In my Tenancy Agreement there is a clause stating that if I wish to terminate the agreement and move out, I will still have to pay my landlord until a new tenant is found. Is this lawful?
All new Tenancy Agreements for a term not exceeding 12 months, but for a minimum period of six months, are now deemed to be Assured Shorthold Tenancies. This means you are committing to a fixed term of a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12 months. Should you wish to terminate the agreement before the end of the fixed term you will usually have to pay rent for the balance of the term of the Tenancy Agreement. If you continue to occupy beyond the fixed term period then the agreement will usually contain terms on which either party can give notice to the other. Provided these notice periods are adhered to then you will be free to leave. Any Tenancy Agreement with a term stating you are required to continue to pay rent until an alternative tenant is found is not only unusual, but would probably be considered to be an Unfair Contract Term. The position should be easily resolved by talking to your solicitor.
• Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property.