Can I confirm my argument to the agents,which you have clarified above, in the terms that I agree that I verbally perspired the handback date and did not cancel the notice itself , as it was always clear that I would hand the flat back as soon as I had vacant possession after the court decision. I confirmed in my call to the managing agent yesterday that I considered that they should have written to me to confirm that in their eyes I had cancelled the notice completely and that I would be required to give another full month's written notice and not just saying that they told me in that phonecall only, which I am disputing anyway.
Regarding the keys handover. I called on 30th January to ask to give the keys back and to end the tenancy on that date and I was told I would be contacted by another agent they used to do this handover and the checkout. I chased the agent at least twice to ask why I had not been contacted and eventually I received a call with a date to meet at the property and do the handover of keys only on 19th February when I had been asking since 30th Jan.
I was told at one point that I had not given written notice of one month but I disputed this and forwarded the email from the manager sent to me in December acknowledging my notice and which I considered to be my written notice and pointed out the subsequent verbal deferral which they appeared to accept at that time.
I therefore considered the 30th Jan as my end date but they are now saying that my call on 30th Jan was the beginning of a new 1 month notice, although this was now verbal. They now state that the notice period does not have to be written and can be verbal at their discretion and are now saying that they 'allowed' the end date to be 19th Feb as a 'favour' when the keys were handed back but that it should be the end of February or 26th Feb when the checkout was done again which I am disputing.
I agree that either these notices have to be in writing or not and they cannot change the conditions when it suits them: ie that a phonecall to defer can mean the notice is completely cancelled and that a phonecall to hand keys back and end the tenancy becomes the beginning of a 1 month verbal notice period that I did not consent to.
Can you also confirm that if indeed the first written notice was not cancelled by my phonecall as you say it should have been in writing to do this , then what are the ramifications of it not being handed back on 28th Dec but the flat actually being back until the 30th Jan when I asked to hand keys back? Also I had paid rent until the end of Jan 2014 when I considered it to have ended.