Buying out an AST

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    Buying out an AST

    Hi,

    I'm pretty sure I'm ok with this but I just wanted to make sure.

    The tenant signed a 6 month AST, then changed her mind halfway through. We said she could buy out of the AST with one months rent and she agreed. We're about to start reclaiming the deposit as she won't be paying us the money but now they want to try and fight us.
    I am allowed to say we will end the AST for £xx aren't I?
    From what I understand the other option is no, pay the rent for the rest of the 6 months?

    #2
    No. You could claim the rest of the rent if a tenancy started. Given she never moved in, a tenancy was never formed. Only thing that exists is an agreement to create a tenancy, which she breached.

    That means you can claim for any loss you suffered, but also showing you tried to mitigate losses. When was the tenancy due to start and have you readvertised / done viewings to let the property?

    I'd say after you let it, you can see how much her 'change of heart' cost you and seek compensation for that. I'd think you can still ask her to pay X and waive your right to ask for any losses, but she doesnt have to agree.

    What deposit are you talking about? Has she paid a tenancy deposit or is it a holding deposit to take the property off the market? Normally its the latter that is accepted to be the tenants liability if the tenancy doesnt go through. I doubt you can use a tenancy deposit for that, as there was no tenancy
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

    Comment


      #3
      Sorry!!!! I meant she changed her mind halfway through the 6 month contract. She did sign up, take keys, pay the deposit and move in, now she has changed her mind about being there for 6 months. So we have told her that she can leave for one months rent.

      I am just wondering if it goes to the DPS, as everything was protected as it should, would they agree that I can ask her to buy out of the AST?

      Comment


        #4
        Ok. then the tenant is responsible for rent until the end of the fixed term. You can suggest anything you want. 1 month's rent doesnt sound too bad. Has she already vacated the property?
        All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

        Comment


          #5
          It is important to draw up a Deed of Surrender indicating the conditions on which the tenancy is to be terminated. Nothing in law prevents any interested parties from making an agreement to end a contract mid-term.
          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
            Originally posted by home_grown View Post
            Sorry!!!! I meant she changed her mind halfway through the 6 month contract. She did sign up, take keys, pay the deposit and move in, now she has changed her mind about being there for 6 months. So we have told her that she can leave for one months rent.

            I am just wondering if it goes to the DPS, as everything was protected as it should, would they agree that I can ask her to buy out of the AST?
            It's nothing to do with the DPS.

            How exactly do you tell her she could break the contract - orally, by text, email, letter, what?
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              It was the agent that dealt with everything. I have a feeling it was done verbally, the agent has said that the returning of keys is surrender by operation.
              The tenant has now left and I have had to go in the house to be getting on with getting it ready to re-let.
              They are disputing that they owe anything and that the agent told them to bring the keys back and everything would be called off.

              I am out of pocket enough with all the works needed never mind the lack of rent. The tenant did things like strip paper I assume with the intention of decorating, but leave the rooms without wall paper or half stripped

              Comment


                #8
                The deposit was protected in DPS but was T subs sent the 14? pages of 'prescribed info' to avoid a counterclaim for non-protection?
                IMO LA wa wrong to suggest T vol returning keys during fixed term would terminate the T 'by operation of Law'. IMO it only signifies T wish to surrender T early, which the LL can decide to accept or reject, or accept 'agreed compensation' for his consent.
                In theory LA should work in LLs interest and on LLs instruction. If they have unilaterally given T wrong advice on which T relied, I would be suing LA for 3 months rent and return of fees due.
                Change your LA.
                Ts property damage is recoverable from deposit, subject to satis move-in/out inventory checks.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all for your help with this

                  The agent provided the tenant with the details of the DPS and has a receipt for it.
                  T is twisting things, LA did not say that if T returned keys then all would be fine as it was LA suggestion to me that we accept 1 month rent to break agreement due to the T being a problem T.
                  However I have nothing in writing to say that the tenancy is surrendered or what we would be accepting to compensate for surrender.
                  I know that LA hasn't told T that it is a surrender just because the keys have come back, so I guess that is something.

                  Wouldn't it be down to DPS as we will both try to claim back the deposit, T because she thinks she's entitled, LA because 1 months rent is owed to surrender the tenancy?
                  T has presented herself as homeless, claiming she can't get another tenancy because I won't give the deposit back. They are now involved and don't seem to understand AST. It is pointless to leave the tenancy open until the end of the AST as I have no chance of claiming anything back, other than the deposit.
                  I'm unsure as to whether I should approach the tenancy relations service or whether they would side with homeless section and whether it is of any relevance what either department think.

                  There wasn't a move out inventory check as T returned keys to LA office. I have receipts for all work done, along with receipts for all work done before T moved in!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You should claim for the unpaid rent up to the point when you regain(ed) possession, plus the cost of damage done and decorating\cleaning needed to return the property to the state it was in at commencement of tenancy.

                    Unless T has written proof that you have accepted a surrender then as far as I can see you should assume it continues.

                    However if you have already gone back in there and regained possessn, done work, etc then that is tantamount to your accepting the tenancy is over.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Tell the tenancy relations officer that the tenant is welcome to pick the keys back up for the property.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                        Tell the tenancy relations officer that the tenant is welcome to pick the keys back up for the property.
                        There is not really much point if OP has already regained possession, or even if he hasn't for that matter as T handing in keys is neither here nor there. it does not in itself create a surrender.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Tenancy relations aren't yet involved, it's the homeless section, I don't understand their involvement due to T making herself homeless. I also thought that they would need to be impartial, however they seem to have taken everything T says at face value, and assumed I am an awful landlord neglecting even the most basic of requirements. Not only do they want proof of DPS they want a copy of gas safety!

                          I thought that the tenancy would end once the property was re-let not by me entering the property, especially as I have had to in order to get the property ready to be re-let.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by home_grown View Post
                            I thought that the tenancy would end once the property was re-let not by me entering the property, especially as I have had to in order to get the property ready to be re-let.
                            No. If you enter to do anything other than the most urgent safety-related repairs, then that action (in tandem with the Ts' having left) may well be deemed sufficient to signal that you have accepted a surrender of the tenancy and have taken back possession.

                            You cannot expect the T to continue to be liable for rent once you have done that.
                            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I would tell the council to get the tenant to give them the DPS details, or get them to get them to contact the DPS themselves.

                              Ask them why they require a Gas certificate for a property that the tenant is no longer living in?
                              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                              Comment

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