My tenant gave me just 8 days notice – help please

by Readers Question

11:13 AM, 22nd February 2015
About 4 years ago

My tenant gave me just 8 days notice – help please

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My tenant gave me just 8 days notice – help please

I am a relatively new landlord and have a tenant who wants to leave : she emailed me on the 19th Feb and wants to leave by the end of the month, 28th Feb. My tenant gave me just 8 days notice - help please

The notice period is not explicit in the AST agreement but it does clearly state that the rent is payable monthly, 17th of each calendar month (which is the AST start date).

She paid cash for the first months rent but asked if she could pay weekly thereafter as that would suit her working position better than monthly payments. I agreed, though no changes to the AST were made. She has been in the property just on 9 months.

She has been told by a letting agency, presumably while looking for a bigger house, that she only needs to give one weeks notice as she pays weekly. I think she should give me one months notice as the original AST states monthly rent payable.

When her 6 month AST tenancy ended I have assumed that her contract is monthly and this is what the AST states, regardless of when she actually pays the rent.

The tenant and I have not discussed this at all.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, as it is now she has effectively given me 8 days notice!

Many thanks

Denise Dee



Comments

Gary Nock

15:09 PM, 22nd February 2015
About 4 years ago

Denise if there is no notice period in the AST (which I find unusual) then you are struggling. And that worries me. If the AST is not right then how about your deposit protection paperwork? And accepting rent weekly on a regular basis means you have to provide a rent book.

If there's no set notice period in the AST then you are struggling contractually. If your deposit protection paperwork isn't spot on including re-serving of prescribed information after 6 months then my advice is to take it on the chin. If you have not complied with deposit protection legislation then if the tenant wanted to be awkward you could be liable for up to 3 times the deposit if they take you to County Court.

Romain Garcin

15:41 PM, 22nd February 2015
About 4 years ago

A notice to quit by a tenant must give at least 4 weeks notice in any case to be legally valid. Thus, even if the tenancy is weekly periodic you are entitled to refuse her notice and demand 4 weeks.

If the letting agency suggested that one week was enough, well... You can draw you own conclusions as to whether they are well suited to look after your interests.

The issue that you might have is that your agent might have in effect accepted the tenant's one week notice, which would be binding on you as well.
In such case you would probably have a claim against your agent.

Harlequin Garden

14:08 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

Let her go - do you want someone in your property who doesn't want to be there, may not pay the rent anyway - and how do you prevent a tenant from leaving? Nail their feet to the floor. With 40 tenants I've had this happen periodically, sometimes they ask because their dream flat has come up and they help with viewings etc and give a good clean - and I can generally let a flat over a weekend anyway, so you have good will with the one out and a new one who wants to be there. Have to say I would never keep someone agains their will or irritate them so there may be some comeback.

All my tenants have NLA tenancy agreements with protected deposits, but if they want to go - why would I spend time and money making them.

Mike T

19:14 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi !
Before any of us can give you suggestions of how to handle the situation it would help if you give a little more info. i.e. (1) Did you use/are you using an agent ?
(2) did you use a 'proper' tenancy aggreement ? If so who provided it ?
(3) did you take a deposit ? If so, did you protect it as required by law ?
(4) is the property a flat or a house and is it in an area where re-letting it in a reasonably short time is likely ?
Regards, Mike.

Harlequin Garden

19:25 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

yes all this is all well and good, but if she's going she's going! Do you really think it's worth throwing money after her as well? Contracts only work one side, any landlord knows that - get another tenant in and get over it - or make chasing tenants another career, I know I've better things to do.

Mike T

20:19 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi ! H.G
My suggestion for more info was made so more advice could be given that would help Denise avoid placing herself in a vunerable position. Once that it could be established Ithat she was OK I would certainly agree with your comments .i.e Move on ! Don't waste time and money.

Romain Garcin

20:27 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

The tenant wants to leave: That's fine. However Denise should not lose out in the process.

If there is a deposit, and if it is properly protected (which it hopefully is), then it won't cost to hold the tenant accountable.

Denise Dee

20:57 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Mike to answer your questions:
(1) Did you use/are you using an agent ? I have in the past but found this tenant myself so did the credit/ref checks myself
(2) did you use a ‘proper’ tenancy agreement ? If so who provided it ? I downloaded it from the internet (I know now that was obviously a bad decision!)
(3) did you take a deposit ? If so, did you protect it as required by law ? I did take a deposit and it is in the DPS as required by law
(4) is the property a flat or a house and is it in an area where re-letting it in a reasonably short time is likely ? No, not really, I waited 4 months to find a tenant last time. it is a 3 bed house
After a chat with the tenant she has agreed to give me a months notice. I have learned a few lessons here and know I need understand the ins and out of an AST before I get another tenant.

Mike T

22:45 PM, 23rd February 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Denise Dee" at "23/02/2015 - 20:57":

Well done Denise. We all learn as we go along, thanks to Property 118. Good luck for the future. Mike

Steve From Leicester

12:04 PM, 24th February 2015
About 4 years ago

I disagree with Gary Nock's comments (at the top of this thread). An AST is not "wrong" because it doesn't specify a notice period. There is no need to include a notice period in an AST because notice periods are already established in Common Law.

Gary's right about the importance of deposit registration though.

Good to know it all seems to have been sorted out, but for the record, Romain was right about the notice period, this is what is established in Common Law and if the tenant didn't pay the rent till the end of the notice period you should be able to claim it from the deposit.

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