Tenant stops cheque after leaving property

by Readers Question

8:59 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Tenant stops cheque after leaving property

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Tenant stops cheque after leaving property

My tenant of 5 yrs gave notice to me on 15th Jan. Her rent day was 30th of month and she gave her leaving date of 28th Feb. Tenant did not give written notice, she told me by phone, but I confirmed by letter that I had received her notice and her leaving date was 28th Feb. She then said she would be leaving before the end of her tenancy but she sent her cheque to pay until end of Feb and asked for her deposit to be released. Tenant stops cheque after leaving property

She dropped off her keys with letting agent, flat was in good order, new tenants lined up to move in 1st March. I told agent to release her deposit. Then her cheque is returned to me as stopped. Tenant claims she has been told someone else is now living in the flat and refuses to pay last months rent. I realise I have made mistakes in not getting written notice and releasing her deposit before the end of the tenancy but no-one is in the flat until 1st March. Tenant thinks she doesn’t have a contract because she hasn’t signed one since she moved in. She was on a periodic tenancy. Could you please tell me, is the tenancy officially ended when the keys are given in and the deposit returned or on the last day of tenancy? Is it worth me chasing this debt?


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Comments

Mark Alexander

9:04 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

If you have a forwarding address for this tenant then I definitely think this is worth following up.

You have the tenancy agreement and presumably you have the cancelled cheque. That's pretty much everything you need to make a claim via the Small Claims Court.

If prefer to put this into the hands of a no-win-no-fee debt collector or don't have a forwarding address see this discussion thread for some very useful tips and contacts >>> http://www.property118.com/good-debt-recovery-agent/44679/
.

9:08 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "25/02/2014 - 09:04":

Morning Mark,
Am i right in thinking that 2 tenancies cant run on the same property at the same time?
for example if new tenants have moved in before old tenants contract expires then, old tenants responsability ends the day before new tenant moves in?
And therefore is only liable for rent upto this date??

Sue P

9:29 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

If you have a forwarding address then making a small claim in the county court is very easy, you do it on-line.
I write to debtors explaining that I will go to court in 7 days if cleared payment is not received and that they will incur extra cost if they do not pay. I find that this letter results in 90% of debts being paid, or at least part paid and the debtor talking to me again. I then put people in court - with good results, it is rare that they don't pay before the court date, or that we don't agree a settlement. (admitadly these are work debts, not rental debts)

In your case however you might like to take the long term view, you have had a good tenant for five years, assuming they were good paying tenants, perhaps actualy going to court is not really worth the effort?

Gary Nock

9:40 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Theres nothing that I know of to preclude two tenancies running at same time on same property when a tenant moves out early. To be honest it is none of tenants business if you get a tenant in early. She had a contract with you to pay the rent up until the end of the tenancy but check exactly what it says about notice periods. And by issuing a cheque an intention to pay is indicated. Send a letter before action giving 14 days with all the legal gumph in it and then put them in County Court. Or as Mark says farm it out to debt collectors.

Mandy Thomson

10:44 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

"Tenant thinks she doesn’t have a contract because she hasn’t signed one since she moved in." I believe Tessa Shepperson's blog here might be helpful: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2014/02/24/evicting-a-tenant-without-a-tenancy-agreement/

Steve Elliot

10:56 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

You have had a good tenant for 5 years, I presume. You have made the mistakes regarding notice and deposit release. You have a new tenant for 1st March. I would say leave it, not worth chasing.

On concurrent tenancies on the same property, I do not think you can validly have such. It is common sense.

Those are my views.

Mark Alexander

11:10 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Julie Ford" at "25/02/2014 - 09:08":

Hi Julie

My understanding of the OP's scenario is that the outgoing tenant is committed to 28th Feb and the new tenant moves in on the 1st March. On that basis there is no overlap.
.

Mark Alexander

11:12 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Elliot" at "25/02/2014 - 10:56":

Hi Steve

Unless you give all of your tenants a free month after 5 years, why would you treat this tenant any differently?
.

11:15 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

The only reason why i query the 2 tenanies, if an AST gives excusive possession, then if a new tennat signs a new tenancy, 2 separate tenants cant have exclusive possession of the same property at the staggered times.
i think 🙂

Mark Alexander

11:18 AM, 25th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Julie Ford" at "25/02/2014 - 11:15":

Seems logical to me Julie.
.

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