He simply wants to keep it because he’s paid for it?

He simply wants to keep it because he’s paid for it?

9:00 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago 36

Text Size

Hi. We have a tenant who left a fixed-term tenancy agreement 2 months earlier than his end of tenancy agreement and moved into a larger property nearby.

He paid all his rent till the end, but would not hand over his keys or give consent for us to access the property to prepare it for the next tenant. His contract formally ends on 16th October, and we have a new tenant who wants to move in on 12th.

He knows he will receive 5 days worth of rent back when the new tenant’s contract starts, but we require the property back before the new tenancy starts to undertake repair works and reinstate the property. We require about 5 days before the new tenancy starts to be able to get the unit ready.

We asked him in writing if he requires further access to the property and the keys, but he is ignoring the correspondence. We know the property is empty and no one is in. He simply wants to keep it because he’s paid for it. We know legally the property is his till the end, and he’s legally entitled to the keys. However, his behaviour is unreasonable and somewhat out of spite. Does this mean there is nothing we can do?

Many Thanks.


Share This Article


Neil Patterson

9:03 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

Being practical if it's worth it for you how about giving a little extra financial incentive to the tenant?

Graham Bowcock

9:15 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

Hi Roger

That's right, there's nothing you can do if he won't co-operate. If you ant it back on the 12th, then the best thing is not to charge him rent from the 12th to the 16th - you can't have your cake and eat it.

Signing up new tenants very quickly seems to be a familiar problem (I have had issues with my student children trying to gain access to houses they have paid rent for because the landlords are doing refurbs).

If the current tenant isn't going to play ball you could make an offer to the incomer to do the wortk whilst they are in, but reduce their rent.

Just be careful that the current tenant doesn't get difficult with you as you have no access to the house (legally) until you have cleared the pitch with them. You can't assume you have possession until the outgoer has handed the proeprty back.

Anthony Hawes

9:26 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

I would also be inclined to be pragmatic and offer a little cash incentive, particularly as you will actually be better off financially. I would be slightly concerned however if the property has actually been unoccupied for two months without any inspection, that may even be an issue with your buildings insurance.

Paul Shears

9:31 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

I had the same behaviour from my last tenants. Frankly I was shocked to the point where it caused me to question my own perception of people. From my own feedback from other people, it appears that people, especially young people, have become astoundingly selfish in the past few years without my realising it. I (naively) thought that my own efforts in contributing to what I thought was a symbiotic relationship, were appreciated. If fact they were not.
So I am done here and I want out ASAP.

Gunga Din

9:39 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

I don't think he's being unreasonable. Awkward maybe, deliberately non-co-operative maybe, but the significant thing is that he's not fitting in with your assumption that he'd vacate when you expected him to. In lining up another tenant, you went out on a limb. No reason why someone can't rent more than one property at once.

Personally I'd be delighted if a tenant stayed a few days longer, but in my market (depressed post-industrial north east) the chances of having another tenant lined up are minimal.

I wonder whether he knows he's liable for both council tax bills.

John Mac

9:44 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

If you point out to him that he is also responsible for the C.T, Utilities & extra cost for Insurance until he hands back the keys, he might change his mind !

Ray Davison

9:48 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

Am I alone here in not thinking that the Tenant is being spiteful or selfish at all

Whilst it may be nice to get the property back early, you have to remember you are running a business and your customer has a contract with you. If you need him out early then the best thing to do is to agree an early termination. I do think it was foolhardy to agree a new Tenancy with a start date prior to the end of the previous one as this just sets you up for problems to occur.

Ask yourself this question: If the shoe was on the other foot and the Tenant with a fixed term contract wanted to leave early would you allow it? Or would you expect the Tenant to pay at least until you had a new Tenant ready to move in?

John Mac

9:57 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ray Davison at 10/09/2020 - 09:48
Didn't say he was, just suggesting a practical Solution to get the Keys back.

paul kaye

10:06 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

Like others on here,clearly warn him ,that council tax,electric and gas is still due from him and his new address passed on .Also water rates ? deposit is not due back until you inspect the property and all damages etc plus council tax and gas/electric water is all deductable from the deposit.


10:13 AM, 10th September 2020, About 4 years ago

Your tenant is being awkward but it is his right. I agree you must check your insurance with it being an empty property. If you need it 5 days earlier, refund the 5 days. My tenant paid for 6 months but left after 5, he didn't ask for a refund because it was a minimum 6 month tenancy. I didn't have to fix anything and had new tenants in within days of him leaving. I didn't charge them rent during that already paid month, but they did take over all the utility payments immediately. Can't have it all.

1 2 3 4

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now