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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a private landlord. My tenant gave me the

Customer Question

I am a private landlord.
My tenant gave me the required two months’ notice to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement early. She claimed she required the Deposit to use as a down payment for a new tenancy. Since the condition of the flat was good and the tenant work hours had been reduced, I agreed to release most of the deposit early on proviso that the rent was paid in advance as usual.
Nett result:
£1250.00 Deposit
-£ 288.50 7 days rent for the new month
-£ 200.00 Retained deposit in case of incidentals, until the ‘move-out’ was complete
£761.50 Released to the tenant
I also provided the tenant with a reference to help her secure a new let.
The evening before the tenant was due to move she texted asking me to call her between 21:30h -22:00h. As I was in an area with poor signal, I did not receive this text until I arrived at the tenanted property at 11:00h as agreed. Here I was greeted by the tenant’s daughter, who called her mother. The mother explained that the flat selected was not suitable to move into. She asked if she could stay for another two weeks and said she would pay two weeks rent. We agreed and she followed through with the above.
Four days later the tenant asked if I could reduce the rent, saying she would then stay for a long time. I declined. I was asked this again 4 days later and again I declined.
Towards the end of the two week period, I received a text from the tenant to say she would pay another two weeks rent as she had been unable to secure accommodation. She informed me that she had now enlisted the agent, who had introduced her to me to help her find accommodation. She also asked that going forward, I spoke to her through this agent.
I called the agent, who did not inform me of anything new. I informed the agent of the developments (above), as I did not have a managed tenancy agreement with the agency. I also informed the agent that the above arrangement could not continue indefinitely and we agreed that I should issue an invoice to cover the intermediate rental.
I asked the agent to discuss the above with the tenant, agree a suitable way forward and to advise me of the outcome. The agent advised that he would discuss this with the tenant.
A week later I called the agent again as I had not heard back.
I explained to the agent that on 7th April 2015, I had received two months written notice from the tenant to leave the apartment on 7th June 2015. I also explained that the tenant’s deposit was released from the DPS, the tenant’s anger at my placing of the deposit with the DPS, the tenant’s request for alterations to the short hold agreement and once agreed her refusal to sign for these alterations. The tenant showed no intention to honour the contract, trying on several occasions to offer one month or less as a notice period.
When matters had not progressed and the end of the second two week rental period was drawing to an end, I put the above in writing to the agent and asked that he speak to the tenant to either:
• Vacate the property at the end of the 2 week period
• Pay another two week’s rent followed by vacation of the property at the end of this period
• Sign a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement with a new 6 week deposit
The agent advised that he would discuss this with the tenant and obtain another 2 weeks rent. I was in daily contact with the agent until the rent was paid 5 days after it was due.
After a week, I called the agent to enquire on the progress and tenant’s decision. The agent informed me that the tenant was still bound by the original Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement as this was a year-long agreement, due to expire on 31st October 2015. I re-explained the above and this time the agent agreed with me that no Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement existed any longer, as the tenant had given notice and I had met my obligations to the tenant. He agreed to speak with the tenant and indicated that this had been difficult due to the tenant’s new work schedule.
I have now sent an invoice an updated invoice to the agent and copied the tenant in to indicate that late payment will incur double rental cost and I have again asked for choice on one of the 3 above options within 24 hours.
Assuming they do not respond, what route should I follow next to get my apartment back, as I do not have a written contract or much deposit? In addition, I now require my home for my own accommodation needs and I wonder whether this make a difference in the approach I am should follow?
Please detail?
Yours Faithfully
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
So, in short, she didn't leave when her notice expired?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, although she has continue to pay rent (last one late).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, and accepting rent does lock you into a further contract.
You need to serve a S21 notice upon her immediately which will take effect on or before the rental date and will run for two months.
You don't need a reason to get into your property but you do need to serve valid notice.
If she doesn't go when notice expires then you will need to seek a possession order although you can seek accelerated possession if you rely on S21.
She is liable for rent until she leaves and she will be liable for costs.
Can I clarify anything for you?