Tenant handed in notice but wants rent refund?

by Readers Question

13:55 PM, 20th February 2020
About A year ago

Tenant handed in notice but wants rent refund?

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Tenant handed in notice but wants rent refund?

My live in tenants break clause occurs on the 21st of march 2020, he served 1 month notice 5 days early on the 16th Feb (in writing), stating that he wants to move out on the 16th of March. Although slightly disappointed, we accepted the notice and began our hunt for a new tenant.

We eventually found a new tenant and agreed to start her tenancy on the 16th of March (our current tenants moving out day). Our current tenant was happy we found someone, however quickly realised that he could make a quick buck and stated “although I’ve stated I’m moving out on the 16th of March, my tenancy doesn’t end until the 21st, therefore you owe me back 1 weeks rent”.

Obviously what he has done is very disingenuous, however is he legally in the right?

Many thanks

Landlord10

Comments

Michael Barnes

1:44 AM, 23rd February 2020
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 22/02/2020 - 13:31
Why risk being taken to the cleaners for charging overpayment under the new legislation

Rent is an allowed payment under TFA.
If it were taken in advance, then keeping it it is allowed, even if T has left. It is not demanding an additional payment for ending the tenancy.
If it were taken in arrears tat MIGHT be a different issue.

Uxucvhrtau

8:42 AM, 23rd February 2020
About A year ago

You most definitely should not be charging rent for any time that it is un-rented.
Always try and remember that once you give an inch they will and they do take a mile.
I personally do not give an inch anymore whatever the contract says I stick to, I just had a tenant the other day with a very similar situation they handed in their notice to vacate yet this terminated premature to the rent date, I just corrected them by informing them of the minimum date of vacation, so if they wish to physically leave early they are welcome but they will still be paying until the notice to vacate date which is the same as the rent date (pro-rata)

Paul Maguire

12:30 PM, 23rd February 2020
About A year ago

Renting by the room I've found that being flexible with an exiting tenant eliminates voids. So long as I can find a new tenant before the end of the notice period I refund the remaining rent. One moves out and another moves in, usually on the same day.

Ian Narbeth

10:21 AM, 24th February 2020
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Uxucvhrtau at 23/02/2020 - 08:42
You are missing the point. This is not a case of a tenant not paying up to the contractual end date but of a tenant who has paid wanting a refund because the landlord has re-let the property before the contractual end date,

Peter G

13:19 PM, 24th February 2020
About A year ago

If the tenant is moving on 16th they will presumably have rent to pay at the new place after that date. If you have a tenant from 16th (same day) you are not losing money so should refund the extra days. Charging for advertising etc is not fair or relevant as this would have been anticipated with any break clause in the agreement - unless your AST states he must pay for this if he chooses to leave.

Marie

0:36 AM, 1st March 2020
About A year ago

Honestly Landlord10, why do you want to make an enemy of your tenant, just so that you can receive rent from 16th to 21st March from him, as well as from your new tenant? You would have had the same struggle to find a new tenant to move in on 21st as you had to find one who could move in on 16th; he gave you a whole month’s notice. It is YOU who is being disingenuous, and you give landlords a bad name, by pulling a nasty trick like this. You had better hope that you aren’t falling foul of any laws, because if so, you can pretty much guarantee that your tenant will report you, and your tenant might cause you all sorts of other trouble, because he feels ripped off. Why risk it for the sake of five days’ rent? Just tell him that you will refund it on the day that he moves out, and follow through on that promise. The majority of landlords on this site have gone through sheer hell with tenants who have smashed up their properties and not paid their rent for many months, costing them thousands of pounds to fix up their properties, thousands of pounds in lost rent which they are never able to recover, and much time, money and stress having to take these scumbags to court to get them out of their properties so that they can get new tenants in! When they have done nothing wrong! Yet you are asking for trouble here by ripping off a tenant who has done nothing wrong. Have a good long hard think about that perhaps?

Frederick Morrow-Ahmed

10:55 AM, 1st March 2020
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Marie at 01/03/2020 - 00:36
Excellent comment. All grist for the mill for Polly Neate. Shelter thrives on cases like this. Another cause celebre. Councils using it as a reason to demand yet more selective licensing.

Marie

18:59 PM, 9th March 2020
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Frederick Morrow-Ahmed at 01/03/2020 - 10:55
Exactly. Landlords are getting enough bad press already, without creating any more with stupidity like this. I have had some terrible landlords, but mostly it has been because they haven’t understood the laws, or haven’t been able to afford to undertake repairs. Not because they were bad people in themselves.

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