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TK Legal
TK Legal, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 241
Experience:  LLB, MCIArb
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I live in Cranfield Bedfordshire and rent rooms to students

Customer Question

I live in Cranfield Bedfordshire and rent rooms to students who study at the university. One of the students signed a tenancy agreement from January till June 2020. He went on a holiday to Spain on 19th March knowing that the country would soon be in lockdown there and he was unlikely to return. He was very happy about that. He messaged me on 23rd March telling me that he won't be back and paid one months rent. He now wants his deposit returned. The contract states that if the terms of the contract are broken in any way then the deposit is forefeited. The university did not ask anyone to leave and studies are still taking place remotely. The other students are still here, including a student in my home. Please advise.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We have been messaging each other about this. I informed him about not sticking to the contract. He says he had no choice but to break the contract but he knew before he left that he would probably not be able to return. I have his signed contract
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I feel that he should have stayed here if he knew there was going to be a lockdown. No other students have left
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  TK Legal replied 17 days ago.

Hello dear, welcome to JustAnswer ! My name is ***** ***** I am happy to assist you today with your legal issue. I am just reviewing your question. This is an email service so there may be delays when responding. Please bear with me if I need to ask you some clarifying questions. Thank you!

Expert:  TK Legal replied 17 days ago.

You are not obliged to refund him the deposit as he has breached his terms of the agreement. Due to COVID-19, government asked landlords not to evict tenants, but did not ask not to take any rents from them. If they can't pay rent while living here, that is different matter, but you are entitled to keep the deposit.

Please see the below article.

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_deductions_your_landlord_can_make

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Kind regards, T.K.