancy, unless you are exercising a break clause which is contained in your tenancy agreement".

 

Problem: My landlord is not a nice person and the property manager (Foxtons) is even worse - they have constantly lied to me and refused to repair the appliances that I found not working on the day of my moving in, telling me that they were all in working order and if I wanted someone to fix them, then it would be at my own expense as I was making a false claim (which, of course, turned out not true when the workman visited me - they were in fact NOT working) plus many other things (which I won't give the specific details as they might figure out who I am).

 

So, I don't think they would let me get away with just paying a reasonable amount of penalty that reflects the true cost of damage (a friend of my sister's was in a similar situation last year and her manager just charged £300 for ending the tenancy early and returned all her deposit), and my option will either be

 

1) Although I am leaving in August, I just end the tenancy through the break clause (loss of 2 months rent) and get my deposit back - a risk associated with this option is that they might not return the deposit if they found out that I am out of the country.

 

or

 

2) Keep quiet until the end of July and give my notice just a few days before leaving (my deposit, which is 6 weeks rent). Yes, this doesn't sound legally and ethically correct but based on my experience with them (they are very deceiving), I think option 1 won't do me any good. If they were decent peple, then I would definitely go for the option 1 as the overall loss would be less (~2 weeks rent)

 

If anyone had similar experience or have related legal knowledges, please help me.

 

Thank you.

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Start now to negotiate an early termination of the contract.

 

If they agree that you move out mid-August for, say, half your deposit, then they will profit if they re-rent the property within less than a month, and you save a bit of money.

 

If they hold you to the original date, then there is no illegality in hinting that you might just "forget" to pay your rent, and leave the country with no notice. They will then worry about having to formally evict you before they can relet the property (even if they think you are no longer living there).

 

If you don't get anywhere, then do give your two months' notice before end of July. Then it's up to you what you do.

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