Deposit return- end of tenancy with a tenant swap

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    Deposit return- end of tenancy with a tenant swap


    Very much appreciate your views on the below issue.

    The concise question is:

    At the end of an AST contract, can the landlord undertake simultaneously a tenant swap and a contract extension against the written wishes of outgoing tenants, and retain the deposit?

    The context:

    We are four tenants sharing a four bedroom flat. All four names are on the contract. We had a one year AST contract. The contract states (as usual) that the deposit will be returned at the end of the contract. Towards the end of the contract, three of the flatmates decided that they would move out at the end of the contract and therefore not renew the contract. One flatmate decided she wanted to stay and find replacements for three outgoing tenants.

    The three tenants wrote to the landlord saying they would not renew, that the contract would terminate at the end of its term, and that the tenants would be released from any obligations after the end of the contract term, and that they expected the deposit to be released.

    Separately, the one flatmate who wanted to stay found three replacements. The landlord then signed a contract with that tenant, plus the three new tenants.

    Now the landlord is refusing to release the deposit to the outgoing flatmates, and telling the outgoing flatmates that it is their responsibility to organise a deposit transfer from the new tenants to the outgoing ones.

    Whilst we understand that this might be the case for a tenant swap during the term of the contract, we do not believe that this should be the case at the end of a contract term.

    The tenant who is staying has a history of not paying bills, and when a tenant swap was performed during the last contract, this tenant asked the incoming tenant to transfer the deposit to her, but never transferred it back to the outgoing tenant. She has done the same thing with the incoming tenants. We (the outgoing tenants) are therefore worried that we will not get our deposits back.

    Is 12 month AST still within fixed Term (12 mo).
    IMO, IF the LL has signed a new AST with the remaining T + your replacements, then your Contract ends on date the new AST commences.


      Has this all happened already - have the original three tenants moved out and the new tenancy begun with the new tenants?
      Or is it about to happen?
      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).


        Seems to me that it is a new tenancy, not an assignment of the tenancy.
        Therefore the LL should
        1. Return deposit, less appropriate deductions, for the first tenancy.
        2. Produce a new inventory for second tenancy.
        3. Take and protect deposit for second tenancy.


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