Tenants want to end tenancy without honouring terms of AST.

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    Tenants want to end tenancy without honouring terms of AST.

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)? England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? Assured Shorthold Tenancy. multiple tenants

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? 27 August 2018.

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)? 12 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? Per calendar month. Due on 27th.

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? Yes. Paid at different times as 2 of the tenants are original, and others joined at later dates.

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy). Notice was served on November 20.

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant? No



    The tenants have been in the property for several years. The tenancy agreement was due for renewal on August 27 but was signed late this year because they were not sure whether they wanted to stay or not. They decided they did and eventually had all signed by mid-September. Shortly after the agreement was signed, the property was broken into. We made all necessary repairs to doors and locks as a matter of priority but the tenants have been understandably upset by the event. They gave notice to quit on November 20 but are not prepared to honour the terms of the AST, which does not have a break clause. They propose to leave at the property on January 27 and expect to walk away from the contract with no further obligations, even though the AST states that they should be liable for rent until the property is re-let. They seem to be claiming that trauma from the break in negates their obligations with regard to the rental agreement.

    We suggested that they pay for one extra month of rent, for February, as the property has not been treated particularly well and we would ideally like to re-decorate and re-carpet before it is re-let. The tenants will not consider this, insisting that they leave with no further financial obligations. What is the best way forward? I completely understand that they want to leave the property and have no wish for them to remain if they do not want to. However, I don't agree that the break-in negates the contract. What are our options? We certainly don't want to go down the road of suing them. Is it best just to accept it as a bad loss and move on? If they leave as they plan to, thereby breaking the agreement, are they still fully entitled to the deposit? Any advice is welcome. The letting agent is very pragmatic and of the opinion that it is best to swallow the loss, even though the vacancy comes at one of the worst times in the year and just try to re-let as soon as possible.

    #2
    I believe that they are bound by the contract, and that you are being reasonable.

    I presume that the deposit has been properly protected at all times and that deposit PI was served at the appropriate times, so that they do not have a claim against you for late protection/serving.

    Comment


      #3
      even though the AST states that they should be liable for rent until the property is re-let.
      I'd make sure that that clause is removed if you use the same tenancy agreement again.

      The tenant is liable for the rent until the end of the fixed term.
      What terms you agree to vary that don't need to be pre-agreed.

      In this case, the tenant wants to break a contract that they have entered into.
      They can negotiate if you agree, but they can't just walk away.
      I'd suggest that they take legal advice to understand the reality of their situation, as, if they don't start to be more realistic, you will simply pursue them for the rent due between January and August 2019 making no attempt to re-let.

      That might at least reset the terms of the discussion.
      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
        I believe also there is no duty to mitigate losses in regard to tenancies. Reichman and Dunn v Beveridge and Gauntlett

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you MdeB, jpkeates and Jon66 for your replies. I only saw them today. In the end we managed to negotiate with the tenants to stay in the property for an extra month, paying rent until the end of February and then we let them go with no further obligation. Fortunately, the extra month gave us time to find new tenants and to redecorate.

          Comment


            #6
            Your deposit arrangements sound dodgy. There is only one tenancy, so there should only have been one deposit paid.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
              Your deposit arrangements sound dodgy. There is only one tenancy, so there should only have been one deposit paid.
              I agree.
              When a joint tenant wants to leave, end the entire agreement (including resolving any damage compensation) and start a new one with new tenants (new deposit new fixed term).

              When you swap tenants in a joint tenancy, it works fine until the end of the arrangement, at which point, it all reveals itself to be a can of worms,
              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

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