Tenants who give notice but stay – Double rent?

by Readers Question

10:26 AM, 12th October 2020
About A week ago

Tenants who give notice but stay – Double rent?

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Tenants who give notice but stay – Double rent?

A lawyer recently told me that he thought there was a law whereby, if a tenant gives notice, but then does not move out at the end of their notice period, they can be charged double rent.

Has anyone heard of this please or know what my position is under the Covid-19 emergency rules?

My tenants gave notice 2 months ago, but now what 6 months notice from me which seems odd since they already terminated the contract!

Many Thanks

Jamie


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Comments

Clint

11:49 AM, 13th October 2020
About A week ago

You still take the rent they are paying but you have to inform them that they owe you twice the daily rate and what they are paying you is mesne profits and not rent.
I don't know if you will ultimately get anywhere with this.

Jamie Finch

11:52 AM, 13th October 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 13/10/2020 - 11:49
Hi Clint

That's excellent thanks. I don't actually intend charging them anything, they just need a little help in realising they want to leave, and I think the possibility of double rent is likely to be enough 🙂

Kate Mellor

10:33 AM, 14th October 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 12/10/2020 - 12:49
Clint, you need to be careful you have not created a new tenancy by continuing to accept rent. I presume you’ve made it clear in writing that her tenancy is ended and you expect her to move out, but you should also clarify that you are not accepting rent, but expenses referred to in law as “mesne profits” ( pronounced “mean”). It means that you are accepting the money to cover your lost profit, but not as rent in the legal sense. You may find having accepted this money you lose your right to claim double rent, however if you claim it was mesne profits and not rent you may succeed. You’d need to take legal advice on that obviously. I’d certainly write to her and explain that under the 1737 Distress for Rent Act she is liable for double rent for the entire period of her holding over. It will certainly give her something to think about whether or not you take her to court for it. I’m presuming you still wish her to leave...

Kate Mellor

10:44 AM, 14th October 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 13/10/2020 - 11:49
Sorry Clint, I hadn’t read this final page of comments when I replied to yours! I usually read all comments prior to replying and this is why. Lesson learned. Hopefully my comment has something of use to the OP anyway...

Clint

10:59 AM, 14th October 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 14/10/2020 - 10:44
No problem. I was just about to reply saying "I don't think this was meant for me" when I scrolled down and noticed you had a second post and had to read what you had to say as it said "Reply to Clint". All sorted.
I have a tenant who supposedly is on "mesne profits" at the moment not that I want to evict her now as, she is paying normal single rent but did cause me problems at the time as, another prospective tenant was due to move in.
Do you by any chance know how to evict someone under these circumstances as, it would be useful to know this just in case something like this happens again in the future.

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