Contract expired with LL - where do we stand RE: Deposit?

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    Contract expired with LL - where do we stand RE: Deposit?

    Hi all,

    I hope someone can help me with a little problem. We fear our landlord will withhold our deposit on a contract that has been expired for 1 year and 1 month. It's a long story that I hope I'll make clear.

    My girlfriend and I have been renting a flat from our landlord for 2 years and one month. At the beginning of the contract we paid one month's rent as a deposit. So far, so normal. But, at the end of the year contract, the contract was left to expire. We continued paying the rent out of a contract as we love living there and the landlord didn't prompt us to renew anything. We both forgot the contract was expiring if truth be told. The status quo continued until late last year we gave one month's notice (as per the now expired contract) to move out to a new property. Unfortunately that move fell through and we spoke with the landlord about staying in the flat to which he agreed.

    That said, he wanted us to sign a new contract tying us to the flat for at least six months with a 2 month notice period in addition to a rise in rent. We agreed to the rent rise but said we were not happy to sign the contract as it stood with the notice period and break clause as it was.

    We waited for a revised contract but with no response. All went quiet.

    We subsequently had some bad news - my partner lost her job which means we are now having to move back in with my parents. We did the sums and figured out we could only afford to pay for 3 week's rent so informed our landlord that we would be moving out in three weeks. Far from ideal we all agreed but that was the situation. The landlord then contacted us to ask whether we would be forfeiting our deposit to cover any out of pocket costs he incurred. We said that we expect our deposit to be returned in full as we cannot afford to give that up and we have not damaged the flat in any way.

    We have also helped get the flat let, doing marketing for it and also providing a free bed which the landlord has accepted. He has also informed us he does have a tenant ready to move in.

    So, finally the big questions:

    What rights do either of us have at this stage?

    Where do we stand regarding the deposit? We can't afford to give that up and in theory the landlord has held the deposit for 1 year and 1 month longer than he should have.

    What is the process should the return of the deposit turn into a dispute?

    If there's any other words of wisdom, please feel free to add.

    Sorry for the rambling scene-setting!

    Thanks in advance...
    Last edited by Prawn_Toast; 05-05-2010, 11:38 AM. Reason: Improving clarity

    #2
    A number of points to make here:

    The deposit should have been protected in one of three government-approved schemes. If it has, you can use that scheme's arbitration process. If it hasn't, your LL is theoretically liable to pay back the whole deposit AND three x the deposit amount. In practice, however, most LL's pay back the whole deposit in these circumstances.

    Even if an AST has a clause specifying that notice of moving is two months, you don't have to adhere to that. You can move out on the day your AST ends afaik (is that correct?)

    If you are no longer under contract, you are in a periodic tenancy and you have to give one month's notice ending on the rent day, and your LL has to give two month's notice ending on a rent day.

    In your particular circumstance, I don't believe the LL is entitled to keep the deposit. As far as I can see, you're still in a periodic tenancy, so have to give one month's notice. It's not clear whether or not you did this, but the point is that the LL has found a new tenant. Therefore, I believe he could charge your deposit for any period of vacancy if you haven't given notice in the correct manner (i.e. one month's notice ending on a rent day). Someone else should probably clarify that point though.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi,

      Thanks for your help on this. We have only given 3 week's notice and have agreed to move out on the 15th of May. We have paid for the whole of April and will be paying for the two weeks in May to which the landlord has agreed.

      I hope this clarifies a little more.

      Thanks!

      Comment


        #4
        rent

        I think you will just pay the extra one weeks rent as you have only given 3 weeks notice.
        Someone will be along shortly who will know the law and tell you.

        Comment


          #5
          You do still have a tenancy agreement. It is most likely a "statutory periodic tenancy" which requires a MINIMUM of one months notice (ending on the same day of the month as the original AST).

          HOWEVER, if the original agreement had clauses in it relating to what happens with notice AFTER the end of the fixed term, then those will apply because you then have a "contractual periodic tenancy".

          Can you tell us..

          RU in England/Wales
          Is your annual rent less than £25k
          When did the fixed term start / end
          Is rent paid monthly?
          What date did you give notice
          Is your deposit protected in a scheme?

          Comment


            #6
            Hi,

            Thanks for the help. Please see my answers below.

            RU in England/Wales Yes
            Is your annual rent less than £25k Yes
            When did the fixed term start / end Start: 04/08 End: 04/09
            Is rent paid monthly? Yes
            What date did you give notice 23/04 - we are paying rent up until 15/05
            Is your deposit protected in a scheme? I believe so

            Comment


              #7
              Where do we stand regarding the deposit? We can't afford to give that up and in theory the landlord has held the deposit for 1 year and 1 month longer than he should have.
              No, he hasn't. The deposit is not returnable at the expiry of the fixed term if the tenancy continues as a periodic AST (which it has).

              You have given insufficient notice. Notice from T to LL in a periodic tenancy must be at least 1 month and also expire at the end of a rental period. The periods begin the day after the fixed term expired. For example, if the fixed term expired on 19th April, then the periods would run 20th - 19th of the month. Using this example, if you gave notice today, 6th May, the notice would have to expire on 19th June, and legally the landlord would be entitled to rent up to and including 19th June.

              As for deductions for other reasons, such as damage, if you dispute liability, LL will have to show evidence of original good condition at the start of the tenancy in order to succeed in claiming deductions.


              What is the process should the return of the deposit turn into a dispute?
              You contact the deposit scheme and raise a dispute.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Prawn_Toast View Post
                When did the fixed term start / end Start: 04/08 End: 04/09
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                You have given insufficient notice. Notice from T to LL in a periodic tenancy must be at least 1 month and also expire at the end of a rental period.
                You need to tell us the day of the month your tenancy agreement started/ended so we can be let you know how much your liability to the landlord might be.

                Comment

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