Has this tenancy ended or not?

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    Has this tenancy ended or not?

    A letting agent telephoned me this morning with the following problem:
    1. Tenant vacated on 8 January owing £1300 rent where the monthly rent is £550; the deposit held is about £750.
    2. Dilapidations come to more than the deposit held.
    3. T has left a bed frame (no mattress), a washing machine, tumble dryer and a few incidentals.
    4. L has already changed the locks
    5. T has not surrendered any keys.
    6. T has contacted agent about collecting said goods at premises and agent has refused on the grounds that rent is still outstanding.
    7. Agent correctly served a S.21 that was effective "after 7 January 2011".
    8. Agent considers T will not attempt to return to the premises.


    I consider the tenancy has not ended as keys have not been surrendered, and T has left some goods. I have told agent not to dispose of goods unless there is a clause in AST stating a time factor concerning removal (in order to offset partial rent arrears). Do you feel that there might be problems because I do?
    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.

    #2
    When did/will the Letting Agreement''s fixed term expire?
    If T's vacated, it's no longer operating as an AST of course.
    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


      #3
      The tenancy was periodic and I don't know the answer to your Q. T might well have vacated but as keys have not been surrendered I was a little concerned at L changing locks.
      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.

      Comment


        #4
        The point is that SPT surely cannot run-on unless T still has 'only/main residence' status.
        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
          So would you say that L is okay to have changed locks and retained T's possessions in lieu of rent?
          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.

          Comment


            #6
            It sounds like the T vacated (abandoned) the Tenancy on 8 Jan, poss as response to s21 Notice.
            In similar circumstances the Agent advised serving an presumed abandoned Notice on the property, stating locks would be changed in 7 days and inviting T to contact L within x days from date of Notice if presumption was wrong. Any T possessions had to be stored for 3 months before disposal.
            There may be debate whether holding contents to 'ransom' for arrears is lawful if contact is made during the 3 month holding period. It may be they have little resale value and collection would allow a request for a documented forwarding address and hand over a small claims NBA for full recovery of rent & expenses and a signed Agreement the tenancy was voluntarily surrendered on 8 Jan.

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