- A and B rented a house from private landlord L, on a 3 year term with an option to break with 2 months notice after 12 months.
- After 16 months, B moved out.
- A agreed with the landlord on a swap to add C on all the original terms including the same (now 20 months away) end date. The new tenancy agreement also notes that the tenants accept the inventory from A's original start date.
- Circumstances changed such that both need to move city, timed such that A and C will both want to leave 10 months after the swap. They gave 3 months notice to this effect.
The landlord's agents responded with the claim that because a new tenancy agreement was signed between A, C and L after the swap, they cannot break the tenancy until 12 months after the swap. This surprised C and astonished A, who will have been in the house for 26 months by that point. Both had understood a swap to imply that C would have effectively the same set of rights and obligations as B, had B continued in the tenancy and A would also continue as before.
Does such a change of tenant generally entail restarting the clock on contractual or statuatory obligations in an AST, and do A and C have any recourse other than paying off the last 2 months or negotiating fresh exit terms from a position of relative weakness?