Should I give a refund?

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    Should I give a refund?

    Hi, a male and female from Switzerland wanted to rent my spare room and responded to my advert on I'm a live in landlord.

    I am looking for concrete advice if I should refund them, here is the timeline of what has happened:

    Feb 2 - Manuel and Doris enquired about the room. They tell me they want to move in on 4th or 5th.

    Feb 3 - they pay and I receive the security deposit via faster payments bank transfer to secure the room.

    Feb 4 - they provide the info I ask them for which I need to complete the tenancy agreement

    Feb 5 - I email the TA to them. I wrote it to start on 5th. The rent is due in advance on or before the 5th of every month. I think to myself I can amend the TA to start when they move in when I receive the rent. They tell me they need to move in because they must leave thetel and that Doris is in a wheelchair.

    Feb 6 - I receive half the rent. I realise they think the deposit is half the first month's rent so ask them for the other half and they say they will send it no problem. A friend in Switzerland, Daniela, is paying the rent for them via bank transfer.

    Friday Feb 7th - Daniela sends the other half of the rent which appears in my account but doesn't clear. D and M want to move in now that the rent has been paid. I explain it hasn't reached my bank account yet so they have to wait until it does. They tell me they need to move in because they have no home and that Doris is in a wheelchair. I reiterate I can't give them the keys until I receive the rent. They start bombarding me with phone calls pressurising me to give them the keys. I am sympathetic but don't give in.

    Saturday Feb 8th - They turn up at my flat, M comes to my door and wants them to move in. Tells me they are living in the car. I suggest they book into a Travelodge which he refuses, keeps going on about they have paid their rent to which I explain it's not reached my account yet. The funds haven't cleared. He is persistent which is quite unnerving, I live alone. I explain some banks don't transact at the weekends so it could be Monday I receive the rent. Then he starts wanting a refund! I explain it's the same situation - it'll not transfer until Monday plus I can't refund money I haven't received! After about 20 minutes he leaves. They message to say they are going to the police. I call the police for myself and they advise I'm doing the right thing. Then they cancel the whole thing. They want a full refund.

    Should I refund anything to them? 28 days notice required from either side written into the TA.

    Horrible situation and I'm nervous going out the house now in case they are there and threaten me.

    I would think as a live in landlord that it would be a lodger agreement you would have rather than a PRT.

    Has the lodger agreement been signed by both parties? If so then if your agreement is for 28 days then that is what you are entitled to but it may be better to ask them to agree to the property being re-advertised and if you get an alternative tenant who can move in before 28 days then they would only be liable from the lease start date until the new tenant moves in.

    Just out of interest has the payment come through today? I know International payments can take a few days to come through.

    You do have my sympathy I have been hassled by an international tenant who demanded his deposit be returned one day after he moved out and got quite unpleasant. I have since sent detailed notes whenever a tenant gives notice to explain the process in detail and it has worked well. I think it's often a communication issue that causes these kind of problems then after that it can all get rather silly.


      Hi Sandi, thanks for your reply. I use the Scottish Government TA template as it covers all the details in a lodger agreement and more.

      The SG TA can be sent electronically via email with names of both tenant/lodger and landlord printed, as stated at the bottom of the template.

      I phoned my bank on Saturday evening to ask them if they could see the payment in the system hoping they could guarantee it would clear which would have probably made me let M & D move in. But apparently the payment is with my bank's security team getting further checks done so they said it could still not clear and still hasn't cleared today.


        This sounds v dodgy. Don't refund until you have confirmation preferably in writing the monies have cleared.


          You were very wise and strong to not allow them to force their way into your property.

          If you are the sole occupier of the property then I would advise to never rent out the room to a couple - only on a single lodger basis. One will always need to gain the upper hand - as you experienced.

          Based upon the manner in which they behaved toward you and their paying only a portion of the rent in the first instance - this provides you with an indication of how your future relationship would look like with them actually, physically living in your property.

          Do not rent to them.



            Thanks for relying.

            So my (original) question is should I refund anything to them?


              You need to be careful
              Make sure the funds clear and are not fraudulent with the bank

              Thank them for their request to cancel the agreement but you could decline and offer them the room. If they refuse then it's them who have cancelled

              What is their situation now?

              You need to get proper advice - have you considered joining SAL?


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