Tenant demanding 2 months rent back plus deposit

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Tenant demanding 2 months rent back plus deposit

Make Text Bigger
Tenant demanding 2 months rent back plus deposit

So back in 2011 I use to take 2 months rent in advance and no official deposit. With this particular tenant this is what I did.

6 months passed and I renewed the tenancy with a new 6month AST. By this time I had realised that I should be properly registering a deposit and keeping it separate, so I protected what I had taken as one of the 2 months rent in advance 6months earlier and called it a deposit and issued the tenant a certificate and the information for tenants paperwork.

She Signed the certificate. Later when the 6months expired the tenancy became periodic and I did the periodic bit on the mydeposits website and issued a new certificate and info for tenant’s paperwork.

Time went on and I needed to sell now so have evicted using sec21. The tenant has now left and is demanding 2 months rent in advance back plus deposit. I will have to explain to her that the original tenancy was superseded by the more recent one, and there is just a deposit to be returned and no rent in advance as her rent ended up being paid in arrears due to missed payment dates.

I have never had this happen before and want to check if I return her deposit she can’t still come after me for anything else?

Many thanks

Sallymoney



Comments

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

I think that it depends on 2 things:
1. When exactly did that initial 6 month tenancy end?
2. You said you took 2 months rent in advance then treated 1 as deposit and protected it. What happened to the remaining 1 month-worth of rent?

Harlequin Garden

4 years ago

the other month was eaten up by late payments as I understand it.

Claire Sherwin

4 years ago

the initial 6 month tenancy ran from 16.8.11 to 15 2.12
new on commenced on 16.2.12, and ran for 6 months then became periodic

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

You seem OK with the month you protected as deposit: Although it was a deposit for the first tenancy, that tenancy ended before the law was changed to allow tenants to sue for non-protection after the end of the tenancy.

The question remains: What did you do with the other month? And crucially when?
If you used it to cover arrears at a later date you are at risk.

Anthony Endsor

4 years ago

If you took rent in advance and the tenant moved out owing rent, why should you pay it back? After all, rent in advance is exactly that. RENT. Not a deposit. Any sensible landlord would do the same and I don't think too many would rush to pay it back if it was owed to them.
With a deposit it is different. This MUST be protected and is owed back to the tenant ONLY after the property has been inspected and you both agree everything is satisfactory in terms of the condition of the house and any deductions.

Claire Sherwin

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "21/07/2014 - 20:39":

the other month was rent and at the time it was in advance. i did nothing with it as i deemed it to be rent which it was, she then fell into arrears and by the time of her leaving was still in arrears so i dont intend to give her anything of that back. The return of the deposit i am dealing with in accordance with the guidelines. i was just rather surprised she believed i owed her all this money back, i will explain to her where she has mis understood it all,

Claire Sherwin

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "21/07/2014 - 20:39":

the law was changed to allow tenants to sue for non-protection after the end of the tenancy..... what date does this apply to out of interest?

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

Obviously the tenant is only entitled to be refunded the excess, which seems to be 1 month rent held as deposit. That's straightforward.

But:
I think more than likely that any court would agree that the 2 months rent in advance initially collected were intended to be held as a security and were thus in fact a deposit.
I think that this would be supported by the fact that you did protect half of it and that you used the other half to cover outstanding arrears at the time your tenant left.

This means that 1 month rent was held as deposit but not protected until, I assume, after May 2012. In any case, the tenancy had begun before then, which is key.

The law was changed allowing tenant to sue for non-protection even after the end of the tenancy on 5 April 2012 with a 30 day grace period.

Based on the above, what I'm coming at is that you should keep in mind that you are likely liable for 1x to 3x penalty for non compliance regarding that 1month worth of rent.
Hopefully your tenant does not understand that.

Claire Sherwin

4 years ago

Thats ehat I was trying to ascertain whether they can go back and fo that ehether that initial rent in advance can be deemed as deposit snd that I didnt protect it in that initial 6 months

Claire Sherwin

4 years ago

Thats what I was trying to ascertain whether they can go back and fo that ehether that initial rent in advance can be deemed as deposit snd that I didnt protect it in that initial 6 months


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Respond now or get 3 year tenancies!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More