HELP > Tenant wishes to end Tenancy after one month!

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    HELP > Tenant wishes to end Tenancy after one month!

    Hi Folks

    I rented out a house on 14 Dec 2005 to a couple.. the first rent was due on 11th Jan '06.. Ive just rang them up to check that they had handed in the standing order mandate and it appears the couple have separated. I had a short assured tenancy agreement (scotland) 6 month lease .. The husband refuses to hand in the standing order and said he would pay cash for this months rent and then will give me notice to quit ! .. The lease was made out to both husband and wife .. could someone give me some advice on this please ... i cant afford to lose any more money.. I have told them that they cant just end the agreement as it is for a min of 6 months ! but he cant afford it anymore so im stuck ..

    been told by someone they will be in breech of ast contract therefore i can legally keep deposit if they left the premises?? could someone please advice me........

    mr shed any advice please??


      Del - Sometimes what is legal and what is the most practical are slightly different. Practically if this tenant is going to leave then he will leave. If he will pay you the rent for January, then take it. I have had this type of problem several times and in these cases I find it best to work with the tenant. He must be feeling miserable if he has broken up with his wife. Explain to him that he is responsible for the six months, however you understand his problem. Then offer to try to let the property as soon as possible. He will be charged for the advertisement, your time and trouble and will have to pay the rent until it is re let. The last items all to be taken out of the deposit. If he is reasonable ( and most tenants are) then he should accept your offer. That way neither of you lose out to much. This has always worked for me, however I do not know how difficult your property is to let. Certainly you can keep the deposit. If you succeed in letting before end of January, then his rent should be returned from the date the next tenant moves in.
      Just a tip. I always offer to post the standing order myself. That way I know it's been sent! Hope this has been of some help.


        thanks susan

        very helpful indeed

        just another quick question .. i shouldnt hav problems re letting the property as i was still getting calls for it till last week .. i have readvertised it and fingers crossed ill have a few viewers by the end of the week.. with the property not being vacant .. if the tennant agrees verbally to me showing ppl around the property if hes not in .. would that be advisable?? or should i get it in writing?


          Happy to help delboy. My first advice is to search the forums....this is certainly not the first time this question has been asked. Indeed I recently gave a detailed answer regarding the tenants side of this, which would help you understand the position better.

          This is one of those situations where you need to think more along rational and common sense lines than legal ones. It is advisable to allow a tenant to leave in such a situation, but to make it clear to them they are responsible for any rent until a new tenant is found - however you must take every reasonable step to find a new tenant. A tenant has the right to leave in this way, but if it is during the fixed term then the tenant is responsible for the rent. Reasons not to resist them leaving are things such as subletting and assignment, which the tenant MAY have the right to do, which could lead to more problems in the long run for you.

          With regards your other more specific question. Right of access to viewings - I do not believe getting such a thing in writing would have any point, as I do not think it can override the tenants statutory right to "quiet enjoyment" of the property, which requires 48 hours written notice to enter the property(or less notice, but with the EXPLICIT permission of the tenant).

          I actually disagree with susan. You cannot keep the deposit, the deposit is to use against repairs, or PERHAPS rent, only. You can only withhold the deposit, in my opinion, either if the damages justify it or if the lost rent until the new tenant is the amount of the deposit. Otherwise, you have no basis whatsoever for withholding it. That said, the vast majority of tenants in this situation probably will not complain about keeping the deposit - that does not mean you should do it. However, I would probably be withholding the deposit until the new tenants are in, just to see how much rent they would owe, as if you have no forwarding address, you may have no other option but to take rent from the deposit.
          Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


            I have always just had a verbal agreement. Because usually the tenant is so pleased that you are not being difficult, that they are generally helpful. However I would check with him the times that are O.K. Also tactfully make sure the place is tidy. If I think the property will be easier to let when empty, I sometimes suggest that they might want to leave so that it can be shown at its best. But of course don't return any money until it's re let. If you feel happier with a written agreement then do have one. It depends on how you get on with the tenant and his present attitude. I do not know how long you have been a landlord, but this sort of thing does happen. I find it better to be flexible and helpful rather that get annoyed. Also you do not lose as much money! Hope all goes well.

            P.S. Have just read Mr. Shed's post. Just to clarify to you and him. I did not mean that you can just keep the deposit. You can only use it for expenses for releting and any damages.
            Last edited by susan 2; 16-01-2006, 22:22 PM. Reason: Had not seen Mr. Shed's post


              Good good susan, was thinking that you knew better than that

              Missed something, very slight, but for the sake of completeness. I havent made it clear that you can, of course, retain only part of the deposit if there are damages and costs, but not up to the total amount of the deposit.
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


                thanks folks for the helpful info ...
                ive been round to see the guy tonight and he was understanding and sorry for the hassle .........he gave me the rent which will take him up to 11 feb '06 .. i told him not to worry and that ill find another tenant asap maybe within a few weeks and he will then get a pro rata refund to any rent he is due.. and as for the deposit he will get back within 28 days less advetisment, time, and once i know all the bills have been paid .. He was happy with all that.


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