Tenant has left early 6 mth AST

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    Tenant has left early 6 mth AST

    My tenant has signed a 6 month AST and yesterday has posted the keys to the property through my door. She left a note saying she has lost her job and no means of paying the rent. She has paid the deposit (which is in a scheme) and has paid a total of 2 months rent. She has left a few days before the rent is due (for the 3rd month of the agreement) and is not in any arrears as yet.

    She has said she will allow me to have the bond to cover any of my costs.

    To be fair to her, she has left the property in a clean condition and noticed she has repainted some of the property herself.

    My issue obviously is that she has 4 more months remaining on the AST and I have to go through the expense of finding a suitable replacement and lose rent whilst its vacant.

    What are my options, should I take her to court to fight for the remaining 4 months ? how long would it take and estimate of costs?

    Should I try and pursue a CCJ against her?

    This is my first rental property and would appreciate any help given.

    Thanks
    Julie

    #2
    I'd accept it and re-rent.

    You're in the right and can pursue for the remaining rent.
    The costs of re-renting are a bit trickier as they would arise at the end of the tenancy anyway, so they're just part of the business you're in.

    The tenant could easily have sat there and forced you to evict them, so it's a bullet dodged in my view.

    And don't let tenants paint your property!
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      I'd accept it and re-rent.

      You're in the right and can pursue for the remaining rent.
      The costs of re-renting are a bit trickier as they would arise at the end of the tenancy anyway, so they're just part of the business you're in.

      The tenant could easily have sat there and forced you to evict them, so it's a bullet dodged in my view.

      And don't let tenants paint your property!


      Thanks for the quick reply.

      If I did decide to pursue her for the remaining 4 months, what would I have to do? and what are my costs?

      Comment


        #4
        You'll find it hard to make it stick.
        You have an obligation to mitigate your losses, and that means you'll want to re-rent it, which you can't do while the tenant is living there.

        You would write to the tenant and point out that they are not in a position to surrender the tenancy, that they are liable for the next x months rent, council tax and utility bills.
        In four months, when the tenancy ends (it won't become periodic because there's no one living there) you issue a letter before action for the rent, the council tax you've had to pay and any standing charges on the utility bills.
        Then you pursue that through the small claims court - the fees are quite low and added to the amount you're suing the tenant for.

        I suspect you'll win, because you are within your rights, but if you make any error, or there's a loophole with the deposit or paperwork, the judge will do their set the case aside.
        Because it's a really crappy thing to do.

        If you do insist the tenancy is continuing, the tenant has every right to move back in, and then not pay you or move out.
        Last edited by jpkeates; 07-09-2015, 09:42 AM. Reason: Added last sentence.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Focus on the thing that matters... getting a new suitable Tenant in place and paying you rent. Chasing someone who's gone, who has no arrears, is not sensible. If you have the deposit, then aren't you ahead for the time-being? Why are you talking about the cost of re-letting if that is the case? The quicker someone is in, the quicker your issue is resolved. If you are still communicating with the ex-Tenant and you are not satisfied with the deposit behind given-up, try to ask for something extra to cover your specific re-let costs... however, if she balks at that then don't focus on suing her. If the market has changed and she's improved your property (only you will know) then maybe you can re-let for a slightly higher price.

          Comment


            #6
            When you have sorted out getting a new tenant, make an invoice of your losses, and decide whether it's worth pursuing your departing tenant.

            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            You'll find it hard to make it stick.
            You have an obligation to mitigate your losses, and that means you'll want to re-rent it, which you can't do while the tenant is living there.
            There is no obligation to mitigate the losses.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by thesaint View Post
              There is no obligation to mitigate the losses.
              http://www.drukker.co.uk/publication...tigation-loss/
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                Interesting link, but I will say again that a landlord does not have any obligation to mitigate his losses for a fixed term contract.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                  #9
                  There is no loss per se.

                  If the tenancy continues then the rent continues to accrue. Once the rent has accrued it is a debt.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You can say it as often as you like, but you'll need to get elected and change the law for it to be true.
                    I'd vote for you, because I'd prefer that to be the case as well.
                    8-)

                    The rent that won't be paid isn't a cost (whether its contracted or not), it's lost income, so that's not a viable claim.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                      If the tenancy continues then the rent continues to accrue. Once the rent has accrued it is a debt.
                      But the tenant has abandoned the property, so the tenancy doesn't continue.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        You can say it as often as you like, but you'll need to get elected and change the law for it to be true.
                        I am stating the legal position.

                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        The rent that won't be paid isn't a cost (whether its contracted or not), it's lost income, so that's not a viable claim.
                        It is income for accounting purposes, and is a debt. A debt is not a loss. An unrecoverable debt is a loss.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                          But the tenant has abandoned the property, so the tenancy doesn't continue.
                          That's not the legal position either.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            But the tenant has abandoned the property, so the tenancy doesn't continue.
                            Good luck with that one.
                            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I'll see you both in court
                              8-)
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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