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Rental Issues after leaving University watch

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    This is a little complicated but I'll try and explain it all clearly...

    My boyfriend had signed a rental contract for a flat before he knew that he didn't get the results to go into his last year of University. He would've been able to repeat the year and then go to the last year again, but Student Finance would not be able to cover it so he decided to leave.

    He then informed the landlord/rental group that he left University, and they told him that he had a month before the new term started this year to find a tenant, otherwise he would lose his deposit.
    So he tried advertising the flat on a few websites, but ultimately no one ended up taking the flat. He made sure that he had done everything possible to find someone, and was under the impression from them that they would then do their best to find a tenant for him.

    Skip ahead to now, where he received a phone call from them saying he had to pay rent for the entire year for the flat he doesn't live in. He doesn't have any money, his parents can't afford to pay it, so what can he do??

    tl;dr: Boyfriend has to pay a whole years rent for a flat he doesn't live in, doesn't have the money for, despite the rental people never saying anything about it.
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    (Original post by EllieJoy)

    tl;dr: Boyfriend has to pay a whole years rent for a flat he doesn't live in, doesn't have the money for, despite the rental people never saying anything about it.
    Your tl:dr is a bit misleading here.

    Your boyfriend signed a contract to say he would live in the flat. Unless there was a clause in that contract which allows your bf to leave based on non-attendance at uni, he will be completely liable for the rent unless and until he gets someone to take his place.



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    (Original post by EllieJoy)
    This is a little complicated but I'll try and explain it all clearly...

    My boyfriend had signed a rental contract for a flat before he knew that he didn't get the results to go into his last year of University. He would've been able to repeat the year and then go to the last year again, but Student Finance would not be able to cover it so he decided to leave.

    He then informed the landlord/rental group that he left University, and they told him that he had a month before the new term started this year to find a tenant, otherwise he would lose his deposit.
    So he tried advertising the flat on a few websites, but ultimately no one ended up taking the flat. He made sure that he had done everything possible to find someone, and was under the impression from them that they would then do their best to find a tenant for him.

    Skip ahead to now, where he received a phone call from them saying he had to pay rent for the entire year for the flat he doesn't live in. He doesn't have any money, his parents can't afford to pay it, so what can he do??

    tl;dr: Boyfriend has to pay a whole years rent for a flat he doesn't live in, doesn't have the money for, despite the rental people never saying anything about it.
    As dark magic said, your boyfriend signed a contract and so he is liable for that rent. It is not the landlords fault that he failed to get into final year and as such they shouldn't be expected to be out of pocket for it. It's a tough situation I understand that, bit it's not one he can run away from because to him it's not "fair".

    Plain and simple he needs to get a job, any job as there is no time to be picky and pay the rent. Depending on how reasonable the landlord is they may allow him to set up a payment plan at a rate at which he can afford. Or if he can find someone to move into his spare room then he can do that. But it's not easy and it's getting late to find someone.
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    (Original post by EllieJoy)
    that he had a month before the new term started this year to find a tenant, otherwise he would lose his deposit.
    Did he get it in writing at any point that the deposit is all he would be liable for?

    What is the contract's break clause?
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    Hi guys, thank you very much for responding quickly!

    I'm sorry if some of that was misleading, we were both stressed after the phone call and wanted some help/options.
    The woman on the phone threatened to go to court after my boyfriend said he has no money.
    (It's also my first time posting anything, so apologies once more if I'm not responding/formatting properly!)

    In response to Dark Magic, on the companies website and through their correspondence with my boyfriend they state that if he wasn't able to find a tenant then they would do their best to find one. They also stated on their website that a contract can be terminated or shortened if a tenant can be found. I presume that they weren't able to find someone themselves and this is the reason for the phone call.

    In response to SophieSmall, we've both been job searching since July since we both left our respective Universities. We've applied to everything that we can do, signed up to several agencies, but we've only had one temp job the entire time. We've gone to Jobseekers now for help! Just a long string of bad luck.
    In regards to the landlord/company, they've seemingly implied from the phone call that he has to pay £1,300 asap otherwise he'll go to court. He's sent an email explaining his situation / if there can be a negotiation, but we'll have to wait till Monday to hear anything back.
    His flat was a three bed and two of his friends are in there and have been actively searching for another tenant since September, but no one has responded.

    I guess we'll have to wait until Monday now for any more information.
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Did he get it in writing at any point that the deposit is all he would be liable for?

    What is the contract's break clause?
    Hi there, thanks for responding!

    I'm sorry if I'm beating around the bush with this response.
    As far as I'm aware he never got that in writing. He was only ever told that he would lose his deposit if he could not find a new tenant, and then they would find one for him.
    The only mention of a charge on their website anywhere is right at the top in small writing saying "A fee may be charged to cover reasonable costs if the tenant cancels their tenancy prior to, or during the term of the contract" and the only way to cancel is by finding a replacement tenant.

    I'm not personally sure what the break clause is and he doesn't remember what it was either, only the company had a copy of the contract. He's asked for it in an email he's sent to them now to double-check.
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    (Original post by EllieJoy)
    Hi there, thanks for responding!

    I'm sorry if I'm beating around the bush with this response.
    As far as I'm aware he never got that in writing. He was only ever told that he would lose his deposit if he could not find a new tenant, and then they would find one for him.
    The only mention of a charge on their website anywhere is right at the top in small writing saying "A fee may be charged to cover reasonable costs if the tenant cancels their tenancy prior to, or during the term of the contract" and the only way to cancel is by finding a replacement tenant.

    I'm not personally sure what the break clause is and he doesn't remember what it was either, only the company had a copy of the contract. He's asked for it in an email he's sent to them now to double-check.
    Legally they must provide him with a copy of his tenancy agreement. Perhaps he ought to remind them of this.

    He should create a post on this forum where he'll get for more specific legal advice.
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Legally they must provide him with a copy of his tenancy agreement. Perhaps he ought to remind them of this.

    He should create a post on this forum where he'll get for more specific legal advice.
    Thank you for the help! He's emailed them asking for a copy of his contract, and he's going to ask his friends at the flat if they received theirs as well.
    Once we hear back from them on Monday I'll make sure to have a more articulate post on the website you recommended!
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    (Original post by EllieJoy)
    Thank you for the help! He's emailed them asking for a copy of his contract, and he's going to ask his friends at the flat if they received theirs as well.
    Once we hear back from them on Monday I'll make sure to have a more articulate post on the website you recommended!
    It's a bit risky asking for the contract now as they could change the terms in it during this period, especially knowing he is trying to get out of paying. Did they really not give your boyfriend anything when he signed? What exactly did he sign? You should really try to get not just 'a copy' of the terms but the exact hard copy that he signed so that you can photocopy it for your own proof.

    It would be reasonable and not uncommon for his terms to state that if he defaults he must still pay so check that first. The website may say otherwise but what he has actually signed will be the legally binding document. If his contract does state this, he would have to pay because not knowing what you have signed up to e.g. by failing to read your terms properly, doesn't hold up in court.

    There are two things he could do. The first I wouldn't recommend but worked for someone I know, weirdly. He just left and didn't pay. The landlord didn't really do anything, they were pretty small so I guess they couldn't be bothered taking him to court. If he and his parents didn't have the money I suppose they are not really gaining much, I'm sure they would find another tenant in the end. Second thing would be to keep trying to find a tenant and as soon as you find one, get rid. There are usually students coming for 6 month/1 year study periods who are willing to take on a room so you might have more luck in January, at least that way it's not a whole year that he has to pay.

    Really awful situation to be in though. I think there needs to be more protection for students on this kind of thing. Results come out in August but landlords expect you to sign in July, it's appalling
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    It's a bit risky asking for the contract now as they could change the terms in it during this period, especially knowing he is trying to get out of paying. Did they really not give your boyfriend anything when he signed? What exactly did he sign? You should really try to get not just 'a copy' of the terms but the exact hard copy that he signed so that you can photocopy it for your own proof.
    Thank you very much for the kind words.
    He was given a paper contract to sign, by himself and his guarantor and that he gave it back to the company afterwards. He's asked his friends that are at the same flat if they have their contract, and what it says as he can't remember now.

    (Original post by infairverona)
    It would be reasonable and not uncommon for his terms to state that if he defaults he must still pay so check that first. The website may say otherwise but what he has actually signed will be the legally binding document. If his contract does state this, he would have to pay because not knowing what you have signed up to e.g. by failing to read your terms properly, doesn't hold up in court.
    I completely understand, as soon as we hear back from them Monday or from his friends first we'll make sure to go over what was signed. We've only got the correspondence via emails and phone calls from the company saying that if he couldn't find someone to replace him, that they would and that he would lose out his deposit, nothing else was mentioned.


    (Original post by infairverona)
    There are two things he could do. The first I wouldn't recommend but worked for someone I know, weirdly. He just left and didn't pay. The landlord didn't really do anything, they were pretty small so I guess they couldn't be bothered taking him to court. If he and his parents didn't have the money I suppose they are not really gaining much, I'm sure they would find another tenant in the end. Second thing would be to keep trying to find a tenant and as soon as you find one, get rid. There are usually students coming for 6 month/1 year study periods who are willing to take on a room so you might have more luck in January, at least that way it's not a whole year that he has to pay.
    Haha! It's amusing to flirt with the idea of not doing anything, but I think it's safer to cover all the bases we can with the company.
    The company consistently said on their website and via their correspondence with him that they would "try their best to help" (huh-uh) to find a new tenant for him if he couldn't. Thanks for that idea, we'll try to advertise the place (if we're allowed) as soon as we can!

    (Original post by infairverona)
    Really awful situation to be in though. I think there needs to be more protection for students on this kind of thing. Results come out in August but landlords expect you to sign in July, it's appalling
    I completely agree. I could talk for hours about the problems myself and my partner have had with our University experience, both were depressing and costly. :/
    Thank you again though for the help, it means a lot.
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    (Original post by EllieJoy)
    Thank you very much for the kind words.
    He was given a paper contract to sign, by himself and his guarantor and that he gave it back to the company afterwards. He's asked his friends that are at the same flat if they have their contract, and what it says as he can't remember now.
    For a guarantor to be legal they must also have a copy of the tenancy agreement. Illegal gaurantor means they can't go after them in court for the money, leaving the letting agent trying to reclaim from a broke student. Good luck with that
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    (Original post by Reue)
    For a guarantor to be legal they must also have a copy of the tenancy agreement. Illegal gaurantor means they can't go after them in court for the money, leaving the letting agent trying to reclaim from a broke student. Good luck with that
    This was a good post to see this afternoon! Thank you very much for that!

    My boyfriend just asked his mum (the guarantor) about what she has signed, and she only signed something saying she was the guarantor, and that was sent off... (the same illusive paper that my boyfriend signed)
    But in any case we'll be searching every bit of paper today to make sure we definitely have or haven't got anything!
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    Just a brief update...

    In regards to what contracts my boyfriend and his mum have - they've got nothing but one paper asking the guarantor to sign a contract. That's it! We've been waiting since this post was made for them to contact us, but after two emails on and a phone call on our end, they've made no effort to reply to anything.
    The phone call was with someone who knew little about what's happened (although he implied that it was the landlord that was asking for money, not them) and just simply recommended to find a new tenant.
    The woman who spoke to my boyfriend initially said she'd call back Monday, but she's three days late.
    We'll wait and see what happens now...
 
 
 
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