Notice period too short - landlord taking advantage

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    Notice period too short - landlord taking advantage

    Some advice please, my landlord is holding back nearly a months rent.

    I’ve just (yesterday) moved out of a monthly AST property after being in for about 8 months (6 months initial period – then a rolling contract).

    Just over a month ago I gave my landlord written 30 days’ notice that I intended to move out. I moved out yesterday, during the checkout the landlord and I agreed that the property was in good condition and there would be no deductions for damages except for £10 for a knob off the cooker.

    Last night he sent me a final invoice summarising what money would be deducted from the deposit and what would be returned to me. He has ‘rounded up’ the rent to the next rent-day, which is nearly a full month’s rent (25 days)!

    I rung him straight away for an explanation, he claims the notice period is supposed to be a minimum of 30 days, and should end the day before the next month’s rent is due. If it doesn’t then it can (apparently) be rounded up.

    Is this correct? And if it is, isn’t the landlord obliged to tell me before hand? His says that the notice I gave him was simply 30 days’ notice that I intended to move out, not 30 days’ notice to end the tenancy. He says he is legally entitled to round it up to the next rent day, effectively giving him 55 days of notice!

    I’m so angry, I’m financially sc3wed, I had to take out a very expensive short term loan to cover what should have been few days between paying for my new deposit and getting my old one back. I took two days off work to get the house spotless and do all the gardening so I’d get everything back, and now I’m likely to become homeless quite soon. Without the deposit back I’m going to be paying through the nose for what should have been a 4 day loan, and with the loan repayments I’m not going to be able to afford the rent on my new place.

    My landlord is being total callous about this, he just shrugs and says ‘that the law’, he’s even admitted that he knew he would be doing this the moment I handed in my notice but he didn’t tell me because (I quote) ‘it’s not my job to explain the law to you’.

    Is he right? Is there anything I can do?

    #2
    Your notice were supposed to end the day before or on the first day of a period of rental, be at least 4 weeks or one period of notice whichever is longer, and must be in writing. If it satisfy those conditions, your tenancy would end on expiry whether your LL like it or not.

    However, your LL is also free to accept short notice, or otherwise agree mutual (implied) surrender by both your actions. Either of those would end the tenancy, and if the tenancy has ended, then he's not entitled to any more rent. He can't just deduct deposit for rent until whenever the notice should had ended. Well, I mean he can try, and it'll be up to you to use the deposit protection scheme arbitration or the court to get the rest of the money back. Either way, you can't expect it to be quick.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

    Comment


      #3
      When was your latest rent due date?

      From what you wrote it sounds like it might have been 5 days ago, and you only paid for 5 days instead of the whole month. Is that correct? If it is then your landlord is indeed entitled to the whole month's rent.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
        When was your latest rent due date?

        From what you wrote it sounds like it might have been 5 days ago, and you only paid for 5 days instead of the whole month. Is that correct? If it is then your landlord is indeed entitled to the whole month's rent.
        Yes - that's whats happened.

        But isn't he supposed to tell me? I thought 30 days meant 30 days, by rounding it up he's had a total of 55 days notice and will be charging me for 25 days when I'm not even going to be there

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mwani View Post
          But isn't he supposed to tell me? I thought 30 days meant 30 days, by rounding it up he's had a total of 55 days notice and will be charging me for 25 days when I'm not even going to be there
          No, he's not. You have to pay your rent when it is due and you seem to have taken upon yourself to only pay 5 days.

          Is this '30 day notice' what your tenancy agreement says or did you read that somewhere?

          Comment


            #6
            mwani,

            Your notice was not valid. Landlord notices to tenants need to be spot on to be valid, it works both ways. The LL was entitled to the months rent because you were still in occupation on the rent day, he is not obliged to only charge you 5 days and NO he does not need to tell you, you should know your obligations.
            Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
              Is this '30 day notice' what your tenancy agreement says or did you read that somewhere?
              I told him I wanted to leave, he told me that a notice period of a minimum of 30 days was required. I gave him 32 days notice in writing.

              The day after I left the house he told me words to the effect of "your notice only told me you were going to move out, the tenancy doesn't end until the next rent day" (i.e. 25 days time) . Only then did he tell me he would bill me to the end of the tenancy.

              He insisted I give my 30 days notice in writing, but when he told me 30 days he didn't put that in writing. Is this standard practivce for landlords?

              Comment


                #8
                There is no question that the notice to quit wasn't valid, and the landlord could had insisted the tenancy to be ongoing.

                The tenant were supposed to pay rent in full in advance when it was due, and without any contractual provision otherwise, the landlord would not had been required to refund any overpayment if the tenancy ended in between periods. However, if the tenancy has ended after the landlord accepted the short notice, I would say there is no debt from the tenant to the landlord since rent has been paid for all days for which the tenancy existed.
                I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by KTC View Post
                  There is no question that the notice to quit wasn't valid, and the landlord could had insisted the tenancy to be ongoing.
                  I gave the landlord the notice he asked for, in fact I gave him more notice than he asked for! how can it not be valid

                  If he'd told me the full truth then I would have timed the move date to match the my normal rent day. I'm shocked that this sort of skulduggery seems to be supported on this forum, it's best it's borderline fraud! He tells me he wants a minimum of 30 days notice, I give him 32 days, and he ends up taking an extra 25

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by KTC View Post
                    The tenant were supposed to pay rent in full in advance when it was due, and without any contractual provision otherwise, the landlord would not had been required to refund any overpayment if the tenancy ended in between periods. However, if the tenancy has ended after the landlord accepted the short notice, I would say there is no debt from the tenant to the landlord since rent has been paid for all days for which the tenancy existed.
                    The landlord does not owe a refund because the full rent was owed and is not apportionable. This also means that there indeed is a debt if the rent wasn't paid in full.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What exactly did you state in your notice? And did LL respond in writing?

                      I agree it's a dirty trick but you really should have checked.

                      What does your tenancy agreement state? Although this is probably irrelevant as the law is on LL side.

                      Has he accepted the keys back from you?. You could argue he has accepted early surrender.

                      Maybe call his bluff and ask for the keys back for the remainder of the tenancy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Wright76 View Post
                        What does your tenancy agreement state? Although this is probably irrelevant as the law is on LL side.
                        It wouldn't matter since any terms on notice to end a tenancy would not had carried over to the SPT.
                        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                          The landlord does not owe a refund because the full rent was owed and is not apportionable.
                          The landlord deceived and tricked me, he asked for 30 days notice (which he got) and then demanded 55 days money (after I left)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mwani View Post
                            The landlord deceived and tricked me, he asked for 30 days notice (which he got) and then demanded 55 days money (after I left)
                            At which point did you enquire about the arrangement regarding the rent?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              He didn't really deceive or trick you as the law which you can easily check, tells you that you must give notice ending on or before your rent date.

                              He's correct that it isn't his place to tell you the law, but I agree it would have at least been good manners to advise you!.

                              As advised he can accept your early surrender, and his words and conduct and reply to your notice to quit could be argued that he has accepted surrender.

                              Has he taken back the keys?. Has he commenced any decorating or work on the property? Arranged any viewings?. This would all indicate he accepted your early surrender and can be used in defence of your deposit.

                              Is the deposit in a scheme? Have you checked that it is and did you receive PI within 30 days?

                              If not, landlord is in big trouble and you can claim a penalty of between 1 and 3 times the deposit plus the deposit returned.

                              I rarely support such claims against a landlord but in this instance I don't think he has been fair and would hope that he has made a mistake with it.

                              Comment

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