Tenants that keep changing their date of departure

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    Tenants that keep changing their date of departure

    The tenants in my flat are on an SPT agreement. We gave them the required 2 months notice (plus some extra time) on the 24th April with the intention that they would leave by 9th July. In that letter we failed to include the required legal statement (under section 21 of something or other), when this became apparent we wrote another letter on 6th June with the correct legal statement , again giving them two months notice, meaning that now they would have to leave by 9th August. On delivery of this letter the tenants said this was no problem since they had already found another flat and would be moving out before their final rent finishes (9th July).

    Last week we called to check if they still planned to move out by this time and they said yes, we should come and get the keys on Wednesday (4th July). On Tuesday they called and said can we make it Thursday, they are having trouble finding a van to move their belongings. Today (Thursday) morning they called and said they want another week to move out because their new flat has no gas or electricity connected and that they would pay the extra rent for this time.

    This would mean that they would have 3 days extra rent that has not been paid, and I suspect longer because they keep changing the date that they are going to move. So how much rent should I charge them for these extra days? A whole month’s rent, 3/30ths of the rent, a week? Could I tell them that they need to be out by 9th July since they said they would be out well before then, even if legally they can stay until 9th August, since they are now causing me quite a few problems by constantly changing the date that they are going to leave?

    I hope this makes sense, I am no expert at this and would appreciate any advice you can offer.
    Thanks

    #2
    Firstly, you need to understand that a s.21 notice is not a notice to quit. It does not end the tenancy nor oblige the T to vacate at notice expiry. (It merely entitles you to apply for a possession order after expiry).

    Nor does it remove the T's obligation to serve written notice if he wishes to unilaterally end the SPT. Has the T served written notice?

    Please also tell us:

    Date that the (most recent) fixed term began? (dd/mm/yy)
    Length of the term, and whether an 'end' date was specified?
    Rent payable monthly?
    Did T pay a deposit? If so, did you protect it and provide T with the prescribed information, and on what date did you do this?

    Comment


      #3
      That depends on how much you want to co-operate with the tenants.

      The notice you have given them does not oblige them to leave your property and therefore on a statutory periodic tenancy the tenants should give you a minimum of 1 months notice to expire on the last day of a tenancy period. Therefore they can legally stay until you obtain a possession order from the court and have it executed.

      So, you could charge them rent in lieu of notice but that runs the risk of them wanting to stay in the property for that period. If you are feeling more flexible, you would be perfectly within your rights to charge them on a pro-rata basis.

      Comment


        #4
        Hmmm, this is confusing, sorry for my ignorance, but thanks for your help. To answer your questions:
        There has been no written notice from the tenant that he wants to end the SPT.
        The fixed term began on 10th August 2010
        No end date was specified as far as I’m aware
        They pay rent monthly
        Yes they did pay a deposit (one month’s rent) when they signed the contract in February 2010. The deposit is now being held by the letting agent that originally leased the property to these tenants. I’m not sure what you mean by if it is protected.
        Thanks again for your help so far.

        Comment


          #5
          They are liable to pay another months rent if they are still there on the 10th.
          How much you actually charge them is up to you.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jamani View Post
            There has been no written notice from the tenant that he wants to end the SPT.
            The fixed term began on 10th August 2010
            No end date was specified as far as I’m aware
            They pay rent monthly
            Assuming the fixed term was for a period of months, the tenancy periods of the SPT run 10th - 9th of the month.

            The tenancy is still in place, and the T is entitled to remain in occupation until the tenancy ends. This may be by:
            1) you obtaining and enforcing a possession order.
            2) T serving notice to quit
            3) you/T mutually agreeing a surrender of the tenancy.

            The T's notice to quit in a SPT must give at least one month and also expire at the end of a tenancy period, i.e. 9th of the month. So, if the T leaves mid-period, on, say, 15th July, you would be entitled to demand rent in lieu of notice up to 9th September (this being the date that T's notice would have to expire if he served notice on 15th July). Even if he left on 9th July you'd be entitled demand rent in lieu of notice up to 9th August, as T has not given written notice.

            If, however, you instead wish to charge the T pro-rata for 'extra days', the daily rate is calculated by dividing the annual rent by 365.

            Yes they did pay a deposit (one month’s rent) when they signed the contract in February 2010. The deposit is now being held by the letting agent that originally leased the property to these tenants. I’m not sure what you mean by if it is protected.
            Deposits paid in respect of ASTs on or after 6th April 2007 must be protected in one of three approved protection schemes. It is a two-step procedure. The deposit must be protected in the scheme and the landlord must provide the T with the 'prescribed information' (details of the scheme's rules, etc) within 30 days of receipt of the deposit. There are sanctions for failing to comply: i) no s.21 notice will be valid if the deposit is not properly protected (you'd have to return the deposit to T first, before serving a s.21 notice), ii) the T may claim against the LL for non-compliance - if the T wins the claim the court will order the LL to pay the T between 1-3 times the value of the deposit.

            Comment

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