Conditional offer of early release from AST

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    Conditional offer of early release from AST

    General question, no current case in mind.

    As a landlord I have occasionally allowed tenants to end their tenancy agreements with less notice than the legal minimum. I have sometimes then had to argue about returning the deposit when they come to leave due to extra cleaning/gardening costs. This is somewhat annoying if I've already saved them a few hundred quit by accepting a short notice to quit.

    If I offer (in writing) to release a tenant early from their AST, can I make that offer conditional, (i.e. "I'll waive that last 2 weeks of the rent if you leave the property absolutely 100% spic and span"). And if I do make that offer, would it then be subject to adjudication, or would it be entirely my judgement as to whether the property really was "100% spic and span"?

    Thoughts and opinions please? (polite ones only)

    P.S. in case anyone asks why I would accept a short notice period it simply because I was a tenant before I was landlord, life changes quickly these days and I know what it's like if you have to pay weeks of overlapping rent.

    #2
    I think you know TPTB won't let this work. Therefore I'd forget about trying to agree any happy compromises about waiving rent.

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      #3
      I think your attitude is very fair.

      I beleive you can apply whatever terms both you and tenant agree to as part of the surrender.

      You can't stop them from raising any dispute with deposit scheme, but you do have control over the return of rent.

      You could accept the surrender with a refund of rent, providing there is no dispute with deposit and any damage to the property?

      If they have caused damage you probably won't want to be so obliging anyway.

      Comment


        #4
        I think what you are talking about is your gift of a right to pay only part of a rental month pro-rata, rather than "short notice".

        In that case I would always make the tenant pay the full month of rent in advance as usual, and then agree that as a gift I would be prepared to refund part of the monthly rent pro-rata
        in an informal way "as part of negotiations about deposit deductions if any are due". That way, if there are any small (fair) deductions you can simply take them from the rent already paid, and the deposit adjudicator can hardly insist that you refund rent.

        The reverse sometimes applies - I often agree with the tenant to purchase minor items from them that they don't require and which would form useful inventory.

        Comment


          #5
          You can accept or decline an invalid T Notice but you cannot require T to leave the property in any condition better than move-in condition, which should require you to provide in/out condition reports for ADR/SCC evaluation ie you cannot deny T access to legal remedy pertaining.

          Comment


            #6
            You can't stop them from raising any dispute with deposit scheme, but you do have control over the return of rent.
            The return of any deposit is down to the DPSs assessment of the condition of the property. I'm hoping that any private offer I might make to 'gift' them some of the rent back would be based on my opinion of what '100%spic and span' is opposed to the DPSs assesment.

            If they have caused damage you probably won't want to be so obliging anyway.
            True - but this is why I want to make the offer conditional!

            I think what you are talking about is your gift of a right to pay only part of a rental month pro-rata, rather than "short notice".
            In that case I would always make the tenant pay the full month of rent in advance as usual, and then agree that as a gift I would be prepared to refund part of the monthly rent pro-rata
            in an informal way "as part of negotiations about deposit deductions if any are due". That way, if there are any small (fair) deductions you can simply take them from the rent already paid, and the deposit adjudicator can hardly insist that you refund rent.
            Yes - a much better way of doing it!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mariner View Post
              You can accept or decline an invalid T Notice but you cannot require T to leave the property in any condition better than move-in condition.
              It is perfectly possible to do that as part as the tenancy agreement, or another agreement.

              The issue here is that "100% spic and span" is subjective and if left at the sole discretion of the landlord would likely be an unfair term.
              In OP's case a discute would also not be eligible to use the deposit scheme's ADR as it does not concern the deposit.

              Comment


                #8
                Something extra to think about here.

                I have known tenants who've manged to time one tenancy to end on exactly the same day as a new one starts, I expect this is what the tenants are trying to achieve in your example.

                The problem here is even the best meaning tenants in the world are likely to find the move-day is very busy and almost certainly they're going to end up dropping behind schedule, and unfortunately human nature means they'll be directing a lot more attention to the new property than the old property , and the result is that cleaning of the old property is likely to suffer.

                Personally I prefer to have tenants have a short overlapping period, this means that in the event of a difference of opinion on the cleanliness of the property I can ask the tenants back in (after they've vacated it, but before the tenancy is over) to get the place clean. If a formal check out inventory is taken on the very last day of the tenancy, the tenant no longer has the chance to fix any problems and the only solution is a deposit deduction (likely to cause disputes).

                Comment


                  #9
                  It is difficult to carry out the inspection earlier than the end of the tenancy because if you do then you have no guarantee that it will reflect the actual condition of the property at the end of the tenancy.
                  Now, you can have a look around and point out issues to the tenant as a friendly heads-up, but IMHO you should still have the formal inspection at the very end.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                    Now, you can have a look around and point out issues to the tenant as a friendly heads-up, but IMHO you should still have the formal inspection at the very end.
                    Agreed - that is what i was meaning in my post.

                    What I have done in the past is to have an informal check-out inspection a day or two before the formal end of the tenancy. If the tenant and I agree on the state of the property and agree on any deductions then we both sign a formal agreement (there and then), the tenant hands the keys back we agree (in writing) the tenancy is over. If we can't agree, then that gives me a few days to arrange an independent check-out which we can take to arbitration.

                    The advantage to the tenant is that this method saves him the cost of the check-out inventory (the AST specifies that the landlord pays for the check-in inspection and the tenant the check-out inspection). The advantage to me is that since I know the tenant is angling to save himself the cost of the check-out inventory he's more likely to be amenable to any reasonable deductions I might want to make.

                    Comment

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