How Do You Get Out of a Rental Contract?

@wolfie34 (26793)
United Kingdom
December 28, 2006 4:54pm CST
The rent is in two names, my housemate and mine, we had a written contract for the first year, then the landlord gave us a verbal one, that we had to give him one month's notice and he had to give us two. If I wanted to move out, on 'bad' terms with my housemate, what would I need to do to get out of the contract, the deposit is 100% mine and I'm worried that I will be liable for the furnishings etc. The house was leased unfurnished and any furniture here would it be my responsibility to remove it? Sometimes I feel trapped but I can't do a moonlight flit but I haven't the money to finance getting myself a new place. Any suggestions greatly received.
4 people like this
23 responses
@patootie (3593)
28 Dec 06
I'd go and have a word with Citizens Advice ... if you don't want to seek advice in your own town you can always ring up another Citizens Advice in another part of the country ... ;o) Be sure to get the right advice about your furniture .. I think your landlord would be within his rights to charge you for the removal of it if you were to leave it in situ and of course he will use an expensive remover .. I really think you need to sit down ewith your flatmate .. and maybe a 3rd party ... and have a really good chat about what you both want to happen in the near future
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
28 Dec 06
Thanks Toots, appreciated, will make that my new years resolution, making an appointment with the Citizens Advice but whatever happens it'll get nasty, oh well!
2 people like this
@wildguy2 (1349)
• Canada
29 Dec 06
At least you know it will get nasty...it always does..but I have to agree that you should sit down and talk with your roomate, and let him/her know what you plan to do so this way they can get prepared for your move, by either getting another roomate our arrangements for there self. Don't let the move destroy any friendship you may have with this person.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Dec 06
Yeah, sometimes "it getting nasty" is completely unavoidable. Just so long as you remain civil, calm and reasonable in the ordeal, you will likely come out on top. Depending on how large the deposit was, it might not be worth you trying to get it back, although I would make sure the landlord is aware that YOU paid the deposit and not your housemate.
1 person likes this
@ilvrshn (463)
• United States
29 Dec 06
You can find another roommate to assume your part of the responsibility. Yo ucan talk to the landlord and decide what the best option is. Sometimes you never know unless you ask. You are not trapped in this situation there is a way out.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thank you, appreciated.
• United States
29 Dec 06
yup I agree with this, I had to do this a year ago, ended up being very helpful to just ask.
@limosonia1 (1560)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Give your landlord notice letting him know that you are leaving. Serve your roomate a written notice and send it certified stating that you will be breaking the lease. Your roomate will have two choices to either renew the lease in his own name or move out at the same time you do. If you move out first take pictures of the apt and walk your landlord through the apt returning the key when you are done and although the deposit will be lost if he damages anything at least you can take him to civil court and prove that you did not do the damages. This will work as long as you don't have a written contract between the two of you. Good luck
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Many thanks I never thought of that, if my housemate does stay here and causes damage then I would be liable for that too. Rated and appreciated.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 06
Sounds to me like what you need is the advice of an attorney. I have no idea what housing laws are in your country. In the U.S. one would need to take steps to have the housemate evicted or have one's name removed (as well as all obligation) from the lease.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thanks, I will consult my citizens advice regarding where I stand.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Dec 06
The bad part is that you are required to remove all of your belongings before moving out. They can fine you for that, and then charge you for the work hours to remove it. If you do end up leaving, make sure you get the furniture out. One suggestion, is that if you don't want it, call Goodwill/Salvation Army, and they will come pick it up if it is in good condition still.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
28 Dec 06
Thank you very much for your advice, appreciated.
• Philippines
29 Dec 06
Based on what you've said the notice thing is just a verbal agreement so you dont have any legal obligations with that but if you dont want to end up in bad terms with your landlord then i suggest that you talk to him or her and explain your situation anyway the rental contract is under yuor name and your roommates name.so worse comes to worst, you will only have to pay the damage of half a month rental if your landlord decides to be strict with her rules although legally youre not obliged to pay for it as it is not stipulated in the contract. problem is if you're in the US the landlord may give you a bad record on your credit profile. If youre not in the US, then that would be GREAT!. hehe. In regards to the furnishings, you have the right to bring out with you all those you bought only. but ist all up to you if you feel like you want to be like a philantropist for awhile then you may donate your properties to your firend or to your landlord or you may take it with you. Hope this would help. Good Luck!
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
I'm actually in the UK, things like my washing machine and bed would be hard to move, so I would leave them behind, they will be in the landlords benefit for the next person who moves in. Thank you for your very helpful advice, appreciated and rated.
@ukchriss (2103)
29 Dec 06
Why dont you sell your washing machine and bed or just give them away any charity shop would be pleased to pick them up from you? If your roomate does stay, whats to stop him having another friend move in in your place?
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Definitely sounds like a great place to go!
@forfein (2509)
29 Dec 06
Hi Verbal agreements do not hold up in courts of law!! The written agreement you signed is valid See help from a lawyer, you can get the first half hour FREE!! Our lawyer gave us the first complete hour FREE when we wanted advice! Citizens Advice Bureau is another source!
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thank you for your sound advice.
• United States
29 Dec 06
If you agreed to a contract and signed your name, you are bound by that contract. however if you agreed to a verbal agreement that you had to give a month's notice and you never signed a single document stating that.... then you are able to simply walk out one day. as for the furnishings, if there were none in the place when you moved in, and you can prove that they are yours, or if the landowner cannot prove they are his, you can legally take them from the house (i think). I knwo the part about the signing of documents is correct, it's just the furniture part i am unable to say is 100% true.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thank you for your advice, appreciated.
@Aali311 (6127)
• United States
29 Dec 06
There is no verbal contract, it has to be written to mean anything so get one drawn up and have all parties sign or you will lose out in the end.
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Dec 06
I have to agree with this. Verbal contracts are useless and the landlord can screw you big time. You need to get some help and don't attempt to handle this situation on your own. You've already dug yourself into a hole with the verbal contract. Don't dig yourself any deeper. Good luck with this.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 06
A verbal contract? Seems a little fishy to me. I'd be talking to a lawyer about your deposit.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 06
Very true about the verbal contract, too.
1 person likes this
@jen20619 (1302)
• Ireland
29 Dec 06
The citizons advice should help you with this.They are great at dealing with issuses such at Rental Contract.I do hope you get this sorted and I wish you all the best.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thank you very much for your reply and kind words, appreciated.
• United States
29 Dec 06
Usually when you are in a verbal contract, it is as good as a written contract. You will definitely lose your deposit money if you try to get out on bad terms. Meaning, that you broke the contract and didn't fulfill your side of the deal. Sometimes in a court of law, a verbal contract is just as binding as a written contract. Of course you would have to remove all the furniture, but then how would he charge you any extra if you just left. He would already be keeping your deposit. Try never to leave on bad terms, always think ahead and try to work things out somehow. It is never a good idea to burn your bridges because you never know when things may come back to bite you. For instance, if you try to move into a new place, and somehow this old apartment comes up as a place that you used to reside in, that landlord will definitely give you a bad referral and then you may have a really hard time trying to get a new place. I have lived in many apartments and experienced many bad landlords as well as tenants, and I have learned that you always try to be the better person and make things right, no matter how bad your situation.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 06
I think you should talk to your room mate and let him/her know that you are going to give notice to the landlord that you're both moving out. This way your roommate will have time to find something else as well and you would be entitled to your deposit back. Also, if there's anything left to move, you'd be there to take care of it. Honest and direct are usually best. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@jfeets726 (775)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Personally, I would just try talking to your landlord. Although many are in it to make money, others do have a heart and realize that unexpected things come up. I live in the US, but I did need to get out of one of my rental contracts. It was mostly for finacial reasons. I got a different job and I needed an apartment that was easier to afford. I explained to my landlord and she said that if I were able to pay rent and live there at least two more months, to give them enough time to find a replacement, I could get out of the lease without any fees. I did that and everything worked out fine for me. In fact, when I needed to use her as a reference for when I went to find a new apartment, she gave me a really good one. Good luck.
• United States
29 Dec 06
I should also note that I got my security deposit back as well.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Many thanks for your response, appreciated.
• United States
9 Jan 07
You would have to speak to an attorny to get the facts right. It is to my understanding though, that when it comes to the law and contracts, it must be in writing, and not verbal to hold. You also may want to talk to the landlord if you are friendly enough, and see what you can do to work out with him. Your furniture is yours, and your responsibility to move it. Now, if you can get your housemate to move out, you could maybe get someone else in to share your rent. Or, can you handle it yourself?
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
10 Jan 07
Thank you for your response, appreciated.
@magikrose (5424)
• United States
29 Dec 06
if you put the furnished in the apartment then you have the right to take that stuff with you when you leave. when and if you know when you are going to leave then talk to the landlord and let him know that you are leaving on this day and that you are all caught up on your portion of the rent and that you do not want to be held responsible for any of the damage that acurs after you leave. make shure that you get it in writting that you are in the clare for the rent and that you are not going to be held responsible for any damage that your roomate does to the place after you leave.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
29 Dec 06
Thank you for your sound advice, appreciated.
@vipul20044 (5799)
• India
29 Dec 06
Look in the contract what termination rights are. You should prolly go with the citizen act the law will definitely help you for sure
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I dont think it is very good with a verbal agreement I hate to say it but you might want to get an attorney. You can speak to one free of charge. The attorney could give you some options. Or maybe just hang in there till the end of the year, and in the meantime talk to your roomie and you could start looking for a nice a place for yourself. Sound good? That will be $50 please. Im sure you will figure something out.
@bimmer999 (1160)
• Philippines
29 Dec 06
contract - c
hmm i really have no idea.. you could try talking to the owner.. and hope he will hear you and give way to you.. cheers!
• Romania
29 Dec 06
pls reponse me