Tenants not vacated at check-out

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    Tenants not vacated at check-out

    Had a lovely young couple with a baby in our property for about 8 months, they gave notice to leave as he'd moved out after they split up and she couldn't afford rent. Sad situation for them. Property has been on market since.

    Anyway, yesterday our very competent and well-trusted long-standing letting agent went to a property to do the check out. Although no one was there, some of tenants belongings were and the place obviously hadn't been cleaned. Keys hadn't been returned either.

    Turns out that the bloke had promised her to go round and clear everything out and clean up but he has failed to do that. So, LA contacts the lady (as she was last resident) and they negotiate Friday 9am deadline for her to do cleaning and removal of belongings. We know her well enough to know she'll probably stick to her word.

    Just wondered what we have to be careful of in this situation as we want to make sure that the LA does everything by the book.
    TIA

    #2
    Has the tenancy now ended? If it has ended then the Agent is taking a risk by letting her back in unsupervised to do cleaning and collect her belongings.

    Comment


      #3
      tenancy is not ended until keys are returned. You could require rent for the extra period and payment of a second check out fee if your contract provides for that and many do.

      Personally if the keys are handed over Friday and the place is clean I wouldnt squeeze every penny I could get out of them.

      Comment


        #4
        If the tenant's notice was valid that surely ended tenancy. If agent subsequently let them back in I'm not sure what agreement has been verbally established, if any
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by buzzard1994 View Post
          Personally if the keys are handed over Friday and the place is clean I wouldnt squeeze every penny I could get out of them.
          yeah... we're not looking to do that. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Will need to check what date they've given the council in terms of council tax liability... that's something that we will want to be Friday, not last week.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by tatemono View Post
            yeah... we're not looking to do that. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Will need to check what date they've given the council in terms of council tax liability... that's something that we will want to be Friday, not last week.
            Depending on area, she may well be able to say that she wasn't resident there for this extra week and get it free anyway.

            Comment


              #7
              well LA went around on Friday as promised and although she'd cleaned the place and got rid of her stuff, he hadn't managed to make it to pick up the remains of his stuff. That's happening now on Monday... apparently... which is now a week after it was supposed to happen. No rush though as viewings have been really slow seasonally anyway.

              So, as a kind of test, I asked the agent when the tenancy ended and our liability for CT/utilities began. Here's the response:

              The end of tenancy date is 6th January ’18, the property was vacated at this time, council tax and utilities to be informed of this date.
              Are they right? Did they pass the test?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                If the tenant's notice was valid that surely ended tenancy. If agent subsequently let them back in I'm not sure what agreement has been verbally established, if any
                Notice is only an intention to surrender, if they havent returned the keys and vacated the property they havent surrendered possession.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by buzzard1994 View Post

                  Notice is only an intention to surrender, if they havent returned the keys and vacated the property they havent surrendered possession.
                  That's true, but Artful is correct that the tenancy will have ended if the notice was valid and accepted.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Notice was valid and accepted. However they didn't return keys and agent has let them retain access.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm not sure what you think the agent could have done.
                      They can't expel the tenant.
                      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


                        #12
                        If a tenant leaves belongings in the property but tenancy has ended due to notice given and being accepted, can we instruct LA to change the locks? I thought tenants could remain (or leave belongings) after notice date but if so tenancy continued. Is that wrong?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If valid notice to quit was given one of the tenant, then the tenancy will end on its expiry. If tenant remains with occupation beyond that date, then mesne profits for use at equivalent to double the amount of rent. However, the tenant here will clearly argue the occupation has ended. Does your tenancy agreement have any clause regarding tenant's possession after the end of a tenancy? "You will be charge so much for storage per day" etc.

                          Could you instruct the LA to change locks? Normally, I would say yes, and charge the tenant for it. But if the LA have already explicitly agree with the agent that they can keep the key for unsupervised access to get their stuff, then that's a problem.

                          I would say the agent should either have stated to the tenant that either they are in continued use and occupation, or they have surrendered but kept the key so lock will be changed and chraged for and possession being in storage charged for.
                          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

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