Recovering 'Rent in Advance' monies

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    Recovering 'Rent in Advance' monies

    Good afternoon, first time poster here.

    First things first:
    • House in question is in England.
    • Multiple Tenant AST began on 23/09/2015, becoming a Joint Periodic Tenancy on 23/03/2016 after 6 month fixed term.
    • Rent was due monthly on the 23rd day of each month
    • No deposit taken but £350.00 (1 month’s rent) taken as ‘Rent in Advance’.
    • Landlord did not live in same property.

    Below is a timeline of the key events as they happened.

    23/09/2015 - First signed Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement with fixed term of 6 months. My mother was guarantor, but that’s no major issue.
    23/03/2016 – Beginning of Joint Periodic Tenancy when fixed term ended.
    22/11/2017 – Notice to quit served to Landlord by myself due to relationship breakdown. Emails and postal receipts to prove.
    30/11/2017 – Date I actually moved out of the property.
    22/12/2017 – End of tenancy period. Keys returned to Landlord. Postal receipt kept as proof.

    Now, after reviewing the timeline above, please can somebody help me with the following quandary?

    Upon my vacating the property, my ex-partner has stayed there.
    The position of the landlord is that seeing as one tenant has remained in the property and not returned the keys to them, the original tenancy is still in place, along with the guarantor.
    My position is that when any one tenant ends a joint periodic tenancy agreement, then tenancy is the ended for all parties and it is then up to the landlord to decide whether they wish to offer a new tenancy agreement to the remaining tenant.

    Now, I am trying to recover the £350.00 which I paid to the landlord as ‘Rent in Advance’ at the start of the tenancy. They have provided me with rent statements up to and including the last month of my tenancy, showing that as of the end of the notice period (after I provided the notice to quit) I am still £350.00 in credit.

    Should this be refunded to me? I am the person who paid the monies, it came from my account and I was legally liable for 100% of the rent payments while I was in the property. Paper trails prove this is the case and there is no argument from my ex-partner relating to this.
    The sole issue is that the landlord is under the impression that the original tenancy still stands even though they accepted my notice to quit and accepted the keys when I returned them. As stated before, my understanding is that the tenancy is over once any one tenant completes their notice period and then a new tenancy must be drawn up between the landlord and the remaining party.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Andrew.

    #2
    Assuming your notice to quit was valid - in writing, at least one month from the date it's deemed served (per any terms in tenancy agreement) not just received, dated to expire on the last or first day of a period of tenancy - then yes, the tenancy has ended.

    Since that £350 was never actually used as rent, i.e. you still had to pay rent every month, that's almost certainly a deposit. Just because the landlord called it "rent in advance" doesn't make it so.

    If you and your ex-partner was jointly listed as tenant, then you're both equally responsible for rent payment, not just you. Probably likewise for the deposit (from the landlord point of view). Any agreement between you and your ex-partner as to who actually pay is seperate to that.

    You can and probably should sue for the money to be returned. Problem is if you're joint tenant, you're going to need both be named as claimant unless you apply to the court for permission to bring it on your own. I don't know how feasible that is based on your present circumstance with your ex. You will probably also win any deposit claim but you're almost certainly going to have to argue against defence that it wasn't a deposit. You can make a claim for two penalties being one for the fixed term, and one for the statutory periodic tenancy. Each penalty is between 1x and 3x the amount of the deposit.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by RooDoubleYou View Post
      My position is that when any one tenant ends a joint periodic tenancy agreement, then tenancy is the ended for all parties and it is then up to the landlord to decide whether they wish to offer a new tenancy agreement to the remaining tenant.
      That is also the position in law (provided your notice was valid).

      Even though you paid the money, it was paid (legally) by both of you as the (joint) tenant.
      So you should both receive it.
      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
        Thank you, for your quick responses. I was confident in my assertions as I've picked up a lot of knowledge after working for a local housing authority for the last 18 months, but you guys have cemented my foundations here. Thank you.

        And yes, the notice to quit is valid, I believe. I served it on 21/11/2017, it was received by both the landlord and remaining tenant on 22/11/2017. New rental period began 23/11/2017 (final rent payment was made on this date) and notice to quit stated my final day of tenancy would be 22/12/2017. I also have emails stating that the landlord accepted my notice. Also, the keys were returned via first class recorded delivery and arrived with the landlord on 22/12/2017.

        Comment


          #5
          If the joint tenant has not vacated then s/he is 'holding over' and liable to pay mesne profits, unless the landlord accepts rent from him/her, in which case a new sole tenancy begins.

          Comment

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