Tenant leaving property early. Is estate agent's advice correct?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Tenant leaving property early. Is estate agent's advice correct?

    My tenant has, today, vacated the property early. T moved in last March and stayed 6 months as per contract. T then renewed but the estate agents who manage the house did not chase T to sign the contract so T moved out in the belief that he had a rolling contract. Agents confirmed it was not a rolling contract.

    I am still owed December's rent and am out of pocket for the following 3 months when the contract was supposed to end. I have been advised by the agents that the only way forward is to hope that the rent can be gained from T's deposit; failing this it will have to be pursued via the small claims courts.

    Should the estate agents be offering some form of compensation for their failure to get the contract signed as I am out of pocket for not only December rent but the following 3 months? Am I in a weaker position due to the contract not being signed or does this make little difference?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. All replies will be greatfully received.

    #2
    In regards to the contract, it depends whether the agent can prove that a new fixed term was offered, and the tenant accepted it.

    What date did the tenancy start, and what date was written notice given?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      As suggested above, you need to find out what evidence exists that the tenant accepted a new fixed term. If your evidence isnt good enough, then maybe you need to re-let asap.

      I assume that you and the agents are treating the tenancy as ongoing and have not entered the property, right? If you choose to chase, arguing that the new fixed term was agreed, you need to treat the tenancy as ongoing.

      I would say that unless you have something in writing from the tenant, you dont stand a chance and you'd rather start looking to re-let asap.
      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


        #4
        A new term of 6 months was offered and accepted verbally over the phone by the T. This was confirmed by the agents and whatever records they keep.

        The original tenancy started end of March 2012 which ran for 6 months and T continued living at the property. We were told T had extended the contract so were surprised to learn he intended to leave. Estate agents rang and told us at the end of November and said T had emailed them giving a month's notice. We were told T couldn't just move out but T has hence the position we are in.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for your reply.

          No one has entered the property and check out inspection has been arranged by T for end of this week.

          So the signing/not signing of a contract holds very little weight? Would I be in a different position had the tenant signed the contract? (It was my expectation that the estate agents had done this.)

          Comment


            #6
            How else are you going to prove that the tenant agreed to the new contract? Just because the agent says he did over the phone? How do you know that is true anyway?
            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


              #7
              Good point MSaxp...I don't know that for sure.

              We've used same agents for years and all has been well until now. Would I be in a different position if T had signed a contract? Agents admitted it was their fault they hadn't chased T to sign the contract.

              Comment


                #8
                If they admit in writing that its their fault then you should look to re-let asap and you can choose to sue them over the lost income during the void period. You still have to mitigate your losses by trying to re-let as soon as possible.

                Difficult to know if it is indeed their fault though. They might have asked the tenant and he might have said no. There isnt anything they could do to force him to sign. Unless they shoot themselves in the foot by admitting to it in writing. Or if you have any proof that they suggested it has been signed, while in reality it wasnt.
                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


                  #9
                  All very valid points MSaxp. I doubt they'll admit it in writing though.

                  I suspect the tenant intended to not sign his contract fancying a move to a new property elsewhere.

                  Would a signed contract have made ANY DIFFERENCE here?

                  Can't help but feel that agents should be offering some sort of financial help as I'm now liable for costs of £400ish via agents to get a new tenant in and I'll be lucky to see any rent for December. Admittedly, I would've had to pay this in 3 months anyway but not a cost I incurred and it's 3 months earlier than I'd budgeted for. Oh well so I'll be even more out of pocket financially : (

                  Thanks for your replies.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by milliemollieblack View Post
                    A new term of 6 months was offered and accepted verbally over the phone by the T. This was confirmed by the agents and whatever records they keep.
                    Whoops. A lesson learned.

                    Did the agent tell you that a contract had been made? Did you ask to see paperwork at the time? Do you not keep records?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by milliemollieblack View Post
                      All very valid points MSaxp. I doubt they'll admit it in writing though.
                      I agree.

                      I suspect the tenant intended to not sign his contract fancying a move to a new property elsewhere
                      Which supports your hunch that he had no intention even of agreeing to another fixed-term contract, let alone signng one.

                      Would a signed contract have made ANY DIFFERENCE here?
                      Yes, of course it would. T would have been legally bound to pay the rent for the full period of the new fixed term.

                      Can't help but feel that agents should be offering some sort of financial help as I'm now liable for costs of £400ish via agents to get a new tenant in and I'll be lucky to see any rent for December. Admittedly, I would've had to pay this in 3 months anyway but not a cost I incurred and it's 3 months earlier than I'd budgeted for. Oh well so I'll be even more out of pocket financially : (
                      I agree. Suggest to the agent that they find you another tenant for free and asap, or you'll take your custom elsewhere. They have stuffed up here.
                      '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


                        #12
                        Yes, you may be right and a rather expensive lesson.

                        We received a phonecall to tell us the contract had been extended and T wished to stay. Usual process from the agents and we'd always received the signed paper contract.

                        As for records, yes I do keep them but was not up to speed with chasing documents with a new baby at home.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Have you a written terms of business with your agent because that could dictate whether their conduct on your behalf was execrcising their "duty of care"? Many agents make such basic errors and try to cover up their ineptitude. Talk to the agent suggesting they make up the loss you have incurred.
                          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


                            #14
                            Thank you for the clarity here. I was starting to doubt myself here and the importance of a signed contract.

                            T didn't sign a contract and agent didn't in their words, 'chase it.'

                            Think I'll ring tomorrow and try to re-negotiate something.

                            Thanks again for your replies.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I will try again.


                              Originally posted by thesaint View Post

                              What date did the tenancy start, and what date was written notice given?
                              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X