T left without notice, in arrears; can L keep deposit?

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  • T left without notice, in arrears; can L keep deposit?

    Had a tenant that vanished one day, he did not give any notice, he left oweing rent and there was damage to the property. Have since found him and sent him bill for outstanding monies rent/damage, which is twice as much as his deposit which I have kept. He has now stated that he will pay the balance less the deposit.

    The question I have is can I keep his deposit money seperate because he left with no notice or in law do I have to deduct the deposit from the balance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sean One View Post
    Had a tenant that vanished one day, he did not give any notice, he left oweing rent and there was damage to the property. Have since found him and sent him bill for outstanding monies rent/damage, which is twice as much as his deposit which I have kept. He has now stated that he will pay the balance less the deposit.

    The question I have is can I keep his deposit money seperate because he left with no notice or in law do I have to deduct the deposit from the balance.
    Wait. You may be treading on very thin ice here.

    Please answer these questions so that we can give you a useful answer to your question:

    1 When did the tenancy begin, and when was the end of the fixed term (I am assuming it was an AST)?

    2 Did you agree a formal surrender to the tenancy with your tenant? If not he may still technically be the tenant - and as such the tenancy continues.

    3 Did you protect the tenant's deposit in a scheme?
    '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
      keeping Deposit

      Tenancy was a AST started on 27/08/08. Fixed term six months so ending on 26/02/09.

      I did not agree any formal surrender, he left on 12/12/08, no phone call, no letter, no nothing, just left taking all of his possessions. leaving behind damage to the property and outstanding rent.

      Deposit was protected with TDSL. (now unprotected).

      Property was relet to new tenant 25/01/09.

      look forward to further reply.

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      • #4
        If your original tenant returns claiming a tenancy then you could be in big trouble.

        Just pray he doesn't.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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        • #5
          That does not worry me, once a tenant has left then he has left. If the premises are empty, and no rent has been paid. he has gone. Keys not returned, locks changed. What possible reason would a tenant return under these circumstances and as he damaged the property, he left to run away thinking that would be the end of it.

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          • #6
            Just out of interest, if the deposit was held in a deposit scheme do both parties not have to sign to release it.

            Reading the web site this is what I have understood, both parties agree how and where the money is going and sign accordingly.

            The deposit belongs to the tenant initially.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
              If your original tenant returns claiming a tenancy then you could be in big trouble.

              Just pray he doesn't.
              This seems unlikely, given what Sean says in his first post about his agreement with the former tenant.

              Originally posted by Sean One View Post
              Tenancy was a AST started on 27/08/08. Fixed term six months so ending on 26/02/09.

              I did not agree any formal surrender, he left on 12/12/08, no phone call, no letter, no nothing, just left taking all of his possessions. leaving behind damage to the property and outstanding rent.

              Deposit was protected with TDSL. (now unprotected).

              Property was relet to new tenant 25/01/09.

              look forward to further reply.
              In order to recover your deposit, you presumably gave a tenancy end date? Was this date agreed by the former tenant? Provided your tenancy agreement treats deposits in the usual manner, then you can charge against your deposit any rent due up to the tenancy termination which remains upaid. Unless you have agreed otherwise with the tenant, then the rent is due in full and need not be apportioned. So, if the rent is due on the 1st of the month, in advance and the tenancy ends on 2nd, then - unless the parties have agreed something else either in the tenancy agreement or at time of the termination - you as landlord are entitled to the full month's rent.

              Does this answer your question?

              Preston

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              • #8
                In reply to redex, the deposit was with the TDSL (Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd), the insurance backed scheme. The Landlord holds the Deposit. In this case it is highly unlikey that the tenant would make any claim to recover the deposit, as they owe rent and have cause demage.

                I always highly recommend the TDSL over the other one, simply because if you have a dispute over the deposit, its the tenant that have to do all the running to recover any money from the Landlord and in most cases they just will not bother.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wickerman
                  Nice attitude (no, not really), however the tenant must have left and have no intention of returning. That is very difficult to determine.
                  Surely the rule of thumb should be whether the tenant has removed a significant amount of his own personal possessions ie tv/sofas. Or in the case of funished, any remaining food in the property? Sounds to me that this is fairly clear cut
                  [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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                  • #10
                    Interesting, thanks for the reply.

                    Our deposit is with the Deposit Protection Service which clearly has a different criteria.

                    - 'Landlords, agents and tenants can all request the repayment of a deposit to the appropriate parties at the end of a tenancy – either jointly or independently, online or by calling us and requesting a paper form.

                    When one party requests a repayment, the other needs to confirm whether they agree with the proposal, by completing an acceptance form – either online or by post.'

                    Pleased about that really, there are actually some decent tenants out there who don't need the hassle of trying to recover the deposit just because the LL is extra greedy.

                    Not pointing any fingers but it does seem that tenants naturally get a bad press.

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