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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a tenant who wants to move out of a property that has

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I have a tenant who wants to move out of a property that has bed bugs. He has 8 months left on his assured shorthold tenancy agreement. I have had the council's environmental office bed bug team over twice. He's saying its back, the bedbug problem. I said I can get the council back today or tomorrow to fix it - he told me last night at 10pm that he's moving out on Thursday and wants me to cancel his contract. I said he needs to find a replacement. He says he's leaving on Thursday, it's already planned, and he can't stand the noise of the other tenants. How should I progress? There were and could still be bed bugs there. But I'll fix it for a third time this week, he's given me three days' notice, and it will cost me another month in rent to pay the estate agent fees to find his replacement. I think it's unfair that I suffer this loss. His deposit is registered with a tenancy deposit scheme. How should I progress? He won't stay now, he says he's already planned the move to his parents. I offered to give him a months free rent and to put him up in a nearby house I own with two very clean warm rooms for a lower rent so that it equals what he pays if that would help. He's saying no, cancel the contact, I'm moving out on Thursday. What are my rights and how do I progress to avoid a huge expense?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What was the cause of the bed bugs please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There wasn't a given cause. Rentokill came in and said they were quite bad, but they were trying to sell my a £1500 treatment the council then did for £86. I have no doubt the bedbugs are there but I'm very proactive about the situation. Rentokill said it may have been on someone's luggage and carried into the house like that. The house was pristine when I let it, with brand new beds and furniture and carpet. I've let it to four sharers and now this has occurred. What are your thoughts?
I assume you are not saying the tenant has caused it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, it started in the room next door to his.
Ok. In reality he can move out. If he didn't cause it then if there are bed bugs this is a feundamental breach of contract. I realise it's not your fault but it's not the tenant fault either. He is paying for a property and bed which is free from bugs,
What you can do is sue the person responsible. I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a du to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How would I sue the person who started it as I can't be certain it was her? They weren't there before she came but they're there now. How would I go about suing her?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The tenant moving out wants his deposit back. Although it's with a tenancy deposit scheme should I demand the deposit or should he get the deposit back as well?
Yes he should get that. You can only sue the person that caused it so you may need a surveyors report about the issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. And what if he owes his existing month but won't pay?
Sadly you would need to sue him for that amount if he refuses to pay. You can't just offset it.
I am sorry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I would give him the deposit then once he's left sue him for unpaid rent, but not deduct it from his deposit?
No you can't - its his deposit I am sorry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I would give him his deposit back then send him a county court summons for unpaid rent? The thing is, if he's refusing to pay rent and then moving out, and I'm letting him on the basis that he's allowed to, why would he then be liable for rent if his room is deemed uninhabitable?
If he is not paying rent then you can get him moved out. The best thing is he moves out, you get the property sorted and then can relet. You have to give a deposit back - its a commercial decision for you obviously.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But in terms of his not paying rent for the period between him moving out and my finding a new tenant - who should pay for that? Me, or him via summons? Am I liable for that loss of rent or is he?
You sadly, as its not his fault that he is moving out.
I am sorry.
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