Landlord asked for the keys a month before the contract ended, rent!!

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    Landlord asked for the keys a month before the contract ended, rent!!

    Sorry if this is really long winded!

    I am a graduate who is now living with my parents, but for 2 years I lived with 3 other students, 2 consecutive 12 month contracts both starting September 10th 2017 and 2018. So as the title states, my landlord asked for the keys exactly a month (10th August) before the end of our tenancy (10th Sept 2019).** I know that one of my housemates was planning on living there for longer (we'll call her C) but had to move out due to this, however I moved out at the beginning of July which the landlord was aware of (sorry I'm not sure if this info is relevant).

    Me and one of my housemates (R) paid the rent in advance to cover until the end of the tenancy, so we have paid for August 10th-September 10th's rent. The other two housemates (W and C) pay their rent monthly so have not yet paid August's rent, to my knowledge.

    So what I'm actually asking is, am I correct in thinking that R and I made an over payment of August's rent which we should be able to claim back from the landlord? The contract doesn't state these conditions about keys being collected by the landlord a month early.

    Extra info- I have already emailed the landlord about this, he said I am not due a repayment because "a landlord cannot rent a property for 1 or 2 months, it has to be 12". But R and I have paid for a month where the house is not ours anymore- there is building work going on in our rooms and they have landlord has our keys.

    I'd appreciate any help, if it's not obvious already I have no idea what I'm talking about.x


    Just a p.s- The reason for me posting this is that I want my rent money back lol. I have no need to live there through August, I just feel it isn't right that I can't get my money back if the landlord has essentially cut our tenancy a month early in order to sort out the house to be put up for sale.

    ** EDIT: August 1st, the landlord emailed my housemates and I asking for the keys to be returned to the letting agency for the 10th August. I sent mine in the post, along with an email inquiring about the rent issue. I only received a reply from him YESTERDAY!! 11 days after I sent the keys and the email.

    #2
    Very dodgy! As you seem to have 12 month fixed periods, the landlord cannot even start seeking possession until the full 12 months are up.

    Landlords can rent for less than 12 months. 6 months is what is advised on this forum, after which let the tenancy go periodic. It is possible to rent for fixed terms of less than six months, although some practical considerations mean this is not usually useful for the initial fixed period.

    12 months is a figure preferred by agents, although it might also make sense for student lets, as re-letting the property half way through the academic year may be difficult.

    Comment


      #3
      Why did you return the keys? I would ask for them back, and if he declines you are I think entitled to break into your own home. So do so, and then get the lock changed (only if he understands the consequences of refusing to return the key). I would also contact the police you may be able to accompany you on entering your home.

      On the other hand if you actually want your money back, present him with that option, in writing and involving the police.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
        Why did you return the keys? I would ask for them back, and if he declines you are I think entitled to break into your own home. So do so, and then get the lock changed (only if he understands the consequences of refusing to return the key). I would also contact the police you may be able to accompany you on entering your home.

        On the other hand if you actually want your money back, present him with that option, in writing and involving the police.
        Thanks for the reply! I returned the keys because he didn't give much notice, I wanted to be entitled to possibly claim the rent back and I mentioned this in the email to him about returning the keys. Haha to be honest, I don't need to live in the house anymore as I'm living back at home with my parents. The fact that the landlord is saying that I didn't make a rent overpayment is where I feel a bit iffy about all of this because he ended the tenancy a month early with about 10 days notice. I just want the dolla.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          Very dodgy! As you seem to have 12 month fixed periods, the landlord cannot even start seeking possession until the full 12 months are up.

          Landlords can rent for less than 12 months. 6 months is what is advised on this forum, after which let the tenancy go periodic. It is possible to rent for fixed terms of less than six months, although some practical considerations mean this is not usually useful for the initial fixed period.

          12 months is a figure preferred by agents, although it might also make sense for student lets, as re-letting the property half way through the academic year may be difficult.
          Thanks for your help. I understand this, to my knowledge the landlord was eager to get the house on the market as a mortgaged house rather than a shared student house as soon as possible, which was the reason he cut our tenancy short by a month.

          Comment


            #6
            Was the tenancy a single agreement for all four of you or did you have an agreement each?
            What does the last tenancy agreement say about the term of the agreement (if you could quote the exact definition of the term, that would be helpful)?
            Was there a tenancy deposit and has it been returned?
            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).

            Comment


              #7
              I think the main issue here is that you had a 12 month contract so you have to pay for that 12 months.

              If you leave early then that's your choice, you still have to pay what you contracted for.

              The issue of the keys is seperate, and as others said you shouldn't have returned them until the 12 months were up.
              And the landlord should not re-let the place until the 12 months are up.

              In a nutshell:
              You have a contract for 12 months, which gives you the the right to live there for 12 months, but you have to pay for 12 months whether you are there or not.

              You can agree with the landlord to vary that and leave early by mutual agreement, but if either of you don't agree then the contract stands.

              In this case it looks like you have agreed to give up the keys early, but he has not agreed to repay the rent, so the 12 month contract still stands.

              Comment


                #8
                The landlord can't charge rent if the tenancy has ended early (which reletting the property pretty much confirms).

                The tenancy agreement probably doesn't cover what happens to rent paid in advance if the tenancy ends before the end of the term (because that shouldn't really happen).

                But without the answers to the questions in #6 there's nothing much we can say to help.

                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).

                Comment

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