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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 823
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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My landlord recently gave me a notice to leave the room I

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My landlord recently gave me a notice to leave the room I rent in his flat because they anted to refurbish the flat. The notice has a deadline of one month, saying I must be out of the room by the 31st of October. This happened three months into my tenancy.
I managed to find a new room and I notified them that I will be moving out on the 2nd of October but when I did they said that I shouldn't move out so soon as they will have the room empty for a month and they couldn't possibly rent it out during that time period. They asked me to postpone my moving out which I refused to do because I can't afford to pay to rents and quite frankly I don't see why I should have to. Now I am worried that they might try to charge me a fee for moving out early or not return my deposit. Would they have the legal right to do that? How can I avoid it?

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.

This will depend on the terms of your agreement and the terms of the notice. What does your tenancy or lodger agreement say about notice and how is the notice to quit/seeking possession phrased

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It does not say anything in the move in contract about a time period after which I must move out in case the landlord needs to carry out any maintenance on the property. The notice to leave said as follows:Dear Tenants,We are sorry to inform you that the landlord has decided to do some refurb work inside the flat. It will be impossible for you to stay in the room during the refurb work. Therefore we are giving you more than one months notice to vacate the property and find alternate accommodation. Last date to move out from this property is 31/10/2016.

Is there any notice period requirement in the "move in contract"?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cannot find the exact clause at the moment but I believe the contract says that if I wish to break the contract before the fixed term of 6 months I can do so if I give the landlords 30 days leaving notice and allow them to do viewings of the room 2 weeks before the move out date
However in this case that is not plausible as they are giving me one month notice to leave.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also counting back they broke the contract before my minimum time of stay - three months - had expired. My contract started on the 23 of June 2016 and I received the notice to leave on the 19 of September 2016.

Looking at that it seems to me that you have done nothing wrong he has given you a last day not a date that the agreement ends, so it seems you can leave whenever you want based on that. I take it you were a lodger and therefor the landlord didn't need to put the deposit in a guarantee scheme, but how is the deposit described in the agreement. Usually they are for damage beyond normal wear and tear. If so then your landlord is not able to hold onto the money to recoup the rent he wants.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is just described as a security deposit nothing more. What can I do if they ask me to pay a fee for leaving early? Or if they refuse to give me back my deposit? Can I report them anywhere?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just need some leverage in case they decide to be difficult.

I think if this is described as a security deposit ( a meaningless phrase in law) then they can use this against unpaid rent (but see above there is no unpaid rent).

The best way to get leverage here is to deduct the deposit from your last rent payment, but it may be too late for this now.

The legal position seems to be that you have to leave some time before the date on the notice and you are entitled to get your deposit back If necessary, you can threaten or bring a claim in the small claims court for the deposit.

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