Tenants with year's AST want to move after 1 month

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    Tenants with year's AST want to move after 1 month

    We recently let our main home to 4 students. We were told by the letting agent they were part time students, but it as since transpired they are full time at the local uni!!

    We went round to the house the first weekend and they said they didnt realise how far it was from the Uni. Then they called us to say, we only want the place for 9months until the end of the Uni year. Completely understandable, but they signed a 12 month contract.

    We signed up for a complete managed service from the agent this time and included a "rent guarantee insurance".

    Anyway, they move in 1 month ago and I've just taken a call from the agent and he is saying they want to leave. ASAP. They have only paid 1 months rent and the next is due on the 29th. Yippee! My guess is that they have decided that they dont want to be responsible for the three months rent at the end of their Uni term and have decided to go now. I presume that they wont pay the rent either on Wednesday or next month.

    Nice situation. Also add to the mix that we allowed them to keep A cat. They have three.

    We have incurred costs to set this up with the agent and will do so again. I presume that if they dont pay the rent, the insurance will. They are obviously in breach of contract. What happens to their deposit? Can we claim our costs for getting another tenant in? They havent been in long enough for the paint to dry let alone trash the place!
    thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by Barch View Post
    We recently let our main home to 4 students. We were told by the letting agent they were part time students, but it as since transpired they are full time at the local uni!!

    We went round to the house the first weekend and they said they didnt realise how far it was from the Uni. Then they called us to say, we only want the place for 9months until the end of the Uni year. Completely understandable, but they signed a 12 month contract.

    We signed up for a complete managed service from the agent this time and included a "rent guarantee insurance".

    Anyway, they move in 1 month ago and I've just taken a call from the agent and he is saying they want to leave. ASAP. They have only paid 1 months rent and the next is due on the 29th. Yippee! My guess is that they have decided that they dont want to be responsible for the three months rent at the end of their Uni term and have decided to go now. I presume that they wont pay the rent either on Wednesday or next month.

    Nice situation. Also add to the mix that we allowed them to keep A cat. They have three.

    We have incurred costs to set this up with the agent and will do so again. I presume that if they dont pay the rent, the insurance will. They are obviously in breach of contract. What happens to their deposit? Can we claim our costs for getting another tenant in? They havent been in long enough for the paint to dry let alone trash the place!
    thanks
    If they have signed a twelve month AST, they (or their guarantors, which you should have insisted on for any low/no income tenant)) are legally bound to pay the rent for the full term, full stop.

    It is not your problem that they have decided the walk to Uni is too far, etc. They cannot just decide they'd rather move out - what planet are they from?!

    I somehow doubt that the rent guarantee will pay out given that they were not part-time, but full- time students, but you'd need legal advice on this and also, as to whether you can sue them or misrepresenting their status when they signed up.

    The cat issue is separate and probably irrelevant, really.

    Unless you evict them, or agree to release them from their contract early, their deposit should stay in the protection scheme until the end of the fixed term (12 months in your case).

    As you stand to lose a lot of money here (unless replacement tenants are queuing up ready?), I would see your solicitor quickly.

    Incidentally, did your agent do any credit/employment checks on these guys? If not, agent may have been in breach of contract.
    '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

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply. I'll contact the RLA tomorrow to see what they say. Yes, we did get references, which the agent showed us. The 4 students have their parents as guarantors, so I assume the rent is covered that way. The guarantor info was provided to the insurance company.

      We signed a contract for them to have a fantastic house for 12 months. In fact we moved out to a temporary flat so they can move in, paying out three months rent so that we need only be here for that period.

      The students are two boys, two girls. They were obviously cohabiting couples, though when they came round, they were talking about the boys being downstairs, girls upstairs!! They are saying one of the girls has "issues". The agent feels one of the couples have split up. Again not our issue.

      If the rent guarantee insurance doesnt pay up, then, I'm sure we'll have a case for misrepresentation against the agent. We are less than impress with the agent.

      As for tenants lining up? Well, its a great place, and I would have thought it would be fairly easy to rent, but, if they leave, and its not rented, apparently the insurance doesnt cover us for them leaving! Only if they stay put and dont pay!

      thanks again

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Barch View Post
        As for tenants lining up? Well, its a great place, and I would have thought it would be fairly easy to rent, but, if they leave, and its not rented, apparently the insurance doesnt cover us for them leaving! Only if they stay put and dont pay!thanks again
        Please do post back and let us know what happens - I'd be interested to know what comes of the rent insurance policy. I let to students, but apart from Univeristy Accommodation Office's guarantees that rent will be paid if you let them manage your property (they have a little more clout since the student can be debarred form graduating if they owe money!), I have never bothered with rent guarantee companies. The premiums seem excessive, most of them aren't inetrested in students and presumably they don't pay out until you've been down the route of claiming against the tenants, then the guarantors, etc?

        Plus, as I said, don't bank on an insurance payout. If students falsely represented themselves as in employment, I think the insuracne company will use this as a wriggle-out.

        Out of interest, has anyone actaully spelt it out to the students that they will be in breach of contract if they move out and pay no more rent? Do they not understand the basic principle of a legally binding contract? I know it seems obvious and whereas most students are bright and sensible, some are not. e.g. a law student we know (3 As at A level, etc) who thought hot water was piped into a house free, 'like cold water is'?

        Good luck - hope the road ahead isn't too rocky. Might be worth telling your agent to suss out the chances of finding 4 replacements?
        '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

        Comment


          #5
          I will post as this move forward. I'll be speaking the agent tomorrow. They of course let us know at 6:00pm today so no action was possible today. I will ask them to spell out what the contract means. If they leave and we do get a replacement tenant straight in, the have to pay for the time its not tenanted.

          We werent at the house when the agent showed these people around. We stressed "no students" yet these werent the only students that were shown the house. Bloomin' Agents!!

          I'm actually quite pleased that we can get them out and replaced them with a family or professionals. There are no guarantees, but, I'm not surprised issues have surfaced.

          Comment


            #6
            Out of curiosity and sheer nosiness. How far is the property from the university please?

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              #7
              if they leave, and its not rented, apparently the insurance doesnt cover us for them leaving! Only if they stay put and dont pay!
              I'm not certain I understand the difference. If they leave and don't pay, unless you agree mutually to terminate the contract I should have thought that the contract continues. You generally STILL strictly have to apply to the courts to evict them, even if they've left, unless you have a document in place.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Telometer View Post
                I'm not certain I understand the difference. If they leave and don't pay, unless you agree mutually to terminate the contract I should have thought that the contract continues. You generally STILL strictly have to apply to the courts to evict them, even if they've left, unless you have a document in place.
                Yes, it sounds as if it's just a big cop-out on the part of the insurers, doesn't it. They know it's (relatively) easier for you to get rent out of people who are in the property, rather than from ones who have legged it, so they make themselves a neat little 'get-out' for the cases where you are most likely to need to fall back on your policy.

                Do I sound a bit cynical here?
                '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

                Comment


                  #9
                  This sounds like one of the 'free' rent and legal expense guarantees that are offered by a couple of referencing companies. Is the first months rent covered or is there a one month excess?

                  We had an african tenant who we had a rent and legal expense guarantee on as we were a bit undecided about him even though his references checked out. Two months later he was arrested for shoplifting and claimed asylum! - turns out he had lied on his application; his boss was involved as he had employed him illegally; his previous rent reference turned out to be from a friend who happened to lodge at his previous address and had forged documents and his passport turned out to be forged as well. The insurers still paid out.

                  The insurers paying out only if the tenant stays in the property is fairly standard unfortunately; they take the view that if its empty it can be relet.

                  If you've got guarantors I'd go after them as soon as the rent is unpaid and then get the property back on the market again as soon as possible to mitigate as much of the loss as you can.
                  My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by oaktree View Post
                    The insurers paying out only if the tenant stays in the property is fairly standard unfortunately; they take the view that if its empty it can be relet.
                    Not a viable view, given the risk of suddenly-returning T claiming that L is trespassing: see several recent threads postulating that danger.
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                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by oaktree View Post
                      The insurers paying out only if the tenant stays in the property is fairly standard unfortunately; they take the view that if its empty it can be relet.


                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      Not a viable view, given the risk of suddenly-returning T claiming that L is trespassing: see several recent threads postulating that danger.
                      Quite right but it is the insurers view none the less
                      My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Barch View Post
                        We werent at the house when the agent showed these people around. We stressed "no students" yet these werent the only students that were shown the house. Bloomin' Agents!!
                        I had a similar situation with an agent who couldn't get any non-student tenants interested (no answer give to this question) and even though I specifically instructed the agent that I would not consider students under any circumstances, they still added "suitable for students" in their advertising.

                        This agent subsequently received 2 offers, both from groups of students and which were presented to me as "great news".

                        Despite the fact that the property was not let and it cost me to reject the student offers, I changed the agent and started again with an agent that has staff with proper functioning ears.

                        I do hope you re-let your property and that these brats disappear from your midst asap.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If you've got guarantors I'd go after them as soon as the rent is unpaid and then get the property back on the market again as soon as possible to mitigate as much of the loss as you can.[/QUOTE]

                          The guarantors apparently are only there to cover the insurance risk! This is not what we were told, but essentially, the 4 students are the only people we have any possibility of recourse with.

                          The University is about 3-3.5 miles away. I dont know exactly, I've just done a quick route plan on mapmyrun.com and it says 3.3 miles. Whatever distance it is it is EXACTLY the same as when they viewed the house!

                          Anyway, An update for you . We had a sit down meeting with the agent today. They, probably quite rightly, are concentrating on getting the property back on the market. We are of course waiting for them to call back with an update on when the tenants are vacating, but that it will be DAYS! The rent is due tomorrow, but they had decided they didnt want to pay another months money! They are clearly in breach. We can get the property back on the market very quickly but the agent is telling us to not bother with taking the tenants to court. We wont win!! I find this incredible. They are clearly in breach and we will incur losses. We will look to mitigate thee losses but, we have asked the agent to spell out to them in no uncertain terms that they are responsible for the rent until such time as we get a new tenant in there. We will even consider doing join agencies.

                          We have a months money in the deposit protection scheme which I'm guessing, becasue they are in breach, we'll get to keep, but even that isnt clear.

                          Yours quite angrily
                          Barch

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Barch View Post
                            Anyway, An update for you . We had a sit down meeting with the agent today. They, probably quite rightly, are concentrating on getting the property back on the market. We are of course waiting for them to call back with an update on when the tenants are vacating, but that it will be DAYS! The rent is due tomorrow, but they had decided they didnt want to pay another months money! They are clearly in breach. We can get the property back on the market very quickly but the agent is telling us to not bother with taking the tenants to court. We wont win!! I find this incredible. They are clearly in breach and we will incur losses. We will look to mitigate thee losses but, we have asked the agent to spell out to them in no uncertain terms that they are responsible for the rent until such time as we get a new tenant in there. We will even consider doing join agencies.

                            We have a months money in the deposit protection scheme which I'm guessing, becasue they are in breach, we'll get to keep, but even that isnt clear.

                            Yours quite angrily
                            Barch
                            I don't understand why you are bothering to use the same agent again, after they screwed up with the students and given that you are not at all impressed with them?

                            They don't deserve a second chance.

                            Are they the only agents in town or something?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by SEB View Post
                              I don't understand why you are bothering to use the same agent again, after they screwed up with the students and given that you are not at all impressed with them?

                              They don't deserve a second chance.

                              Are they the only agents in town or something?
                              Yep, true. We've been to see another agent today. It will cost us less for them to find a replacement. Not perhaps the most sound reason, but one we have to consider none the less

                              Comment

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