Letting agent refuses to take keys

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    Letting agent refuses to take keys

    Hi. I am in the 6th month of a fixed-term 6-month tenancy. I have already paid for the full 6 months (up to 22 May) but am planning to leave on 3 May. I’ve paid council tax and water up to end May and will take meter readings on 3rd. The agents say they cannot take the keys on 3rd as that is not the final day of my tenancy. Are they within their rights to do this?

    #2
    Just tell them you'll be posting the keys through the letterbox when you leave. They're free to go retrieve whenever they want after the 3rd.

    Take lots of photos of condition of property.
    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.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

    Comment


      #3
      Technically they are correct, you have paid until 22nd May so it is still your rented property and your keys until 22nd May.
      If you choose to move out earlier that's your choice, but it's still your rented property.
      Legally they can't let it out again, or even do any work or cleaning in there, until after the 22nd May.

      They are probably concerned that if they accept the keys off you on the 3rd then that could be seen as an agreement to surrender the tenancy and you might then ask for your money back from the 3rd to the 22nd.

      You could do as KTC suggests, or put the keys with a note through their letterbox, or take the keys to them on the 22nd. (or even post the keys to them to get there by the 22nd).

      As said take lots of photos when you do leave, even photograph the meter readings as you leave.

      Comment


        #4
        Politely make it clear that you are not attempting to end the tenancy early.



        Edit: cross posted with Nukecad

        Comment


          #5
          Put keys in envelope with covering letter and stick in agency letter box. Take photos of keys, letter, envelope and it going into letter box.

          To be a lettings agent in England requires no qualifications no training no criminal records check. Don't it show!
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            Put keys in envelope with covering letter and stick in agency letter box.
            ....and then forget about renting in that town ever again.

            Comment


              #7
              Apart from anything else, unless something else is agreed YOU are responsible for all tenant like activities until the tenancy ends (reporting any urgent leaks for example, any maintenance obligations you have as Tenant under contract, keeping the property occupied (almost certainly an obligation), and so on. You are also responsible for properly heating and ventilating the place (and paying for that), albeit in summer that is easier.

              There are certain tricky aspects and obligations you can't just walk away from.....

              Taking lots of photos 6 weeks before the tenancy ends will be of little value.

              Comment


                #8
                If agency cannot re let until after 22nd May, I feel you are also responsible for utilities particularity standing charge , (perhaps not C/Tax).

                Comment


                  #9

                  Am I missing something here?

                  Tenant has paid rent and bills up to May 22nd when the fixed term ends (so no notice period needed) and tenant wants to effectively end the tenancy on 3rd May. Most landlords will not have an issue as they can have access to the house and start the re-letting process 19 days early, yet have been paid for those 19 days. Just ask the landlord/ agent to confirm (deed of surrender maybe?) that they agree that the tenancy has ended on 3rd May, and state that you do not want a refund, and all will be solved……….Unless, those 2 pints I had at lunch have addled my brain (quite possible) and I have missed a trick.
                  All advice given by me is purely on the basis of being ‘in my opinion’: please check with the relevant professional before acting on it. If my advice saves you money, mine's a pint.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    [Tenant fees act....
                    May make landlords nervous about doing something so sensible and helpful

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Hollywood View Post
                      If agency cannot re let until after 22nd May, I feel you are also responsible for utilities particularity standing charge , (perhaps not C/Tax).
                      May not be responsible for Council Tax to the Council, but most likely to be responsible for covering it for the landlord via contract.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Assuming no surrender, OP is responsible for the CT until 21/22 May since 6 months fixed term. And if it's already paid anyway, the point's moot.

                        Payment to a landlord in consideration of the termination of a tenancy at the tenant's request is a permitted payment.
                        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.

                        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by KTC View Post
                          Assuming no surrender, OP is responsible for the CT until 21/22 May since 6 months fixed term. And if it's already paid anyway, the point's moot.

                          Payment to a landlord in consideration of the termination of a tenancy at the tenant's request is a permitted payment.
                          I think we gathered from another thread that it is not unless it is exactly covering costs. In other words if L and T jointly guess a mutually agreeable surrender amount and arrangement and then L goes and finds another tenant quicker than anticipated (i.e. a profit) it does fall under the Act.

                          Wrong?

                          I have stopped offering any surrender agreements as a result.
                          See for example various points in this thread https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...cy-issue/page3

                          In other words if T comes and says I am 4 months into a 12 month AST and I wish to surrender.
                          I say OK - you pay me 3000, and depart in 2 weeks, when the tenancy will end, and here is a surrender agreement
                          Tenant says OK, that is good for me, I say OK that is good for me.

                          But the ACT prohibits what is good. So I say get stuffed - stick it out for another 9 months.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                            In other words if T comes and says I am 4 months into a 12 month AST and I wish to surrender.
                            I say OK - you pay me 3000, and depart in 2 weeks, when the tenancy will end, and here is a surrender agreement
                            Tenant says OK, that is good for me, I say OK that is good for me.

                            But the ACT prohibits what is good. So I say get stuffed - stick it out for another 9 months.
                            I agree that this is an (hopefully) unintended consequence of the legislation.

                            It's why it's a maximum of 6 months tenancy, because in that scenario, I'd let them go.
                            Which isn't great for me as the landlord and reinforces the notion that the tenant can commit to something and ignore their commitment.

                            In this specific case, unless the agent has discussed this with the landlord who doesn't want to take possession early for some reason, there's no reason to think that the agent isn't just being a bit of a dick.
                            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


                              #15
                              AndrewDod,

                              The Tenant Fees Act 2019 does allow for the landlord to charge tenants who wish to terminate the tenancy early during a fixed term it is just that the fee cannot exceed the loss suffered by the landlord. Maybe £3,000 for early termination isn't excessive in your scenario by the time you've factored in letting agency fees and a void.

                              I don't think Anne10 really wants to the surrender the tenancy early. I know that technically the tenancy will be surrendered early because Anne10 will give up her exclusive occupation but the rent, CT an utilities are all paid up to the end of the fixed term so I am inclined to agree with jpkeates and that the letting agent is just being a bit of a dick.

                              Besides, 22nd May is a Saturday, how many letting agents work at the weekend? The last letting agent I used said a check-out inspection was going to be done 5th February and when I asked for a copy of the report was told it hadn't been done because it was impossible, yes he actually used the word impossible, for a check-out inspection to be done at the weekend.

                              Comment

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