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

Graham Bowcock

18:33 PM, 12th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by at 12/09/2020 - 10:14
Even if the landlord has a key they should not unilaterally enter the property without the tenant's consent. There is a potential conflict here with insurance requirements, I agree.

We once had a house flooded when a tenant moved out early and failed to drain it down. I (as agent) had not taken the keys back off them as we were charging them up to the end of the tenancy, not the earlier date they vacated. The rather wonderful insurer (Letsure) paid out in full as the tenancy was still in place - there wasn't even any real discussion, but it was accepted that it wasn't the landlord's place to go and check on a let house.

Smartermind

21:11 PM, 12th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John Mac at 10/09/2020 - 09:44
As soon as the tenant informs the council that he is no longer in residence at the property and provides proof of his new address, irrespective of whether he is the contractual tenant or not, the council will charge the landlord with Council Tax. The landlord can't pass admin charges such as "increased insurance costs" to the tenant - that kind of nonsense has been outlawed.

As others have pointed out, the tenant is contracted to the end of the term and if the landlord wants the property back earlier, then needs to be reasonable and refund the excess rent to the tenant.

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