Implied Surrender of Tenancy

Implied Surrender of Tenancy

10:30 AM, 2nd July 2015, About 8 years ago 20

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I occasionally work in conjunction with a Homeless agency and provide accommodation to people from that source, sometimes things do go awry with tenants and one has to accept that possibility, (whether it be ex drug users returning to their habit or whatever), however I have a scenario at present that is a new one for me and wonder if any contributor/s to Property 118 might be able to clarify some aspects of the legalities associated with Implied Surrender notices for me.homeless

I have a tenant – an ex heroin addict who was originally on Methadone but is believed to have drifted to also using cannabis and maybe other drugs – who has been in a property for over 2 years. Unfortunately the tenant has, in recent times, taken to hoarding rubbish – that many of us would put out for the bin men – inside the property. It is strewn all over the floors etc of the property and has undoubted environmental health concerns.

This present scenario only came to light following a small fire outside the rear door to the property to which both the fire and police were in attendance – their being alerted by a neighbour. I spoke with one Police officer who attended the fire and it was he who alerted me to the current state of the property.

It has to be said that this particular Tenant had never been the most communicative of people but did usually respond to texts, however with concerns about the fire and input from the police in mind, I – along with the manager of the homeless agency – saw the tenant, who “played dumb” with regard to who possibly started the fire however with regard to the rubbish etc it was agreed that he would clear this and I gave him 1 week to remove the mess – the tenant agreed that the rubbish would be cleared within that timescale. Black bags were provided and also, arrangements were put in place for subsequent removal of the rubbish bags once they had been filled and placed in the garden area.

Unfortunately nothing happened and, my attempts to contact him following that were unsuccessful – as a precautionary measure – I issued a Section 21 notice (delivery witnessed by “others”).

Subsequently, despite my attempts – and attempts by the homeless agency – to make contact with the tenant, by text, letters and personally (texts and letters stating that he needed to contact myself or the homeless agency or discuss further with the CAB if he wished to discuss his tenancy and the possibility of his retaining same) were equally fruitless.

The 2 month notice period associated with the Section 21 notice has now expired and, because of
1. His failure to respond to either myself or “others” if he wished to discuss and possibly save his tenancy, or
2. The input I have had from neighbours that they have not seen him for a little while,

I decided to deliver an “Implied Surrender notice” to the property which includes the following statement;
“Your conduct is inconsistent with an intention to continue with the tenancy and further leads one to accept that there is an implied surrender of your tenancy. Should this not be the case, I suggest that you ensure that I am made aware of that fact”. I also restated the various contact options as well as providing a deadline date for any response.

My query is, given that I believe that I have clearly demonstrated that I have made every possible effort to try to discuss and resolve the situation with the tenant, all to no avail, will I be within my rights – and within the law – if I act on the “implied surrender notice” effectively negating the need to take eviction action via the County Court which is now quite an expensive process.

Note; The tenant is on housing benefit which is being paid at the present time.

Many thanks


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12:28 PM, 5th July 2015, About 8 years ago

Many thanks Romain and Tessa for your clarifications on this point.


3:10 AM, 18th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Andrew Turner at 03/07/2015 - 09:25
Hi Andrew, I found this post and your subsequent comments in the 118 archives. I hope you re still about and would be hugely grateful of a little advise to my similar situation, please.

Tenant on fixed term 12 month contract requests to leave early, as she had done so in the two previous months all which I refused. Again her request was denied through the letting agents. I receive no confirmation or acknowledgement one way or the other.
The following month no rent received agent has no idea, Tenant not returned keys, agent pursues Tenant for over a week text, emails & calls. Eventually issues an Abandonment Notice before meeting the Tenant at her new accomadation to collect the keys.

1). Who is responsible for the lost rental income as the Tenant says the LA gave her permission, which I later declined.
2). Letting agent ignores my three written requests to provide witness statement for my SCC hearing next month. I required a summary of events, copies of correspondence with the Tenant and the date and copy of the Abandonment Notice they issued.

Many thanks

Andrew Turner - Hughes Paddison

11:27 AM, 18th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Munro at 18/03/2019 - 03:10
Hi Munro
The starting point is that the tenant is liable for the rent for the full 12 month contractual term. If the tenant leaves early without agreeing the terms of that early departure, the tenant remains liable for the rent until the expiry of the term.
The Abandonment Notice may or may not muddy the waters; you clearly need to see it and have a right to see it if it was served by your agents. I suspect that the Notice will not affect your entitlement to claim the rent for the full term but remember that you also had a duty to mitigate your loss and to seek to re-let the premises if they were left abandoned. If the agents, without your authority, agreed with the tenant to waive the claim for arrears, then that would appear to be a breach of the contract between you and the letting agents. There is some fact-finding and digging to be done.
Best of luck.


3:52 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Thank you kindly Andrew for your prompt reply and advice, most grateful in deed.
Perhaps for you to understand better my situation and the quite complicated circumstances, read my previous post;-

And later my post from this month, "DPS snd TPO giving contradicting advice"
This was at a DPS arbitration and my subsequent complaint regarding the LA to the Property Ombudsman, both came to contradicting conclusions on whom is at fault and who I am able to claim against.

But in brief Andrew, so to cut to the chase, please in your legal experience which of the 2 above organisations have the greatest sway, legal influence and recognition, whereby I can present their reviews to a SCC.

Secondly why is it Purplebricks as my LA, are refusing to provide me with their correspondences with the former tenant, the Abandonment Notice details and a summary of events around the time of the tenants departure?

Must I apply to the Courts to issue a N20?

Many thanks.


14:16 PM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Munro at 18/03/2019 - 03:10Hi Munro,
Tenant has a fixed term contract that she has broken and its clear she has no intention of keeping your property as her residence. She is liable for the rent till the end of her agreement however you do need to mitigate your losses by advertising the property for a new tenant once a new tenant is found and moved in her responsibility will end again you have to show that this was done in the quickest time possible. You will then be able to sue her for your losses which will include lost rent, council tax and any electric/gas used.
If you plan to keep her deposit this will need to be offset against your claim


14:28 PM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Many thanks Simon.
House re-marketed within a short time after I/we had established what the situation was regards the tenant, and all inspections and any repairs were conducted. That was 3 weeks.<
New tenants found and now in place 3 and half months from previous tenant vacating.

Deposit claim awarded at DPS arbitration, but my claim is far in excess of the 6:Weeks rent held by DPS. I am owed several £1,000


17:25 PM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Munro at 19/03/2019 - 14:28
You can sue the tenant via the small claims court for your out of pocket expenses.
As long as you show you mitigated those loses you should get a ruling in your favour, the problem will be however recovering them from the tenant.

Whilst I'm not a fan of revenge, in these instances I would go for the jugular and apply for a CCJ, why should the ex tenant get away with owing you a large sum of money


1:21 AM, 20th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Thank you once more Simon.
DPS awarded nearly all my claims on her deposit less some little deductions for age/W&T of items damaged.
Currently at SCC for a further £2000+/-
claim on the guarantor, Homeowner full-time employment. Not made easy by I am an Expat, CC won't allow third party representation and I must serve both the Courts and the Defendant with a huge evidence bundle of papers by POST!!
Most of the above I am pretty clear on and feel reasonably confident.
What I really did need help and advice on, was from Andrew really regards the AN and why the letting agent are so reluctant to disclose any info. Thereby do I need to obtain an N20.
Many thanks.


11:44 AM, 20th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Munro at 20/03/2019 - 01:21
I'm assuming the N20 is for you to attend court, as you are incurring cost to attend then yes you will need to submit the N20 as these will be out of pocket costs. providing the Judge agrees then these will be added to what the tenant already owes you


13:38 PM, 20th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonR at 20/03/2019 - 11:44Simon as much as I am sure your intentions are good and you re trying to help me. But this is not what an N20 is. Its to bring about a witness to provide evidence to the court.
So please, just answer my questions, give me advice but please no guessing/assuming or pretending to know. I need help not hindrance, I am not a very patient bloke and this just wastes my time. Nothing personal.

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