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View Full Version : Lodger wants to end letting part-way through rent week



midvale99
26-03-2008, 16:17 PM
Hi

I have had a lodger for the past year and we have both signed the contract entitled "Licence agreement for lodger England and Wales" that you can buy in WH Smiths. In that agreement the following points were secured:

The Term: Left blank
Early Termination: Written notice of 3 weeks
Payment: Made on Saturday of each week

After about a year she gave me verbal notice that she was goint to end her tenancy in 3 weeks. She told me this on a Thursday. She left immediately but continued to pay her 3 weeks rent by standing order.

She is now requesting a refund of 3 days rent since she says she is not going to pay frrom the Thursday to the Saturday in the final week.

I have told her that it is common practice to give notice from rent day to rent day. ie saturday to saturday.

I have read this: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/notice_to_quit.htm
which seems to agree with me but not sure if it legally applies to my situation. Can anyone help please? And tell me if she is legally obliged to pay up to the Saturday?

jeffrey
26-03-2008, 16:32 PM
1. If she has given you the required three weeks' Notice, her liability ends when the three weeks end. She therefore pays rent up to and including her final day of occupation- if she sticks to the three weeks, she leaves at the end of the Wednesday and need pay no rent beyond that day.
2. The other thread is irrelevant, as it relates to statutory rules re ASTs.
3. "Common practice" does not operate where a written contract makes contrary provision.

midvale99
26-03-2008, 17:05 PM
Hi Jeffrey

Thanks for your response

You state that "Common practice" does not operate where a written contract makes contrary provision, however the contract does NOT contradict this. It is just not mentioned. If the AST point is not relevant then is it not left undisclosed? ie up to the landlord and tenant to come to an agreement?
I have had some trouble with this unreasonable tenant and do not want her to get "one over on me" at the last hurdle. I suppose I am within my rights to tell her that she never gave me "written" notice? Unless a text message is classified as written?

jeffrey
26-03-2008, 17:12 PM
Hi Jeffrey

Thanks for your response

You state that "Common practice" does not operate where a written contract makes contrary provision, however the contract does NOT contradict this. It is just not mentioned. If the AST point is not relevant then is it not left undisclosed? ie up to the landlord and tenant to come to an agreement?
I have had some trouble with this unreasonable tenant and do not want her to get "one over on me" at the last hurdle. I suppose I am within my rights to tell her that she never gave me "written" notice? Unless a text message is classified as written?
OK. Let's play hardball with T, if that's what you wish.
Cite William Hill v. William Key and Hardware (1964) as authority for saying that T is not necessarily entitled, on surrender, to recover rent already paid in advance.

Paul_f
26-03-2008, 17:16 PM
You have to accept oral notice even though you wanted it in writing, as you've acceped that she gave you notice of 3 weeks.

When she pays the rent is irrelevant. Remember your contract is one at common law and nothing else.

Ericthelobster
26-03-2008, 18:08 PM
After reading some of the pleas for help here from landlords with all sorts of nightmare scenarios and trying to recoup thousands of pounds of arrears - don't you think that looking for loopholes to claim 3 days' extra rent from a lodger is a bit, well, anal?

midvale99
26-03-2008, 21:09 PM
Thanks for your input Ericthelobster. Id like to see you say that in court! As I explained, the reason I am doing this is because she had given me trouble and had been completley unreasonable in the past. I did not wish her to leave my property getting any extra money out of me considering I had been so reasonable in the past (ie ignoring minor damage she caused during her tenancy and doing other favours for her).

She had the cheek to send me an email saying her last rent payment was transferred to me and then DEMANDED a refund for these 3 days. So I would say that it was HER being anal. I wanted to know my legal stand point is all. Also the fact that some landlords are trying to claim thousands means nothing really because everyone has a different financial situation. I am in a bad one and need all the money I can get at the moment. I think its a bit off to assume that everyone can afford to dismiss 3 days rent.

Going back to the point about "notice given in writing" - Paul_f says that I accepted her oral notice. True I did but if we are going by the letter of the law/contract then arent I in a position to argue that she is not complying?

Bel
26-03-2008, 21:46 PM
Because you allowed her to give oral notice, it doen't mean that you can twist the contract meaning in your favour

Can I suggest that if you have a genuine and unresolved claim for damage or anything else, that you should use this to claim what she owes against the three days money which you hold, and return the balance to her with an account.

Although it is tempting, just because she has been a problem to you, don't sink down to her level. Do the right thing and be proud of yourself.

househunter
27-03-2008, 10:28 AM
Hi All, only 2nd posting for me but got to say about Ericthelobsters comments, I agree there are Landlords with far worse problems than those of Midvale99 but its obviously a big problem for her/him so let them ask for help and if anyone can help then that can only be a good thing.

midvale99
27-03-2008, 15:05 PM
Thanks for your support househunter.

With regards to Bel's comments....how have I ever "twisted" the contract meaning to my favour!? It CLEARLY states that notice should be given in writing. That has not been done and so I would like to ask you to clarify how I have "twisted" anything.

As it turned out, due to it being a grey area, I offered my tenant a compromise ie to split the 3 days rent in half She has now agreed to that.

Thanks for all your comments

Bel
27-03-2008, 19:03 PM
Thanks for your support househunter.

With regards to Bel's comments....how have I ever "twisted" the contract meaning to my favour!? It CLEARLY states that notice should be given in writing. That has not been done and so I would like to ask you to clarify how I have "twisted" anything.

As it turned out, due to it being a grey area, I offered my tenant a compromise ie to split the 3 days rent in half She has now agreed to that.

Thanks for all your comments


It seems you meant that because she did not give notice in writing, you felt entitled to pocket 3 days extra rent that you are not contactually due, which would certainly be in your favour. You feeling entitled to do this was the twist and would not have strictly been fair.