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    • Ames123
    • By Ames123 9th Aug 18, 5:16 PM
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    Ames123
    End of tenancy mutual agreement reached - Only for Landlord to change mind, can we dispute?
    • #1
    • 9th Aug 18, 5:16 PM
    End of tenancy mutual agreement reached - Only for Landlord to change mind, can we dispute? 9th Aug 18 at 5:16 PM
    Hi,

    We have been renting the same property for 2 years, in the last 9 months the property has moved to be managed via a letting agent with no problems.

    Our current tenancy agreement expires on 25th November 2018 (6 monthly agreement). Due to expecting a baby at the end of 2018 we decided that we really needed to get on the property ladder and then found a house, I had a phone call with the letting agent to express a desire to reach a mutual agreement to allow us out of our tenancy 1 month early, she asked for details on an email to pass to the landlords. After a few hours she replied with an in depth and clear email saying they were in agreement with this and gave us dates for when they would want our notice formally.

    The next day, we received a phone call from the letting agent to say that the landlords had changed their mind with no explanation except "because they can". We pointed out that she had formally put their agreement in writing to us but she says that this does not supersede our tenancy agreement and does not count for anything.

    Do we have any grounds to fight this decision seeing as we have their agreement in writing to us?

    Many thanks
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 9th Aug 18, 5:21 PM
    • 5,769 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #2
    • 9th Aug 18, 5:21 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Aug 18, 5:21 PM
    It's a tough one.


    Ultimately your question is: would a court agree with your or the landlord - and in this case it's very difficult to predict.


    I would do as you are planning, move out etc and get settled. It's 1 month's rent, which the deposit will cover if it comes to it.
    • Ames123
    • By Ames123 9th Aug 18, 5:48 PM
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    Ames123
    • #3
    • 9th Aug 18, 5:48 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Aug 18, 5:48 PM
    Thanks for the quick reply, we have thought about it in that context (the deposit covering the last month rent) but I just feel as though the agreement should not have been put in writing if they were unsure, we would have understood if they had wanted time to consider.


    After discussions between the letting agent and the Landlord, it was made clear that there were also some conditions now in place such as we have to pay for the marketing costs to re let the property early and IF someone is found before October we can leave - no mention of the marketing costs in the initial written mutual agreement but we were happy to cover costs however, what if we didn't find someone we'd have paid for marketing AND the rent! After this was disputed they agreed a "contribution" down to a very specific £29.17 - again no mention of this in the written agreement to end the tenancy.
    Our biggest frustration is that, off the back of the written confirmation we went on to instruct a solicitor and mortgage lender and set out a date for our mortgage to start meaning we will have to find both a first mortgage payment AND that last month's rent on the same day something we would have avoided if this written acceptance of our mutual agreement had not been received.


    It is a tough one and ultimately if we still have to stay until the end of our tenancy we will not be allowing early viewings so no marketing costs I guess!
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 9th Aug 18, 6:22 PM
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    Comms69
    • #4
    • 9th Aug 18, 6:22 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Aug 18, 6:22 PM
    Thanks for the quick reply, we have thought about it in that context (the deposit covering the last month rent) but I just feel as though the agreement should not have been put in writing if they were unsure, we would have understood if they had wanted time to consider.


    After discussions between the letting agent and the Landlord, it was made clear that there were also some conditions now in place such as we have to pay for the marketing costs to re let the property early and IF someone is found before October we can leave - no mention of the marketing costs in the initial written mutual agreement but we were happy to cover costs however, what if we didn't find someone we'd have paid for marketing AND the rent! After this was disputed they agreed a "contribution" down to a very specific £29.17 - again no mention of this in the written agreement to end the tenancy.
    Our biggest frustration is that, off the back of the written confirmation we went on to instruct a solicitor and mortgage lender and set out a date for our mortgage to start meaning we will have to find both a first mortgage payment AND that last month's rent on the same day something we would have avoided if this written acceptance of our mutual agreement had not been received.


    It is a tough one and ultimately if we still have to stay until the end of our tenancy we will not be allowing early viewings so no marketing costs I guess!
    Originally posted by Ames123
    Oh youíve not actually made much progress in the house buying yet? Just to advise itís common to take 6 months or more.
    • Annie35
    • By Annie35 9th Aug 18, 6:28 PM
    • 237 Posts
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    Annie35
    • #5
    • 9th Aug 18, 6:28 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Aug 18, 6:28 PM
    You could think about holding off completion 2-3 weeks later if that would be possible?

    Tbh, I reckon you must have amazing house buying faith that the dates will align exactly with 2 1/2 months still to go

    where are you in the buying stage sofar?
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 9th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
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    Fosterdog
    • #6
    • 9th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
    I think you are over estimating how quickly your house purchase will go through, you should never give notice to leave a rental until contracts have been exchanged as right up until the day of exchange your vendors could pull out leaving you already having served notice to your landlord. Our first time purchase which was completely chain free took twelve weeks, there were no complications, no survey, just that's how long it took to get everything in order and complete. Even if you were lucky enough to have that it would still take you into November.

    Wait until closer to exchange and then either plan completion for a day or two before your tenancy expires giving you a few days to move and get the rental cleaned without the stress of rushing, or go onto a periodic AST and at exchange set completion for the following month, again a few days before your tenancy would be up to allow you time to serve notice and vacate and clean the rental.
    • Ames123
    • By Ames123 9th Aug 18, 7:47 PM
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    Ames123
    • #7
    • 9th Aug 18, 7:47 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Aug 18, 7:47 PM
    Thanks for your reply, I should have made clear that we are fully aware of time scales for house purchases and what they typically take and emails for notice were exchanged at the start of July giving us 15 weeks up until we would have to leave our rental property, we appreciate things !!!8220;could!!!8221; go wrong and take longer but with no chains either side we have been told to expect 10-12 weeks to completion with both parties actively pushing this through.

    I wrote to our landlords this early out of courtesy to give them as long as possible to replace us. Even if things do not go to plan we were never intending to stay in this property as the landlords have expressed a !!!8220;no babies or children under 16!!!8221; policy which they stand by profusely.

    I hope this clears up any confusion but it drifts from my main purpose of the post.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 9th Aug 18, 8:29 PM
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    steampowered
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 18, 8:29 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 18, 8:29 PM
    Have your solicitors formally exchanged contracts with the seller?

    If not, you do not have a firm completion date. It is very common for completion dates agreed pre-exchange to slip back.

    On your tenancy agreement, there should be a clause in there titled "amendments" or "variation" or similar. It would be helpful if you could tell us, word for word, what that clause says. This clause should tell you whether an exchange of emails can be a valid amendment to the tenancy agreement or not.
    • Annie35
    • By Annie35 9th Aug 18, 11:04 PM
    • 237 Posts
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    Annie35
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 18, 11:04 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 18, 11:04 PM
    Okay so the Q was 'can we dispute' - yes why not.

    Move out on the Oct date, the agents just will withold your deposit as unpaid rent so you dispute this with the deposit scheme. The deposit scheme will decide. The deposit scheme appear to vie on the side of tenants. It's probably worth a risk. Would I risk it, yes I would.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Aug 18, 4:20 AM
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    G_M
    .....I had a phone call with the letting agent to express a desire to reach a mutual agreement to allow us out of our tenancy 1 month early, she asked for details on an email to pass to the landlords.
    Please quote that email in full. This may have constituted
    1) a formal request for an Early Surrender on a specific date, or
    2) an informal request as to whether a request for an Early surrender would be considered

    After a few hours she replied with an in depth and clear email saying they were in agreement with this and gave us dates for when they would want our notice formally.
    This strongly suggests that your email constituted 2) above, since the LL was requesting dates that had obviously not been provided.

    Thus at this stage, no ES had been agreed.

    The next day, we received a phone call from the letting agent to say that the landlords had changed their mind with no explanation except "because they can".
    Correct.

    If no ES had been agreed, then the LL could change his mind about whether he would consider a request for an ES should you make one.

    We pointed out that she had formally put their agreement in writing to us but she says that this does not supersede our tenancy agreement and does not count for anything.
    That is not true. If an ES had been agreed (and documented) then it would supersede the tenancy agreement.
    However as explained above, my interpretation (subject to seeing the precise wording on the emails) is that noES had been agreed.

    Do we have any grounds to fight this decision seeing as we have their agreement in writing to us?
    Originally posted by Ames123
    You certainly have grounds to fight the decision. Whether you would win should the matter go to court is debatable.

    It is unclear exactly what was agreed in writing.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 10th Aug 18, 7:12 AM
    • 17,047 Posts
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    FBaby
    had a phone call with the letting agent to express a desire to reach a mutual agreement to allow us out of our tenancy 1 month early, she asked for details on an email to pass to the landlords. After a few hours she replied with an in depth and clear email saying they were in agreement with this and gave us dates for when they would want our notice formally.
    I think you might possibly have misunderstood what they agreed to in the email. You said you asked to be 'out' of your tenancy and they agreed. That doesn't mean they agreed that it would be at no costs to you though.

    They agreed and they clarified the conditions with a further email. Or are you saying that they wrote specifically in the first email that they agreed to you leaving early AND that it would be at no costs to you?
    • Ames123
    • By Ames123 10th Aug 18, 7:56 AM
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    Ames123
    Hi,

    Please find reference to the email confirmation as provided by the letting agents on behalf of the landlords.


    Further to your email below and our subsequent conversation.

    I have now spoken to the landlords at length and discussed your request and I am happy to confirm they have agreed to release you from your tenancy 1 month early, the last day will be the 25/10/18.

    You will need to give us 1 months written notice (email is fine) to reach us by close of play on 24/09/18.

    They would appreciate easy access to carry out viewings which are likely to commence at the end of August or thereabouts.
    • Ames123
    • By Ames123 10th Aug 18, 7:57 AM
    • 6 Posts
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    Ames123
    Thanks for your reply. Please find below reference to the email sent to us on behalf of the LL via the letting agent.


    Further to your email below and our subsequent conversation.

    I have now spoken to the landlords at length and discussed your request and I am happy to confirm they have agreed to release you from your tenancy 1 month early, the last day will be the 25/10/18.

    You will need to give us 1 months written notice (email is fine) to reach us by close of play on 24/09/18.

    They would appreciate easy access to carry out viewings which are likely to commence at the end of August or thereabouts.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Aug 18, 8:52 AM
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    Comms69
    Hi,

    Please find reference to the email confirmation as provided by the letting agents on behalf of the landlords.


    Further to your email below and our subsequent conversation.

    I have now spoken to the landlords at length and discussed your request and I am happy to confirm they have agreed to release you from your tenancy 1 month early, the last day will be the 25/10/18.

    You will need to give us 1 months written notice (email is fine) to reach us by close of play on 24/09/18.

    They would appreciate easy access to carry out viewings which are likely to commence at the end of August or thereabouts.
    Originally posted by Ames123
    Thick as pig sh... the agents that is.
    • Ames123
    • By Ames123 10th Aug 18, 9:46 AM
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    Ames123
    Exactly, can you see our frustration at wanting the agent to take some responsibility in this email and trying to see if in fact this email can be seen to supersede the tenancy agreement
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Aug 18, 1:39 PM
    • 46,140 Posts
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    G_M
    Please also quote your initial email to them.


    This is a contractual matter and depends entirely on the full exchange of words to determine whether an agreement was actually reached.
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