Contract signed but tenant did not move in?

by Readers Question

9:55 AM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Contract signed but tenant did not move in?

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Contract signed but tenant did not move in?

Hello, I had a property ready for rent and the contract had been signed with party moving in. However, after almost 2 weeks the other party pulled out and said they were no longer able to move in due to change in job circumstances.

I now have lost the two weeks rent plus I am not able to rent the property out as I was hoping to.

I have shorthold tenancy agreement signed. (where there is a mention of deposit as per the clauses below from the contract)

Should I be returning the deposit back?

I feel its not right and I should not, because the other party was committed which I did not rent out or did any viewings for two weeks.

Please advise how should I go about this?

(private landlord).

I’m probably likely to take this further if I understand what my rights are.

The Deposit

10. Upon signing this agreement the Tenant shall pay the Landlord a deposit in the amount stated above to be held until the termination of the tenancy. The deposit shall be held in accordance with a
government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Subject to the rules of that Scheme, if the Tenant has not complied with the terms and obligations of this agreement then, without prejudice to any
other claims or right the Landlord may have in law, the Landlord shall be entitled to retain such part of that deposit as represents the reasonable cost of compensating him for such breach or non-compliance.

11. The Landlord shall not be entitled to claim in respect of any damage to the property or its contents which is due to “fair wear and tear”, meaning the normal deterioration over time of the property and its contents whilst the tenant(s) is living in the property and using it in a reasonable and lawful manner in accordance with the terms of this agreement.

Many thanks

Ishrat



Comments

Darren Peters

11:44 AM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Have you received the first month's rent and/or deposit?

Normally, broadly speaking, if the tenant left a property early you would be entitled to rent up to the point you got a new tenant. Ie if they left on day 1 and you re-let the property a month later you would be entitled to a month's rent from them.

If they haven't paid you anything it will be hassle to enforce. If you have say 1 month's deposit and 1 month's rent in the bank already then you are paid for up to 2 months but must refund part if you find another tenant within the 2 months.

Disclaimer, I'm not a lawyer and this is opinion not advice.

Kate Mellor

13:59 PM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Had the tenancy actually commenced 2 weeks ago, or was it due to commence and you waited two weeks thinking you’d found a tenant as they’d signed a tenancy agreement? Either way, I’d be relatively certain they would be liable for your actual, provable losses as a result of their actions.
Have you lodged the deposit into a scheme yet? If so, you can make a claim through them. You won’t be able to refund the deposit anyway as there is a delay between submitting it and the earliest you can reclaim it.

SimonR

15:30 PM, 11th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Put the property back to the market and try and secure a new tenant asap, you are allowed to do this, as you didn't had over any keys no tenancy was created but you do have a legally binding contract. Once a new tenant moves in you can then sue to reclaim your losses such as rent, council tax and utilities. Any money already received you are entitled to keep but as far as i know deposit must be registered and reclaimed once the new tenant moves in.


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