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Just wanted some advice if anyone can give us any.


We signed a AST in May for 12 months through a letting agent, on behalf of a housing association. I have just received a job offer for a new job in Glasgow which means that me and my partner will both have to relocate. There is no way I could turn this down as there is a very good chance i am about to be made redundant in my current job, along with many of my other colleagues.


The landlord has said that they will let us out of the contract but we have to pay a £500 relisting fee so that the letting agent can find us a new tennant. We will also have to pay rent until the new tennants in. Obviously we are happy to pay the rent until the new tennant moves in but the relisting fee sounds very harsh. I have checked the contract and it does not say anything about being allowed to ltave early, so therefore there is no mention of this fee.


Is it still enforceable?



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The agent I have occasionally used charges me half a month's rent to find a new tenant if they aren't going to subsequently manage the property. So £500 may be considered a reasonable charge if it is the same as what they normally charge.


Such costs do not have to be listed in contracts. In essence, the landlord is entitled to charge for the costs of you breaking the contract.

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The first thing to remember here is that you have freely signed up for a year and the landlord is entitled to keep you to the bargain you struck. It is after all not the landlord's fault that you want to move to Glasgow. If you wish to be released from the tenancy it has to be on the landlord's terms. It is up to you to decide whether or not to accept them.


Having said that, you really must not let the landlord "have his cake and eat it". Negotiate a clean break. Arrangements where the landlord collects a sum to cover his reletting expenses and made on the basis that rent is payable until a new tenant is found impose no incentive on the landlord to try too hard to find a new tenant. You may end up paying rent for the whole term as well the expenses.

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