End of Tenancy

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  • End of Tenancy

    Hi folks,

    I'm wondering whether anyone can provide any advice on this one: I was renting an apartment on a rolling AST agreement which ended on 17 March after the landlord gave two months notice. The landlord is overseas so did not complete a check-out on the final day when I moved out. As a result I could not hand the keys back to him. On the day we moved out I asked him what he wanted me to do with the keys and he said he would have a think and let me know. As of today I still haven't heard anything. The landlord is quite elusive and therefore difficult to contact - he doesn't have an address in the UK.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do? The property was managed by the landlord so I can't send the keys back to the letting agent. The only possible option I can think of is sending the keys to the property management company for the apartment block (if they are happy).

    The other issue, which I don't think will be too much of a problem, is that I haven't heard anything from the landlord about getting the deposit back. It is protected with the DPS and I just started the Statutory Declaration process as it has been more than 14 calendar days since I requested the return of the deposit. Are there any pitfalls I need to be aware of when going through this process or is it fairly straight forward?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jeeves

  • #2
    How did you pay your rent?

    Keep the keys safe and wait for his decision.

    With regard to the deposit, you should have no problem but the process is not quick and the DPS will attempt to make contact with the landlord to give him the chance to object - which will bering you back to the starting point.

    In future, always make sure you have an address in England/Wales for the landlord - you don't have to hand over rent until one is provided. (Section 48, Landlord & Tenant Act 1987)

    Comment


    • #3
      It was paid by standing order every month.

      We did have a UK address for the landlord to start with but he moved overseas after a few months and contact became more and more sporadic.

      I think the DPS won't have much joy in making contact with him as the only details they have are for an old address. With regard to getting the deposit back, presumably I am looking at a month or so once the Statutory Declaration is filed?

      Jeeves

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      • #4
        Have you been given notice not to use the UK address (England/Wales?).

        Your guess on deposit return is about right.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeeves View Post
          I was renting an apartment on a rolling AST agreement which ended on 17 March after the landlord gave two months notice.
          For future reference, the LL's notice did not end the tenancy at notice expiry, (nor oblige you to vacate). The only effect of the LL's notice was to entitle him to apply for a possession order after notice expiry.

          Whilst the LL may not intend to pursue you for rent in lieu of notice on this occasion, bear in mind that if you're ever in a similar situation, a future LL may not be so amenable, so you must serve written notice to quit if you wish to unilaterally end a periodic tenancy.

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          • #6
            Nobody has mentioned the potential Tax Liability to HMRC which could well fall on the tenant. If L is deemed resident abroad with no UK taxable income, and failed to obtain an exemption certificate then T by implication is legally obliged to deduct 20% tax from the rent and complete a quarterly return to HMRC. Just a thought!
            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.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
              Nobody has mentioned the potential Tax Liability to HMRC which could well fall on the tenant. If L is deemed resident abroad with no UK taxable income, and failed to obtain an exemption certificate then T by implication is legally obliged to deduct 20% tax from the rent and complete a quarterly return to HMRC. Just a thought!
              Paul_f, do we know of any examples of this? It is a long stretch to expect tenants to know and understand every intricacy of tenancy laws, but to expect them to know tax laws (which is totally unrelated) may be pushing it a bit.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                For future reference, the LL's notice did not end the tenancy at notice expiry, (nor oblige you to vacate). The only effect of the LL's notice was to entitle him to apply for a possession order after notice expiry.

                Whilst the LL may not intend to pursue you for rent in lieu of notice on this occasion, bear in mind that if you're ever in a similar situation, a future LL may not be so amenable, so you must serve written notice to quit if you wish to unilaterally end a periodic tenancy.
                I didn't end the tenancy - the LL gave me two months notice as he wanted to regain possession of the property. My rent was paid right up to the day I moved out so there was no arrears. I had been renting the property for nearly 3 years so had gone from a 12 month agreement to a rolling one.

                Snorkerz - the LL told me he had moved from his UK address and said that if I needed to get in touch I had to use email.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  Paul_f, do we know of any examples of this? It is a long stretch to expect tenants to know and understand every intricacy of tenancy laws, but to expect them to know tax laws (which is totally unrelated) may be pushing it a bit.
                  I'm afraid that HMRC does not recognise "Sorry I didn't know" as a defence. Try it sometime. It is also true if you are in court as a landlord defending an action by say, a tenant.
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    HMRC may not recognise it, but even HMRC have to use the court system to recover funds. Perhaps it would have been clearer if I had asked what legislation makes the tenant responsible?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jeeves View Post
                      I didn't end the tenancy - the LL gave me two months notice as he wanted to regain possession of the property. .........
                      Westminster's point was that you did not have to leave on expiry of notice (I assume S21..). Landlord would have needed to go to court, get possession order, then get bailiffs...
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jeeves View Post
                        I didn't end the tenancy - the LL gave me two months notice as he wanted to regain possession of the property. My rent was paid right up to the day I moved out so there was no arrears. I had been renting the property for nearly 3 years so had gone from a 12 month agreement to a rolling one.
                        No, you didn't end the tenancy, but neither did the LL. His notice didn't end the tenancy, as I previously explained.

                        Q: how do you think the tenancy - and therefore your liability for rent - ended? A: it didn't.

                        When a tenancy hasn't legally ended, the tenant remains liable for rent until it does end.

                        That's why you should have served a notice to quit to end the periodic tenancy. Otherwise, the LL may pursue you for rent in lieu of notice (again, as I said, the LL in this case may not be doing this, but you can't rely on future LLs to take the same approach).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Surely it would be perverse for the LL to demand rent for a period following the expiry date of his own notice.
                          If a tenant receives a S21 notice saying " (LLs)give you notice that I/We require possession of (property)after (date)", it may well be the case that the tenant vacates on the due date, thinking he is doing what the LL has demanded.
                          I'm sure the tenant would be justifiably outraged if he was subsequently sued for rent following the date of the notice - the reason given, being that, although he had complied with the LL's requirement for possession, he (the tenant)had not submitted a notice to quit.
                          Is it possible that any LL has successfully sued in these circumstances?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnjw View Post
                            Surely it would be perverse for the LL to demand rent for a period following the expiry date of his own notice.
                            No, not perverse. It would be legally correct. A s.21 notice does not end a tenancy.

                            If a tenant receives a S21 notice saying " (LLs)give you notice that I/We require possession of (property)after (date)", it may well be the case that the tenant vacates on the due date, thinking he is doing what the LL has demanded.
                            His assumption would be wrong.

                            I'm sure the tenant would be justifiably outraged if he was subsequently sued for rent following the date of the notice - the reason given, being that, although he had complied with the LL's requirement for possession, he (the tenant)had not submitted a notice to quit.
                            Is it possible that any LL has successfully sued in these circumstances?
                            See Laine -v- Cadwallader (2000) 33 HLR 397; (2000) 80 P & CR D44; [2001] L & TR 8; [2000] EWCA Civ 5562; (2001) 33 HLR 36

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                              HMRC may not recognise it, but even HMRC have to use the court system to recover funds. Perhaps it would have been clearer if I had asked what legislation makes the tenant responsible?
                              Legislation here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/2902/contents and hmrc rules and guidance here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/nr-landlords.htm#6 for the hmrc rules on when tenants need to deduct tax from the rent and account to tax man.

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