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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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Hi, My tenant has now agreed to leave the flat which he is

Customer Question

Hi, My tenant has now agreed to leave the flat which he is 3 months in arrears on. I have a court hearing due on 3rd April anyway regarding me getting a possession order and to claim the money outstanding. But ,if he leaves the flat I will just go ahead with the claim for the outstanding money.

I am planning on getting him to sign a letter/note when he leaves saying he has given up the flat/tenancy willingly, but am wondering if there's any specific format for this, what I should make sure is covered and also how I can cover off any future rent until I am able to re let the flat. The tenant has a 12 month shorthold tenancy agreement and is only 6 months into it. There is a possibility he may leave the day before the next months rent is due which would obviously not enable me to let quickly enough to recoup that and I don't want to lose another month's rent but would wish to add it to my claim against him. How should I do this please? Thanks, Chris
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a lawyer with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this? What date has your tenant agreed to leave on? How much deposit do you have (in money and in terms of months of rent) and how much does he owe in arrears?

Customer:

Hi,

LondonlawyerJ :

Also is the deposit in a deposit guarantee scheme?

Customer:

Hi, He hasn't given a specific date yet. He said it would be in a few days, a few days ago! I am thinking he may try and do it before the next rent due date which is on Sunday to try and avoid that adding to his debt. Currently he owes me £1650 in rent i.e. 3 months and that will increase to £2200 on Sunday. I have one month's rent (£550) sitting in the deposit protection scheme. As I mentioned I have filed a possession claim on line and am due to go to court on that on 3rd April. I don't believe he will try and defend the case as he has always accepted he owes the money. My claim includes the above plus court fees and a bit more for interest and issuing section 8 notice and letters. I don't want to get caught out by him potentially moving out tomorrow and then being able to say he doesn't owe me the rent due the next day. As I said, he is 6 months into a 12 month tenancy. I look forward to hearing from you, but please let me know if you need any more information. Thanks, Chris

Customer:

Hi, He hasn't given a specific date yet. he said it would be in a few days, a few days ago! I am thinking he may try to leave before the next rent due date which is on Sunday to try and avoid that adding to hi debt. Currently he owes me £1650 in rent. i.e. 3 months and that will increase to £2200 on Sunday. I have one month's rent (£550) sitting in a deposit protection scheme. As I mentioned, I have filed an on line possession claim and am due to go to court on that on 3rd April. I don't believe he will try and defend the case as he has always accepted he owes the money and will probably try and out a repayment plan in place when the court case comes up.My claim includes the above plus court fees etc. Obviously I don't want to get caught out by him potentally moving out tomorrow and then being able to say he doesn't owe me the rent due the next day. As I said he is about 6 months into a 12 month agreement. I look forward to hearing from you, but please let me know if you need any more information. Thanks, Chris

LondonlawyerJ :

Am I right in thinking that he pays rent 1 month in advance?

Customer:

Yes he does

LondonlawyerJ :

OK, so you are 6 months into a 12 month AST. You have commenced possession proceedings based on arrears of rent . The arrears are significant £1650 at present and from Sunday if nothing is paid they will be £2200. Your tenant has agreed to leave on an unspecified date which you expect to be soon.


It may be a good idea that you ask the tenant to sign something confirming he has surrendered his tenancy. The only risk attached to this is that if you do this and the agreement says nothing about arrears owed he may argue that there was an agreement between you when he surrendered the tenancy. He is unlikely to sign something confirming he owes the rent arrears and things might become complicated and difficult. You might think it is better to send him a letter/email after he has left and taken all his belongings confirming that he has surrendered his tenancy and telling him you will be proceeding to court in any event to obtain a judgement for the rent owed and suggesting that if he wants to defend the claim he should come to court to argue his case. You should of course take this to court with you. You should make it clear in your letter/email that you will be after the extra month’s rent. At court you will hand the letter to the District Judge and explain your position verbally.


It may be a good idea to change the locks as soon as he has left and before sending him the letter, depending on how little you trust this person.


You can argued that the next month’s rent should be added to your claim even if he leaves before it is due but it might be that the court think you should have got a fixed date for departure of the tenant. Also you will need to demonstrate that you have tried and failed to find a tenant as you have a duty to reduce the level if your losses to the extent that you can.


I hope this has answered your question but please feel free to ask follow up questions.

LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 791
Experience: Experienced solicitor
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Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.
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