Ending Short Term Assured Tenancy early Options

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    Ending Short Term Assured Tenancy early Options

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?
    England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? STCA

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? April 1st, 2016.

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?
    Fixed term of 11 months ending on March 1st, 2017

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?
    Fixed date every calendar month.

    Hi,
    Formal two months written notice has been sent to the Landlord advising that we wish to end the tenancy on March 1st, 2017, as per the current agreed STCA. Landlord has acknowledged receipt of this.

    The landlord is interested in getting major renovations done in the property, including Repainting the full interior(5 Bedroom/3 bathroom house spread across three floors), replacing all windows with new ones, Kitchen cabinet replacement, etc. He had made a proposal to end the tenancy on 1st Feb(one month early) subject to two conditions:

    - me paying 50% of Feb rent.
    - Subject to the various tradesman being available to start work from Feb 1st onwards.

    I am looking to vacate the property by end of Jan anyway, so this is a reasonable proposal. I have countered with organising the checkout a week earlier on Jan 23rd and paying 25% of Feb rent.

    The current situation is the landlord is pressing for an earlier checkout date but cannot commit to ending the tenancy agreement early until he hears back from the various tradesman. ETA unknown!
    If there is an agreed checkout date early before the end of the tenancy date of 1st March, I am still liable to pay the full owing rent.

    I have two options as I see it.

    Option 1. Have the checkout date early and hand the keys back to the agent/landlord. From then on I am not liable for any damage to the property. However I still have to pay the rent unless the landlord finds tradesman to start work early.

    - Do I still have to hand the keys back after the checkout or can this be done once a termination date has been agreed with the landlord? My concern is if I hand the keys back, then the landlord can proceed with the renovation work, which can only be done when the property is vacant.

    Option 2. Checkout is set once a termination date is agreed with the landlord. However if we are leaving the property at the end of Jan, the house could be vacant for a month, so that is a risk which I would still be liable for any damage/issues.

    I'm trying to find a reasonable compromise with the landlord where it's a win/win for both of us. It feels like the Landlord is trying to have his cake and eat it too!

    I appreciate any advice the more learned members of this forum can give me.

    Thanks.

    #2
    You don't need to give any notice to leave by the end of the fixed term. Indeed any notice you give has no legal affect & you are entitled to stay on.

    So, landlord wants you out 1st Feb but you pay 50% of Feb rent?? I'd thank him kindly for his generous offer, but inform him that you will only leave by 1st Feb if he pays you 3xmonth's rent, and you are minded to stay on now anyway. Me, I'd leave for 2 months rent payment - up-front, and a written good reference.

    You appear to have a more-than-usually greedy landlord
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      Doesn't sound like a greedy landlord to me. Sounds as if the tenant wants to end early (he says that quite clearly), and landlord is prepared to allow that subject to some penalty (which happens to be measured in rental units but is not rent), but only if he can get workmen for that period.

      Sounds fair to me...

      The fist step is clearly for landlord to get the workmen, otherwise what's in it for him -- nothing it would seem apart from the loss of some rent.

      Comment


        #4
        A generous LL, he could have demanded cash equivalent of rent due until end of fixed term. Mid Feb prob equates to approx. 1 cal month from receiving T offer of early surrender (T cannot serve NTQ during Fixed Term).
        Handing keys back does not terminate T and LL not obliged to arrange move out inspection before T has legally terminated.
        Whilst being mindful of T circumstances, a 'fair' LL should not allow T to erode LL legal rights or vice versa, otherwise why have LL & T legislation?

        Comment


          #5
          I don't think that that L is being particularly generous as the scenario clearly has benefit for him too. But he seems reasonable and pragmatic. He is basically saying that if he can make it work with contractors at what is pretty short notice, he will accommodate you (and benefit from it by receiving 50% rent during works). But if it is going to cost him (i.e. he agrees to the 50% but cannot use the time) he won't do it. I totally understand his position even if it is frustratingly uncertain for you.

          If you are going to have to abandon the property anyway probably the best option for you is to vacate when you have to, take a clear photographic record at that time, keep receipts for the clean, etc.. do not surrender the lease but agree that you will surrender immediately L requires access in return for 50% refund for rent paid/due on the remaining period. Yes - you will be responsible if something uninsured happens whilst the place is vacant so there is a risk - but you will have that same risk if you can't agree anything with L and, how likely is it? But I would not give L any special rights of access until surrender is signed other than for purposes already allowed in your contract, and even then only with contractually required notice (so you should know if he has been in). Even tell them that a friend may be stay for a couple of weeks to keep an eye on the place just to reinforce the fact that they don't have free access.

          Check what your contractual obligations are with regard to leaving the property vacant (probably not allowed for more than a month). Make sure it is kept heated (or at least above about 5C to prevent freezing pipes and leaks).

          If you do come to a mutually satisfactory surrender arrangement , have a read of this thread (it's a bit wooly) and ensure that you have all financial terms of surrender in writing. http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...king-advantage.
          Assume I know nothing.

          Comment


            #6
            Considering the extent of what the landlord wants to do, I'd ask for my deposit back in full without having to clean anything and without consideration for damage (apart from really massive things).

            Comment


              #7
              ^^ This is a good point. When I was a tenant my first London landlord gave us notice, made huge deductions for deep cleaning the kitchen and carpets, then ripped them all out as part of a full refurbishment. As a reasonably fresh law graduate at the time, I dug out the statute which outlaws this. Can't for the life of me remember what it is though.
              Assume I know nothing.

              Comment


                #8
                Although beware. If you leave the place other than as you received it and L decides they will not do the works just yet (maybe the builder is unavailable) then you may be liable.
                Assume I know nothing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Apologies guys, I had misread the OP's post: Senior moment (again...)!
                  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...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hooper View Post
                    ^^ This is a good point. When I was a tenant my first London landlord gave us notice, made huge deductions for deep cleaning the kitchen and carpets, then ripped them all out as part of a full refurbishment. As a reasonably fresh law graduate at the time, I dug out the statute which outlaws this. Can't for the life of me remember what it is though.
                    There won't be any such law or statute.

                    While it seems unreasonable for the landlord to demand property returned clean if he plans to dirty it immediately, that is his right.
                    Just as it is the right of the landlord to demand that any other (not-unfair) contractual obligation is fulfilled even if that was not the starting state.
                    Or as it is my obligation to pay for a shopping purchase which I plan to chuck down the toilet.

                    That is not to say reasonable parties will not discuss the issue and act reasonably. But the very purpose of landlord and tenant law is to hinder reasonable parties from contracting with each other reasonably

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                      There won't be any such law or statute.
                      I think there is a statute that if the landlord intends to do work on the property to the extent that it would be useless to repair the tenant's damage then the tenant does not have to repair or compensate, but I don't remember the details.

                      Comment

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