Surrender by operation of law requires unequivocal conduct by the landlord and the tenant

Surrender by operation of law requires unequivocal conduct on the part of the landlord and the tenant.

In Sanctuary Housing Association v Campbell ([1999] 1 WLR 1279, CA (Eng)) a tenant wanted to surrender her tenancy. The landlord told her that to do so she had to vacate the property and return the keys. She returned the keys but informed the landlord that she could not empty all of her belongings from the property because it was occupied by her violent husband. He had changed the locks. It was held that by complying with the landlord’s requirements as far as she was able, the tenant had brought about a surrender by operation of law. The conduct of both parties was unequivocal.

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