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Douggie
26-01-2009, 09:12 AM
Hi I have a house which I have rented out for a few years now and we recently had a tenant in for 10 months (on a 12 month contract) but they found a new house and decided they would hand in a notice of 4 weeks to us. The agreement was on an assured short hold agreement and the contract had no notice period but the tenant refused to agree to this now and insisted they were moving out anyway.

We sent a letter to the tenant informing them we would do everything we could to get someone in. However, after lots of trying we couldn’t get anyone in and the tenant moved out. This meant we now had an empty property which should be full for a further 4-6 weeks. We had the tenants bond which was a month’s rent and to cover the cost we used their bond but gave them half of the bond back as a goodwill gesture at the exchange of the keys. The tenant read the explanation and seemed to agree to it. However, we then got a new tenant into the property three weeks later still within the 2 weeks before the end of the original contract.

The old tenant heard we had a new one in and has sent us a letter threatening us with legal action unless we send the other half of the bond back as they claim we are sub-letting. We felt the contract was over and we needed someone in the property. Also the time elapsed in that month was more than half of the month (so would be fair anyway) but I just wanted to know if they had a leg to stand on in court as everyone I know thinks not.

Thanks for your help in advance

Bel
26-01-2009, 11:36 AM
You cannot expect to take rent from 2 parties for the same property at the same time.

You need to work out what is a fair apportionment of the deposit money that you still have.

Your tenants were bound to cover rent for the whole of the fixed term in their contrcat which they chose to break.
At the end of the day, your original tenants should have only paid for the rent up to where the new tenants moved in. You return to them any difference in the money.

Like you say; it may be that you owe them nothing.

Douggie
26-01-2009, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I suppose I should have said clearly that the tenant refused to pay the final month's rent which is why we had to withhold the money to cover the lost costs.

We will have to cost it by the day and see how much it would be.

Thanks Again