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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have recently vacated a property I have rented unfurnished

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I have recently vacated a property I have rented unfurnished since June 2009. I paid my rent to the 26!septemebr and left the property on the 11 September '14. I was under the impression from my landlord that I was obliged to provide two months as my landlord told me that having changed the lease this was the only option I was legally obliged to provide two months notice.
On submission of my letter informing the landlord I had left the property in good order I asked for any monies to be owed to me be paid. I received a letter from the agent informing me that I was legally obliged to provide one months notice but requested I honour my commitment to provide two months notice by paying an additional months rent to 26 October 2014. I responded stating I was unaware I had no legal obligation to provide two month notice but was more than willing to meet the shortfall of a month to 11 October . The agent and landlord have stated this is not acceptable to them. I am now unclear what my legal obligation is and whether having been unaware that I had not requirement to provide two month notice I could be forced to do so. I have offered to pay to one month along with any costs. Can you advise whether it is worth me disputing this through the deposit agency or agreeing to pay another full month. I have stated as I have left the property access and the ability to market the property will be easier so don't fully understand why I am being asked to pay another month when no longer in the property. I appreciate your advice.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Its a little more complicated and its not helpful that they just say that you have a legal obligation.
The general law only demands that you provide one months notice. The landlord must provide two but that is because a tenant given notice has to move out whereas a landlord just needs to find a replacement. Both suffer upheaval but the former is worse than the latter.
However, you can contract to a greater obligation than the general law. That is their point here. They are saying that you have signed a contract demanding two months notice which you may have done.
You can challenge that at court. Essentially your challenge would be that the term is void under UCTA because it demands that you keep two properties for at least one month. You would have to pay two months notice and no landlord would keep a property open for you for two months so for at least one month you could have to pay rent on two properties. Generally, speaking a court will accept that.
Obviously the risk is that it may not and you would have to pay costs but they are very low.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks very clear - does the dare I give notice have any baring at all? I have moved abroad so it is more complex as I have had to move and pay cost of storage as well as rental of new property.
Thanks I will ensure that this is reflected in correspondence to DPS. Deposit protection scheme.
Yes, it has to be on or before the rental date. So if you pay rent on the 1st and you give notice on the 15th it will not begin to run until the following 1st.
If you are based abroad now then they are not going to sue you for the money.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ah so this is the issue as I gave notice on the 11 and my rent is paid on the 26 of each month which is why they want another month could have taken my time. They can therefore withhold my deposit even though I offered to pay to 11 October.
That will be it.
They are still under a duty to mitigate their loss by seeking another tenant and its not likely to take them until 26th October. As soon as another tenant moves in you are not liable.
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