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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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we currently have tenants in a property we have owned for over

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we currently have tenants in a property we have owned for over ten years. They have lived there for 7 years and have not really been any problem all though they have been late paying their rent on a few occasions. We maintain the property as required by Law. On our return from holiday a week ago we received a letter to say they are actively looking for somewhere else to live and were giving us two weeks notice payment of which we could take out of their deposit. Our contract agreement they signed every year states that two months notice be given by the landlord or the tenant prior to moving out which we have not received. Also we thought the deposit was to be used once they had moved out to cover damage to the property. Is this not the case. just wondering what our next move should be within the law to cover ourselves
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : When was the last contract signed please?

Hi Alex the last contract would have been signed on or around the last day of August last year as it was due for renewal today


The contract is an Assured Short hold Tenancy relating to the Landlord and Tenant act 1987 and was signed on the 31st August 2013 by all the occupiers of the property

Alex Watts : Ok. In that case they can't give 2 weeks notice, they must give 2 months notice as there is a signed contract. They must give 2 months notice as that is what the contract requires.
Alex Watts : The deposit can not be offset against rent as such whilst they are there.
Alex Watts : If they leave early it can be used to offset the shortfall in notice period and damage,
Alex Watts : In short they can give you 2 weeks, they must give 2 months.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

The reality is that if they don't want to pay can we enforce it with a solicitors letter

Alex Watts : You can or indeed seek a county court judgment for the remaining notice period.
Alex Watts : Does that help?

Yes thank you one more thing when we took the deposit from them 7 years ago the money was put into a business bank account for this property. Every month the rent is paid into this account and the mortgage paid out of it. The deposit is safe. They have written a letter about a secure tenant deposit protection scheme and the deposit being placed with a third person . This was not in place when we origionally started renting the property 10 years ago and we have never put the money into such scheme. I am lead to believe that the money can take up to two months to get out once it is required to pay back to a tenant. The scheme was probably started because of the large amount of bad landlords who would not return the deposit once the property has been checked. At worse it was an oversight on our behalf. They have not asked for any proof of where the money is held in the last 7 years and are probably just using it as stalling tactics. Regardless they are intending to use the deposit to sit tight until another property becomes available. Its a shame as we have always got on pretty well but it has left a bad taste and we will probably end up getting rid of the propert rather than have this problem again further down the line

Alex Watts : Yes but it should have been protected. Although the scheme was not in place 10 years ago it was when they renewed year on year no therefore in law you should have protected it.
Alex Watts : But if they have not asked for proof it is not an issue.
Alex Watts : But by law it should have been protected in later renewals when the law changed.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?

How does that leave us then? if they have not asked for proof we are ok.

Alex Watts : Yes. If they do ask for proof you will need to protect it.

Ok Alex thanks for that we will get the two months notice enforced and the deposit will be placed in to the said scheme. I am actually due to go and collect the rent today should I leave until we have the solicitors letter

Alex Watts : Ok great, does this answer the question for you today?
Alex Watts : If so might I invite you to rate my answer.
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