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

by Readers Question

9:00 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

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

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

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.

Roger


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Comments

Ray Davison

10:18 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John Mac at 10/09/2020 - 09:57
I don't think I suggested you did John, but others have.

And yes, as I said the practical solution is to arrange an early termination with the appropriate rent refund etc.

paul kaye

10:22 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

I have always timed my new tenants to take over when old tenant agreement was up.Never had any problem with that.

paul kaye

10:29 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Landlords need to wake up to the fact,that we are hated by all and we are all very rich. Jealous is the word of people that have taken risks and worked hard and invested,to provide homes for people,that this government can't.!
We are abused,robbed,conned,have property damaged,rents not paid and still this government want us to provide rent free homes !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I feel our human rights are being broken and a law case coming against this government.
Thats me unloaded for today !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seething Landlord

10:31 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Elana at 10/09/2020 - 10:13
Elana, that sounds a bit topsy-turvy to me. I would have charged the new tenant rent from the outset and refunded the overpayment to the previous tenant even though he had not requested it. Once you had re-let the property the outgoing tenant was no longer legally liable to pay the rent, even for the remainder of the fixed period. At least that is my understanding.

david porter

10:45 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Does the landlord not have the right under the AST to inspect the premises?
We have the premises inspected twice a year . Is the tenant running a cannabis farm at the premises?
You need to know?

paul kaye

11:01 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 10/09/2020 - 10:31
all tenants must give two months notice on my agreements perhaps one month on some.
They will be liable for rent to end of notice and all bills outstanding,council tax etc.
you really can not let the house to anyone until existing tenant's notice runs out.
Unless of course outgoing tenant agrees.One can not charge double rent ie from existing and from new tenant. shame this tenant can't see he would get rent rebate and save on c/tax etc

Ray Davison

11:17 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by paul kaye at 10/09/2020 - 11:01
"all tenants must give two months notice on my agreements"

You might like to look at this again. Under the Housing Act the Tenant can only be required to give One month notice (Ending at the end of a rent period so may be up to Two months less a day in practice) under an AST. Anything else you have written into your agreements has no validity in law.

Alistair N

11:24 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Roger
I think you’re being unreasonable and impractical and this could very easily go expensively wrong. Go and find him with a prepared letter from tenant to you saying he is prepared to leave early and immediately in consideration of A payment of £150. Plus the pro rata rent. Take a extra copy and see that they are both signed give him one and keep one. £150 because it’s a decent sum of money. And this should stop him staying after the end of the tenancy it seem to me you’ve upset him for some reason in the past and he’s getting his own back and maybe you realise that now. Remember you’ve got a tenant waiting to move in.

Ian Narbeth

11:32 AM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

"Does this mean there is nothing we can do?" Correct, Legally, there is nothing you can do. If you cannot get him to agree to leave early you are stuck. It is odd that the tenant does not want to save some money and get a refund but that is his prerogative.
We never sign with a new tenant until the departing tenant has departed and given back the keys.

Seething Landlord

13:01 PM, 10th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by paul kaye at 10/09/2020 - 11:01
I was commenting on the rather different circumstances outlined by Elana.

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