Changed my mind landlord not moving now?

by Readers Question

13:58 PM, 3rd September 2018
About 3 months ago

Changed my mind landlord not moving now?

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Changed my mind landlord not moving now?

Hi Property118, I have tenant that has given the required notice to vacate on the 20th September.

However he has now texted me saying his new let has fallen through and will not now be vacating!

His rent is fully paid up and the deposit returned.

I have a tenant signed up ready to move in October 1st

What do I do?

Many thanks

Norman



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:01 PM, 3rd September 2018
About 3 months ago

Hi Norman,

If the contracts are signed you can't let the new tenant down as you might be making them homeless.

Rob Crawford

18:35 PM, 3rd September 2018
About 3 months ago

Hi Norman, a difficult situation. If he does not move out you can't provide the room to the new tenant. You may have to go through an eviction process with the knowledge that the new candidate tenant is unlikely to wait that long. Can the candidate tenant sue you? Having received and accepted the current tenant's notice to leave, can you consider him/her as a squatter and arrange for his/her removal by the police? Is there any legal advice out there that can help Norman? Norman do you have a clause in your AST, where even if signed the tenancy cannot start until the property becomes unoccupied (or words to that effect)?

Mike T

20:52 PM, 3rd September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 03/09/2018 - 18:35
Oops, a difficult situation indeed.. Rob refers to a 'room' is that what you are letting or is it a flat or house ?
Either way if the tenant does not move out by the time your 'new' tenant wants to move in your options are limited to perhaps; starting the eviction process mentioned by Rob & Advising the incoming tenant of the situation. It could be that an offer of money to one or the other of them by way of compensation may smooth the way.
Tricky situation, hope someone has some positive thoughts. good luck.

Ian Simpson

22:00 PM, 3rd September 2018
About 3 months ago

I have had this before and simply told the incumbent that we have re-let his room already, so too bad, and the new tenants are arriving on such and such date, so please make sure the room is nice and clean for them before you leave the day before.... It did seem to work in that situation. and he clearly hadn't consulted Shelter or the CAB thankfully!!

Clint

10:04 AM, 4th September 2018
About 3 months ago

You could inform the tenant that after the date the tenancy is terminated, you are legally entitled to charge him/her twice the daily rate of rent. This may help the situation. There is a law which dates back about 200 years which could be used to claim twice the daily rate of rent. You could google it.

Ian Narbeth

10:19 AM, 4th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 04/09/2018 - 10:04Norman, you may be able to bring a claim for double rent under section 18 of the Distress for Rent Act 1737. You should treat the tenant as a trespasser after September 20th and you should not accept rent at the old level or seek the reinstatement of the deposit or in any way act as if the tenancy were continuing after the 20th.
You should write to the tenant now informing him of the double rent and say that you will take action without delay if double rent is not paid which will means he gets a CCJ and damages his credit record.
I am afraid you will be in breach of contract with the new tenant if you cannot give vacant possession. Try asking if they want to cancel the agreement and perhaps offer a week's rent as full and final compensation.

Paul Kaye

10:25 AM, 4th September 2018
About 3 months ago

One thing you never ever return the deposit until the tenant has moved out.
You never ever sign a new tenancy until the old tenant has moved out.
If these tenants will not move out and vacate,they are squatters,call the police.
Another tactic is to tell them in writing the rent is going up (say double)

Luke P

10:25 AM, 4th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Mesne profits...?

Simon Williams

11:11 AM, 4th September 2018
About 3 months ago

For the first time in 15 years I am confronted with a similar situation. Tessa Shepperson's blog is quite useful on this:

https://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2012/02/29/what-happens-if-the-tenant-gives-notice-but-then-doesnt-leave/

Bottom line seems to be: if all else failed, you would need a court order for possession and consensus seems to be that it would be section 8 rather than accelerated possession for trespass. Double rent charge appears to be viable. Don't accept "rent" beyond the notice period or your claim is stuffed.

I have told my recanting tenant that recanting on the notice is no longer possible once a new tenant has been found and that if they stay on there will be serious consequences, namely: 1. new tenant will be homeless and there would be a cross-claim to old tenant for significant damages; 2. double rent charge in accordance with Ashworth Holdings v Ballard; 3. possession proceedings and a costs order against the outgoing tenant; 4 no chance of any good reference from the landlord; 5 likely serious consequences going forward for tenant credit rating.

In the past, I casually accepted a one line email as notice to quit. In future, I will ask the tenant to sign a pro-forma letter which states in the starkest terms that the signatory fully understands that once the notice is given it cannot be revoked and that if their onward deal falls through or circumstances change, they will still need to find alternative accommodation.

silversurfer2017

11:12 AM, 4th September 2018
About 3 months ago

I agree with Paul's comments. I would never return the deposit until the tenant had moved out and I had the keys back. Similarly I would of course get other new tenants lined up but only sign them up when I was 100% confident they could move in. You might have a slightly longer void between tenancies but this is a far better outcome. Sometimes tenants may be unwilling/unable to move out on time because of illness or a family bereavement. IMO it is a mistake when dealing with people to assume everything will run as smooth as clockwork and make business decisions on this basis.

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