Tenants handed in notice months into a 12 month fixed term

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    Tenants handed in notice months into a 12 month fixed term


    I'm a long time reader and first time writer and was looking for a bit of guidance if possible.

    We have a couple renting a house from ourselves, after being incredibly happy with the property, so much so that they signed a new 12 month fixed term AST we were surprised to receive a notice posted through our letterbox. The tenants have found a property in a "nicer" area (just up the road from us actually) and have already paid a deposit.

    The fixed 12 month term ran from 25th June 2012. The notice was received on 28th September 2012.

    As per a clause in the standard AST stating that they can be released from the contract providing they can locate somebody acceptable to take over the tenancy and that we agree, they have suggested a couple of potential tenants only one of which have they asked to be fully referenced (the other suggestion must have known they wouldn't pass).

    They have been informed that the agreement stands both in writing and face to face, yet on the 25th October 2012 the keys have been posted through the door and rent has not been paid. We received a smiley text to inform us it's ok to inspect the property as it's entirely empty, this is despite the tenants being aware they're breaching the contract.

    I am aware of our rights with regard to the rent etc but I'm very unclear on abandonment, we are awaiting written permission to inspect the property as we don't want to fall foul of anything.

    Has anyone been through similar or does anyone have any advice with regard to pursuing unpaid rent, issuing any notices etc or anything that in my ignorance I am missing?

    Thanks in advance.


    "Abandonment" is a subjective word.

    If you haven't agreed otherwise, they owe rent until the end of the fixed term.
    Any actions you take that shows that you are not taking them as renting the property can be shown by them that you accepted their early surrender.

    Have you asked them for the rent that is late?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


      Thanks so much for the reply.

      Have sent notification of the rent being late today.


        Try to be reasonable and accept any replacement that doesnt leave you worse off but make it clear that until that happens and a new tenancy agreement is signed, they are liable for rent. Otherwise you can consider any offer they make for a surrender. I.e. Equivalent of 2 months rent to surrender now.

        As advised above, make sure all your actions show that you are treating the tenancy as ongoing. Dont do any checkout inspections, dont return deposit, etc. And dont enter 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.


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