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Sneaky Foxtons & break clause

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I'm a newby with renting in London through estate agents, and didn't realize how careful I should be...


After agreeing on a 2 year rent period/1 year break clause over the phone with various people I signed for the Assured Shorthold tenancy with Foxtons.


The flat was not ready on the agreed date, so they had to create a new contract, which I haven’t signed.


Now I notice there was never a mention of any break clause in the contract, and after being warned of Foxtons want to read all very carefully now (I know, should have been earlier).

Also the landlord's details (address) has been changed on the new contract. Normal?


I want to see the original contract as void now, since the terms were not met, but Foxtons says it can only be voided by signing the new contract with new date, or if both parties sign deed of surrender.


I most definitely don't want to be tied to a flat for 2 years, so what will happen if I don't sign this new contract without a break clause? Am I somehow tied to the old contract with a wrong move in date?



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any breach of contract does not void the contract in its entirety so be careful how you progress this. You cant just walk away unless the parts that are unfair, defective etc amount to such an injustice no average person would consider it in the first place. Now, are the landlord's details wrong on the first one? if so that will be enough to make the contract void.

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Thanks for replying. The first adress was a PO box address with the same company name. I purchased a Land registry record of the property and got the company details, they match the new contract address.


I hope Foxtons would just add the break clause for me to be signed, otherwise I would try the deed of surrender, maybe try talking humanely with the landlord. Or is this is generally a bad idea?

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You can try that route but often you will just get referred back to the agent. Foxtons have a very chequered past and when something bad happens to them it raises a cheer at other estate and letting agents' offices. Proving they have deliberately conned you will be difficult unless the LL created the paperwork, they will then have the before and after and hopefully put you back where you were before.

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Ok, looks like this may turn out to be many things. Hopefully something positive. However I will raise a massive h*** if any of Foxtons' actions should be clearly unfair.


I was under the impression you can't use a PO box in contracts, since it must be the registered address, but don't know how that applies to lettings.

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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the fact that the you could not move in on the contract start date, would void the contract or even make them liable for damages! unless you agreed to that in writing!

Have you paid them any monies; rent and deposit!

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Hi again, sorry I had not seen the last reply to this thread until now.


Update of the situation: the break clause was arranged in the end, on Friday I signed a new contract as starting from yesterday. Foxtons assured the place is ready and gave me the key at 12 noon. I went to the flat, and it was not even nearly ready. I had my movers on their way and it was a total mess.


Spoke with the landlord and he said he hasn't given the permission to let the place that day. Can I now back off the deal? The reason I would want to is that I discovered the flat above me has an absolutely horrendous floor that creacks, and obviously all this shady business makes me want to vomit.

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you can try; speak to agent/LL.

If flat not ready again then you can seek compensation, unless you have actually moved in!

in that case you have accepted contract and it is running and you are tied to it.

but of course they still have to do what ever needs doing.

put it all in writing/email to them so there is no dispute about what needs doing.

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Given that you've signed two contracts and in both cases the property was not available, I would think you have a good case for arguing the contract has been fundamentally breached.


Question is how much of your money have they got, and how much more do you want to cover your costs so far. You may have to fight for this.


Whatever the landlord says, he is responsible for the actions of the agent. In the first instance try to get him on side to get your money back. In the second, make sure you have his details because he is likely to be jointly liable for your money.

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