If Your Tenant Wants To Leave Early…

Bye bye

Unbelievably common situation. What should you do?

Nothing, let it happen. Roll with it. Hell, offer to help them pack if you’re the jovial Christian type.

Just don’t sweat it.

Legally, tenants are obligated to remain your tenants and liable for the full rent up until the end-date specified in the tenancy agreement contract. Unless of course, the tenancy is legally terminated.

But what happens if they want out early and you’re not feeling agreeable? In most cases I don’t recognise any reason to force tenants to honour the agreement, because the end result will probably be a shit storm. It’s like trapping a dog in the corner, it will either piss on your carpets or chew your nuts off.

Being a landlord is stressful enough, don’t actively make it harder for yourself. There’s often no need to be an uppity douche by unnecessarily using your position of authority. Some times you just need to be reasonable and understand that shit happens and circumstances change for everyone.

Why you should allow your tenants to vacate early

  • It really isn’t a tragic situation, despite the fact your body is telling you otherwise by hyperventilating and forcing you to blow into a brown paper bag. I’ve seen landlords go nuts over the issue. But seriously, what issue? Calm the hell down.

    All you need to do is find new tenants that actually want to stay in your property. Take the situation for what it is. The time and effort of replacing tenants is something you would have had to endure eventually anyways. It’s part of being a landlord.

    I think many landlords often get consumed by the “power struggle”, they get off on being able to say “no”

    It’s embarrassing.

  • As said, circumstances change for everyone. Your tenants have a reason for needing to vacate, why would you want to be a preventative? To be honest, you shouldn’t even concern yourself with why, just accept circumstances have changed and they want out. So many people get caught up on the why’s when it really doesn’t matter.
  • This situation can actually be a blessing in disguise because it can form the most cost-effective and efficient way of replacing tenants, so it would be careless not to take advantage.

    The tenants are going to leave eventually, whether you permit them to surrender the tenancy on this occasion or not.

    When a tenant gives notice and vacates there’s usually a void period in-between tenancies, because it’s often difficult for landlords to find replacements while the property is occupied. Tenants can make it extremely difficult.

    However, if you allow the tenant to vacate early, you can do so on the basis that they allow flexible entry for viewings. This kind of compromise can save money by reducing the void time down to a minimum.

    Most tenants won’t just move out in one day. When they want to end the tenancy early they usually give at least one months notice, which is more than enough time for even the most foolish of landlords to handle their business.

  • Hypothetically speaking, let’s imagine for one second that you’re an unconscionable bastard that forced your tenants to honour the agreement. Now, how do you think it will impact your relationship going forward? It will inevitably reduce it to shit.

    Everything will simply be more difficult, especially communication. Let’s not forget, rightly or wrongly so, tenants can make life very difficult for landlords, more so than landlords can make for tenants. Unless you’re a raging masochist, there is no reason to consciously put yourself through that ordeal. Just let them go.

  • Would you trust someone in your property that you’ve effectively entrapped? Nope. They now have incentive to use your carpets as toilet paper and smear unsavory bodily fluids over your door handles simply out of spite.
  • Assuming your tenants do vacate without your consent, your one option is to take legal action- suing for loss of rent and any other traumatic expenses you had to subsequently swallow in the process. However, bearing in mind the amount of energy you’ll exert trying to recoup the money, you probably would have been better off working with the tenant and coming to an agreement. It’s definitely the easier and often cheaper option.
  • If the tenant in question has been long-serving and loyal, perhaps do it for the sake of showing some God damn appreciation, if nothing else.

    I can’t imagine any reasonable human would actually prevent tenants from vacating early in this situation, that’s why I was almost reluctant to list it as a point. But you know, some people…

The end date is just a psychological deterrent

I know what many of you will be thinking: “What’s the point in having a tenancy agreement if you’re not going to enforce the rules, you dumb asshole?”

Yeah, I get it. However, this is just ONE clause. I’m not disregarding every clause in the tenancy agreement. If, for example, my simpleton tenant pierced a hole in the wall with his erectile penis during a fit of drunken frolics, you can bet your bottom dollar on the fact that I would use whatever relevant clause(s) in the contract to force the adolescent donkey to cover the costs for repairing the damage. There’s no questioning that.

But I do see the end-date as more of a “psychological deterrent” for tenants, as opposed to a practical clause that’s enforceable and punishable if defied. What I mean by that is, tenants usually respect/honour the end date and don’t contemplate challenging it because they’ve signed the contract, so they work around it if they’re thinking about vacating in the future. However, if they do challenge it (which most don’t), there’s little practical sense for a landlord to take matters further by using the clause as a preventative.

I believe ALL landlords should take the end-date clause in the same light. A psychological deterrent, and nothing more.

Compromising/Compensation

Now, if your tenant does happen to give you the dreaded signal that they want out, the best solution is to compromise (as always).

Whenever it’s happened to me, I tell them it’s fine under the following conditions:

  • Viewings: they allow for viewings.
  • New tenants: they have to continue paying rent until new tenants are found and moved in (this usually doesn’t take long, worse case scenario is 2 weeks).
  • Presentable: they need to try and keep the property neat and tidy during viewings (assuming they haven’t vacated).
  • Marketing fees: they cover the cost for finding the new tenants. I use online letting agents, so the fee is around £50, so it’s not much. Most tenants are relatively surprised (and relieved) when I tell them how cheap it is.

I think the conditions are fair, especially since they’re the one’s breaking the terms of the contract. I’ve never had a tenant raise concern or their fists over them. Of course, it’s all relative and your circumstances might be different, so some of the conditions I mentioned may not be applicable, while others might. The point is, be compromising and fair so neither party loses out. Limit the damage.

I know some landlords insist on a lump-sum fee to terminate the tenancy. I don’t think that’s necessary, just as long as my costs are covered, I’m cool. I’m not looking to take advantage of the situation by swindling money out of my tenants for a profit. I’m not a letting agent.

So over to you. Has it happened to you before? If so, how did you deal with it? Do you let tenants vacate early if they want to?

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72 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 22 - 72 comments (out of 72)
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th October, 2014 @ 11:44

I wasn't really talking about your bin scenario specifically.

I was disputing the fact that you can put anything in a contract and expect it to be enforceable because it's been read and signed.

(sorry, I wrote comment #21 before reading your comment #20!)

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emma6 4th October, 2014 @ 11:59

As I understand it, a tenant's statutory rights consist of:

- having a written tenancy document to sign before the tenancy starts including rent payable, responsibility for repairs and the tenancy term.
- protection of the deposit
- inventory and schedule of condition at start and end
- protection from rent increases during the tenancy term
- landlord repairs to structure and fixtures and fittings, unless caused by the tenant
- a copy of the gas safety certificate
- some protection from eviction. ie not having to leave straightaway just because the landlord says so. The landlord must get a court order.

Under tenant's responsibilities I found this:
Check your contract for any extra responsibilities such as who has to maintain the garden or communal areas.

I'm pretty sure this will cover bins. I'm not worried. And anyway, provided they don't put things in the wrong bins, the issue will never arise. That's the whole point.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th October, 2014 @ 12:09

They're some of the things, but it's a lot more in depth than that. The housing act is pretty elaborate (and confusing/grey): http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/contents

To be honest, I'm not sure if your clause is or isn't enforceable. In my opinion, I believe getting the tenants to dispose of garbage properly is perfectly fine. Contracts are usually full of clauses regarding the upkeep of the property in regards to keeping it in good, clean condition.

However, I wouldn't be totally surprised if a Judge would rule in the tenant's favour when it came to enforcing the penalty fees. Enforcing financial penalties is another issue.

But you're right, I wouldn't worry either. It's such a small issue, and I personally don't think your clause is unreasonable from a landlord's point of view! I'd love to fine the crap out of filthy tenants. I'd be a lot richer, that's for sure :\

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Nige 4th October, 2014 @ 16:43

I can honestly say that with many of the proposed legislation in the pipeline I am glad that I am of an age when I can eventually get out of renting.
Sadly I have some of the best and longest standing tenants I have ever had.
I give some examples where in the context of this thread a landlord can easily start to lose money.
A landlord has no rights as to utility supplies. Yet a tenant can swop the credit meter for a card one which can easily cost £100 and half a day waiting to have changed.
Once the property goes empty then in our area full council tax is payable until sold or rented. Particularly galling if the property needs work caused by a tenant.
Water companies can charge landlords if they fail to inform them and I have seen unpaid bills between £2500 and £5000 !!!
And licencing of HMOs is in and it will eventually come in for all properties.
Its becoming more and more complicated to deal with all the paperwork involved and I am sure that the story isn't finished yet.

Am I complaining...nope.. I have made a reasonable living out of it.

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Tinny 4th October, 2014 @ 16:53

Nige I agree that legislations are now so complex. I think the government feels they are protecting the tenants but if the landlord wants to be a bastard, they will still manage to screw their tennant. But if he/she isn't, they will just be put off renting to tenants that are not perfect, I.e. those on low income or benefits. And I feel I would be the same if I was letting my property.

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Nige 4th October, 2014 @ 17:26

@Tinny
Which is exactly what is happening in our area. DHSS payments are set at a level. £595 for a 3 bed here. Tenants are no longer allowed to rent a property £25 a month more than this. In some ways quite rightly as its mine and your taxes ultimately and I know of far to many who won't work or they will lose benefits. So the easy option is to jack the rent up over the figure of £620 to say £650 thus excluding them. DHSS tenants are less accountable in a court. If they haven't paid rent or caused damage you may as well write it off to experience. Even evicting costs and the court may give judgement but just try getting it enforced.
In our area there is a bid system. i.e. a landlord offers a house to the council and people bid to get the house.(not bidding in money by the way) Therefore only perfect tenants (DHSS or otherwise) will get it. I saw one house with 321 bids on it !!
I do know some of my tenants are stuck with me. Even small arrears exclude them from the council waiting lists. They have tried to move or get a council house but nobody will touch them despite them using every trick in the book to get one. (by the way its no skin off my nose whether they stay or go and I do keep my rents within the ranges allowed) I even ''evicted'' one tenant at their request and changed the disposal of a property to theirs because they wanted to swing a council house. Judge knew what game they were playing as well !!
They got their wish. One grotty emergency accommodation house. Additional cost to me??? £500 plus damage repairs.
I know of several ex landlords who are sitting with empty properties despite a penalty one and a half times council tax because of bad experiences with tenants.

Example ?
Working guy blamed landlord because he got fined for no car road tax. When landlord asked why it was his fault the tenant replied ''because I paid you my money in rent '' !!! The next time he saw the tenant the tenant blamed him for not having his child vaccinated. When asked why the tenant replied ''because my car isn't taxed '' !!! The next time the landlord checked his place and the washing machine door was broken off. When asked why the tenant replied '' I needed my clothes out of the machine and my electric card had run out'' !!
Oh the book is beckoning !!

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andrewa 4th October, 2014 @ 18:24

@ Nige
What age are you (not rude just interested to see when the years discourage you from carrying on:)
Plus why not dispose of the properties in order of quality of tenant I.E. wait for the nice ones to leave by themselves before selling.

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Nige 4th October, 2014 @ 20:21

@Andrewa

I intended to retire at 55 but being a property owner is the worst profession to be in when you have a cheating wife !!!
Then I had a rogue agent..my fault really but the rents were coming in. I found that he was allowing tenants leeway with the rent and using the deposits he held to sub them. (allowed in those days) So that mess had to be sorted out and what a mess it was and I took on full management myself.
Then after divorce had been settled and monies agreed the recession hit hard and disposal was just not an option. Those that had to be disposed of were sold at the low market rate to my daughter and I took over management so the portfolio remained in the family. Since then she has increased her portfolio and we are currently renovating a property that had been set fire to. I think that this one will not go out to rental as she has seen what tenants do so it will be sold. In all I lost three properties through divorce funding, 2 luckily sold to my daughter who benefitted by the recession. As I approached 65 I decided to sell one but it took one year...yes one year to evict tenants (properly) and then renovate and market the property. Then a stupid girl made an offer (obviously with no intention of buying) and took it to the last moment before dropping out at which time the new mortgage restrictions came in.
Oh such a sob story !!! Not really but at 65 I am still doing all my own repairs and grafting.
I would agree with you regarding selling the ones with the least reliable tenants first. That is not the way it works though.
Most landlords do not have an exit plan.
Basically you must sell the property with the greatest gain regarding CGT in the worst income year.You have to play with figures and CGT allowances whilst in my case upgrading remaining properties. For example new DG and doors have been installed which is allowed under repairs and energy efficiency against income....and so on it goes.
CGT changed and hit me badly. The indexation that used to exist was replaced with rates of 18% and 28% . The loss of a partner also took away the possibility of double CGT allowance.
Many landlords are unaware of the complexity of disposing of property in the most tax advantageous way. Had I known then what I know now my policy would not have been soley based on rental and capital appreciation. I would have bought, renovated , rented for a period and sold after maybe a year. Thus CGT allowances would have been maximised so no tax would have been payable on around £10k on the rise in value and say I had £5k in rent it would have effectively made £15k but only taxed on £5k.
Sadly I will soon be evicting the nice ones year by year. There is an advantage that I can offer a discount for sitting tenant to buy as that can reduce some CGT to their advantage but few are in a stable enough position to buy. One was refused a mortgage because they baulked on the last payment of a mobile phone contract !!!
So even at one per year I will be just under 70 when the last one is disposed of.
And just as another thread on here says...I will be rollering walls for some time !!!
As I said I have not done to badly out of property overall but my exit plan would have been structured much earlier if I had been able to read a crystal ball.

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emma6 4th October, 2014 @ 21:53

There is no need to evict nice tenants. You can sell a property tenanted. You just have to remove the clause about vacant possession. No need to make people miserable unnecessarily.

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Nige 4th October, 2014 @ 22:57

I can assure you that my personal situation has been known about by all my tenants for a long time. (age/health etc) . They have all been on borrowed time in reality as I could easily have evicted years ago due to my health and financial situation and most had a damn sight better lifestyle than I did as I struggled with the recession. Most are grateful that I did not just bail out and allowed them to run arrears etc in the bad times.
I agree that you can sell a property tenanted but you will find that it is treated as an investment value and not the achievable value. There are schemes whereby you can sell your property to ''investment people'' but their usual strategy is to buy cheaper, allow the tenant to live there for six months before evicting or then raise rents or sell at a profit. A few of my tenants have expressed a fear that if I do sell tenanted that they might end up on the street anyway or be landed with a landlord who does not treat them so well or evicts if one months rent is late. They would prefer to be given good notice, and that is usually a minimum of a year so they can look around.
Some will use it as an 'excuse' if that is the word to move out of town so that they can be nearer relatives.
I have one tenant who thought that I would sell and was happy that this was not the case because it allowed their kids to leave school and at this point they would probably have to move anyway due to DHSS rules. So I do talk to tenants a lot and I am not the evict with no reason type.
Sadly a tenanted property usually shows a great deal of ageing. Often this is cosmetic like advocado bathroom suite or older colours in the kitchen units. With the last house I sold I was offered two thirds of the achieved price merely because it needed updating with a new kitchen and bathroom although it was in very very clean condition. Funny thing is that although I replaced kitchen and bathroom the buyers ripped it all out !!! One house we sold years ago only had low offers because my daughter lived there with students but was in totally renovated condition. It was upsetting to say the least when the new owners sold a year later for 50% profit.
There is also the financial aspect regarding mortgages and achievable rents. I am not up to date on current lending but lenders used to expect a rent of 125% of the mortgage. On current DHSS rates that is not achievable.
So no I am not cruel or heartless and do talk extensively to tenants but as any gains from my properties are my pension then that has to be considered. I could sell within my family but after 4 years in the business my daughter will be selling her stock as she is changing direction and moved away and can't handle distance tenancies.
Finally but not the subject you think about or want to is inheritance tax. That's why an exit plan is important.

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andrewa 6th October, 2014 @ 22:11

@ Nige

Well I'll possibly be in your position in the next 10 or so years (65 and not so keen anymore to climb ladders, still property gave me my Fnck You money for the last 10 years, I now work for fun). Question: is there such a thing as usefruct in British law? In South Africa you can leave your property/s to your children a bit at a time tax free with the understanding that as it belongs to them they are responsible for the maintenance (and can claim the tax deduction) while you as the possessor of the usefruct have the "enjoyment" of the property/s until death. Besides the profits on the rents has to be better than the cash invested in the bank scenario and HMRC will hit you with CGT if you sell.

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Nige 6th October, 2014 @ 23:28

As I understand it HMRC have closed loopholes . Im not an accountant so what I say may be slightly or totally inaccurate. I believe you can gift a portion of your house to your kids or the whole lot. Survive 7 years and its all theirs. If however you gift and live in it you are deemed to be getting benefit in kind and therefore HMRC expects them to charge you rent.
When I sold a house to my daughter in the recession the solicitor made grunts about proving that it was an accurate reflection of prices locally and not artificially reduced.
You are probably like me thinking about preserving the estate for the kids whilst not living life to the full.
I made the decission to sell a house at a time, pay CGT , and say you do this at 65 £100k wil give you £10k a year(plus a bit of interest) until you are 75 at which point you probably won't have the desire to go out on the town every night. Plus of course your portfolio which is left is still pulling income. Personally with work pension from years ago, OAP, interest from investments and my rents I have never been better off in my life. My girl doesn't need my money !! She is probably richer than me.
I have seen people put off taking pensions and really lose out. I have also seen the fact that if they get ill and have to go into a home then the home fees soon eat up everything. I want to be very comfortable for the remaining part of my life thank you !! After all for every £1 I spend my beneficiaries will only lose 60p !!

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Charlotte 10th October, 2014 @ 13:16

Thanks @The Landlord for making me think about this in a different way.

As a Landlord and Agent I think I am guilty of immediately, NO! They can't leave, they've signed until Blah Blah.

I have however then calmed down and been flexible and have let people go with the understanding they are liable for rent until the property is tenanted again.

I shall now be taking on your "the end date is a physcological deterrent" approach. I will channel that initial RAGE (how dare they leave vibe) into immediately and positively focussing on getting a new lovelier tenant in.

The worst ever is when tenants just leave - that to me is the pits.

But let's not end on that thought - let't try and remember all the lovely tenants we have. I wrote a blog particularly about one of ours recently - http://abodeltd.co.uk/tenant-focus-making-a-house-your-home/

Happy Friday fellow Landlords :)

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David 17th October, 2014 @ 12:01

@Charlotte

It is good that you found this thought provoking.

You raise two things that please and displease me.

The mistake that most landlords make is blaming their tenants when like any business you have to be honest and ask yourself "what could I do to to improve this or prevent it occuring".

In my business my approach to clients is to treat them like royalty, sure there is a service level agreement in place but I ALWAYS strive to over deliver.

So if you treat a Tenant as a client you will find things go way better.

So if you can make them feel that you are easy to speak to and that if problems arise you will do your best to help them, things will go better in the end.

When it comes to signing, it is meaningless, whether it be unfair contract terms or simply the minimum term, why, because life gets in the way. People lose their jobs, family members die, people get divorced and so it goes on.

For a tenant, they are not renting a flat, maisonette or house, they are renting a HOME and that is what I liked about your post and your website.

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Charlotte 17th October, 2014 @ 12:55

Hi David, yes treating tenants as clients, this is certainly how to ensure a good relationship and to make the whole journey a much more enjoyable ride for us all.

Thank you for reading my post too.

Ps I hope the pleased outways the displeased!!

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rob 20th October, 2014 @ 18:44

Ive just seen a clause in a tenancy agreement (ast) stating that any items of furniture need to be left in the same place as on commencement! Bizzare.

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Nige 20th October, 2014 @ 18:52

Not as stupid as it sounds. Overcrowding rules now state that living rooms and dining rooms can now be regarded as bedrooms and therefore tenants will store this furniture anywhere and I have seen it piled up in a conservatory on one house we worked on.

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Lucky 13th November, 2014 @ 18:23

Hi there,
My story is slightly different. Look forward to you advise:
We had a Nigerian student (lady) come to view a room in our flat for renting. We are live-in landlords. She liked the place and paid the 2 weeks deposit and one week advance rent. We gave her the keys and she signed the agreement on Tuesday. The agreement is worded as below;
1. “Minimum 3 months stay agreement. If tenant vacate with-in minimum period agreement, deposit will not be refunded. After that two weeks notice period is required from tenant to vacate the flat.
2. Two week’s deposit and advance rent is required from the tenant. Deposit will be refunded to tenant upon satisfactory handover of the room and the keys or part adjusted against any due amount – which ever may be the case.
….”
On the Second day (Thursday) she asked for all the money back as she would not be needing the place anymore. Please advise the best course of action? To be fair I have refunded £164 to her. However, she is threatening with legal action. Please advise if we are on the right and it was a good will gesture to refund her any money and not an obligation at all.

Your help in the matter is greatly appreciated.

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Nige 14th November, 2014 @ 01:14

Take this advice quickly.
You have been hit by a scam. The scam goes like this.
She now has an address. She can show residency for 3 months as she has an agreement. She can show that she has complied with your conditions. Depending upon when this happened she can still pull this agreement up if needs be and return to the property .
My bet is that she or somebody will pop around for the mail or she will put mail direct on her post. Bung it all back in the post with not at this address in BIG letters.
Some action for you to take. Contact police ASAP and tell them. Contact immigration. Phone the DHSS hotline for fraud.
If she is honest then investigations will prove she is.
My guess is that she is using the address as an accommodation address in principle to obtain anything from student status to false DHSS claims or worse.
You do not say how much security you took like passport/ photo/ student or work permit/ references etc. Guarantor etc.etc. I would suspect none of these.
Place funds in a separate holding savings account to show that you are holding them securely. I am not sure if a separate flat in your own home requires the deposit to be held in a deposit scheme. Check on this with local housing.
You may have to take further precautions like changing passwords, tell bank if any transactions involved cheques or signature.
Change locks as they have a key to your house.Cover yourself regarding unlawfull eviction by putting small note on door to ring...a mobile to get in.
Think of any other info they hve on you. They have your name, address, phone numbers, maybe bank account, car number etc.
Sorry to be so down but I would be taking steps to ensure that you don't get police knocking on your door or worse..identity fraud.
Just out of interest. Did she say she was a student at a particular college? If so does it exist and if it does write to them explaining your predicament. Colleges here were witholding certificates until landlords bills were settled.
Hope this helps.

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David 14th November, 2014 @ 22:48

Really depends on the whole agreement but if she signed a contract she is bound by that contract unless there are unfair contract terms or terms that go against OFT guidelines or common law.

What some landlords do is refunds a proportion if they are able to let for the period agreed to.

A deposit can only be used for damages and non payment of rent, did you pay it into a scheme?

I think you were kind to refund the £164, she signed a 3 month agreement. I would explain to her that if she wants to go to Court you will enforce the contract or else what you have paid back is your offer of settlement.

I think Nige might well be on the money, sounds scammy.

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Nige 14th November, 2014 @ 23:12

Thanks David,
It sounds scammy and the threat of court could be empty and to scare the landlord.
If it was just a student..yes maybe easy to enforce. Overseas student...risky but there are thousands of them in UK who are desperate for accommodation and its one of those areas where you are lucky to get anything at all so you grab and keep.
Nigerian ...well that could be the key.
Unfortunately if you are to trusting as a landlord you actually hand over a lot of personal details to tenants.

I won't say its a scam but I have had tenants forge my signature (which of course is on a tenancy agreement) to change the water supply meter which I was told once done was not reversible. That means they often have signature plus bank account details.They have the landlords address . And unfortunately with the internet it is possible to get other details fairly easy.They can find out if you are a director. Ask land registry for your property details etc. If you own a car they can get no end of details if they use the excuse that you bumped them. Add that to the fascination people have with posting everything on facebook or other social media from what they had for breakfast to their sex lives it easy to build up a picture especially if you are stupid enough to say you are going on holiday.
You would be surprised at bank scams where somehow the banks number comes up on caller id and if convincing enough can get your pin number. For example. For confirmation of who YOU are they will ask for memorable word and first and second number of your pin. Well on the way to emptying your bank account.Its worth reading up about bank scams.
99% of tenants of course don't do it.
Most landlords must remember that they are often handing something worth £100,000 plus to complete strangers. Thats why checks are so important.

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Fasteviction Service 17th November, 2014 @ 12:12

Lol, I completely agree with this article. If your tenants want to go, quit being a douche bag. Roll with it otherwise it can end up in a bad scenario for both. Following the compromising points above is the way to keep your cool.

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David 18th November, 2014 @ 02:13

@nige

Well if it was the Landlord who runs this site they would have his sexual preferences from reading the posts.

More of your personal info is being shared by your GP, you can and should opt out of sharing to NHS spine and Care Data.

The Land Registry is on the verge of being sold off so all info will become much easier than the £3 per doc it costs now.

It all starts with your voting info being sold at £3 per 1000 (even if you opt out they share it but put the opt out).

A lot of the data is given up voluntarily on social networks where it can all be tracked, you are told that it is anonymous, not when combined with info already out there.

A retargetting cookie is put on your PC, Phone, Tablet and even Smart TV. These cookies are not deleted when you delete cookies, they are stored in common folder on your PC and need a special utility available on some browsers and by using ccleaner.

Your Phone shares your location with apps that have terms that do not make it clear.

Default setting of search on your phone is to search all your messages and emails sharing them with servers to improve your search results.

Oh and if you do not want to share your info then you can't get a credit reference so can't rent a property, can't get cheap deal on Energy etc etc

Welcome to 1984

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Nige 18th November, 2014 @ 09:59

@David
I have never seen the fascination with sharing all your data with others. Kids today seem to want to do it. Swipe your phone over a pay machine instead of cash. I'm sure that you could track an average active teenager on a Friday night on a pub crawl to within 3 feet at any time.
Funnily enough I watched Judge Judy the other day pull a mobile phone call record where the guy was denying he called his ex girlfriend. Found he had 2 phones and the second one was at his ex girlfriends house.
Dartford crossing is about to go payless with tracking and billing.No tax disk on cars. The one thing they have not figured out how to do yet is that they can check tax insurance mot but not who is driving the car. So there are technically uninsured drivers out there.
From 2015 all cars will be fitted with a device that automatically calls the emergency services if an airbag goes off.
And as for loyalty cards !! They know what you buy, when you buy, how you pay, if by card there is a credit limit to determine how well off you are.
Buy an airline ticket , go on a ferry, long term car park etc and they know who you are before you get there which allows automatic check in .
The one thing that isn't going to change is the fact that this happens and will get worse.
Have you shaved your head lately to see if there is a barcode tatooed there !! Won't be long before we are chipped at birth !!
No wonder there is a thriving market in false documents.
Its an intereting point that the Dartford crossing change creates 300 EXTRA jobs from basically nothing . So the charge is increasing. My friend lost a vehicle document and has had to travel 30 miles by bus to the nearest office as the local one closed. All keeping us occupied in case they find out we have leisure time.
I really cannot understand the fascination with incentives like £100 to change banks, £50 to change insurance etc. Its the same business going round and round in a circle.
As I always said. The worst thing I ever did to my daughter was register her birth because now she is part of the system.

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Property Manager 22nd January, 2015 @ 18:02

My client wants to terminate their agreement with his Tenant earlier than contractually allowed. We rented a flat to a lady who just graduated and looking for work. She had a cracking guarantor with perfect references. Nothing about this woman would make you suspicious in any way, shape or form. A few months into the Tenancy the Landlord did an inspection and suspected there was more than 1 tenant living in the property at the very least and at the very worst it was being used as a brothel! When he told me I thought he was overreacting about the brothel part as there was nothing other than there was more than 1 woman in the flat and a neighbour commenting about there being an issue with brothels in the building. However, due diligence made me look into it further... nothing came up with her name and I confirmed once again that the guarantor was ligit but when I googled her email address it came up on several "massage" postings advertising everything from 4 hand massage to prostate massages in a clean environment in the area of the property. :o Now if this isn't awful enough for the Landlord, the Landlord now is legally obliged to report it to the police straight away and still go through the lengthily and expensive route of a court eviction! :(

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emma6 22nd January, 2015 @ 19:25

On the plus side, Property Manager, having used the premises for illegal and/or immoral purposes, she has DEFINITELY breached the lease. So it shouldn't be too taxing to boot her out. Biding his time until after she is arrested will only aid his case.

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Effing Landlord 30th January, 2015 @ 08:16

This is exactly why I always used month-to-month contracts. Knowing I would fold if tenants chose to vacate early, I figured I'd level the playing field a little by giving myself the option to raise rent anytime I chose (with a 30-day notice of course). Naturally, in the event that anyone had ever asked for a annual lease agreement, I wouldn't have argued about it.

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New Landlord 12th June, 2016 @ 05:32

We have just had a tenant request to leave one month into a 12 month contract. They are unhappy to cover the cost of finding a new tenant and a room clean. We purchased furniture specifically at their request as a prerequisite for them moving in. Any advice welcome.

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David 12th June, 2016 @ 19:18

@NewLandlord

Your new so I am going to give it to straight.

You do not buy specific anything for a tenant!!

Generally I think that renting a furnished place is a mistake, people have expectations when a toaster does not work. You are not a B&B you are a landlord.

Stick to White goods in the Kitchen, an Oven and a Fridge Freezer, not even a washing machine unless you have a maintenance contract and it is costed into your rent.

The advice at the top of the page says all you need to know, but this is really early and quite unreasonable.

So first of all you need to let the person know in as nice a way as that they signed a legally binding contract, say that you are within your rights to hold them to that contract for the period of the tenancy agreement or till there is a break clause.

However, you are trying to be reasonable and to resolve the matter in an amicable way and ask that they take the same approach.

Say that if you were to pursue your rights they could end up in Court with a CCJ (whether they attend or not) and that could make it difficult for them to obtain credit or even find a new place to live.

Say that you will do all you can to mitigate the losses to them and get someone in ASAP.

Also say that if they are cooperative you will be prepared to give them a positive reference.

I would put an ad on Open Rent, it is cheap as chips or look at the online letting agents here.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/online-letting-agents/

One word of warning, make sure that you have protected their deposit, I have come across scammers who take a place then pull out, the deposit isn't protected, then they do not bother because they think the tenant is leaving, then there is a lot of dialog back and forth so money not returned say for 3 months.

You can take monies from the deposit via the DPS, TDS or Mydeposits custodial schemes for the cleaning and unfulfilled terms of the tenancy agreement.

You cannot charge any old amount and no fixed amount per day, it has to reflect your ACTUAL costs plus perhaps £5 for this and £5 for that. As long as you keep meticulous records you will get paid out.

Any other problems and update the thread.

Good luck!

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David 12th June, 2016 @ 19:35

@PropertyManager

I missed your post and suspect it is all sorted now

However, for the sake of others arriving here, ALWAYS have a morality clause in your tenancy agreement.

Have the clause say that the contract is immediately terminated in such an event or that it triggers a break clause that you have elsewhere in the agreement. Common law prevails for notice, so a S21 would need to be issued, I doubt they will fight it because they will want to move on. Make sure your terms are OFT356 compliant (fair and reasonable).

I would put up some plastic drilled signs with this image, you can get them online from catalogs and on ebay. Make sure it says for the purpose of crime prevention and make sure you say who they are operated by.

tringmain.com/signs/cctv.JPG

You do not have to actually put any up but a few fakes will scare away the punters and no money means they move on.

Hanging around the communal entrance, asking what flat they are visiting and asking people to sign a visitors book also scares them off.

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New Landlord 14th June, 2016 @ 12:58

Hi David,

Many thanks for your reply. I agree, we were naive and now our fingers have been burnt we won't be again.

We have used the DPS and are keeping receipts of all the expenses of finding a tenant and preparing the room for them.

Hopefully everything will be concluded amicably.

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Anonimo 15th October, 2017 @ 17:02

what should I do with the $deposit$ if my tenant wanted to terminate the aggrement early

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David 15th October, 2017 @ 17:10

@Anonimo

Same as you would at the normal end of tenancy, subject to no damage you return it via the protection scheme it is in, they can ask for it via the scheme and you will then be sent an email to authorise the release.

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Molly 16th December, 2017 @ 10:53

My tenants were happily living in my property when they suddenly told me they had to move - one of them had an issue with rogue family trying to find her (long story - nothing criminal, just something in her culture was NOT accepted). The family showed up at the house yesterday and now the tenants want out. They signed a 12 month fixed contract and are 3 months into the tenancy.

Originally on the phone I agreed to let them leave end January, but looking into my rent insurance, contract, etc, I'm very confused as to how this would work. The AST break clause says that after 4 months into the AST they can give me a two month notice to leave. I'd much rather prefer they at least pay for another two months as I am gone the second half of December till after the New Year, and I don't think I can handle the stress of immediately finding tenants after I'm back in January. My question is - legally, how much longer can I ask them to hold on, and is it OK if I ask them in writing notice to terminate in two months, even though they are 3 months into the tenancy and not 4 like the break clause says?

What also, does this mean for my rent insurance / landlord insurance - does that roll onto the next tenant I find, or do I have to cancel all that and be out of pocket for those policies?

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Nige 16th December, 2017 @ 11:42

Several ways of looking at this.
Tenant is cooperating. You don't want trouble ie smashed up property caused by outsider. Tenant may just up and leave and then you have to go through the legal process of finding them..giving them notice blah blah.
I think in your situation you would save time and effort and money by either accepting their offer to leave by a certain date or negotiating a charge of some sort to recover your losses for setting up a new tenant and charging 'rent' until a new tenant is found.
I had similar and tenant wanted out..3 days !!!!! after moving in.
(marriage problems and resolved) . I immediately looked for another tenant to mitigate their obligation and found one fast.Tenant paid me 'rent' until that date.
Make sure however that everything you do is in writing. ie tenant surrenders tenancy, your offer etc.
Not sure that your rent guarantee will cover loss and of course you have to deal with the deposit situation and the wording in your contract regarding what the deposit is for comes into play. Is it for damage or damage and unpaid expenses/rent.

I don't know how other landlords deal with this but the main thing is getting the property rolling in the cash again with as least trouble/papework as you can..

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Molly 16th December, 2017 @ 12:11

Hi Nige, thanks for your comment. Yes, in this case the tenants are being cooperative and them having been good tenants so far, I want to mitigate this situation as much as possible for both myself and them.

I'm a first time landlord so I'm new to all of this (I used OpenRent) but my biggest question is: even if we verbally agree on a date - say end Feb as that would be two months from now - is this OK to do even if their break clauses requires at least 4 months of the fixed tenancy to have passed? On my end - I am happy to have them keep paying until a new tenant is found. If we agree on end of February and if I manage to find a replacement tenant earlier - then that's great and the tenants are off the hook from that point on. However you mentioned writing everything down - do you mean in email? Or do I have to formally write a letter / get a deed signed? What does getting a "deed signed" even mean? Is that something that has to be done via court, or can I download a reputable template and sign it with the tenants? Do I even need a deed of surrender if we all mutually agree to let them go once a new tenant is signed?

I guess the biggest questions are a) what constitutes as "writing" (is email OK?) and b) do I need to have a deed of surrender of all parties are willing to amicably cooperate?

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Molly 16th December, 2017 @ 12:15

Forgot to mention - I'm having no trouble with deposit as tenants have looked after property very well, I, like you, am keen to get a new tenant in and cash flowing with the least headache and paperwork is possible. Could I negotiate that they pay until x date, or until a new tenant is found earlier than that? This seems like a win-win situation for both as there would be no break in cash flow and tenants would be able to leave earlier (and not be liable for more rent once the new tenant is found).

Once new tenants have signed on and current ones are out happy to refund the deposit in full. I want the least amount of hassle as possible.

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Nige 16th December, 2017 @ 15:22

Yes you can really negotiate what you want. Keep in mind that until you have paperwork in hand the tenant can actually do a runner. you move a tenant in and the original tenant then comes back to claim the property.
Email ? No way do I use email.Then can be altered. Negotiations /offers etc by any method you want but the final deal signed sealed and witnessed on hard copy docs.
Consider yourself lucky. They contacted you. Many on here find the tenants have just vacated without any communications.

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David 16th December, 2017 @ 15:38

@Molly

Some landlords think you can hold a tenant for the whole contract so I am pleased to see you are being very reasonable.

However, you need to be a bit more formal, to be safe you need to both sign an a separate agreement to mutually agree to terminate the tenancy. Signatures need to be witnessed by a third party.

Otherwise they could accuse you of evicting them, BTW you will need to change the locks, always a good idea between tenants, just get them off ebay.

This is dogshit time for tenants, so I would say to them that you are prepared to let them break by mutual agreement subject to them covering your reasonable costs in getting new tenants.

This is in accordance with the law, do not give an exact date, just an estimate, but say you will advertise immediately and subject to them vacating now so you can clean the property you hope to have it rented as soon as possible, but it will be dependent on new tenants and time it takes to reference them.

Out of interest, was your deposit protected in an approved scheme and did you serve the prescribed information for that deposit?

I would drop them a line along these lines

"Dear Mr Tenant

I am writing further to our discussions regarding your desire to terminate your tenancy agreement.

As you know the agreement is for one year but I am prepared to terminate the tenancy by mutual agreement subject to the following:

1. You will pay the rent until a new tenant takes occupancy and immediately pay the rent for January (any overpayment will be refunded).
2. You will vacate the property within 7 days in order that it may be cleaned and made ready for immediate occupation.
3. In accordance with the tenancy you will pay for professional carpet cleaning as you would have at the end of the tenancy.
4. You will pay for any out of pocket expenses that are as a result of this termination.
5. As employers are unlikely to respond in time so close to Christmas you will pay for extended tenant referencing of the new tenants.
6. You will sign agreement to mutually agree to terminate the tenancy and cover the cost of the preparation of that agreement by my Solicitor (it will mirror these terms).
7. You agree to terminate all utility services and provide me with your forwarding address, this will not be provided to your family or unauthorised persons.
8. The existing tenancy agreement with you will only be legally terminated when a new one has been signed by a new tenant and they have paid a month's rent and deposit. The termination date will be the day before their tenancy term starts.
9. I will authorise the deposit company to return your deposit in due course when new tenants have taken on property. You will need to make a request for the return of the deposit via the scheme at the appropriate time.

I can confirm that I will advertise online so keep costs to a minimum.

This is a bad time of year to find tenants and it is a serious inconvenience, but I am mindful of your situation so willing to accommodate your request subject to you covering my reasonable costs.

If all goes well I will be prepared to provide you with a positive reference for your new landlord.

If you are in agreement with the above please confirm via email and I will get the agreement drawn up, you will be required to pay the rent for January upon signing.

Kind Regards

Molly Landlady"

Change dates as you see fit but I think you are talking late Jan to early Feb unless you are lucky, do not rush it, you need to check tenants out with full referencing.

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Molly 16th December, 2017 @ 19:53

Thank you @David and @Nige.

Just to be clear (sorry if I'm being daft, first time landlady here) - do I need to really hire a solicitor to send the above letter / sign a hardcopy surrender? From what I've researched on the Internet you can do this in person with a third party witness and it should only be done once the tenant has removed their possessions & are ready to hand over the keys back to me.

Over the phone, they agreed to pay at least until the end of January. Both myself and the tenants are going to be away the second half of Dec so there's no chance for me at all to start advertising. I'll do that once I'm back in the UK after the New Year.

As for the deposit - yes it was protected in an approved scheme - this was all done via Openrent. What do you mean by serving the prescribed information for that deposit? Openrent requires you to register with the scheme and provide them with your landlord ID before releasing the first month's rent to you - This was all done via the official channel, but I did not separately send the tenants info - I believe Openrent confirmed with the tenants once I protected the deposit, but am not sure if they 100% sent them anything. Should I send them something now? Just a note that the deposit has been protected since the start of the tenancy in XXX approved scheme?

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Nige 16th December, 2017 @ 20:25

No you do not need to have a solicitor.

Prescribed information is the 13 page load of bumpf designed to chop down more forests that you should...or someone should have given the tenant when the money was put in a deposit scheme.

The main point of all is that on say 31st January or before or the date they agree the tenants should surrender the keys to you and for this I suggest you receipt the receipt of keys and have a witness with you.

Im afraid this sort of thing happens when you are a landlord and despite the magical image tenants have of the landlord puts all the rent in their back pocket the reality is somewhat different and you have to cater for losses and void periods.

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David 16th December, 2017 @ 21:15

@Molly

As a first time Landlord you really need to read more of this site, look at the comments, look at people's experiences of bad tenants who seemed wonderful on the day but have turned into a living nightmare.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/

To be honest I feel like just saying, I have given you my advice, it is up to you to heed it.

However, for the benefit of others, let us consider that this tenant decides for whatever reason that they want to stay, they accuse you of evicting them while they were on holiday, say that it was you who removed their possessions.

What will you produce in Court to protect yourself, a statement from a friend, I would have a field day with that in Court.

Are you really going to turn up in Court and say to the Judge "from what I researched on the internet".

Have a read of this article.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/landlord-changes-locks-to-keep-scumbag-tenants-out/

Now you may have a wonderful tenant who is genuine, but you have to protect yourself.

Copy and paste what I wrote, go to a Solicitor and ask them to to give you a price to form that into a simple one page agreement (with any suggested changes as they are your paid advisor).

So in your email you confirm what they said over the phone as a desired end date but you have to plan for unforeseen problems. 100 things could happen that prevent the new letting, you have someone responsible, so you do not let them off financially until you have new tenants, in and paid.

I did say Christmas is a bad time, hence I said change the dates as you see fit.

It is good that you protected the deposit, usually with OpenRent this is done within 30 days and they do "try" to issue the Prescribed Information but it is not their responsibility it is yours. What evidence do you have to defend yourself if the tenant says you did not provide the PI within 30 days? Do you have a signed copy of it dated within the 30 day period?

When the deposit legislation was brought in many Landlords protected it but did not give the tenant details thus preventing them from being able to represent their interests. Some even gave false mobile and email addresses. So the The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 was enacted, details are here

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/797/article/2/made

In Oct 2015 further regulation came in, most of it helpful to Landlords but it also put three additional obligations on you to provide

An Energy Performance Certificate before signing the tenancy

An up to date copy of the Government "How to Rent" document

A currently valid Gas Safety Certificate

I would not admit that you did not send the PI separately, as it is by itself grounds for you to pay sanctions of between 1x and 3x the deposit to the tenant.

Openrent comply with the rules of the scheme operator and to be fair they do try to provide the info but in the event of a dispute it is your neck on the block.

Do not send them anything now, it will only draw attention, if you have protected it within 30 days then best to hope it does not come up.

I mention the above obligation more for your new tenancy, below are useful reading

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenancy-deposit-protection-easy-guide/

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenant-threatening-legal-action-tenancy-deposit/

I hope it all works out well for you but it is best to be prepared.

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Molly 16th December, 2017 @ 22:00

Hi David,

Thanks re all the advice.

I just checked the AST contract and there's an entire page dedicated to the deposit, name and location of the scheme where it's protected, contact info etc. The deposit was transferred as required within the 30 days. Does this count as the PI? Upon looking more carefully at OpenRent's site they say "we fully manage the deposit protection for you." Hmm. Yes, all the information is in the contract, but I don't know if, on top of this, what the PI actually is and if that needed to be sent separately?

I've definitely physically given the tenants the Gas Safety & Electrical tests, and while I know the EPC was definitely done in the last 10 years I am unsure if I included this in their pack. And about guide to rent - would that be advisable to provide now?

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David 17th December, 2017 @ 00:27

@Molly

If Openrent include all the information in the prescribed order then it is valid, either way no point doing now as they are going of their own volition.

The How to rent and EPC only prevent eviction so not critical now, gas safety was in order.

EPC is often shown on sites advertised, I have seen cases where Judge has accepted that. Not going to be an issue now.

This is the PI in full, Judges look at the intent of the law, specifically that the tenant had all they need to get repaid or raise a dispute or make wish known to deposit company.

The deposit company will issue terms or a friendly sheet to the tenant with the deposit protection certificate. They send via email unless it bounces in which case they use SMS to tell them how to login to portal and certificate by post, they also send the landlord their version.

Openrent clearly gets their data electronically but must also rely on data you provide

(a)the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and any fax number of the scheme administrator(1) of the authorised tenancy deposit scheme(2) applying to the deposit;

(b)any information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme administrator to the landlord which explains the operation of the provisions contained in sections 212 to 215 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Act(3);

(c)the procedures that apply under the scheme by which an amount in respect of a deposit may be paid or repaid to the tenant at the end of the shorthold tenancy(4) (“the tenancy”);

(d)the procedures that apply under the scheme where either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable at the end of the tenancy;

(e)the procedures that apply under the scheme where the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount to be paid or repaid to the tenant in respect of the deposit;

(f)the facilities available under the scheme for enabling a dispute relating to the deposit to be resolved without recourse to litigation; and

(g)the following information in connection with the tenancy in respect of which the deposit has been paid—

(i)the amount of the deposit paid;

(ii)the address of the property to which the tenancy relates;

(iii)the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the landlord;

(iv)the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the tenant, including such details that should be used by the landlord or scheme administrator for the purpose of contacting the tenant at the end of the tenancy;

(v)the name, address, telephone number and any e-mail address or fax number of any relevant person;

(vi)the circumstances when all or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the terms of the tenancy; and

(vii)confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed by the landlord) that—

(aa)the information he provides under this sub-paragraph is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief; and

(bb)he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any document containing the information provided by the landlord under this article by way of confirmation that the information is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), the reference to a landlord or a tenant who is not contactable includes a landlord or tenant whose whereabouts are known, but who is failing to respond to communications in respect of the deposit.

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Anonymous 20th March, 2018 @ 15:28

Hi,

I’m hoping to get some adivce, because I want to be fair and would appreciate the landlord perspective.

I rented a property and originally signed up to a 11 month contract. 6 months into the tenancy I sat down with my landlords (I’m actually doing a sublet contract) and explained to them that I would find it increasingly difficult to pay the rent, we negotiated the best move out date based on what they advised was the easiest time frame for them to find a replacement. We verbally agreed a further 10 weeks (2 1/2months from my being my financial trouble to their attention) I then planned to move accordingly.

And spent the following 2 months posting online and searching everyday to find a replacement tenant. Eventually after having submitted 15+ potential tenants, they approved one of the people I found. This girl has now paid the deposit and is scheduled to move into my room at the end of this month.

Considering that I did seek legal advice prior, and I was well within my rights to terminate my tenancy within 15days (not required to search for a replacement etc) I feel like I have been amicable in this situation. Can I also comment here that I am a student and I even negotiated with my university to permit me to pay my uni fees late in order to pay the additional 2 months rent which we verbally agreed to.

Anyway, I think in this situation I am right I’m expecting my deposit back? Any thoughts?

Regards

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David 20th March, 2018 @ 16:49

@Anonymous (Post 66)

I think you have been very reasonable, but there are a few things you need to check.

1. Did the person you call your landlord have the right to sublet, i.e. did he have authority from the owner of the property? You say landlords (Plural) so was that the owner and someone they sublet to?

2. Did you sign a tenancy agreement? If so who is named as the landlord and what address was given in that agreement? If no agreement was signed then one is created by statute for the purposes of the Housing Act to protect you, but he will struggle to enforce a contract with no terms.

3. Was your deposit protected in a Government Authorised Deposit scheme? There are currently only 3 such companies in England which are DPS, TDS and MyDeposits. They will have sent you emails and/or SMS but the Landlord also has to give you a document called the Prescribed Information which tells you all the statutory information relating to the deposit.

They can be sanctioned for up to 3x the deposit and you get that sanction as well as your deposit back. I can help you with that if required.

They also have to serve you with a EPC certificate, the Government "how to rent" document and a Gas Safety Certificate.

4. Did you occupy the property as a lodger or a tenant, to be a lodger your landlord has to live in (I mean the owner not another tenant), this is also partially defined by exclusive use aspects of your home. Be aware that just because something says it is a lodger agreement or a license agreement, it does not mean that they are not Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Another thing you need to be aware of is that even if you sign an agreement, the Landlord can only charge you their actual costs (which they have to prove) and very low interest (typically 20p a day).

Considering they can use free services like OpenRent they will not be able to charge much and in your case you have done the legwork for them. Remember they will not be able to charge you for charges they would have to incur anyway, e.g. tenant referencing.

I would expect the return of all of your deposit if the property has no damage.

So here is how to proceed:

1. Check whether your deposit was protected with each of the following sites:

http://bit.ly/chkdep1

http://bit.ly/chkdep2

http://bit.ly/chkdep3

2. Check the Land Registry to find the owner of the property, it costs £3 for the title deed

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal

or

https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

Then feel free to send me a private message via the forum of this site, click on the Landlord forum link at the top of the page, join that site, confirm your email, then log into the site, after than you can PM me via this link

http://bit.ly/davidpip

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Kerry 15th April, 2018 @ 21:47

Hi, I am looking for advice.
I moved in to a property at the beginning of November 2017. The property is a shared tenancy between 4 housemates with a contract that runs until November 2018. All tenants have signed.
In January 2018, one of the male members of the house entered my bedroom at 5.30 in the morning and began to climb on to my bed. I challenged his behaviour to which he responded with obscenities. As a consequence of his behaviour he was asked to leave the property and left one month later. During his notice period I stayed at an alternative address as I felt unsafe in the shared accommodation. However I did pay the rent in full during the period.
Since that time I have been having panic and anxiety attacks and placed on anti depressants by the GP as I no longer feel safe in the property, largely due to no locks on the doors and my room is continually accessed by the other tenants as the boiler is in my bedroom.
I have spoken to the letting agent about this and asked if I could be released from the shared tenancy agreement early as I feel I need to return home to my parents home and commute for a period of time until my health improves. I have stated that I would give 2 months notice and find a replacement tenant so that no financial impact would be felt by the landlord.
The letting agent has responded as follows:
The landlord doesn’t want a further name change. She said she didn’t want to do it last time but tried to accomodate you. The choices are that you’ll all need to leave or a new tenancy with just the new tenants names.

The implications of this are that all of the tenants currently in the house would be evicted following 2 months notice.
Or that 2 of the tenants would be living there but are not included on the tenancy agreement so that the landlord believes that they have left and that the property is let to new tenants.

I feel very trapped. I believe that I have tried to be reasonable and do not want to cause the landlord any financial hardship but need to prioritise my health after such a horrible ordeal.
Please could I have some advice on the best approach? I have concerns on the way the property is being managed (no inventory supplied or deposit taken] and am not only worried for my own welfare but for that of my housemates.
Many thanks in advance.

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John 3rd October, 2018 @ 17:29

I gave my tenants two months notice with a leave date of 30th November. They contacted me this week to say that they had found a new place and were moving out a month before this date. They are contractually obliged to pay rent, utilities and Council Tax up to the leave date but I agreed to let them give me a month's notice (a counter notice to quit) from now. They emailed me with a very terse message saying nothing more than that "they intended to leave the property". No dates were mentioned and neither was the notice period. I am concerned that this email is not legally binding. It's really important because if they do leave the house early and stop paying the rent (likely) then I need solid evidence that they agreed to give me a month's notice in order to take it out of their deposit. The alternative is to say to them that the email is not legally valid and then hold them to the original end date. The danger of this is that it they stop paying rent after they leave then I'll just have more of a debt to chase them for.

Has anyone any comments on this or should I not be too worried?

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David 3rd October, 2018 @ 18:23

@John

It is all going to depend on your tenancy agreement and whether has gone into SPT. SPT require they give one month, your original agreement may have said two months.

It does not suit either party to have any doubt, so you either write back and confirm that they will be leaving on X date and you would like to do inventory a few days before to give them time to bring property into appropriate condition in accordance with terms of the agreement. e.g. professionally cleaned carpets if they were cleaned professionally just prior to their occupancy.

Some people are annoyed if you give them notice, it is their home after all and moving is expensive.

I would keep it friendly just reply and ask what day is good for them to do inventory so you can speed up return of their deposit.

The proof of their need to give you notice will be a term in your tenancy agreement and confirmed in their notice to you.

You should have a term that says deposit can't be used to pay last month's rent and if it is protected then even more so. If you forgot to protect I suspect they will seek sanctions.

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Guest Avatar
peter o'reilly 11th October, 2018 @ 02:51

My tenant served notice to surrender a fixed contract 4 months early at the termination date.
They have both been made redundant and have stipulated that they can’t afford to pay the rent.
I accepted and requested they pay until I find a new tenant or buyer. Also giving full access to do viewings.
They kept arguing about paying rent until I find a tenant if they had moved out and to cover these costs.
Since then I have offered for them to go with no penalties what so ever.
Yesterday they replied that as they can’t afford the moving costs and deposit money they will be staying!!??
I think now they have realised they will find it hard to rent another property as they can’t provide the necessary references.
I’ve asjed them to confirm they will pay full rent on time up to the end of the tenancy agreement and allow free access to do viewings.
I’ve had no response!
Can I hold them to their surrender notice? I just want them out!
Regards Pete

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Guest Avatar
David 11th October, 2018 @ 14:34

@peter o'reilly

What matters is what the contract says and then how it conflicts with common law and case law.

The email was an intention but no surrender took place, this also applies to your offers which were also intentions based on the surrender of the property.

So the contract is binding, rent must be paid and even if it expires if they remain in the property when it expires then a Statutory Periodic Tenancy would be created.

No tenant may be evicted in the UK without a Court Order so you have a choice, S8 with grounds of non payment of rent or repeated late payment of rent plus any other grounds you can come up with

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/section-8-evicting-tenants/#grounds

Or you give them a S21 notice that ends when their tenancy ends

http://bit.ly/s216a18

Note the S21 prerequisites of having protected the deposit, Served the deposit prescribed information, issued a current How to Rent (enclose a copy of latest with the S21), having had a valid Gas Safety Certificate in first 28 days, there having been an EPC provided before tenancy (one being on website e.g. Zoopla suffices).

Latest how to rent available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

Note you can serve the S21 now or any time up to 2 months before the date you want them to go, but bear in mind they expire after 6 months so I would issue 2 months and 3 days before tenancy due to end.

This will give you time to see if they pay their rent, meanwhile if they do not pay their rent there is nothing stopping you issuing S8 notices to scare them or a warning of issuing an S8 notice, you can do that after them being late.

Getting them on housing benefit means you can apply for their HB payment 6 weeks after they stop paying or they can authorise direct payments from the start, this is done via Local Council or if they are on universal credit via the Job Centre.

I would start with a letter saying

"Dear

I am disappointed that I have not heard back from you after my last email.

I just want to set matters straight so that there is no confusion.

I understand that you are going through a hard time and I am very sympathetic, I urge you to register for job seekers allowance and housing benefit or universal credit if it is applicable.

I must remind you of your legal obligation to adhere to the contract you signed and continue to pay the rent, I further advise you that if rent is late or unpaid I reserve my right to issue an eviction notice under Section 8 or Section 21 of the Housing Act and seeking my costs for same.

Obviously I do not want to do this and the best way to avoid it is for you to communicate with me about your progress in finding employment, mitigating your arrears by claiming benefits and keeping your account up to date.

You may have other outgoings but let me assure you that none is as important as the roof over your head. Not a mobile phone, Sky TV, Gym Membership, Energy bill or any other outgoing, because all of these have the financial resources to support you while I do not. They can pause their contracts, give you time to pay etc.

Please understand that I have my own financial responsibilities including paying the mortgage on the property you are renting. As such I have to be pretty firm, I have a zero tolerance for the deliberate non-payment of rent. This means that if I am forced to take legal proceedings I not only see them through to the end obtaining a CCJ against you but I escalate to the High Court with credit record tracing.

This means that not only would you struggle to obtain any future tenancy agreement or credit, but if you take out a utility bill, mobile phone or broadband anytime in the next 6 years you can shortly expect High Court Enforcement Officers to come knocking soon thereafter. A bad credit record would also affect your ability to rent or obtain certain types of employment.

Honestly that is not a track I wish to go down, all I ask is that you engage and maintain regular communications with me while making every attempt to pay your rent. I would suggest that you authorise your Housing Benefit to be paid to me directly so that there is no temptation to dip into it and if it is short of the rent I will give you some time to make it up once you secure employment.

I hope that you can see that I am being as fair and reasonable as I can be but that I also have my own responsibilities, if I do not keep up repayments on the mortgage that is a ground for you to be evicted by my mortgage company.

So please let me know your situation and let's work through this.

Best Regards"

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