CAB giving tenant stupid advice?

by Readers Question

9:32 AM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

CAB giving tenant stupid advice?

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CAB giving tenant stupid advice?

Hmmm, it never rains, but it pours .. having had a blissful tenant-communication free few months it all happens at once. We had two fighting last week, two separate fridge-freezers gave up the ghost within 3 days – ( I have never had one go before in ten years) , a washing machine had to be replaced and now I have a tenant in an HMO threatening me because the mould patch in his room has made him cough .. Nothing to do with the thirty-odd Marlboro’s a day then…! CAB giving tenant stupid advice?

He wants to leave straight away, and wants deposit back, etc. I have no problem with that even though he is only halfway through his six months on the AST, but he now says citizens advice have told him he can have back all the rent he has paid up to now as well..?

He signed his AST for 6 months on 25th May, has paid a deposit and rent in advance each month, last payment being received end July, so he is now technically in arrears by 1 week. I am inclined to ignore the threats and return the deposit minus a weeks’ rent…

What do we think..?

Thanks

Ian



Comments

Mark Alexander

9:46 AM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Ian

I would disregard that CAB issue and wouldn't consider that as a serious threat. Do you even know whether it is true?

What can be done about the damp problem?

Like you, I would probably be happy for this tenant to go early. My starting point would be that I am prepared to agree to an early surrender of tenancy but subject only to him allowing me to retain his deposit to cover my reasonable costs of re-letting the deposit.

If it looks like he might put up a fight I might agree to return the deposit in full but only to save myself aggro, not because I think he right because I'm pretty sure he's not.

If he's penniless with no job then there is little point in you slugging this out with him in Court because even if you win your chances of recovering your costs and losses are poor. However, if the reverse is true I'd quite fancy my chances if I were you. Also, if he gives notice and fails to move out you will be able to sue for Mesne Profits from that point onwards, i.e. double rent.
.

dom glynn

13:20 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/09/2014 - 09:46":

Hi Mark,
With regard to Mesne profits, does that also mean that these can be applied for any period of occupation after a possession order has been granted?

13:41 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

HI Ian,
Do you know under what reasons CAB have told your tnt he is entitled to all the rent back?
In an ideal world the CAB adviser should have written to you explaining if there has been any breach of law and how it can be rectified if possible.

I wonder, as it happens to me a lot, the tnt heard the CAB adviser explain that if you had no protected the deposit, then tnt would be entitled to 3 x deposit?

until you have something from CAB i wouldnt be to concerned i think your tnt may have misunderstood the information given.

Ian Simpson

13:51 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Here are a selection of the ranting texts received yesterday :

"It's not two weeks it's one so I would be entitled to my whole deposit back as you did not make me aware of the damp before I moved in which is a breach of tenancy and you also if you say you didn't know about the damp then you didn't have the required checks for you to rent to rooms to begin with which is also a breach I'm entitled to my full deposit and also the rents paid in advance and I'm only a weeks over due tomorrow so there you have to pay me back the xxxxx or I have to right with the environmental agencies help to claim back all the money I paid since moving in which I wasn't trying to do that as I knew you only brought the house 2 days before I moved in I will take your replys upto citizens advice tomorrow morning when I'm meeting the environmental agencies and also take up the tenancy agreement up and they will confirm everything I've said"

"My stuff will be out of the room tomorrow evening that will mean I'm in a weeks arrears not two! I expect to see xxx in my account by then too Sent from my iPhone"

He may have been a bit under the influence whilst writing this methinks....

No comms today wondering if it is worth getting him to signan end of tenancy agreement as well, in case of future claims..

Mark Alexander

14:22 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dom Glynn" at "03/09/2014 - 13:20":

I'm sorry, I don't know. Hopefully Farah, Romain or Industry Observer will be along soon to answer that one
.

Yvette Newbury

14:36 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Your tenant is obviously willing to give up the tenancy (from my quick read through) so there should be no reason why he should not sign an end of tenancy form. You should insist upon it so that you can then deal with his deposit.

Yvette Newbury

14:40 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Also my opinion is that this chap "doth protest too much, methinks" and whatever the real issue is you may never know! The agencies he is referring to would not assist in the way he is describing. Look at your paperwork and position regarding his deposit and be confident that you know what is owed and deal with his departure professionally and it will soon be sorted.

Romain Garcin

15:06 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dom Glynn" at "03/09/2014 - 13:20":

Hi Dom,

'Mesne profit' is compensation to the 'landlord' when e.g. an ex-tenant stays beyond the end of his tenancy. It's not called 'rent' because there is no tenancy and the occupier is in effect a trespasser.

If you, as landlord, get a possession order under s.21 or s.8 the tenancy will not end until the order is executed (i.e. when either the tenant leaves or the bailiffs make him), therefore rent (not 'mesne profit') will continue to be due as 'normal'.

dom glynn

15:11 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "03/09/2014 - 15:06":

Thanks Romain, that's very helpful. I obviously misunderstood various articles that I'd read.

Ian Narbeth

15:43 PM, 3rd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dom Glynn" at "03/09/2014 - 13:20":

Hi Dom
Mesne profits and double rent are not the same thing.

Liability to pay mesne profits arises when a former tenant holds over after termination or expiry of his tenancy and stops when he gives up possession of the land. This applies after a court order for possession. The amount of mesne profits is the ordinary letting value of the property, i.e. the market rent.

Double rent may be payable if a tenant serves notice to quit and then does not vacate on the termination date. This arises under s18 of the Distress for Rent Act 1737 (yes 1737). It is not clear that this will apply in the case mentioned as the tenant is not giving "notice to quit". If a tenant exercises a break clause that will normally amount to a notice to quit and if the tenant holds over the landlord can claim double rent on a daily basis.

That said I suspect County Court judges will not be too familiar with such claims so may need the law explained to them!

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