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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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There. I came out of a 6 month tenancy agreement 2 months

Customer Question

Hi there. I came out of a 6 month tenancy agreement 2 months early. My landlord said that he would try and rent the flat out again quickly so that I didn't have to pay rent and a mortgage. I have it on good authority that somebody moved in just a few days later. I had paid a full month's rent to 26th July. He has now mailed me again and asked if I've paid the final month that I owe. I haven't and don't want to given there is somebody in there. I went to the property and it's clear that somebody is in there. Do I have any rights to not pay the final month's rent?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
If he has another tenant in who is paying him rent then you are not liable. He has a duty to mitigate his loss which he has done but he cannot claim from you as well. That is just duplicate compensation which he cannot do.
The only issue is that just because somebody is there doesn't mean they are paying tenants - they could be tradesmen etc. You need to gather evidence that they are living there.
Or you could just challenge him on the point and he might just desist.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there. He is using several letting agents to try and find a new tenant. He then takes over the management once a tenant if found. One Agency has confirmed that they have to call who is living there each time there is a viewing and they confirm that this has been the process since the start of July. We vacated the flat at the end of June and left it immaculate for viewings. The agency we used can confirm several viewings with people at the property. Would that be sufficient?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has already returned my deposit of £1450 after confirming the flat was left immaculately. Having spoken to the Agency that set me up with this landlord they confirmed that they know somebody is living there and, as they are nothing to do with him now, advised that I do not pay. I just wanted to confirm my rights before replying back to his email today asking for the final month's rent of £1250. Thanks. Scott

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
It is probably enough to give rise to an inference.
Also, if you have evidence from neighbours that there appear to be people there at midnight then they are unlikely to be tradesmen.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
If he has returned your deposit then the onus will be on him to sue which he is unlikely to do.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there. This is the reply I got from the landlord. Do I still have to pay?


I have a friend staying at the property. It is uninsured if it is vacant for more than 30 days. She is leaving the property this weekend and Lettings Direct have found a tenant on Friday who wants to move in, subject to references, after she has given notice to her existing Landlord.

You are liable for one month's rent.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Not if a new tenant is moving in Friday.
Even if he does have a friend staying it is arguable whether you have to pay. If you have to pay then the property should be available to you to live in and it is not.
In any event, if somebody is moving in Friday then your liability stops then.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He hasn't said that she moves in on Friday. He has only said they found a tenant on Friday who wants to move in.

His friend has clearly been in the property for a month so the property was not fit for me to live in even though I had paid until 26th July.

Will that be sufficient for me not to pay?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there. I never received an answer to my last question. Grateful if you can answer that and I can then get closure on this. I am going to reply that I do not feel that I should pay given he has had a friend staying at the property whilst I was still paying for it. Thanks. Scott

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
As I said really, if he has somebody staying there then the property isn't available to you and so you shouldn't pay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there and good evening. The Letting Agency also called me this afternoon and said that they thought he didn't have a leg to stand on given he'd approved the return of my deposit from the Agency. They took a photocopy of the keys and my partner's signature which they think is sufficient enough to terminate the contract? He also replied to me in an email that he had a friend staying at the property. This happened within 1 week of us vacating the property.

Tonight he has emailed me several times and said that if I don't pay by close of business tomorrow then he will take me to the small claims court. This really isn't about the money. The landlord is clearly taking advantage of me and I'm not willing to hand over £1250 to him for another month at a flat that he has somebody else staying in.

I just want to be clear before tomorrow close of business when I haven't paid the amount to him.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Well, he may take you to the small claims court. The question is whether he will win or not.
He is not likely to ever agree that you don't have to pay. He probably will send more emails threatening fire and brimstone.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That is the question I am hoping you can answer. I have proof that he moved somebody in just a few days after I left and he has written in an email that he has a friend staying there. Is that sufficient proof enough that I shouldn't have to pay and does he in fact owe me money?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
No, I cannot give you a guarantee. N
It is the basis for an argument. Whether it will be accepted or not depends upon what other efforts have been made to find a paying tenant. Also, there is the point that the property is not available to you but he may be saying the friend could move out.
There are never any sure fire winners.