Ending Tenancy after break clause

Please i need advise on how to go with my tenancy. I got into flat on AST ,a month after moving i discovered damps and moulds in the bed rooms ,kitchen and bathroom and as a result my children where always sick and a doctor was contacted for medication.
I got the council environmental officer involved, the came on inspection and found a catalogues of issues with the apartment that required the Landlord to repair.
In between i requested for a break clause to enable me move out of the property although break clause was not stated in the original agreement.
The landlord replied by email and agreed for a break clause with a condition that i pay fees to the estate agent to get in a new tenant, which i agreed to pay.
Now that i left the house, the landlord refused to let me have my deposit. That i must continue to pay the rent until the agent find a new tenant. Please advise.

What evidence do you have of the agreement with the landlord? Was his offer to release you in writing? If not, was there a witness to the conversation? Was this through the agent?

If you can show that you were never told about this you may have a defence. You should contact whichever deposit scheme was used to hold your deposit and refuse to allow the landlord to have the deposit. When the landlord formally requests the deposit, they will ask you to submit your evidence as to why he shouldn’t have it.

Also give the Shelter advice line a call.

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Thank you David122 for the response.
The Landlord made below statement on email through the Agent to me.

“I am willing to let a break clause in the contract come into place providing the tenant bare the cost of you finding a new tenant”.
In my response to the agent i agreed and the agent charged me 2.5 weeks rent which we negotiated to 2 weeks.

So, the common sense interpretation here is that you would be liable for fees only, but he is probably claiming “costs to find a new tenant” includes lost rent.

However, it’s not quite clear on what grounds they would expect you to pay for a void period. That is exactly why there is a notice period, so the landlord has time to find a new tenant.

He is trying it on and you shouldn’t let him. Write to him and tell him that he can take the fees out of the deposit IF he confirms in writing that is the end of your dealings with each other. Don’t pay him the fees first and then he’ll try to get more money from the deposit.

If he doesn’t sign off on it tell him he gets nothing. And don’t worry - he won’t be successful claiming money from the deposit for the void period. Also, on the small chance he goes to court his claim will be tossed by the judge (maybe not for the fees) and he will have spent loads of money recovering a small amount.

I agree with Per. I suggest you just dispute it and let the scheme decide.

The Deposit scheme office said i should wait for 10 days to elapse before raising a dispute.

Have you already paid him the fees?

Considering that your reason was wanting to end the tenancy early was the bad condition of the property, I would think that you were in a good position so long has this is evidenced in some way. Pictures or an admission from your landlord about the condition of the property should suffic.

Thank you for the concerns and advise but unfortunately the adjudicator’s decision was not favourable.
In his word
"The correspondence on 28th June 2021 shows the landlord was happy to end the tenancy
early provided ‘the tenant bears the cost of finding a new tenant’. On 6
th August 2021, the
tenant gave notice to leave the property on 4
th September 2021. While the agent reminded
the tenant that they would be responsible for the cost of finding a new tenant, they did not
say that the tenant would not be responsible for rent. Additionally, the tenant not shown any
evidence of a mutual agreement to end the tenancy early on 4
th September 2021 before
moving out. For this reason, I find the tenant remains responsible for outstanding rent and I
award the landlord £xxx.00, being the full amount in the custody of the scheme."

Best regards

Sam

Wow. This must be illegal.

He can’t both hold you to the full rent due AND administration fees for finding a tenant.

I would requests the fees back with additional damages or I would take court action.

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That was the mydeposits ADR adjudication decision.Very very unfair.

Bit, if I’m right it didn’t touch in the fees you paid? They would be illegal now when the adjudicator awarded the LL the rent. He can’t have both.

The adjudicator wrote-

“The tenant has agreed for £xxx.00 to be deducted from the deposit for the cost of finding a
replacement tenant. As this amount is being retained by the landlord and has been agreed in
full, I will not discuss this issue further”

“The landlord’s claim exceeds the deposit amount. In my remit as adjudicator, I am only able
to make awards up to the disputed deposit amount. If the landlord feels entitled to further
compensation, I find this to be a matter that must now be resolved between the parties
themselves. Alternatively, they can seek independent legal advice”

Well, at least then he didn’t get all of it.