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Big problem - bound to housing contract watch

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    Ok I'm at the end of my tether and hopefully someone here will be able to help me out a little as am out of ideas!

    Basically, I did my first year at one uni, my group of friends and I sorted out a house for the 2nd year, all signed, great.

    Towards the end of term hints were being made that my course would no longer continue in it's current form, and I would have to switch to another more general course to carry on (I'd chosen that uni specifically based on the course, and put aside the worries of being hours away from home and the high cost of living in order to go there, hence why the course pretty much made the uni for me).

    Faced with this, and ongoing family issues back home, I decided to transfer back to Wales where it would be far cheaper, I could do a similar course and I could be at home in less time if anything were to happen.

    I let my landlady know a month before our contract began, which wasn't great but was how it worked out. She said I needed to find a replacement.

    I did what I could my side in terms of internet advertising, but being over 5 hours from uni I couldn't be there in person to meet people etc. This is where the problem arose. My housemates were VERY angry that I left and took it quite personally (we were a tight group) and although I absolutely understand their anger and upset, what I wasn't expecting is for them to refuse to help in any way. And i mean when people rang the house asking to see it they said the room had been taken. Also, the house was in such a state that the landlady wouldn't let anyone see it until they cleaned it, which they wouldn't.

    Eventually at Christmas time a friend of a friend asked to move in on the basis he paid monthy and not quarterly, as the contract said. The landlady refused this offer but didn't inform me or my parents that any interest had been shown. my parents got onto her about this and said we would continue paying quarterly (an effing fortune as it was) and the boy could pay us monthly.

    This was agreed upon and was the situation for the past three months. Today I get an email from one of the housemates saying that this guy has vanished and moved out. They've been trying to contact him for days but can't find him anywhere. He has yet to pay last month's rent.

    I'm utterly confused as to where this leaves me. I completely understand it is my fault for leaving with such short notice, but please appreciate this was unavoidable. If anyone could offer any scrap of advice now this would really help.

    We simply cannot afford to keep paying for this room, and it's so late in the year now that the chance of finding another person to take the room is virtually impossible. Coupled with the fact my housemates are now doing exams, I can't see them being any more obliging than they were at the start of term.

    I'm really cut off physically from doing anything more than putting adverts in the uni paper and on the uni website which I've done before.

    Any suggestions? We did find a replacement as requested, but will the landlady still reserve the right to charge us for his rent even though he is the most recent occupant?

    Please help, going mad!
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    The same thing kinda happened to me...it is a shame but you did sign a contract and as a result you can't get out of it try getting the university to advertise it. otherwise search for legal advice.
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    Presumably you have a subtenancy contract with him? If not, shame on you. Yes, the landlady has every right to get the money from you, as you do to get the money from the boy if you have a contract.
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    Sorry, old chap but you are snookered.
    You have to pay her. Although there are rights to do with landlords behaving unreasonably when someone is trying to fill the space, these would be a lot of bother to prove and probably not worth it.
    If you have a contract with this guy it is up to you to persue him for the remaining money but that would have to be through a County Court. If you didn't have a formal contract, you'd have to prove a verbal one existed - not impossible but not much fun either.
    Sorry.
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    To clarify - who was the contract with, for the new person who moved in? Did he get a new contract with the landlady (ideally what should have happened) or did you sublet the room to him? If it's the latter, then for the time being you will be responsible for the rent. It's a pain, and I'd hazard a guess that he's done this because of the sub-letting agreement - he disappears, and ultimately you have to pay. Really, it wasn't a good idea to have this arrangement, but you've learnt that lesson the hard way ... Tbh, I'm surprised the landlady agreed to it and it suggests that she's doesn't know as much about being a landlady as she should.

    There is a possibility that you could challenge the fact that you've had to continue paying rent, on the grounds that you landlady needs to show that they've incurred a loss by you moving out, and that they've attempted to mitigate that loss by attempting to find a replacement tenant - obstructing you by 'not cleaning' the property, not allowing viewings and not agreeing to the replacement means that technically your landlady hasn't made the effort to mitigate her loss. It's a bit of a risky tactic though, and I wouldn't try to do this yourself. Might be a case for a solicitor's letter. Have you tried approaching your old university at all? It's a long shot, but you *might* be able to get them to help you. Either that or contact the CAB - mention about the landlord's duty to mitigate loss and see what happens.
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    (Original post by Paeony)
    To clarify - who was the contract with, for the new person who moved in? Did he get a new contract with the landlady (ideally what should have happened) or did you sublet the room to him? If it's the latter, then for the time being you will be responsible for the rent. It's a pain, and I'd hazard a guess that he's done this because of the sub-letting agreement - he disappears, and ultimately you have to pay. Really, it wasn't a good idea to have this arrangement, but you've learnt that lesson the hard way ... Tbh, I'm surprised the landlady agreed to it and it suggests that she's doesn't know as much about being a landlady as she should.
    The sub-letter didn't have a contract with the Landlady. This was a mistake by the OP as it has left him with the liability. What should have happened was that a new contract be drawn up between the landlady and the new person, and the OP relased from any obligations.
    The landlady was doing him a favour by allowing it. Many tennancies specify no sub-lets.

    There is a possibility that you could challenge the fact that you've had to continue paying rent, on the grounds that you landlady needs to show that they've incurred a loss by you moving out, and that they've attempted to mitigate that loss by attempting to find a replacement tenant - obstructing you by 'not cleaning' the property, not allowing viewings and not agreeing to the replacement means that technically your landlady hasn't made the effort to mitigate her loss.
    You could try but I doubt you'd get very far. She has certianly incurred the loss as if the OP stopped paying rent she wouldn't be getting her money! As to whther she has done enough, that is a possible area of contention. However she didn't refuse to keep the place in order - the OP's housmates are bein uncooperative with the viewings and keeping the place dirty.
    I doubt that refusing to allow someone to pay monthly rather than quarterly rent would count as being unreasonable. It is possible that she refused out of knowledge that this situation may arrise.
    I really wouldn't advise trying to get out of it. She would take you to court and is almost certain to win.
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    I'm afraid I think it's your liability if the person who moved in was never under contract. All I can suggest is trying to let it again.
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    Didn't your contract have a break clause in it?
 
 
 

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