Q. I have literally just signed up to renew my rental contract for another year and out of the blue have been offered a job I cannot refuse overseas. The problem is my landlord is not very flexible at the best of times so I am wondering if there is anyway at all I can be released from my contract? My apartment is managed by an agent do you think I should chat this through with them to see if there is a solution to my dilemma?
A. Even with the best planning in the world situations like this arise from time to time. As you are aware, you do have a contractual liability to continue paying the rent on the property at least until the break clause kicks in even if you need to vacate earlier. The best solution is to call your agent, if they manage the apartment on behalf of your landlord you can talk this through with them to see if they can come up with a plan that your landlord would be happy with in order to allow an early release. As you are fully aware some landlords are more flexible than others but if this is managed correctly I am sure a suitable solution can be found. Normally in this situation the agent would speak to the landlord to notify them of the issue at hand and talk through an early exit plan that they would find acceptable. The agent would ask the landlord if they would allow them to remarket the property to find a suitable replacement for the current tenant. Of course if they go down this route the landlord may want to remarket at a higher rate to reflect the current market value – having been an occupant for a couple of years your current rent may not echo the current market value so an increase may be made to the marketing figure. I would also suggest that as the tenant wanting to agree an early exit you suggest and agree to pay any costs the landlord may incur from having a new tenant move in such as the cost of the inventory check- in which is usually paid by the landlord, this will ensure that actually it may not make any difference to them financially at all as this will all be managed by the agent with little or no disruption to the landlord at all. Do keep in mind that you are legally contracted to fulfil your contract and that it is the landlord’s decision ultimately whether or not he will agree an early release, so anything you can do to make that an easier transition will help to achieve a favourable result.