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Activating 6 month break clause, 1 month early

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In Sept 2010, we signed an extension 12 month contract, with a 6 month break clause, for our flat rented through a local estate agents. This is now the 3rd year we have spent in the property. When we signed the new contract in September, we had an agreed list of maintenance which needed to be done, and our LL agreed to have this work done (evidence in emails from estate agents) This included work to fix a broken washing machine, a knackered mattress, and an equally worn out sofa.

There is still no sign of most of this work being done, and given our landlords reluctance to do any maintenance on the property over the past few years, I doubt this will be done at any stage in the future.

We are now looking to move out of the flat, and activate our 6 month break clause. This would mean giving notice early Feb, and moving out early March. However – we are moving to a new place in January, so for us, it would be better to vacate the property early Feb – thus giving notice early Jan, which is 1 month early.

Now – we would like to approach our LL, and ask for us to break the contract 1 month early. I would like to go through the estate agent, and say something along the lines of we would like to leave 1 month early, we can give notice now (well ahead of when we need to legally give notice) - given the maintenance agreed has not been done, we hope the LL will meet us part way.

Also – are we within our rights to make stop any viewings of the property before we move out? We do not want anyone in our flat without us being present – so I am thinking of suggesting to the estate agent that if we can move out 1 month early, then in Jan we can support any viewings – however if we are not able to break early, then we will not allow anyone to view the property until we have fully moved out (1/2 days before the actual end of the contract in March.)

Any hints / tips / guidance welcomed – we feel quite strongly that we have been good tenants, but that our LL has been rubbish when it comes to maintenance, and the least she can do is try to meet us part way and let us leave the place early.


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