Am I liable for rent after my tenancy ended as I forgot to hand in my keys.

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    Am I liable for rent after my tenancy ended as I forgot to hand in my keys.

    Q. Hi I am currently having a dispute with my former landlord in regards to my deposit. They are charging me £352 in regards to rent arrears. My contract ended on the 19th of March and then I emailed to stay till the 26th of March due to some issues in which they agreed. There was no discussion of how much it was going to cost to stay a week . I had even asked by email and no one replied. I then moved out in a rush on the 26th and forgot to return the keys I then sent them the next working day by post on the 28th. However they are now charging me rent till the 6th of April for when the “apparently received they keys” I understand paying for the week extra i had stayed but wouldn’t I just get charged a late fee for returning keys instead of rent. I have signed no contact with these people as they took over my tenancy a week before my contacted ended. In my contact it said nothing about being liable for rent till the keys was returned. Am I liable ?

    #2
    You'd need to provide a lot more detail, but from the sounds of things, you're very lucky to have gotten away with paying rent only to the 6th April.

    When your fixed term ended and you didn't move out, the tenancy would have become a monthly tenancy at some kind (assuming you paid rent monthly) and you would have needed to give at least a month's notice to end it.

    The agent (and landlord) seem to have been unusually flexible.

    But not agreeing the terms of the last few days is probably a mistake by both of you.
    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


      #3
      I did move out when the tenancy ended on the 26th of March. I just forgot to hand in they keys. when I asked to stay extra week I asked a week before the original move out date the 19th of March and they said it was fine to move out on the 26th.

      Comment


        #4
        Moving out can happen anytime e.g. a day after you move in.

        But you remain liable for rent until tenancy is ended. Moving out does not usually end tenancy.

        I agree, you've got away cheaply, they could have insisted on more and would v likely won in court.

        Read up on how to end tenancies, cough up and I humbly suggest be more careful , get everything agreed in writing, in future.

        Good luck!
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by Teesmith View Post
          I did move out when the tenancy ended on the 26th of March. I just forgot to hand in they keys. when I asked to stay extra week I asked a week before the original move out date the 19th of March and they said it was fine to move out on the 26th.
          You'll have to explain to me how the tenancy could end on the 26th March, then.

          If you had a fixed term agreement that ended on the 19th March, and you didn't move out on that day, and your rent was paid monthly, either the tenancy agreement says what happens next, or the 1988 Housing Act creates a new periodic tenancy.

          An "extension" of a week is next to impossible.

          And the tenancy agreement almost certainly requires rent paid monthly in advance and doesn't contain any provision for rebating what isn't used.

          The real issue is you and the agent not agreeing what was going to happen and what you were going to pay and for what.
          Because in the absence of any agreement between you, the fall back is the legal default position.
          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


            #6
            Thank you, for the responses. This was all written on emails the agreed date being the 26th. However I guess for your responses I’m still liable for the time they didn’t receive the keys via post 11 days after the 26th. I think it could of been cheaper saying I lost the keys .

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Teesmith View Post
              Thank you, for the responses. This was all written on emails the agreed date being the 26th. However I guess for your responses I’m still liable for the time they didn’t receive the keys via post 11 days after the 26th. I think it could of been cheaper saying I lost the keys .
              Quite possibly!

              If you want to dispute it, I can't see how the post could take that long to arrive, I guess.

              But I think you're winning if the agent isn't trying for a complete month's rent.
              Many would.
              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


                #8
                Hmmm I think I might try and dispute it. They are odd to me. The original charged me a cleaning fee as well for £124 but after I send videos and threatened adr they cancelled the cleaning charge.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Quite understand there is an email agreeing to you leaving 26th. Did it also agree to end the tenancy same date please? (Departing and ending tenancy are not the same thing)
                  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


                    #10
                    Yeah after asking to stay an extra week they said

                    “we can allow you stay for an extra week,
                    can you please advise of what date you will be
                    vacating and I will update the system to show this and
                    arrange the check out etc.”

                    and then I sent them the date Of the 26 March.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The tenancy doesn't end until it does. But not returning the keys you are not allowing it to be ended. In the absence of other written agreement as to pro-rata rent you owe for a month, so as others have said you got away lightly. Pay up.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You do not seem very appreciative of the helpful flexible action taken to accommodate your haphazard ways.Do the right thing and pay., and learn from your errors

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If the same thing happened to me. I would not enter the property until I got the keys back. You still have occupation as you are holding on to the keys. Your landlord is playing by the books and did the right thing.

                          You say you posted the keys on the 28th March. Small Parcel takes a few days (depending on how you sent it 1st or 2nd class). Whether you missed the last post. You need to clarify why they are charging you up to the 6th April. As has been said, they could charge up up to 19 April (next month). They are being extremely fair to you. May be as good will, they can look at it again.

                          They can't put in a new tenant, until they know your exact date and they have keys. Landlords dont' charge day rates like hotels.




                          Comment


                            #14
                            If:

                            (a) On or before 19th March it was agreed that you could stay until 26th March, that was an agreement for a new tenancy from 20th to 26th March which was not a statutory tenancy.

                            (b) You moved out on or before 26th March.

                            Then:

                            You do not owe any rent for any period after 26th March.

                            If you kept the keys after 26th March it does not change the position in any way. There is nothing magic about keys. Contrary to popular belief. keys have no bearing on when tenancies end.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                              If:

                              If you kept the keys after 26th March it does not change the position in any way. There is nothing magic about keys. Contrary to popular belief. keys have no bearing on when tenancies end.

                              Key return implications may not be written into tenancy law but if a landlord suspects abandonment return of keys is a cast iron indicator that the tenant has moved out and does not plan to return. That’s not strictly relevant to this post but in general, without return of keys, if the tenant has left some belongings (even if it is just worthless junk) in the property and landlord changes locks or re-lets it is quite easy for a landlord to be caught with their trousers down (not literally as that’s a whole different legal matter) and be accused of unlawful eviction. Having the keys returned makes it much less likely of that, so I place a high importance on having those keys in my hand (unless tenant confirms in writing that they are lost) before re-letting or changing locks.
                              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

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