I received a crie do coeur from a tenant the other day:
My partner and I moved in to a property 14th December 2010 for 12 months with a 6 month break clause. We pay £1,000 pcm.
We have just been advised that the Landlord wants us to leave (as in the 6 month break clause) by 13th June 2011. Thus we have been served our 2 months notice.
I have found out that my flat is on the internet with the same estate agents, available for £1300pcm and the new let is agreed 14th June 2011 (the day after we leave).
Is this allowed, we feel very used as they only wanted us in there for £1,000 pcm for 6 months so that they could use the time to advertise the let to a student let for £1,300 pcm on a set 12 month contract without a break clause. This is unethical but is it illegal?
My answer is that if it is a proper break clause, then there is nothing to stop the landlord using it. Whatever his motives.
It may not however be entirely sensible of the landlord to actually sign the incoming tenant up until the current tenant has left.
Although the fixed term may have ended, the tenant does not have to move out until an order for possession has been made, and even then can hang on until a bailiffs appointment is made.
So as this will all take the landlord some three to four months (depending on how quickly the courts action the claim), he will not be in a position to provide the incoming tenant with anywhere to live. As the outgoing tenant will still be in residence!
The incoming tenant would be justifiably aggrieved and could bring a claim against the landlord for damages for breach of contract. Which some would consider to be the landlords just desserts.
But it is in this financial climate, that the government think that they are going to be able to perusade landlords to drop their rents by 10% for housing benefit tenants! What do you think about it?