Friend signed a Deed of Surrender but then decided to stay?

by Readers Question

10:14 AM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Friend signed a Deed of Surrender but then decided to stay?

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Friend signed a Deed of Surrender but then decided to stay?

I rented my flat to a friend, and he recently got fired from his job. He’s about £1,600 in rental arrears. Given that he is currently unemployed and broke I suggest the best course of action for us both is for him to vacate the flat and stay in my place (as I have a spare bedroom) I told him that he can stay in my place rent free until he manages to find another job – that way I can rent out my BTL flat to someone else and at the same time he won’t be buried in rental arrears and bills.

He agreed, and we both sign a Deed of Surrender, he even started moving a few of his belongings to my flat. However, all of a sudden he decided that he no longer wants to vacate my BTL flat and wants to stay.

He obviously can no longer pay rent and with the new 6 month notice restriction, I don’t know where I stand? Does our Deed of Surrender agreement have any bearing?

Can I charge him double rent for not honouring our agreement? Obviously not to get more money but to show him that staying there will be more problematic for him?

Many thanks

Marlon


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Comments

Neil Patterson

10:19 AM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Hi Marlon,
Please see our recent article >> https://www.property118.com/tenants-who-give-notice-but-stay-double-rent/
and
From Landlord Law >> the 1737 Distress for Rent Act: https://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2009/12/01/ancient-law-may-help-landlords/

Ron H-W

12:37 PM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

With "friends" like that, who needs enemies?

What I understand from the earlier article/s is that you can only charge double rent from that day that you had somebody else committed to moving in, and that THIS was getting frustrated by the overstay.
Perhaps you have a GOOD, REAL friend who might step in - and then back out when no longer needed? Or find a tenant who DOES want to be there but won't kick up a fuss if delayed or frustrated?

Of course, if your so-called friend is broke, then charging him double or even tenfold rent won't make any difference - "I haven't got it and you can't have it!", or "You can't get blood out of a stone!"

Good luck! - you'll need it!

David

14:40 PM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Was the deed properly executed? Was there a witness? Deeds signed in advance of the act can't really be relied upon. They are meant to be a record of something that is happening at that moment, so should only really be signed as he's walking out the door. You should get some legal advice. If a lawyer thinks your deed would stand then your tenant is now a trespasser and I think can be removed with reasonable force, (no violence).

Layla .

20:07 PM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Every good turn gets the punishment it deserves.


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