Deed of Surrender

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  • Deed of Surrender

    My tenant is just a few weeks into a new (2nd) 6 months AST, which he requested and he has now decided that he wants to end the contract early. There are no issues with the tenancy. He tells me that a house has become available just a few miles away.
    He is an indecisive person and I am afraid that if new tenants are found then he might change his mind again and decide to stay.
    I have looked through FAQ's and wonder if I should consider a Surrender Deed and agree a notice period, also what is the likely cost for the deed?
    Please help me make the right decision.

  • #2
    AFAIK you cannot apply a Notice period so early in a fixed term other than ones laid down by AST for termination at end of fixed term
    Don't know if Deeds of Surrender take immediate effect, but they need not cost anything provided they set out the Agreement and end 'signed as a Deed' with both parties signing and dated.
    eg "Mr X, tenant of <address> surrenders Tenancy of said property on <date> and the landlord accepts.
    Signed as a Deed
    T sig LL sig
    Tenant Landlord

    Current Date

    If T subs changed his mind / house purchase fell through LL would be under not obligation to offer further AST after surrender date.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mariner View Post
      AFAIK you cannot apply a Notice period so early in a fixed term other than ones laid down by AST for termination at end of fixed term
      Don't know if Deeds of Surrender take immediate effect, but they need not cost anything provided they set out the Agreement and end 'signed as a Deed' with both parties signing and dated.
      eg "Mr X, tenant of <address> surrenders Tenancy of said property on <date> and the landlord accepts.
      Signed as a Deed
      T sig LL sig
      Tenant Landlord

      Current Date

      If T subs changed his mind / house purchase fell through LL would be under not obligation to offer further AST after surrender date.
      Thanks for your fast reply.
      The Tenant wants to give me notice to enable him to get out of the AST. In the last 2 weeks he brought his partner to live with him in the house and I think that they have found a larger property.
      He didn't ask about letting his partner stay and hasn't let me know officially.

      Comment


      • #4
        if you just get a letter of surrender it is worth nothing within the fixed term. Tenant can change their mind at any point. I do not know if this applies to a deed but a deed would certainly need to be witnessed etc. I would not give notice. Is this relating to a HB claim I wonder?
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kangoo1 View Post
          The Tenant wants to give me notice to enable him to get out of the AST.
          The T cannot 'give notice' to end the tenancy earlier than the end of the fixed term unless there's a break clause in the contract.

          What he is doing is offering to surrender; you are free to accept or reject this offer. If you reject it, and treat the tenancy as continuing, then the T will remain liable for rent for the remainder of the fixed term.

          If you accept the offer, you are entitled, as a condition of acceptance, to demand T pay you a sum of money (for example, a sum equivalent to a couple of month's rent). If T agrees to pay this money, then a Deed of Surrender should be drafted, and T should pay the agreed sum and vacate the property before the Deed is executed. The tenancy will then end on the date specified in the Deed, and you will be free to relet. Obviously, if T has paid the equivalent of two months rent, and you relet within a couple of weeks, then you would gain from this arrangement - but if it took longer than two months to find a new tenant, then you'd lose out. There are also associated costs such as drafting of the Deed, and/or reletting costs to bear in mind.

          In your shoes, at this stage, I would simply remind the T that the contract he signed is binding, that you will not agree to an early surrender, and that he is liable for rent for the remainder of the fixed term.

          Comment


          • #6
            This is a case where you need to keep it simple. Either insist on the tenancy being maintained or agree a clean break on terms you are happy with.

            Comment


            • #7
              To everyone who has replied - many thanks for your valued advice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just a small but important matter. I have written the deed of surrender as advised but need clarification on the witnessing of the signatures. Can I witness the tenant's and tenant witness mine or is there a need for a third party to witness both, if so must the third party be unrelated?
                Many thanks in advance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kangoo1 View Post
                  Just a small but important matter. I have written the deed of surrender as advised but need clarification on the witnessing of the signatures. Can I witness the tenant's and tenant witness mine or is there a need for a third party to witness both, if so must the third party be unrelated?
                  Many thanks in advance.
                  Firstly, why are you agreeing to a surrender? Has T offered to pay you in exchange for agreeing to this?

                  Secondly, mariner's so-called 'Deed' is not adequate for the purpose, and no, you and T can't witness each other's signature; the witness must be a third party.

                  Go to a solicitor and pay him to draft a Deed. It should not be executed until the T has fully vacated (and paid you the money you ought to be demanding).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks Westminster. Tenant has agreed to pay me 2 months rent to come out of contract. I am happy with this.
                    I would prefer to purchase the deed of surrender on line. Is there such a service available and at what approximate cost. If anyone can help then please PM me. I will need it in the next few days.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Didn't I put one on here somewhere?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, you did.

                        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...236#post209236

                        But OP would need to add a clause about the tenant agreeing to pay £X.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I appreciate your help so much.
                          I have studied the document which Lawcruncher kindly posted and added this clause:

                          3.1 The tenant agrees to pay the Landlord the sum of nine hundred pounds
                          3.2 The Tenant surrenders the Tenancy to the Landlord

                          Would this be the most appropriate place in the deed to insert the clause? Also do I need to state that it is 2 months rent or why it is being paid?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Subject to whatever lawcruncher says I would replace clause 4 with

                            "The Landlord will accept the Tenant's surrender of the Tenancy on receipt of £900 from the Tenant in a manner acceptable to the Landlord."

                            You'll also want to add "Subject to the Landlord's acceptance of the Tenant's surrender of the Tenancy..." on to the start of clause 5

                            This can be made more complicated but there's no need in this instance. The important point is that by running the clauses together you have made the acceptance of the surrender contingent on receipt of the money - if the tenant doesn't pay then their surrender isn't accepted and they'll still be liable for rent.
                            Disclaimer:

                            The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks bhaal

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