I am new to the UK, don’t know how the system works and having a weird issue in my current place. I’d be grateful if you could help me.
I’ve been living in a property for 4 months now as a lodger. The contract we signed was for a fixed term of 12 months. However, there is an ‘early termination notice’ of 1 month stated in the lodger’s agreement and a clause that says “Either the Landlord or the Lodger may at any time during the Term terminate this Agreement by giving to the other the Early Termination Notice. On expiry of the notice this Agreement will end.”
I gave 1 months notice and told my landlord that I am leaving at the end of the next month. However, I received an email from my current landlord where he claims that my notice of early termination is in breach of the contract. My landlord is saying that I didn’t give a valid reason therefore he is asking me to leave at the end of April AND either 1- find a suitable tenant to replace me or 2- give the rest of the rest rent for a year within 14 days.
Can he do that?
What should I do now? Do I need to find a lawyer in case he sues me? I’m assuming he won’t give me my deposit back, what should I do about that?
If this was an assured tenancy they can demand you pay rent and bills until a new tenant is found to replace you. the cannot force you to leave in a certain day, the tenancy continues as normal. And they cannot ask you to pay the rest of the year upfront.
if there was a clause that allowed either party to surrender with 1 months notice, chances are this was not an assured tenancy contract, so they cannot ask you to pay rent for the whole period… you just leave after 1 month.
best to ask some free advice from Shelter or your council’s citizen advice, they could help you review the contract and tell you how things work
It’s a lodger’s agreement, my landlord is living with me and sharing some living accommodation.
Here’s the exact wording:
Definitions and interpretation
In this Agreement, the following definitions are used:
Agreement - This Lodger Agreement and any amendments from time to time
Common Areas - The rooms in the Property which the Landlord has agreed can be used by the Lodger on a shared basis with the Landlord and any other people living at the Property
(4) Early Termination Notice (5) 1 month
28. This Agreement will end at the end of the Term or earlier in accordance with the clauses below.
30. Either the Landlord or the Lodger may at any time during the Term terminate this Agreement by giving to the other the Early Termination Notice. On expiry of the notice this agreement will end.
31. If the Lodger breaches any of the Lodger’s obligations contained in the section above (Lodger’s obligations), the Landlord may at any time during the Term terminate this Agreement by giving the Lodger not less than notice of not less than notice of one month (if rent is paid monthly). On expiry of the notice, this Agreement will end.
I know it looks crystal clear and I contacted shelter and a paralegal and they said that it’s okay. But other people (and my landlord) claims that ‘Unfortunately if you are a lodger (the LL lives with you in the property), and you have a fixed term contract, that you wish to end sooner than the fixed term then you would be liable to the rest of the rent.’ and that I am in breach of my contract. Is it at all possible that I’m wrong?
What about the notice being irrevocable, I cannot pay a lumpsum of rent here and also rent another place.
A curious reaction from the landlord - what was he expecting by way of this ‘valid reason’ ? It sounds like he is trying it on.
Unless there are any other clauses qualifying what constitutes a ‘valid’ reason, it appears imv that you have given the required notice under the lodging agreement. There exist no relevant statutory requirements (i.e. lawful obligations that would not need to be articulated in the lodging agreement itself) which could bind you to act differently than you recount. A lodging agreement is not the same legal beast as an assured shorthold tenancy.
Here’s the reply from my landlord:
I am very concerned that you have decided to submit a notice, to leave on the 30/3/21, for reasons unstated. Consequently, your notification request on the 30/3/2021 is deemed as an early termination and in breach of the contract. I would like to refer you to the agreement you signed, which was for a fixed term of 12 months. Furthermore, no communication was initiated by yourself prior to the issue notice to leave, to report outstanding repairs, emergencies submit nor reconcile any grievances or to request a renegotiation of the agreement. The landlord has met all legal obligations and as such is not in agreement with the break clause and it is invalid.
Please find below, a summary of actions you will need to take as you have given notice before the end of the term.
The options are:
Find a suitable replacement to take over your agreement to “stay” a breach of your
contract. This can be achieved by an advert for the accommodation placed for the
same purpose. Moreover, you will bear the cost of placing this advert.
Pay the full remaining cost of your rent (£4165.00) up until the 12 - month term
upfront within 14 days of the date of this letter, before exiting the property
What is the name of your contract? AST or license agreement?
Do you have a lock on your door?
Im really confused
Either the Landlord or the Lodger may at any time during the Term terminate this Agreement by giving to the other the Early Termination Notice. On expiry of the notice this agreement will end.
So what else does the Landlord want.
You don’t have to pay rent beyond that point
No judge would deem it reasonable that you pay rent on a property you gave notice on
Call David Smith of JMW ( 20 minutes is for free)
Worse comes to worse send your Landlord a solicitors letter
The landlord doesnt seem to have read his own contract. If this were me, I would move out, refer him to clause 30, which seems to give an unequivocal right to serve one month notice at any time and I would invite him to sue me if he thinks he has a case.
The only fly in the ointment is that we are now past your notice date. Did you leave?
@David, No I haven’t left yet, but gave 2 notices before the 30th of March indicating that I will leave on the 30th of April. @A_A it’s titled a ‘LODGER AGREEMENT’, in the contract it says that ‘The Lodger will not have exclusive possession of the Room’ and yes, I do have a lock on my door but the landlord can enter when he wants.
Has your Landlord - or is he trying to give the impression that he has - misunderstood your notice, stating: … you have decided to submit a notice, to leave on the 30/3/21, for reasons unstated. Consequently, your notification request on the 30/3/2021 is deemed as an early termination and in breach of the contract … as if you have told him you’re leaving immediately !
You mentioned that you had given notice on two occasions - were they both giving the same correct termination information in unambiguous english and in date ? If one contained a mistake, but was clarified by a second delivered in good time, you still have nothing legally to worry about. Perhaps, if so, (politely) write again to him confirming that you are relying on that clarification, in accordance with the terms of your agreement, and will be moving out on the date advised. His options, by way of ultimatum, are just bluster.
No, I was clear and said “I am writing to give notice to terminate my tenancy at [the address] next month. I will be leaving the property on the 30th of April 2021.” He said that my email was ‘blaze’ and no reason was stated, then sent me a pdf with those ultimatoms. Then I sent another, more formal email with the same dates.