Tenants staying on after end of tenancy

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  • Tenants staying on after end of tenancy

    Knowing that I am a landlord, a couple approached me for some advice. I can give them some of the answers to their questions, but don't feel confident to answer all of their questions in full, with any degree of certainty. They are both clearly feeling very distressed, so I thought I would post on here with the hope that somebody may answer their queries with a little more certainty than I can, so that I can then pass on the answers to them.

    They are at present renting and have given notice to end the tenancy so that they can move into a house being bought on a part ownership basis with a housing association. The end date for the tenancy is 13th March, ie about 10 days time. Landlord has somebody sorted to move in on 16th March.

    It appears that there is a problem at the land registry and the couple's solicitors have advised that the sale may not go through in time. There could be a delay of a week or two at most. If this does happen the couple has nowhere to live. They also have a 2 year old child.

    I have told them that if they stayed beyond next week, there is nothing that the landlord could legally do in the near future to remove them. I do not believe that a section 21 had been issued and even if it had the landlord would not get a court date before they had moved out anyway. I have neither suggested that they move out nor stay. I know exactly how I would feel if I were their landlord, but on the other hand I feel for the young couple who are clearly struggling and could end up without anywhere to stay.

    The problem I have is answering their questions about what the subsequent consequences would be.

    Would they lose all of their deposit, or just a pro-rata amount for the extra week or so?

    Would the landlord have rise to make a claim for any other damages? What for instance would happen if the landlord lost the new tenants due to move in on 16th March

    Even knowing that the extension was a temporary one, if the landlord decided he wanted to start the removal process using for instance a solicitor, would the couple be liable for these costs? If the answer to this is yes, I presume the landlord would need to sue through the small claims court.

  • #2
    If T stays-on, it's usually on a statutory continuation of the fixed-term tenancy. This does not affect the deposit, although further rent is of course due at the same rate as during the fixed term. That their L has contracted to re-let at once is his problem, not theirs.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      This does not affect the deposit, although further rent is of course due at the same rate as during the fixed term.
      jeffrey, seeing as it's the T that gave notice, and now not leaving on due date, does the Distress for Rent Act not come in then? meaning they'd be liable to pay double rent until they leave?

      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      That their L has contracted to re-let at once is his problem, not theirs.
      In theory maybe. But the LL found new T on the basis of notice given by T, so why should T not be liable for the loss suffered by LL if the new T can't move in??

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      • #4
        Originally posted by havensRus View Post
        jeffrey, seeing as it's the T that gave notice, and now not leaving on due date, does the Distress for Rent Act not come in then? meaning they'd be liable to pay double rent until they leave?
        Yes, possibly.

        Originally posted by havensRus View Post
        In theory maybe. But the LL found new T on the basis of notice given by T, so why should T not be liable for the loss suffered by LL if the new T can't move in?
        Yes, possibly.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


        • #5
          There could be a delay of a week or two at most.
          That'll soon stretch to a month or two.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Telometer View Post
            That'll soon stretch to a month or two.
            Not sure why that would be the case.

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            • #7
              Thanks for replies. Have passed comments to the couple and they have asked me to pass on their thanks. They have said that they have spoken to landlord and he has said they can stay until house purchase completes.

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