Tenants not completing 6 months tenancy period

by Readers Question

9:49 AM, 17th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Tenants not completing 6 months tenancy period

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Tenants not completing 6 months tenancy period

Tenants not completing 6 months tenancy periodRecently I’ve experienced two instances of tenants not completing 6 months tenancy period and leaving after just 3 months.

These tenants happened to be from India on temporary contract to the UK in the IT sector.

The excuse was that their project ended sooner than expected. They did not get their deposit back but this still left me short of two months of contractual period money.

I had to start all over again to rent the property taking nearly four weeks in one case.

What options, if any , are open to me to force them to pay full contractual money?

Is there any debt collecting agency who can take this task to collect debt from India?

Any assistance in this regard will be appreciated.

Best regards

Munawar Hussain



Comments

Mary Latham

10:44 AM, 17th December 2012
About 6 years ago

This happend to me when the tenant could not get his visa renewed. I now check the Visa of overseas tenants to see how long they are allowed to stay in the UK. I always take 6 weeks rent as a deposit and this covers a months rent, the cost of finding a new tenant and a small amount of cleaning. I did not try to chase the money and I have no idea if this is even possible, I just relet and moved on. Legally we have a right to expect tenants to pay or stay for the full term of the AST but in realty when they want or need to go I prefer to just let them go.
The tenant who did this and was really cross when I told him that the deposit would cover some of my losses. He said that he would raise a deposit dispute but when I pointed out that I could take legal action to recover the rent for the whole term and that he would have a CCJ against him should he return to the UK he backed off. This is the only time that I would stop a tenants deposit, I always prefer to give 100% back.
Sorry I can't be more helpful
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Mark Alexander

11:37 AM, 17th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Hi Munawar

I've never been caught short in this way so I can't help in terms of advice to recover money you have lost.

However, I too let to IT contractors from India. I have properties in Riverside Norwich which are very close to Norwich Union Central - now Aviva. They bring in a lot of contractors from India and they have been very good tenants.

They are very difficult to reference though so I do always ask them for a months rent in advance plus two months rent as a deposit. I previously got them to pay 6 months up front but stopped doing that when I realised this created a "premium tenancy" which allowed them to sublet. The request for a large up-front payment has never proven to be a barrier to letting and might well be what's focussed their minds. I have had tenants who need to move out before the end of the contract term but they have always found me a replacement tenant, presumably to ensure they get their deposits returned in full.

I have to say that I was a bit sceptical about taking on IT contractors from India when the idea was first floated past me. However, as it has turned out they have been model tenants, e.g. they have made sure that all light bulbs are replaced, had the properties and carpets professionally cleaned etc. on checkout.

I hope this helps.

Regards

Mark

Mary Latham

13:24 PM, 17th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Mark makes a good point. I also let to IT contractors from India and I have had a constant rollover where one of the two sharers has gone home but their replacement from India has moved in - this has gone on for several years. Perhaps your guys could ask their company if they are being replaced by people who could take on the properties?
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13:46 PM, 17th December 2012
About 6 years ago

This is just a classic example of an AST being a guarantee of NOTHING for the LL.
Difficult to pursue tenant for remainder of tenancy period.
An AST is only of use to a tenant to force a LL to comply with certain legal timescales before eviction may occur.
An AST does not give LL a guarantee that a tenant will stay a certain period, though of course the LL HOPES they will.
If they don't there is not a lot you can do about it.
Even CCJ's aren't applied automatically to the Registry Trust, it seems you have to request the county court registers them, which is ridiculous, it should be automatically done.
Of course if a replacement tenant can be found then fine; but there are the 'admin' costs of DPC's etc to be paid for by new tenant.

michael crockett

14:19 PM, 18th December 2012
About 6 years ago

This strikes me as vindictive and small minded. The contract had finished..that's what they came here for. What are they supposed to do ? Hang around doing nothing for two months so you can get paid ? Stop being so mean spirited..'contractual period money' ? Leave it out. Grow up and just find yourself a new tenant and stop whining. No wonder landlords have a bad reputation and are considered greedy and petty.

Mark Alexander

14:32 PM, 18th December 2012
About 6 years ago

This is neither greedy not petty. Their employment contract had been ended but their contract with the landlord had not. If you lose you job and move out of your home does the mortgage company just let you off paying the rest of your mortgage payments? If you contract to rent a property for six months then 6 months payments are due, whether you decide to stop living in that property or not. If you want total flexibility then book into a hotel.

Alan Loughlin

16:50 PM, 18th December 2012
About 6 years ago

what I do is take two months advanced rent, not a deposit, then the normal monthly rent, so they are always two months ahead, so if they do go suddenly 2 months is always enough time to find another tenant, I also take the cost of cleaning up front so we lose nothing, the last time I got a replacement tenant in within 5 days so was quids in.

Mark Alexander

16:55 PM, 18th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Hi Alan

I looked into that, however, if the rent is payable every two months you need to give 4 months notice if you need to serve a section 21 notice. If you are charging rent monthly and taking two months rent up front, half is considered by law as a deposit and you MUST protect it within 30 days, or else risk being fined 3 times the deposit plus the deposit amount itself for failing to protect it.

6:53 AM, 19th December 2012
About 6 years ago

I think you are misguided if you think what you are doing is correct.
I would caution you to review Ms Latham's posts on this site as to what constitutes a deposit etc.
You will be in for an almighty shock.
What you are doing is INCORRECT and you are leaving yourself wide open to the tenant claiming 3 times the deposit amount and the deposit.
As Mary states if it looks like a deposit, quacks like a deposit; then it IS a deposit and needs treating as such.
You are also causing yourself problems as far a premium tenancies and notice periods and enforcement are concerned for S 21 and S8!!
Following advices from Mary's and Mark's posts on this matter, the maximum rent upfront I will take is 1 months with no more than 2 months rent as a deposit and if you wish to be absolutely sure then you take less than 2 months rent as deposit by say £50.00
Ooops I have only just seen Mark's post which essentially just confirms everything I have stated but perhaps in a more effective abbreviated way!!

7:58 AM, 19th December 2012
About 6 years ago

A contract is a contract; just because the contract is no longer convenient for the tenant is irrelevant; they have signed a legally binding contract.
They SHOULD pay for the full contract whether they use the facilities or NOT.
Of course ALL LL know it is next to impossible to enforce an AST.
But a LL could apply a CCJ for rent NOT paid and that would damage the tenant's credit rating and if he returned to the UK may well prevent another tenancy being sourced.
LL; however are pragmatic people and should an acceptable replacement be found either ALL admin costs for that replacement being met by the existing; outgoing or replacement tenant then most LL would accept the situation.
You would fully expect a LL to comply with the AST terms, such as rent amount, eviction periods etc; why do YOU think a tenant should be able to disregard an AST just because it no longer suits them!!!??
Your attitude is typical of people who think that LL HAVE to comply with AST contract law; but tenants may disregard it!!
WRONG!!!!
So 1 law for the LL and 1 for the tenant as far as you are concerned...............I don't think so!!

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