Signed Tenancy Agreement but Landlord change his mind?

by Readers Question

16:57 PM, 22nd February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Signed Tenancy Agreement but Landlord change his mind?

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Signed Tenancy Agreement but Landlord change his mind?

I am a Landlord and I would like some help. I have a signed tenancy agreement between all parties, where on the last page says: Signed by the Landlord, signed by Tenants and Document Executed by: (which is my letting agent).

These tenants need to move in within 3 weeks, but, current tenants (who are a subletting agency), are saying now that they can’t vacate the property on time for the new tenant to move in. They are very vague about giving an exact termination date, and I’m in no position to even try and extend or discuss the new date with the upcoming tenants.

For peace of mind, while sitting on the unknown and to avoid having further complications with upcoming tenants, I have agreed to stay with the current tenants (subletting agents). I have asked my new agent to notify the upcoming tenants that although the contract is signed between all parties, I would like to cancel the agreement and due to the uncertainty of vacant possession date, I would remain with the current agents.

By the way, complete funds, deposit and one month rent has been sent to my new agent by the upcoming tenants, which of course needs to be refunded.

I’ve learned now that my current tenants (subletting agents) has advertised the property online for long let, at higher rent than the agreed signed tenancy agreement I have with upcoming tenants. The upcoming tenants have also learned of this, and he is very frustrated.

I want to do the right thing in this situation and your advice is much appreciated. I want to know my rights on this matter and if if worse comes to worst, who will be liable for any charges?

Current agent has made me aware that deed or surrender has to be signed otherwise the contract is still binding between all parties (tenant and I). They also warned me of complications I could have by withdrawing from a signed agreement.

I would like to know, what are my options here, please.

Thank you for taking the time to understand my comments.

Hemish

Comments

The Forever Tenant

10:53 AM, 23rd February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Bit of a mess this one.

If you are wanting to do "the right thing" that would be to hold the current tenants (the subletting agency) to their leaving and have the new tenants move in as soon as possible. If this agency are advertising the property at this higher rent, then what is the issue with the availability of the property that they were not able to give it up?

As for liability, you are not in a good position at all. There's a signed contract in place and money changed hands. You could be liable for all the new tenants new costs until they are able to find another place to live. This could run into several thousands of pounds and last for months. Potentially for the full length of their contract with you.

If the new tenants have taken any legal advice, I would think that there is no chance at all that they will sign a deed of surrender.

Graham Bowcock

16:31 PM, 23rd February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Herein lies thr danger of completing a new tenancy before the old tenants have gone. Tenancy legislation is so weighted in favour of tenants, that it they stay there is no quick remedy.

I suggest you get some proper legal advice asap. The incoming tenant may well be relying on the signed contract with you and building up costs (e.g. booking removers, sorting broadband, etc.). You need to act quikcly so as to avoid a claim against you for consequential losses.

David

18:14 PM, 23rd February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Rent to Rent schemes are often a nightmare for landlords and it sounds as though you might have one of these. Get some legal help asap to end their lease. It isn't always easy to do this, especially as the canny ones delete the forfeiture clause from the contract.
You will have to negotiate with the new tenants you've signed up and may well have to pay them some compensation as you can't honour the tenancy. I assume this is a standard tenancy contract and not a deed? If its the latter then get legal help there too.
For future reference;
1. Never sign up new tenants until the property is vacant
2. Never have anything to do with rent to rent schemes.


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