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timetopaythepiper

Backing Out Of A Tenancy

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A friend rang me on Friday night with a problem. He paid a holding deposit and a month's rent in advance on Friday, for a flat he'd viewed two days earlier. He paid the money in cash and signed a direct debit mandate for the monthly rent and asked to view the tenancy agreement. The agent left him with the tenancy agreement to sign and said he'd pick the agreement up on monday.

My friend got a two bed so that his two son's could stay over. One son is autistic. My friend did not know that the flat was about 50 feet away from a central police station, and that the it was the main route for the fire station. The flats are at a main junction.

Well his son's stayed on his first night, this is when he rang me. The phone conversation kept being interupted by the siren's and then his son screaming hysterically as he is noise sensitive. We didn't end up doing much talking and he ended up taking his son's to his mum house at about 2am.

He's been in touch with the agent today to tell him he can't have the flat. Although he hasn't signed the agreement the agent has told him that because he signed the direct debit mandate he is tied to the property, and has to give notice of ending the tenancy. The agent will not except notice for four weeks. In four weeks he will owe another months rent.

He stayed in the flat for only a few hours and moved his stuff out the next day (less than 24 hours). Can he not at least give notice now and get his deposit back??

Edited by timetopaythepiper

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A friend rang me on Friday night with a problem. He paid a holding deposit and a month's rent in advance on Friday, for a flat he'd viewed two days earlier. He paid the money in cash and signed a direct debit mandate for the monthly rent and asked to view the tenancy agreement. The agent left him with the tenancy agreement to sign and said he'd pick the agreement up on monday.

My friend got a two bed so that his two son's could stay over. One son is autistic. My friend did not know that the flat was about 50 feet away from a central police station, and that the it was the main route for the fire station. The flats are at a main junction.

Well his son's stayed on his first night, this is when he rang me. The phone conversation kept being interupted by the siren's and then his son screaming hysterically as he is noise sensitive. We didn't end up doing much talking and he ended up taking his son's to his mum house at about 2am.

He's been in touch with the agent today to tell him he can't have the flat. Although he hasn't signed the agreement the agent has told him that because he signed the direct debit mandate he is tied to the property, and has to give notice of ending the tenancy. The agent will not except notice for four weeks. In four weeks he will owe another months rent.

He stayed in the flat for only a few hours and moved his stuff out the next day (less than 24 hours). Can he not at least give notice now and get his deposit back??

First, you can cancel Direct Debits. If the agent tells your friend otherwise then the agent is probably in breach of the direct debit mandate. That's serious trouble for the agent and it may be possible to threaten him with the loss of his Direct Debit status whenever he proves uncooperative in the future.

Your friend may may be in more trouble with the tenancy as he has actually lived in the flat for a night. The law may view this as prior performance (the Direct Debit signature isn't going to help either). However see the Citizen's Advice Bureau or if he can afford it a solicitor. Your friend may, by threatening to turn really nasty, be able to get the landlord off his back. If the tenancy agreement has not been signed then it may help, but your friend really needs a solicitor for this.

Get a solicitor. Do not sign any tenancy agreement. Cancel the Direct Debit. Get a solicitor. Don't agree to anything the agent says without consulting the solicitor first. Be prepared to pay some money to terminate the agreement early. Get a solicitor.

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Hey there,

Well, your friend is in a similar mess to me. I recently signed a shorthold on a flat that has transpired to have mold problems. Being an athsmatic this is not a good thing, and it is certainly not somewhere I can tolerate for six months.

After examining the law on the matter it is clear to me that tennants in a shorthold tennancy are second class citizens in comparison to landlords. It's roughly equivalent to signing your soul to the devil in blood (but thankfully only for six months). However, your friend hasn't signed anything - just cancel the direct debit and leave. There is nothing binding him to the place, and if the landlord isn't co-operative in returning the deposit you will get it returned tho it will probably take some sort of legal action.

In the meantime make sure you have proof of his son's condition and that his noise sensitivity is confirmed by a doctor. Make sure you don't sign anything ever, and make sure you do not pay any rent. Apparently paying rent is equivalent to accepting the terms of tennancy. Keep all communications to the landlord or agency in writting and then get a solicitor.

Let me assure you that the law is absolutely not on your side here (probably part of the governments long term aim of making home owners), but also let me assure you that the law is flexible and your story is so sensible that you will do well. Be careful and get a solicitor NOW!

Edited by Kinky John

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Thanks for the replies, I talked with the agent on my friends behalf and mentioned getting a solicitor. He started to sound nervous so I've told my friend to get advice and send letters.

When I looked through the tennancy agreement (not signed) I found an interesting condition along the line of 'not to trade or carry any business on or from the property'. Or words to that effect. My friend is self-employed and has to use his address to run his business. He told the agent this when asked his occupation and the agent didn't mention the condition. I now wonder if he can use this also to help him?

I have found an interesting guidance thingy on 'Unfair terms in tenancy agreements' from the office of fair trading, just for if anyone is interested... (my brain has become full of strange bits of info since I found this site!!)

http://www.oft.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DAAEFE5...EE/0/oft356.pdf

sorry, don't know how to do nice neat links.

Edited by timetopaythepiper

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Thanks for the replies, I talked with the agent on my friends behalf and mentioned getting a solicitor. He started to sound nervous so I've told my friend to get advice and send letters.

When I looked through the tennancy agreement (not signed) I found an interesting condition along the line of 'not to trade or carry any business on or from the property'. Or words to that effect. My friend is self-employed and has to use his address to run his business. He told the agent this when asked his occupation and the agent didn't mention the condition. I now wonder if he can use this also to help him?

I have found an interesting guidance thingy on 'Unfair terms in tenancy agreements' from the office of fair trading, just for if anyone is interested... (my brain has become full of strange bits of info since I found this site!!)

http://www.oft.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DAAEFE5...EE/0/oft356.pdf

sorry, don't know how to do nice neat links.

I hope they have the solicitor by now. (If not then tell them in no uncertain terms that they need to get one now). The exact status of the tenancy can then be sorted out.

Please keep us informed of how it goes.

Edited by IP Newcomer

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Another update. He spoke to a solicitor who told him to use the small claims court. The solicitor was very confident that it would be easily sorted out, and that the agent was in the wrong big time. So I suppose it's 'wait and see'.

These agents are slimeballs. They told my friend last time he spoke to them that they would sign the tenancy agreement themselves!! Along with other threats they told him how they have a big legal team and how they have their own solicitors and are only to willing to do 'legal' to get the rest of the six month rent of him.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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