Tenant check-out delay

by Readers Question

16:46 PM, 10th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Tenant check-out delay

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Tenant check-out delay

My tenants are on a periodic tenancy agreement, rolling monthly. Beginning of Dec ’14 I gave them three months notice to vacate by March. They managed to find a place quickly and then gave me one months notice to say that they will vacate on the 14th Jan 15. In the notice they stated the following:
– they requested that they are present at the time I carry out the check-out
– that the deposit is returned within 14days of the tenancy agreement ending on the 14th Jan 15
– they said they have timestamped photos taken at the start of the tenancy regarding the state of the property

I am happy for the tenants to be present at the time of the check-out. I asked them to confirm the time they are happy to do the check-out. The tenants said they cannot do a check-out until the Saturday 17th as they will be at work on the 15th and 16th.

Although I don’t mind delaying the check-out until the 17th, this essentially means that I will not be able to access the property until 17th. So would it be an unreasonable to request the tenants that the tenancy agreement to remain effective until the checkout on the 17th and they hand over the keys to me.
(the rent is due 15th of each month but I will not be charging any rent for the 15th and 16th all I want is for the tenancy remains effective as long as they hold the keys)

Also, I know that the deposit should be returned within 10 days of the end of the tenancy. So if the checkout is delayed to the 17th does this mean the deposit to be returned within 10 days of the 17th Jan or within 10days of the tenant vacating the property on the 14th Jan?

I don’t want to be an unreasonable landlord but at the same time I don’t want to take unnecessary risk that may lead to any disputes with the tenants. So any guidance on this would be appreciated.

Darcydate



Comments

Ian Cognito

10:23 AM, 11th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Darcy

By checking-out on the 17th rather than the 14th, the tenant is staying an extra 3 days.

If using an AST, I advise the tenant that the additional rent will be taken from the deposit unless he/she wants to make a payment by transfer (before the 14th). I don't see why this can't be done when on a Periodic but have no experience of it.

With regard to returning the deposit, I am not aware of any time limit.

My routine when a tenant leaves is for the professional inventory clerk to record the utility readings (as part of the check-out procedure) which I then email to the suppliers along with forwarding addresses and new tenant information (if available).

My email includes a clause which asks the supplier to notify me within 7 days if there is an outstanding balance owed by the previous tenant.

You will have guessed that my intention is NOT to be held responsible by a supplier for a tenant's unpaid bill.

In fact I have since been advise that only water company could charge me and then only if I had failed to notify them within 6 weeks of a tenant leaving, so maybe my clause is unnecessary.

Anyway, soon after the 7 days are up, I then start the deposit return process (with DPS in my case).

Hope this helps.
Ian

Darcy Kanags

19:15 PM, 11th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Thanks for the response.

So essentially do you mean that the tenancy agreement would remain effective until the check out regardless of when the tenant moves out?

Is it unreasonable or is there any legal grounding that prevents me from stating to the tenant that the tenancy agreement remains effective until they are ready to do the check out on the 17th? Does the tenancy agreement has to come to an end on the day the tenant vacates the property?

If the tenancy agreement is effective I can charge rent. However for the duration 15th - 17th I have opted not to. If they further delay the check-out and the tenancy agreement is effective I will charge rent as it prevents me from accessing the property.

Ian Cognito

9:06 AM, 12th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Darcy Kanags" at "11/12/2014 - 19:15":

I don't know what the legal ramifications are of checking out after the agreed date. i.e. is the agreement still in force? I presume so, but hope others will confirm for sure.

In any case, I suggest you ask the tenant to amend, date and sign the notice letter.

Neil Robb

17:36 PM, 14th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi

I would do as said in the beginning tell them there will be rent due until the 17th unless they make arrangements to be there on the 15th. Chances are they will want to meet earlier great they have photos that are date stamped because it will add to the ones you have. No wants to rip anyone off but clearly they are worried about getting there deposit back.

Why do you have to then work on the weekend to suit them. They gave notice until the 15th.

So why do you have to do the check out at there convenience on a Saturday seems they want it there way if they are so up to date with there understanding of the law they will no they are still the tenant until the keys are handed back.

I think people get all worked up over the deposit will I get it back etc. Problem is so many landlords in the past have done everything they can to not pay it back tenants worry about it.

Darcy Kanags

11:20 AM, 12th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Robb" at "14/12/2014 - 17:36":

Many thanks for all your advise.
I emailed tenant to say that although they vacate the property on the 15th, at their request the hand-over of the property is not until the 17th. This prevents me from gaining possession of the property on the 15th. So, the tenancy agreement continues until the tenants are ready to do formal check-out and hand over the property back to me. Although, as per the tenancy agreement, the rent is chargeable from the 15th of each month, I will not do so for the duration from the 15th Jan '15 to 17th Jan '15 inclusive.

They withdrew their request to be present at the check-out and asked me to go ahead with the check-out inspection on the 15th.

I do have to visit the property on the 17th to complete general maintenance work so I said they can handover the keys first thing in the morning on Saturday. I did invite them to be present for the check out on the 15th if they can make it. I will be changing alarm code to the property as soon as I walk in on the 15th and will not be releasing deposit until I get the keys back.

Neil Robb

20:20 PM, 13th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Darcy

I always swap locks when a tenant leaves. As a lot of mine has PVC doors I just rota them.

Glad it working out for you.


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