Tenants possibly wanting to leave during fixed period

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    Tenants possibly wanting to leave during fixed period

    Any fellow landlords (or not!) on here can lend me their view on how best to handle?

    Tenants re-signed another 12 months fixed term (no break clause) in September. They have just made me aware they are thinking about moving to a larger house and want to see what flexibility i'd have. They're not 100% sure that they want to move yet as the money would be quite a bit more. I've told them to call me in a week once they've decided what they want in an ideal world and we can go from there.

    They are good tenants, but have kids so understand they may want a bigger house.... i'm not into forcing people to stay/pay for the year exactly in line with the contract, but i certainly can't afford to be left with more work/costs etc so if they do decide they want to leave, any thoughts on best way to approach?

    My initial view is that they would need to cover any rental void between leaving and new tenants starting, plus a fixed cost to cover the admin/advertising etc? I'm not sure how I would handle that in practice either?

    However it also seems like a lot of hassle for me to be renewing/painting etc the house earlier than planned, so should they bear some of that cost as well (I would have had to pay for it myself eventually, just not for at least another year)?

    Happy to hear other viewpoints?

    #2
    I believe that most landlords that post on this forum tend to agree to an early surrender on the basis that the tenants pay all rent up to the point where a new tenant moves in and any costs associated with re-letting. Once the fee ban comes into force I expect that this will have to be couched as an exit fee to cover the tenants default.

    Comment


      #3
      I’d simply agree an end date that is acceptable to you.

      I’ve found that most tenants don’t feel that the fixed term applies to them only the landlord (whether this is what they really believe I’ve never worked out).
      So if they want to move out early, just add another month to the notice to cover the void and relet the place.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        My view as a tenant-

        Money to (help) cover any void is fair and only reasonable.
        (Will you be giving it back if you get a new tenant straight away though?)

        Money because you would have to advertise for a new tenant earlier than otherwise, and money because you might want to decorate earlier than you normally would.
        I would have more of a problem with those.

        Both of those are costs that you would have to stand anyway at the end of the fixed term, (and maybe decorating is your choice not a need), so you are not realy losing anything there are you?

        And If I did somehow agree that these would constitute a loss over and above what you would normally incur as a normal part of your business, then how do I know that you would not be doing more advertising, and more expensive decorating, than you normally would and just passing the costs to me?

        Comment


          #5
          It's easier for both parties to agree on a date for the end of the tenancy and on a lump sum payment. That's a clean cut.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by nukecad View Post

            Money because you would have to advertise for a new tenant earlier than otherwise, and money because you might want to decorate earlier than you normally would.
            I would have more of a problem with those.

            Both of those are costs that you would have to stand anyway at the end of the fixed term, (and maybe decorating is your choice not a need), so you are not realy losing anything there are you?
            If i've budgeted on advertising the property once a year, then yes I would be incurring extra costs in having to advertise it early. Pushing the point a bit but imagine if every tenant left early.. i could be advertising 6 or 7 times in a year, so i would be incurring costs that I had sought to avoid by agreeing to a full 12 months fixed term.

            It's worth noting that their circumstances haven't changed at all, just that they've been offered another property via a friend at under market rate.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by rolo2008 View Post
              If i've budgeted on advertising the property once a year, then yes I would be incurring extra costs in having to advertise it early.
              But they just agreed an extension which you did not have to pay for advertising, so you are currently under-budget, if anything.
              You couldn't have complained if they had left in September, and you will not be out of pocket compared to that.

              Comment


                #8
                There is inconvenience and additional unforeseen cost and it is reasonable for a tenant that wishes to leave early to pay those costs. However, I agree with jjlandlord that it would be best to just agree a lump sum compensation with no expectation of it either increasing or being refunded.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Why not offer them the choice? I.e fixed date with lump sum compensation; or hang in there until you sign new contract and pay marketing costs.
                  Assume I know nothing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hooper View Post
                    Why not offer them the choice? I.e fixed date with lump sum compensation; or hang in there until you sign new contract and pay marketing costs.
                    What the point, though?

                    That's really a situation where the landlord must be firmly in the driver's seat, decide what's the best way forward, and tell the tenant that this is the way it is.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have just had this but my outgoing tenants were not on good terms with me as ll.

                      T remained liable for rent till suitable new t could be found, t paid fixed cost of relet.

                      i like the above comment re fixes, t thinks they only apply to ll. I m q sure if i needed the property back mid fixed term the t would want compensating for the inconvenience. Its a business.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you wanted property back during fixed term, it is the T who should be compensated.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This is why I'd rather have tenants move to a periodic tenancy. So it's clear what notice we both have to give.

                          In this case, I'd suggest

                          THEY give you 2 months notice which you only agree to if they agree to assist with re-marketing it, which includes 48 hour notice for viewings, and the house kept as clean and tidy as possible, and the advertising fee of £X (in my case this would be £30 because I'd use open rent, and not an agent.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post
                            This is why I'd rather have tenants move to a periodic tenancy. So it's clear what notice we both have to give.

                            In this case, I'd suggest

                            THEY give you 2 months notice which you only agree to if they agree to assist with re-marketing it, which includes 48 hour notice for viewings, and the house kept as clean and tidy as possible, and the advertising fee of £X (in my case this would be £30 because I'd use open rent, and not an agent.
                            That's the same as their obligations anyway under the contact, towards the end of the fixed period. So despite them signing a full year fix, you suggest that they pay me £30 and i have all the hassle and cost of finding new tenants anyway? Not convinced!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Rolo, you have not provided us with a copy of the latest new AST signed. Legislation is clear, which cannot be superceded by you, though you are free to set Terms for any offer of early Surrender from Ts.

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