The Student Room Group

Can I be charged for dropping out of next year’s housing contract?

I’m a 2nd year Uni student still living out my housing contract for the rest of the 23/24 year. We signed on to stay in the same flat for the 24/25 year however due to unforeseen circumstances I’m moving back to my hometown and will be commuting to uni instead. I have someone to replace me in next year’s contract, they are happy to live with my flatmates and willing to sign on. However, the letting agents want to charge me £240 to change the name on the contract.Is there any way I can get out of this? Obviously as a student I’m going to struggle getting the money to pay it anyways but it seems like such a huge amount to change a name on a contract that doesn’t start for another 9 months :frown:
Reply 1
You can be charged yes, it’s a bit of a grey area in the law. Fees are capped at £50 unless the agents have additional ‘reasonable costs’ eg it costs them more than £50 to change it over.
The issue is, it’s not just ‘change a name on a contract’ they have to get an entirely new one drawn up to reissue it. Ask them for a breakdown of what it costs them and speak to citizens advice but if that’s what it cost them to change it all over they can charge that to you…
Reply 2
Original post by ALEreapp
You can be charged yes, it’s a bit of a grey area in the law. Fees are capped at £50 unless the agents have additional ‘reasonable costs’ eg it costs them more than £50 to change it over.
The issue is, it’s not just ‘change a name on a contract’ they have to get an entirely new one drawn up to reissue it. Ask them for a breakdown of what it costs them and speak to citizens advice but if that’s what it cost them to change it all over they can charge that to you…

Yeah I understood there would be a charge and the £50 part is in both the Tenants Fee Act that they sent us AND the contract. However they’ve upped the fee because lots of tenants with them are changing tenancy.
Me and a flatmate went to the letting agents to discuss it in person and I can’t even express how rude their manager was. He immediately told us that we were trying to start an argument and that “he knows students like us get everything from google”, when we’d arrived with a physical copy of the contract. Even told us he could easily win a fight against us and could “undermine us even further if he wanted”. Absolutely horrible experience. I told them I was happy to pay the £50 but the £240 was a lot and he said there would be a breakdown but started talking about the cost of lighting the building?
Not sure how to handle this further.
Reply 3
Original post by CieraMB12
Yeah I understood there would be a charge and the £50 part is in both the Tenants Fee Act that they sent us AND the contract. However they’ve upped the fee because lots of tenants with them are changing tenancy.
Me and a flatmate went to the letting agents to discuss it in person and I can’t even express how rude their manager was. He immediately told us that we were trying to start an argument and that “he knows students like us get everything from google”, when we’d arrived with a physical copy of the contract. Even told us he could easily win a fight against us and could “undermine us even further if he wanted”. Absolutely horrible experience. I told them I was happy to pay the £50 but the £240 was a lot and he said there would be a breakdown but started talking about the cost of lighting the building?
Not sure how to handle this further.


I can understand their frustration tbh, if lots of students keep doing it it’s doubling their admin work. But I would speak to citizens advice which is free and they’ll inform you of your rights in the situation x
Original post by CieraMB12
Yeah I understood there would be a charge and the £50 part is in both the Tenants Fee Act that they sent us AND the contract. However they’ve upped the fee because lots of tenants with them are changing tenancy.
Me and a flatmate went to the letting agents to discuss it in person and I can’t even express how rude their manager was. He immediately told us that we were trying to start an argument and that “he knows students like us get everything from google”, when we’d arrived with a physical copy of the contract. Even told us he could easily win a fight against us and could “undermine us even further if he wanted”. Absolutely horrible experience. I told them I was happy to pay the £50 but the £240 was a lot and he said there would be a breakdown but started talking about the cost of lighting the building?
Not sure how to handle this further.

If the £50 is stated in the contract and they haven't broken down the £240 or justified it without blathering then I'd pay the £50 and leave it with them.

If it was legit they would not have reacted like that. (Caveat: I'm not an expert)

I'd also speak to your Student Union and Citizens Advice. I think Shelter give advice too:

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting
Reply 5
Original post by Admit-One
If the £50 is stated in the contract and they haven't broken down the £240 or justified it without blathering then I'd pay the £50 and leave it with them.

If it was legit they would not have reacted like that. (Caveat: I'm not an expert)

I'd also speak to your Student Union and Citizens Advice. I think Shelter give advice too:

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting

I’ve requested a cost breakdown of the £240. I think they assumed I wanted the change for free which wasn’t the case. It’s just so baffling how the manager thought it was acceptable to talk to us in such a rude and condescending way. And when I presented a copy of his own contract he told me it wasn’t written well? Very odd exchange.
Reply 6
Also to note, within an hour of us visiting them to complain about the charge, suddenly they’ve found us in breach of our contract for having pets in the flat- a flatmate’s emotional support animal that they allowed us to own back in august. 🥴
Reply 7
Original post by CieraMB12
Also to note, within an hour of us visiting them to complain about the charge, suddenly they’ve found us in breach of our contract for having pets in the flat- a flatmate’s emotional support animal that they allowed us to own back in august. 🥴


Emotional support animals are not protected in uk so unless you have it in writing they allowed the animal you are in breach of your contract regardless of whatever verbal handshake agreement may have been made.

Quick Reply

Latest