Ending an AST 6 months before moving in

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    Ending an AST 6 months before moving in

    Hi all,

    I have two tenants who have recently signed an AST to move in between July and June this year.

    One of which has completed all the paper work and deposits etc, the other has only paid the deposit.

    The one who has only paid the deposit has now informed me that he no longer wishes to stay in the property, and will not assist in finding a new tenant.

    Am I right in telling him that he is still entitled to pay all the rent assuming that a new tenant is not found? He hasn't signed a guarantor form either.

    Any help would be great!


    No tenancy has yet begun, just a contract to form a tenancy.

    The errant tenant-to-be will be liable for breach of contract, and he is liable for any financial loss that his breach of contract causes. However you have to mitigate your losses (ie do everything you can to minimise them). With 4 months to find a tenant, any genuine losses must surely be minimal?


      I know that I should be able to find a tenant it was just in case I wasn't able to. So I would have to send the deposit back minus the re listing fees of the property?

      Cheers for the help


        If the re-listing fees are what the tenant's breach has cost you - yes. If you get a tenant from those who applied at the same time - no. If you used an agency - you pay them to find a tenant and they haven't, no tenancy has been created.

        Whatever you do, just remember you may have to justify your deductions to a judge if the non-tenant isn't happy with the deductions.


          Thanks a lot, so I guess the easiest option would be to just let him walk away and start the search for a new tenant!


            Not quite

            Tell him you will refund his deposit once you know what the costs have been - and you won't know that until a new tenant is found. Maybe the tenant who has paid and signed has a friend?

            If he says he hasn't signed anything, just remember that a contract can be oral - and if it ever went to court a judge would surely wonder why he paid you £500 or whatever for nothing


              I have to disagree that a contract has been formed if only one prospective tenant has signed a tenancy agreement (it's not clear on this point), and until both of them does no contract has been formed. I doubt also if any court would award damages as the landlord has more than sufficient time to mitigate any loss. What paperwork is incomplete if it is not the signing of the tenancy agreement?

              The landlord can only deduct reasonable expenses/costs if the applicant was informed of such costs before parting with any money, so the deposit should be repaid in full if this was not the case.
              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.


                Paul_f's stated opinion leaves LLs & Ts with the same problem - how to secure a T.
                Conscientious Ts invariably have to give Notice to current LL and may not be able to afford double rent & extra deposit before moving. Current LL cannot release deposit before T ends.
                Prosp LL has a 'buyer' for an agreed future date who pays a deposit s sign of serious intent to occupy. Provided prosp T or his rep has had opportunity to inspect property before making this gesture of intent and assuming the deposit will be applied to T requirements when T commences, I submit LL will incur cosequential loss if the T fails to occupy, if only re-advertising costs. OK 4 months hiatus is a long time so maybe min deductions if LL re-ads now to find new T to move in on prev agreed occ date.If there is no verbal contract to supply/occupy prior to signed AST then LL has to insist on signed AST at time AST provisions are not effective prior to occupancy (Case Law?) so no value to LL.
                Consequence. a load of window shopping Ts & LLs assessing the local market to the detriment of all.

                Can Paul_f cite case law for his opinion?

                "You can hire me for training on a daily basis" Oh dear.
                "The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability." I agree


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