Tenant will not meet to handover keys

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    Tenant will not meet to handover keys

    I have a tenant who verbally handed their notice in. I replied by letter to say that it had been accepted and that 22nd August would be their last day.They have moved out of the property and it is empty. They have not paid their last months rent. However they will not answer their phone or texts when I am trying to find out when they will meet me. Can someone advise me where I stand. Am I ok to go into the property on the 23rd August and change the locks? Thanks

    #2
    So you have no proof that they gave notice.

    Have they paid a deposit?
    Have you tried calling from another number, preferably a landline?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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      #3
      What date did or does the fixed term end?

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        #4
        The 6 month agreement started on 23rd feb 2012, so I sent a letter saying that 22nd august would be their last date. They probably moved out 3 weeks or so ago but the keys were never offered back. I have texted and wrote saying I would pick them up from their new address (they have moved in with relatives) or can they meet me but he just wont answer. They did not pay their last months rent.

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          #5
          Sorry forgot to say that no they didnt give me a written termination just rang up shouting that they dont get on with neighbours and that they were going. That is when I said you will be liable for rent unless I can get someone else in (which I havent). Looking back they have always stayed in houses for 6 months but did seem to have valid excuses for leaving and they did have good refs from last house. They have also had prepayment meters fitted to the property without permission but just want the keys back before I discuss anything else with them

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            #6
            The fact that they have not paid the rent for this month is immaterial.

            Until you have it in writing from them that they have moved out and you have accepted this early surrender with no further rent liability on their part, or until 23r August (i.e. day after fixed term ends), which ever is sooner, you have to assume that the tenancy continues.

            Now, tenants may end a tenancy without notice if they choose to do so, by vacating on or before the last day of the fixed term.

            If there is still no sign of them on 23rd August, despite your attempts to contact them, I think you would be safe to assume that's what they've done, to regain possession, and claim unpaid rent plaus any damages from their deposit - which presumably is protected?
            '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

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              #7
              Well I know they are not going to write to me, thats for sure. I am happy to wait until the 23rd but didnt know legally how I stood if I arranged for a locksmith to turn up on that date when I had not had
              Yes the bond is with dps.

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                #8
                Originally posted by hedgehog View Post
                The 6 month agreement started on 23rd feb 2012, so I sent a letter saying that 22nd august would be their last date. They probably moved out 3 weeks or so ago but the keys were never offered back.
                If they have permanently vacated, then the tenancy will legally end at midnight of 22nd August. If you don't get the keys back, T is liable for the cost of replacing the lock.

                They did not pay their last months rent.
                Did they pay a deposit? If so, is it protected?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by hedgehog View Post
                  Well I know they are not going to write to me, thats for sure. I am happy to wait until the 23rd but didnt know legally how I stood if I arranged for a locksmith to turn up on that date when I had not had
                  Yes the bond is with dps.
                  I think it will be in order to change the locks on that date. It would have been different if it were a statutory periodic tenancy, but it wasn't. All the evidence (oral notice, property empty, Ts uncontactable), points to the Ts exercising their right to leave without formal notice by the end of the fixed term. When you say they gave their notice 'verbally'; do you mean face to face, by phone or what?

                  They are liable for rent up to the end of the fixed term, needless to say, regardless of whether they have moved out before 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

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                    #10
                    Sorry to ask (as I should know) but is a statuatory periodic tenancy where it has gone into 'rollover' and is lasting month by month?

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                      #11
                      Yes deposit protected with dps. To be quite honest Id do a deal with them if they gave back keys ie only try and claim 2 weeks rent. Just want the keys back and nothing to do with them.. Should always trust first impressions and I slipped up this time!

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by hedgehog View Post
                        Sorry to ask (as I should know) but is a statuatory periodic tenancy where it has gone into 'rollover' and is lasting month by month?
                        Yes, it is.
                        '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

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by hedgehog View Post
                          Sorry to ask (as I should know) but is a statuatory periodic tenancy where it has gone into 'rollover' and is lasting month by month?
                          Yes, it arises automatically, under s.5 Housing Act 1988, if an AST tenant is in occupation at fixed term expiry (and no renewal contract has been agreed). It replaces the expired fixed term tenancy.

                          That is why, if the T has vacated, his tenancy will end at fixed term expiry, because a statutory periodic tenancy will not arise.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by hedgehog View Post
                            Yes deposit protected with dps. To be quite honest Id do a deal with them if they gave back keys ie only try and claim 2 weeks rent. Just want the keys back and nothing to do with them..
                            Don't let your distaste for these Ts skew your financial judgement. If you need to claim for more than just the 2 wks rent, do so.

                            Did they leave the place as clean as it was when they checked in? If not, claim for a cleaner.

                            Have they done any damage? Claim for that (assuming you have proof e.g. inventory).

                            How much was the deposit and how much in rent do they owe?
                            '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

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                              #15
                              I dont believe this but I have just checked my agreement (a friend had given it me) and it has the clause Notice by tenant - At any time after the expiry of the fixed term granted by this agreement the tenant can terminate the tenancy by giving the landlord one months notice in writing.

                              So does that mean I have to wait another month before i can change the locks??or am I still ok to go in

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