Overlap in current and new tenancy agreements

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    Overlap in current and new tenancy agreements


    I am new(ish) landlord and my tenant recently gave me 4 weeks notice on a tenancy agreement that finishes at the end of October. Two days after giving me notice, he moved out of the property but has yet to arrnage a time for me to collect the keys. The rent for the final month has not been paid and he has told me to keep the 1 months deposit (kept with the DPS). However, this then means that I have no deposit to fall back on in case of damage to the property...quite a clever ploy to ensure he doesnt pay for any damage.

    Luckily, there is no damage to the property but the garden is a mess and needs trimming and tidying. Normally, the deposit amount would serve as an incentive for the tenants to get the garden cleaned before the end of month. There is also lots of rubbish in the garden whihc I will now have to remove.

    This tenant stayed in the property for 12 months and always paid rent on time so its quite out of character for this slyness right at the very end. I have told him that the rent will need to be paid as normal and we will deal with the deposit after keys have been handed back and I carry out the checking out inspection. However, I haven't recieved a reply to any of my messages and my phone calls have not been returned.

    What do you experienced landlords advise for this situation? Should I write out to him and ask for the unpaid rent as it is technically due on the 1st of each month so 3 days late. Is it worth going through the small claims court? If i keep quiet and do nothing, he is unlikely to clean the garden and rubbish which means I lose out as the deposit with DPS only covers 1 months rent and wouldnt cover the cleaning and gardening costs I would occur.

    This is my first property and first problem I have encountered with unpaid rent. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    How frequently does he pay rent? If monthly then 4 weeks is not a valid notice unless you have something odd in your tenancy agreement. Did you accept his notice? However, he is entitled to just leave at the end of the fixed term (October 31st?) without notice. Did he tell you when he moved out that the property is now yours? If not, you may not yet be safe to repossess. He hasnt given back the keys and could return and claim illegal eviction.

    When you do finally repossess the property you will need to assess the cost of clearing up and repairing any damage you discover and if these are significant costs you have an option to pursue him through the courts, assuming that you have good evidence of move-in condition, a good inventory/schedule of condition and a TA that provides for this.

    From what you've said I think I would just clear up the garden myself and decline to give him a reference for any new property


      This is not an uncommon occurrence. The tenant should of course pay the rent and you can of course sue. However, there is little point, at least at this stage, because the hearing will not come up before the tenant has left. Once he has left you will be able to claim the deposit to cover the rent and those proceedings will have been wasted with the need to start all over again if there is a further claim.

      It is highly annoying, but the way to look at is that at least you have had all your rent.

      If the tenant is leaving before the end of the fixed term he had no need to give notice.


        T cannot give Notice during fixed term and rent is due up to end of fixed term.


          Originally posted by seablue View Post
          The rent for the final month has not been paid and he has told me to keep the 1 months deposit (kept with the DPS).
          This happens frequently, but you should have no trouble claiming deposit to cover,as for damage,if any, you could claim, but you have to ask is it worth the hassle.
          Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.


            Serve him TODAY s8g10 notice. This can be served if only 1p is underpaid for only 1 day. He might take the hint. see...

            Does he need a reference or is he hoping to be rehoused by the council ? If so you are in a very powerful position.

            Make sure when he goes you do a good check-out report, with loads of photos, ideally with witness.
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


              Thanks to everyone for replying. Hopefully will have someone to move in on the 1st Nov.

              I think I might just cut my losses and clean up the garden myself - the small claims court will take ages to recover my rent and I have no idea where this tenant has moved to as he refused to disclose his new address. I haven't received my keys back yet and if I start serving notices theres a chance the house may get trashed or the keys aren't ever given back which will cost me more in the long run.

              I have been explicit permission (over SMS) by the tenant to go into the house as and when I please as it is empty so will just start cleaning up ready for the next tenant in November.

              Ive learnt my lesson the hard way. Never keep the deposit amount the same as monthly rent!


                Overlap in current and new tenancy agreements


                I have a property for which the tenancy agreement expires on the 31.10.16. The current tenant vacated the property without paying the last month's rent which was due at the start of the month. He refuses to pay the last months rent and has asked for it to be deducted from the deposit with DPS which is equivalent to 1 months rent. I have not yet had the keys back although tenant has given me full permission (over SMS) to access the property with my spare set as and when I like.

                I did rant about this on a separate thread but the situation is different now. I have prospective tenants interested to move in earlier than 01.11.16. Am I allowed to do this or should I stick to cutting my losses and wait till 01.11.16? Technically, there wont be an overlap in payment of rent as current tenant has not paid the rent for October and is no longer living there. I plan to keep the DPS deposit to allow for cleaning charges as he has left lots of bagged rubbish both inside and outside the house and also in the shed. The garden is also overgrown and needs maintenance.

                Current tenant has been unresponsive to my previous calls, messages and emails. Am i legally allowed to re let the house and change the locks to the property before 31.10.16. If the keys aren't returned by this date, can I go ahead and change the locks, relet to prospective tenant on 01.11.16 without having to notify current tenant?

                Your advise is much appreciated!


                  The tenancy doesn't end until the end of the fixed term.
                  If the tenant offers to surrender and you accept that's one thing, but they haven't.

                  Anything other than waiting until the end of the period is a risk (Illegal eviction is a criminal offence).

                  As long as the tenant isn't living in the property at midnight on 31st October, the tenancy has ended and you can let the property again.

                  Have they taken all their belongings?
                  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).


                    Yes, all their belongings have been taken...with the exception of lots of bags of rubbish - empty drink bottles etc.
                    If I ask the tenant to surrender and they accept, I assume Tenant will expect a refund on the overpayment in rent. However, tenant didn't pay the final rent so may demand a refund from the DPS deposit which he has said I could keep for the final months rent.

                    Whast the best way to tackle this diplomatically?


                      Keep mum?
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.


                        I have thought about it! Not sure how much it costs to get the locks changed though...


                          Have you inspected for damage. You may well find some with this tenant


                            Two related threads have been merged.
                            I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating


                              Yes I have been into the property and apart from the rubbish and overgrown garden there isn't any other damage. Not that it makes a difference anyway as I can't claim for damages seeing as the deposit will just cover the last months rent.

                              Although I don't have the keys back yet from the tenant, am I allowed to clean up the garden and dispose of the rubbish bags left outside?


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