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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Jo - Wondering if you can help with this issue. My

Customer Question

Hi Jo - Wondering if you can help with this issue. My daughter was renting a room in a flat. She paid £700 a month in advance. The Landlady lived in the flat. My daughter had signed a Lettings Agreement with the Landlady - an off the shelf template from This agreement stated that there was 30 days notice on either side to terminate. My daughter paid monthly rent in advance on February 9th as usual. The relationship between my daughter and the Landlady then broke down and on February 29th she was served notice by the Landlady that she had to leave. This was 9 days before the next rent due date. The Landlady said she was being fair and giving her until April 9th to move out - so much more than the 30 days notice required. The atmosphere was unpleasant and my daughter got her skates on and left within five days - actually on March 5th. The Landlady is insisting that my daughter should pay rent to cover the full 30 days notice period - so up to and including March 28th - as per the Lettings Agreement. I would argue that custom and practice suggests the 30 days notice period mentioned in the Lettings Agreement would normally start on the rent due date. And that the Landlady should have told my daughter to leave on March 8th, giving her a full month's notice covered by the rent. And that my daughter has done nothing wrong in leaving the flat immediately and not paying any further rent.Just to summarise - my daughter was served notice to leave on February 29th. She left on March 5th. Had paid rent up to March 8th. The room is now empty and available to re-let. But the Landlady is demanding further rent from my daughter to cover the period to March 28th. This does not seem fair to us. Surely having been served notice to leave, my daughter does not have to pay further rent for an empty room? The Lettings Agreement the Landlady is quoting is surely only relevant when custom and practice has been followed? Please advise.
Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How often was she paying rent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She'd been a tenant there since November 9th 2014. She paid rent monthly in advance. On the 9th of each month.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just to say the Landlady is holding a £500 security deposit which we would like back. But she's holding it in lieu of this additional rent she says is due. I don't think that's right.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Jo - are still there?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm really sorry but that is a problem.If she has been paying rent monthly then she has to give a month's notice. There is no way around it.She did not. Therefore she is liable until the notice expires which would be the 8th April. If the 8th of March would be the next due date then the notice doesn't begin until that date and would not expire until the 8th April.The landlord is absolutely entitled to do this.She is under a duty to look for another tenant in the meantime and if she is able to find one then your daughter's liability ends there.Nine days notice is just not enough.Can I clarify anything for you?JoShe is under a duty to look for another tenant in the meantime
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just to be clear - the Landlord asked the Tenant to leave. Not the other way round. And the Tenant is still required to pay a month's rent - even though she has moved out prior to the next rent due date. Just to be clear on the timeline .. the Tenant (my daughter) pays rent as usual in advance on Feb 9th. Suddenly the Landlord serves notice to leave on Tenant on Feb 29th. Tenant leaves on March 5th having paid rent to March 8th. Landlord is insisting rent should be paid for a further period to March 28th. Point being - the Landlord should have waited and served notice on March 8th. Not gone early and served notice on Feb 29th!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, she is liable to pay rent up until the notice expires whether the landlord's or the tenant's.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If the landlord served notice on the 29th then actually it would not expire until the 8th April but if she is offering the 28th March then we shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes - the Letting Agreement says 30 days notice. So as notice was served on Feb 29th, March 28th is end of notice period. So precisely 30 days. Landlord is demanding another 3 weeks rent (from March 9th to March 28th) rather than a full month (from March 9th-April 8th). you're saying we have to pay for that period. even though she left on March 5th.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, but the notice period takes effect from the rent date.Yes, as I said, she is liability until either hers or the landlord's notice expires. When she leaves is a non issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So it would make sense to agree to the Landlord's offer of the 30 days notice period running to March 28th. And suggest they keep the £500 security deposit to cover it.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, absolutely it would.Unless the landlord gets in another tenant in the meantime in which case her liability stops.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok - will do. Thank you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best. Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile