Inventory Protocol when there is no void and student tenants change

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Inventory Protocol when there is no void and student tenants change

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Inventory Protocol when there is no void and student tenants change

I have a HMO property that I rent to six students. Their contract ends on 31st July and a Inventory was carried out at the start of the tenancy.

Three of the existing students are pairing up with two new students and their tenancy starts on the 1st August. Does anyone know how to deal with the Inventory so it is fair to all the tenants and also will not compromise me at the end of the new tenancy.

Should an check out inventory be done on 31st July and deductions agreed and then a new check in done on 1st August? I am not sure if the property will be completely vacated as three of the students are carrying on to the next tenancy. Appreciate your advice folks!

Cheers
RajStudents



Comments

Neil Patterson

4 years ago

Hi Raj,

I know we have readers that let to students so it will be great if they can let us know how they deal with inventories and if they encounter the same situation.

Just thinking about it logically the only way to be fair to the new tenants would be to do as you suggest with a fresh inventory, which would be necessary anyway if you are taking deposits. However, I can see how it would be more difficult if the property is not vacant.

Nigel Parry

4 years ago

This can be a common issue, especially where Landlords wish to avoid any void period (and the consequent Council Tax Bill!), and you will need to be very careful how you do this.
This is why we always prefer a 'clean' break in the tenancy periods as it eliminates disputes between tenants. The first thing to applaud is the fact that you are issuing a 'new' tenancy even though some existing tenants are 'staying on'. This will allow to treat the two tenancies completely separate. It IS a completely new tenancy and be treated as such, new tenancy, new deposit. Clean.
That said, you can use the existing Inventory/Schedule of condition, as a basis for the new tenancy.
My suggestions is you do a formal 'check out' with or without the existing tenants, and produce a formal report of delapidations, if any, INCLUDING any cleaning required.
Create an addendum to the existing inventory, and send this to the NEW tenants explaining that they will be accepting the liability going forward for any delapidations over and above this. The important bit is the cleaning aspect, as it is highly unlikely you can get a cleaner to go around while tenants are in situ. If they don't agree to this addendum, then you have recourse to the existing tenants deposit, and you should proceed in the normal manner, obtaining quotes for cleaning etc. Any damage would be dealt with in accordance with the first deposit in any case.

John MacAlevey

4 years ago

Hello,

Ask the out-going tenant/s to agree with the incoming tenants the inventory. Ask both parties to accept the property condition wholly and adjust the condition descriptions to arrive at a `liability` if shortcomings are found. The default position would be the original inventory to serve as the final check-out document to which the newer tenants would adhere to.

Gilly

4 years ago

Nigel - Can the change-over be anything other than "clean"? As it is the end of a fixed term tenancy I don't think there is a procedure available for the tenancy to be simply transferred over, as a deed of assignment cannot be used in a statutory periodic tenancy. Do let me know!

Raj - how nice that you want to be fair to your tenants. Do landlords really deduct much just for cleaning after a lucrative 12 month tenancy? We normally paint throughout and clean from top to bottom in between every tenancy and I wouldn't dream of charging, unless something was well and truly damaged and it was completely black. You gain more by word of mouth behaving in that way.

You could do an Inspection during the last month and ask for the oven, fridge and freezer to be sparkling and make sure that the communal areas are not completely filthy and there is no major damage - then be thankful that you have another long term let ahead of you with no void or advertising charges. If it is a new tenancy then it needs a new Inventory(more or less a copy of the old one I would imagine), but state that it is not pristine as it is still occupied. At the end don't charge them for cleaning - that's two years without you having to pay out and they are just students! How much do people want?

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

In the circumstances, whatever you do clearly a new tenancy with a different tenant is created so (1) you must refund the deposit held, and (2) you must have a schedule of condition agreed with the new tenant in order to be able to claim for any dilapidations at the end of the new tenancy.
In addition I think there is no tenancy to assign in any case considering that the change occurs right at the expiry of the fixed term tenancy.

Gilly

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "02/07/2014 - 08:40":

Well expressed Romain, but there isn't anything to stop that happening on the same day is there and with the remaining tenants in situe? If so, the remaining tenants can simply have their deposit unprotected and re-protected without an actual refund - the refund would be made for the outgoing tenants of course. That's what I was advised by mydeposits years ago, but the legislation surrounding deposits has become so complicated that may well have changed.

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

There is no need to physically refund the deposit.
However what should happen to it should be clear and in writing, IMHO, especially as this is apparently a joint-tenancy: There is no individual share of the deposit so I would think best to have it in writing from all the joint tenants how much should be repaid and to whom, and that the rest should go towards the new deposit.

Freda Blogs

4 years ago

I have a very similar situation - this is how I propose to deal with it:

I have a student tenancy 2013-14 with five students, four of whom are staying on and one substitution for 2014-15. The 14-15 tenancy is a new tenancy, there will be no assignment.

The tenancies are joint and several although a) I always protect deposits individually, which gives flexibility and b) my deposit reconciliations always show communal issues (shared by all) and individual room issues, so refunds can differ between the students. In case of problems I still have the back up of the joint and several tenancy liability and the guarantors, but I have found that the student mindset is about them as individuals, so this approach works for me.

To deal with the changeover between tenancies, I will do a formal check out/in with the outgoing/ incoming tenants, and a full clean of the outgoing tenant's room and the common parts - kitchen, bathrooms, garden and garage. I will also have the inventory clerk record the condition of the whole house and append it to the inventory prepared at the outset of the current tenancy.

I propose to refund only the outgoing tenant's deposit but reissue the PI for the students staying on, although I may revisit that approach if I find there are lots of faults found in the rooms of the remaining students and need a top up for their deposits.


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