T has lost his job and plans to move out

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    T has lost his job and plans to move out

    Hi

    My tenant has recently lost his job and thinks he may have to move out in Nov, if he doesn't find another job (he is finance). He started his 12 month tenancy in May. There is a 6 month break clause in the AST with 2 months notice. My agent told me that if he has to move out in Nov then I can keep his deposit because he will be in breach of contract. Is the agent correct?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    Originally posted by tsu3000 View Post
    Hi

    My tenant has recently lost his job and thinks he may have to move out in Nov, if he doesn't find another job (he is finance). He started his 12 month tenancy in May. There is a 6 month break clause in the AST with 2 months notice. My agent told me that if he has to move out in Nov then I can keep his deposit because he will be in breach of contract. Is the agent correct?

    Thanks in advance.
    What would be the point of having a break clause which (presumably) allows T to leave after 6 months, if he is penalised for doing so?

    He has told you now, in September - so you have had two months notice. No, you have no right to keep his deposit.

    I would be amazed if the TDS allowed you to keep your tenant's deposit - assuming, of course, that you have protected it as you are legally required to do? You have, haven't you?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      Yes the deposit has been protected by TDS. From understanding T cannot leave within the first 6 months of contract and in my AST it states T must give me 2 months notice after the first 6 months. So the earliest T can leave is Dec.

      I have explained this to TDS and they said I have the right to use T's deposit to pay for December's rent if he decides to leave in Nov because T will be in breach of contract.

      Is this correct?

      Thanks.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by tsu3000 View Post
        Yes the deposit has been protected by TDS. From understanding T cannot leave within the first 6 months of contract and in my AST it states T must give me 2 months notice after the first 6 months. So the earliest T can leave is Dec.

        I have explained this to TDS and they said I have the right to use T's deposit to pay for December's rent if he decides to leave in Nov because T will be in breach of contract.

        Is this correct?

        Thanks.
        Why would you have reason to suspect the TDS have lied to you?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          I think we need to know the exact wording of the break clause.

          Comment


            #6
            It is more common for a 6 month break to allow either party to give notice from month four, ending the tenancy at the 6 month point. However without seeing the specific wording of the break clause it if impossible to be certain.

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              #7
              Honestly, this kind of thing makes me lose faith in landlords altogether!

              As far as I know, if you want to keep money from anyone for breach of contract, then you can only claim the reasonable expenses it took you to fix that breach. If your tenant gives you two months notice to move out, even if he is breaking the contract, you have to try and find a new tenant. If, and only if, you can't, then you are entitled to claim the money that you would have lost (presumably the one month's rent).

              But despite the legal situation, have pity on the guy! He's presumably stressed out at losing his job, and probably the last thing he wants to worry about is a fight to get his deposit back. Having lost his job, that money might be very important to him. And if he's allowed to move out in December anyway, what's a month?! Either way, you will still have to do the work to find a new tenant.

              Comment


                #8
                Here is the clause in question:

                "Both parties shall have the right to terminate the tenancy agreement by giving not less that 60 days notice in writing on any day following 1/11/08 to that effect and upon the expiration of such Notice this Agreement and everything herein contained shall cease and be void subject nevertheless to the right of the parties in respect of any antecedent breach of any of the covenants herein contained."

                Just to be clear, I want to do the "right thing" and of course losing his job is bad for him. But at the same time I need to protect my interests. Ideally he finds a new job, he stays on and everyone is happy.

                Thanks.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I feared the clause might be something like this. One can see in there the remnants of a standard clause that has suffered a bit of a battering. We can ignore the last part as it not relevant to the question to be answered. That leaves:

                  Both parties shall have the right to terminate the tenancy agreement by giving not less that 60 days notice in writing on any day following 1/11/08 to that effect

                  Ignoring any difficulty with the word "both" and the fact that it is not stated to whom the notice is to be given, I think there are two possible interpretations:

                  Either party shall have the right to terminate the tenancy agreement on any day following 1/11/08 by giving at any time during the tenancy not less that 60 days notice in writing

                  Either party shall have the right to terminate the tenancy agreement by giving on any day following 1/11/08 not less that 60 days notice in writing


                  The second is perhaps a more natural meaning, but the first cannot be ruled out. In the case of ambiguity, the law tends to say that a clause is to be interpreted against the person who provided the document. Further, if it was reresented to the tenant that the agreement had a "six month break clause" I think people take that to mean that, subject to serving your notice in good time, the maximum period you are committed to is six months. I do not think they take it to mean that no notice can be served until the six months has expired.

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