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 residential short-term Tenancy Agreements granted for a fixed term of at least six months, but not exceeding 12 months, are deemed to be Assured Shorthold Tenancies. These fixed term tenancies ensure that both the landlord and tenant are committing to a fixed period of a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12 months.
Should you wish to terminate this agreement before the end of the fixed term you may well have to pay your landlord rent for the balance of the agreed contractual term of the Tenancy Agreement unless your landlord can find an alternative tenant to take the premises within that period, in which case the landlord may, but is not obliged to, release you from the terms of your Tenancy Agreement before the end of the fixed term.
If you continue to occupy beyond the fixed term period specified in the Agreement then the Agreement can be terminated by either party giving the other notice to terminate as specified in the Agreement. Provided these notice periods are adhered to then you will be free to leave. Any Tenancy Agreement containing such a term stating that you are obliged to continue to pay rent until an alternative tenant is found for the property is not only unusual, but would probably be unenforceable and considered to be an Unfair Contract Term in so far as it relate to a period beyond the fixed term of the tenancy. The position should be easily clarified by talking to your solicitor.