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Vineet S
Vineet S,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1682
Experience:  Freelance Solicitor at Self Employed
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My son just ended his short term assured tenancy agreement.

Customer Question

my son just ended his short term assured tenancy agreement. He gave notice though it was not required by the lease. They vacated the flat on nov 8 and returned the key on Nov 9th. Their agent had emailed them and did say for them to return the key through the post box on the 8th (Sunday) but they forgot that detail and thought it best to return them on Monday when the office was open. The checkout was scheduled for the Monday Nov 9th anyway. Now the agent is saying that they are considered to have continued the tenancy (even though they gave notice of their intention not to renew and vacated the flat) and is taking a month's rent out of their damage deposit. is this legal?
JA: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?
Customer: Their tenancy began on Nov 9th of 2019.
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: Peckham
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Vineet S replied 20 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, I am a practicing solicitor in England and Wales and I will be dealing with your case today.

Kindly note, I am not available for phone calls at the moment, however I can easily assist you via this online chat.

Expert:  Vineet S replied 20 days ago.

Hi there,

Till the time tenant has the keys to the property, tenant is deemed to be in constructive possession of the rented accommodation.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Agent is saying that as they returned the key on the 9th (checkout also on the 9th) that they have entered a month-to-month tenancy and now have to give a month's notice and have to pay this month's rent.
Expert:  Vineet S replied 20 days ago.

If the tenant was asked to hand over the keys by dropping them off in the office at a earlier date and they have not , then it would be deemed as if they are still in the property.

Remember if the tenant does not move out by the expiry date, the tenancy rolls into periodic monthly tenancy.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
They were moved out on the 8th. The office was closed on the 8th. the checkout was on the 9th and the keys were returned on the 9th.
Expert:  Vineet S replied 20 days ago.

Yes, unfortunately the information given by the agent is correct.

However , you can argue that it was a bonafide mistake on the part of tenant , as they forgot to hand over the keys earlier , and dispute any deductions from their deposit, by getting in touch directly with the administrator of the deposit scheme

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
OK thanks.
Expert:  Vineet S replied 20 days ago.

My pleasure, many thanks.