Tenant wants to End the Tenancy early

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    Tenant wants to End the Tenancy early

    Hi All,

    I am a Private Landlord, I signed a Tenancy Agreement with a Couple for my property who were referenced by a reputable agent.
    The Referencing was fine and I subsquently went ahead and drew up the Tenancy agreement for 6 months.

    I am 10 weeks in to the contract,
    Having received a phone call from the Tenant saying they wish to leave the Property.
    The reason given was that they want something closer to their work and also larger property as 3 more members of their family wish to move in with them.

    It is a 6 months Contract of 16 weeks remains
    I have been given a months notice by Text

    I have informed the Tenant that tey are in Breach of their Contract but I think the warning has gone unheeded.
    (I have not accepted this in any way)

    My agent says they will charge to find another Tenant and also went on to say that I have the right to keep the deposit, and charge for the remaining period of the Tenancy.
    I want to make sure that this is the case.

    It is obvious the Tenant has made up their mind and also have found somewhere else, the holding deposit has been paid, I have been asked to give a reference.


    The Tenancy agreement has the following clauses.

    If you and/or your partner decide that you want to end the tenancy agreement early you may lose part or all of your deposit.

    The Tenant/s is required to give at least one month’s notice in writing to the landlord’s Landlord of his intention to vacate the property at the end of the tenancy agreement or at any later date. Should one month’s notice not be given the Tenant/s will be obliged to pay rent for the remainder of the period.



    Your answers and suggestions will be most welcome

    Thank you in advance.















    #2
    I don't believe the tenant can contract out of the right to require the whole deposit to be returned. Generally the situation with deposits is that the tenant must specifically agree to deductions.

    I'm not convinced the tenant can contract out of the right to simply leave at the end of the fixed period.

    You can claim reasonable compensation for your losses from an early surrender, or you can leave the property unlet and claim rent until the end of the six months.

    Comment


      #3
      The clause about the deposit looks advisory to me. However, as per Mr 64 above, you can't do anything with the deposit without the tenant's agreement.

      Your tenant cannot end their tenancy in this way.
      They are as committed to the fixed term as you are (imagine if you'd tried to end the tenancy after 10 weeks)!

      Point out the them that they will owe the rent until the end of the six months (at which point the tenancy will end because they're not living there).

      If your tenancy agreement has any clauses about not leaving the place empty, point out that any damage or issues that arise because they're in breach of that clause will be a loss you will claim.

      If the tenancy agreement has terms requiring them to pay utilities and council tax, tell them you'll recover that from them as well (you can't stop the council switching the liability to you when they move out - they're theoretically liable, but the council won't care).

      Because this is a lease, any normal contractual requirement about mitigating a loss doesn't apply.

      I would suggest that rather than waste time arguing about whether you can do all that, you advise them to take legal action or talk to shelter or CAB before they do anything or respond.
      That will, hopefully, make them realise the basic situation.

      From that point it's up to the tenant to work out any outcome that they can that's better than that and which you're prepared to agree to.
      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
        If the OP re-lets they are accepting that the tenancy has been surrendered, so losses from that point on are subject to the normal contract rules.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          you can't stop the council switching the liability to you when they move out - they're theoretically liable, but the council won't care
          The council have no legal right to seek council tax from the LL in this situation (S6 Local Government Finance Act 1992); the tenant remains the person from whom the council must seek payment of council tax.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MdeB View Post
            The council have no legal right to seek council tax from the LL in this situation (S6 Local Government Finance Act 1992); the tenant remains the person from whom the council must seek payment of council tax.
            I agree, totally.

            But good luck with getting the local authority to agree that they should switch their charging from a landlord whose details they have and who isn't likely to move and doesn't want an issue with their property to a person whose address they probably don't have (and who isn't necessarily going to remain there) and who isn't going to want to pay.
            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


              #7
              The council will only seek council tax from people at their main residential address (one address) - I had this problem when a tenant moved out early but still had some items in my property and I got the council tax bill for it. I had a long fight which I did win in the end but it was a battle.
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                The council will only seek council tax from people at their main residential address (one address) - I had this problem when a tenant moved out early but still had some items in my property and I got the council tax bill for it. I had a long fight which I did win in the end but it was a battle.
                Nice idea... Not in my experience. Had to pay during voids (after tenancy ended normally) and during building work, awaiting 1st tenant and when selling after getting vacant possession. & I think that's right.
                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


                  #9
                  It probably depends on the Council. I was pro-active in telling the Council that one of my tenants had abandoned the property but still had a fixed term tenancy and I gave them a forwarding address for them to carry on billing the tenant for Council Tax. Never heard another word from them.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The perils of being in this market. The law is the law but practical common sense will most likely serve you better in the long run in my experience. Whilst you are correct to assume that you have a binding contract which is enforceable at law you probably do not want to go down that expensive and timely route. My advice is to have your agent bring in another tenant, yes it will cost you their fee and it will take time but hopefully you will not be hit twice by the same bad luck. It will also be cheaper and much less stressful.

                    Do not refund the deposit per jpkeates' advice above. For the future you should specifically write in your contracts that the deposit is taken for any liability of unpaid rent etc not merely damage to the property at least that will give you a month's breathing space.

                    You win some and you lose some in this game but over the long term you will win out..well hopefully anyway.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post

                      Nice idea... Not in my experience. Had to pay during voids (after tenancy ended normally) and during building work, awaiting 1st tenant and when selling after getting vacant possession. & I think that's right.
                      sorry Artful I meant in the sense that they would bill the tenant at their new address and expect the LL to pay at the old - I agree LLs have to pay everything for everyone it seems!
                      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                      Comment

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