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toottoot
10-03-2006, 17:10 PM
I would really appreicate any help with this. A friend of mine rents out her flat, her tennant gave notice to move out eg: 4 weeks but ended up moving out a week early. A new tennat was found and she moved in straight away, covering the last week of the previous tennant. Both were charged the weeks rent as they were completely seperate contracts eg: the old tennant moved out early and the new tennat started paying when he moved in. Is this legal to charge twice even though the old tennant left early? After all why would you give a new tennant a week free? Any ideas?

susan 2
10-03-2006, 19:27 PM
No it is not legal to charge twice for the same flat. The previous tenant should have been refunded the rent, as you were lucky enough to get a new tenant so quickly. You can however charge for readvertising and any of your costs of the relet. But these do not ususally cost as much as a weeks rent. I know some landlords do not refund in cases such as these, but legally they should. A tip - treat your tenants as you would wish to be treated!

toottoot
10-03-2006, 20:47 PM
Thanks for the advice. My friend treats her tennants really well FYI, it is not a case of mis-treatment, it was a question about a situation that had not arisen before. A tip - don't just presume tennants are not being treated well!

Jennifer_M
10-03-2006, 21:59 PM
You can however charge for readvertising and any of your costs of the relet.

Where does it says that ??
If at the end of the fixed term of a tenancy or if it's a periodic tenancy and the tenant has given the normal 1 month notice, he can't be charged for readvertising the property for leaving within the month !
He would be responsible for the rent for the whole month but if the landlord is given the keys back early and he relets the property then it would be fair to reimburse the week rent.

justaboutsane
11-03-2006, 07:04 AM
This is a very interesting thread for me! Two years ago I was in a rental flat my AST ended in October and we were expecting to be abl eto leave at this point as my uncle was in the process of buying me a house to rent. THe mortgage company were an absolute nightmare and on speaking to the LL and her letting agency I continued to rent the flat on a week by week basis. THen it became clear it was going to be another month so I paid for a ful month.

When it came down the sale went through within two weeks.. the letting agent came out for the inspection, handed over my deposit. When I asked about the two weeks rent I was owed he said I was not entitled to it ... it had been paid to the LL and I should chase her for it, but I would not likely see it as I had "lost" them several tenants. bearing in mind NO_ONE had viewed the flat... or if they did it was done without my knowledge! The flat was then empty for a further 6 months before it was tenanted! So much for a property in great demand!

Reading this thread it would appear I should have been reimbursed the two weeks I paid. I kept the LL and the letting agent up to date of the progress ... the LL was fine about it and never said there was someone waiting for the flat. I have a feeling the Letting agent pocketed the money!

davidjohnbutton
11-03-2006, 09:22 AM
As a landlord, my own view of this is that I require a written notice period of 4 weeks during which rent will continue to be charged - if the tenant wants to leave earlier, then that is up to them BUT I will still charge 4 weeks rent in lieu of notice if either the notice period is short, or not given at all. This is a contractual term available on all my tenancies and I do not hold my tenants to liability for the whole of the fixed term. For example, the tenant is free to sign a years contract, give notice within days of moving in, and be free to move 4 weeks later or immediately if they give me rent in lieu of the notice period.

If I find a new tenant and it "overlaps" because the outgoing tenant has moved earlier, then I am in the situation of having two tenants both liable to pay rent for the same week or weeks. This only happens if the outgoing tenant has either breached the 4 weeks notice rule by moving out earlier or without any notice at all and I have had it upheld in court that the outgoing tenant must pay for the notice period despite a new tenant having been found quickly and moving in during the outgoing tenants notice period.

I regard this "double payment" as compensation if you like for the tenants breach of the notice period. A lot of landlords tie their tenants into a 6 or 12 month contract with no "get out" clause so that if they leave early, they are charged for the whole of the fixed period - as I say, I don't do that - so I expect tenants to play fair with me - give me the required notice in writing and leave 4 weeks after they have done that.

Jennifer_M
11-03-2006, 21:24 PM
So in effect a tenant who has given 4 weeks notice and paid rent for the 4 weeks, should keep the keys for the 4 weeks even if they moved out earlier.

davidjohnbutton
11-03-2006, 22:54 PM
Yes Jennifer that is ok with me. But tenants also sometimes expect to move out without giving notice and expect not be liable for the four weeks rent in lieu of notice which they HAVEN'T paid and then they expect me to pull out all the stops to reduce their liability by finding a new tenant quickly.

I have been to court on this subject twice - where a tenant has buggered off without so much as by your leave let alone notice and I have re-let the property within the "notice period" and still sued the outgoing tenant successfully for 4 weeks rent in lieu of notice.

And the way I define notice is thus:-

"20. Serve any notice that you intend to terminate the tenancy in writing and by giving a minimum of 4 weeks notice. You are liable for rent for 4 weeks from the date you give notice, for 4 weeks after discovering you have left without giving notice or 4 weeks from when the property is cleared of your belongings whichever is later."

This is another bone of contention - acting as unpaid storage service for tenants who bugger off and leave me a house to clear. Yeah, sure I will do this at £9.25 per hour per person and 80p a mile x 120 miles with trailer - average clearance bill works out at about £250 a day - so if it runs into two days the tenant can easily get a bill for £500 - more if redecoration is required - and the way to avoid this is leave the property clean and tidy and clear of personal property (mine are all unfurnished lets)

susan 2
12-03-2006, 19:03 PM
Jennifer - of course you are right about not charging at the end of a fixed period. I've got a stinking head cold and it's obviously affecting my brain!

Toottoot - also take your point, it was just the way you worded the post, made me a bit snappy. See above for reason. Best wishes

Jennifer_M
13-03-2006, 09:00 AM
David John, I understand what you mean but it seems here that you would be punishing people who actually gave you proper notice by charging them for a week (for example) even though they gave the keys back and the property was let to someone else, simply because other people didn't follow the rules.

I know that for you it's a case of you lose some you win some but for the tenants themselves, the good ones are the ones losing out.
I would guess that many of them don't ask but maybe some find it unfair?

davidjohnbutton
13-03-2006, 09:09 AM
I remember an old episode of Only Fools and Horses where DelBoy stays in a hotel and gets a huge bill - when he asks what each item is for - the hotel manager says one charge is for the jacuzzi, one charge for the sauna etc. DelBoy says "But I didn't use either of them" The manager replies "Ah, but they were there if you wanted to use them"

So clever DelBoy knocks some money off the bill and announces he is making a charge for use of his car and the manager says "But I never used your car" to which Del replies "Ah, but it was there for you to use if you wanted to"

With an outgoing tenant - its "there for him to use" for the 4 weeks of notice - if he doesn't, then that is a matter for him. I might not be able to get a tenant in to cover any rebated period, and on the other hand I might just end up lucky. For every bit of luck I get in doing this, you can guarantee I will have a loss somewhere else by a tenant buggering off without paying. Jennifer, your philosopy about the decent tenants getting penalised is the same as the speeding moptorists that get fined - its the ones who have properly registered their cars who get punched - not the ones who have the car in someone elses name who is untraceable etc.!

Life's like that!

Jennifer_M
14-03-2006, 09:34 AM
Well we're talking about a case where you'd have another tenant in the property paying you rent on the last week of the previous tenant's month notice. That's two people paying rent for the same property.
By giving the money back to the tenant who did give you proper notice etc. you wouldn't be losing anything out because you'd have a new tenant in already.

A bit like if you agree to let a tenant leave in the middle of a fixed term tenancy, you wouldn't be allowed to charge him rent for the remaining of the tenancy if you found a new tenant paying you rent.

Maybe I'm too honest ;)

Poppy
14-03-2006, 15:57 PM
PMS, you're relatively new to this forum. Please tell us are you a landlord, tenant, agent? Just want to know where your argument is coming from.

davidjohnbutton
14-03-2006, 16:17 PM
No actually it does not boil down to greed - it boils down to people honouring what is in their agreements - and like I said, for every few times I get "double paid", there will be several times I will lose out big time because of rotten tenants who either smash the property up or bugger off without paying rent leaving me to chase them through the totally ineffective county court process - thats if I can find them - cos there is an army of people who know where they are and they won't tell me cos of the data protection act! (i.e. gas board/ electricity/council tax/hb offices etc.)

pms
15-03-2006, 11:50 AM
PMS, you're relatively new to this forum. Please tell us are you a landlord, tenant, agent? Just want to know where your argument is coming from.

POPPY: I'll come clean with you.I'm a qualified EHO, A certified expert witness,a fully qualified building surveyor and a property investigater. I also run a property management service and I try to be impartial to tenants and landlords.My arguement is that some of the advice on this forum is misleading and a balance needs to be struck.

I hope this answers your posting.

davidjohnbutton
15-03-2006, 15:50 PM
PMS - 5 jobs and you accuse me of greed!!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!

pms
15-03-2006, 15:59 PM
PMS - 5 jobs and you accuse me of greed!!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!

I look at it as five different strings to my bow and as I said I dont take sides I like to be impartial and Im sorry if I offended you by using one of the seven deadly sin's.

Regards
PMS

MrShed
16-03-2006, 02:13 AM
My arguement is that some of the advice on this forum is misleading and a balance needs to be struck.

I feel that is somewhat unfair. The vast majority of posters on here are not biased in any way, despite the majority being landlords....most likely, from what I see, because, they just as much as tenants wish to see bad landlords forced out, as they bring the trade into disrepute. I totally agree with what DJB says(although I can also see the other point of view), that holding a tenant to their contractual obligation is not greed, just a balancing against what tends to be a system biased against the landlords, in the fact that it is nigh on impossible to claim money from a tenant who has done a runner. Maybe in your work as an EHO you have only really experienced bad landlords?

Dingbat
16-03-2006, 09:24 AM
We have had this discussion before on a previous thread, and I stand by the point I made then, DJB is not entitled to keep rent-in-lieu as compensation because he is not entitled to compensation of this sort for breach of contract. The reason for this is that he has not suffered any explicit pecuniary loss, or even any loss you could reasonably put a monetary figure on. Contract law, unfortunately, does not work like that.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1809

davidjohnbutton
16-03-2006, 09:48 AM
and in that thread Dingbat - you said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingbat
"My knowledge of contract law is pretty hazy, but as far as I can tell this is exactly a punitive damage - it is so because the landlord did not sustain any monetary loss - remedies for breach of contract are to put the situation back to what it would have been if the contract had not been breached, i.e. to mitigate any loss as a result of the breach. Here there is no loss, so there can be no compensation for breach."

despite your knowledge of contract law being hazy.

I have only ever done this three times in 30 plus years of management and have sued on each occasion for rent in lieu of the notice period, told the judge that I got a tenant in before conclusion of the notice period and still been awarded the full 4 weeks in breach of contractual obligations to give 4 weeks notice in writing. In fact the judge on two occasions commented on how I keep my paperwork in "apple pie order"

pms
16-03-2006, 13:09 PM
I feel that is somewhat unfair. The vast majority of posters on here are not biased in any way, despite the majority being landlords....most likely, from what I see, because, they just as much as tenants wish to see bad landlords forced out, as they bring the trade into disrepute. I totally agree with what DJB says(although I can also see the other point of view), that holding a tenant to their contractual obligation is not greed, just a balancing against what tends to be a system biased against the landlords, in the fact that it is nigh on impossible to claim money from a tenant who has done a runner. Maybe in your work as an EHO you have only really experienced bad landlords?

Mr Shed: In my work as an EHO I meet many good and co-operative landlords and some very nastsy and unco-operative ones who personally I wouldn't give the time of day to so I am not being biased and that goes the same for tenants.

Dingbat
17-03-2006, 21:31 PM
I have only ever done this three times in 30 plus years of management and have sued on each occasion for rent in lieu of the notice period, told the judge that I got a tenant in before conclusion of the notice period and still been awarded the full 4 weeks in breach of contractual obligations to give 4 weeks notice in writing. In fact the judge on two occasions commented on how I keep my paperwork in "apple pie order"

Really, well that does surprise me since rent-in-lieu is really just the rent for the notice period, and such it is hard to see how you could claim that money. I certainly don't know of any legal tenet that would allow you to do so but obviously you can get away with it in practice.

MrShed
17-03-2006, 22:55 PM
pms.....I won't get involved in some kind of war of words between you and several other members. But you are attacking the credibility of one of the most well respected, reliable and consistent members here, who has shown himself time and again to be a fountain of knowledge who has helped other posters a massive amount. More to the point, I am sure that he would be the first to admit he was wrong, if he actually was. You are bound to lose!

davidjohnbutton
17-03-2006, 23:22 PM
PMS - so you think I am a "dodgy landlord" do you - I won't even start to dignify that comment with an answer because Mr. Shed has done it for me!

You are a qualified Enviromental Health Officer so you say - you apparently have little knowledge of landlord and tenant law and I would not expect that to be prevalent anyway in an EHO qualification since the role of an EHO by necessity is about hygiene and good practice and recognising breaches of Enviromental law. However, you should refrain from statements like your all encompassing one about invalidating a S21 notice by failing to have a gas safety certificate in place. Start advising people like this professionally, and you wont be an EHO for long!

And you dont seem to know about libel laws either - should I wish, I can trace you by using Section 35 of the Data Protection Act on the ISP you use through which for legal purposes I can obtain your proper name and address - you would then receive a libel writ for calling me a "dodgy landlord" on an open forum. I use my own name for posting, so a little "192.com" search in the Doncaster area could quickly identify me - I have no reason to disguise who I am.

You have stated yourself that your knowledge of contract law is "pretty hazy" - mine isn't despite my 35 plus years as a landlord - I would like to say that there isn't anything to teach me - but there is - and I am not running a property management agency like you claim you are!

Please PMS, don't put your job and livelihood at risk by calling people names - it shows immaturity and people do remember you have posted namecallings and will treat your postings with contempt. The advice I give is not appreciated by some readers because sometimes it is what they don't want to hear or because I am blunt with it - and I both advise tenants and landlords - its up to them if they dont want to take the advice - tell you what - do a search on my name - see the balance of my postings - judge for yourself.

Oh, and an apology would not go amiss either!!!!

davidjohnbutton
17-03-2006, 23:31 PM
Right PMS - I have just seen your last post which appeared when I sent mine in above - I am not taking that from you!

If there is a moderator available, please would he/she bar PMS from any further postings, and PMS I can and will make a complaint against you to the Institute of Environmental Health Inspectors for unprofessional conduct for calling my advice "crap".

I am always happy for criticism of my advice and will respond in a friendly wave of banter if need be (as I did over your "5 jobs" PMS!) - but I am not prepared to put up with downright rudeness on a public forum.

I hope others will support me in my reaction on my last two postings!

MrShed
17-03-2006, 23:45 PM
DJB, as I'm sure you already gather, I fully support your position on this....it is somewhat irritating for a newcomer to the forum to publicly call into question the ability of one of our most helpful members, and that is from my point of view. I can only think how annoyed you must be :p I believe that he has also question some of PaulF's advice as well, as well as my own(although I am not for one moment saying I am on the same level :p). The guy just appears to be a troll out for arguments.

pms
17-03-2006, 23:48 PM
Yes dJB i AM a qualifed EHO do you want my membership number? Forget the crape about the IP address because it works both ways.It is obvious that you don't like some of the comments that I make but what is a forum for.The way I see it is"freedom of speech" obviously you don't like some of the fact's that are being posted because it "dents" your credability".Don't threaten me because there are two sides to everything.Obviously your up against something that this forum hasn't had in a long time. By the way I'll be doing a posting for tenants showing them away how to beat the law.

Regards

PMS

davidjohnbutton
18-03-2006, 00:05 AM
Go on then - lets see your membership number - and your proper name - lets see if you are genuine!

I have absolutely no objection to being criticised and corrected - thats what the forum is for - healthy debate - only you have decided to lower the tone - and as for my credibility - well - have a look back through some of my posts and see those thanks I get for advice - advice that has genuinely helped people.

I use this forum for the purposes for which it was created - exchanging advice and asking questions and members being helpful to each other - not slagging them off because the advice "doesn't fit" with someone's criteria or because someone knows better! I criticise advice quite a lot - I do so politely and I don't use profane language!

Being an Environmental Health Officer means you are in Local Government yes? So was I for 35 years.

davidjohnbutton
18-03-2006, 00:15 AM
Still waiting for your membership number!

I won't patronise you - just make a formal complaint about you!

Or - you apologise = end of matter!

Energise
18-03-2006, 10:36 AM
Mr Shed: I wont lose.


You have already lost.

Jennifer_M
18-03-2006, 11:31 AM
No offence ladies but this petty argument is basically affecting both your credibility.

I'm better than you... No I'm better than YOU.

Who cares ? You're not helping anyone right now...

If you want people to respect your opinions (because that's what you're expressing here until you show me a link proving that what you wrote is law) then stop the ridiculous threats and insults.

davidjohnbutton
18-03-2006, 13:58 PM
My problem is with a forum member calling my advice "crape" [his spelling] and stating, without foundation, that I am a "dodgy landlord" and that forum member cowardly hiding behind his anonomity and failing to apologise when given the chance.

I regularly post links to back up my advice Jennifer and I apologise to all the forum members that have had to see this exchange of views between PMS and myself - unfortunately PMS has not seen fit to apologise or provide me with a means of making a complaint to his professional body - that speaks for itself.

PMS also intends to post on this site giving advice to tenants "showing them how to beat the law" - ask yourself what does that tell you about a man who is a so called professional property manager and confirms himself to be a member of the Institute of Enviromental Health Officers who would surely censure him for his profane language and personal attack on my good name.

Ericthelobster
19-03-2006, 09:10 AM
DJB ; F-ck off: you are nothing but a wa-ker. So now make a complkaint!!I think we are seeing why this guy needs to have 5 different jobs...

Poppy
19-03-2006, 11:23 AM
I have to say that several members of this forum just do not know when to shut up. More than one thread has become a battlefield. The member at the centre of it all would appear to be pms.

pms you joined the forum on 2 March 2006 (just over two weeks ago). On behalf of the silent readers will you please explain why you are involved in so much of this disquiet?

pms
19-03-2006, 21:55 PM
I have to say that several members of this forum just do not know when to shut up. More than one thread has become a battlefield. The member at the centre of it all would appear to be pms.

pms you joined the forum on 2 March 2006 (just over two weeks ago). On behalf of the silent readers will you please explain why you are involved in so much of this disquiet?

Actually Poppy it's not a case of this being a battlefield and I think its a little unfair that the blame is attached to me.Don't forget that DJB is also involved in this war of words so by implying that I am the cause is "descrimatory". I monitored this forum for two weeks before I joined and what I did note was the "SELF CENTRENESS" of many of the senior members.This is an open forum and the opinions of members should be respected which I find is not the case.All I've done is "stood up" against a member who thinks his never wrong.

MrShed
19-03-2006, 22:08 PM
The opinions of members should be valued yes, but not outright wrong advice, nor defamatory comments. Note that no-one else here has ever had a problem with the person you are speaking about.

pms
19-03-2006, 22:30 PM
The opinions of members should be valued yes, but not outright wrong advice, nor defamatory comments. Note that no-one else here has ever had a problem with the person you are speaking about.

Obviously you don't see through him!!

MrShed
19-03-2006, 22:37 PM
Me, or the other 1502 members on the forum :confused: Anyway, as DJB says, I am no longer getting involved with this petty argument. I would simply advise that if you want to be taken seriously on this forum, you first of all cut out all of your insulting ways. And also brush up somewhat on your rental law, as much of it seems basically to be incorrect.

MrWoof
19-03-2006, 22:47 PM
I was under the impression that an EHO needed to be fairly intelligent, obviously I was wrong, pms, do you have access to a dictionary or spellchecker? In addition, I was always taught that resorting to insult and "anglo saxon" language was a sure sign of an argument lost. For once I'll go along with the majority and ask Tom Entwhistle to bar you.

Jennifer_M
20-03-2006, 08:26 AM
The attitude speaks for itself: while DJB explained his opinion very politely and even apologised for the argument PMS only saw fit to swear.

Any advice or point that PMS might want to give now will probably be undermined by his childish behaviour.

Worldlife
20-03-2006, 08:33 AM
I was under the impression that an EHO needed to be fairly intelligent, obviously I was wrong, pms, do you have access to a dictionary or spellchecker? In addition, I was always taught that resorting to insult and "anglo saxon" language was a sure sign of an argument lost. For once I'll go along with the majority and ask Tom Entwhistle to bar you.

What about retired EHO's (such as I) with considerable experience who come to this forum seeking advice and help but impart, within their ability, and actual working practices as a landlord the knowledge they have acquired?

@PMS as a fellow EHO I am somewhat ashamed of your postings in this thread. I agree that in certain circumstance that as a professional one has to be confrontational with villains but for most of the time one is investigating objectively and being concilatory.

I'm somewhat dismayed that in seeking information about your methods of assessing dampness you failed to give precise information concerning the extent and variations of the results. This suggests that you may not necessarily have extensive experience of using the tests that you were promoting.

I wonder too what experience you have of posting on forums as it is not general practice to flame another member.

I certainly moderated my criticism of your unpleasant comment to a landlord who was letting a property to his daughter . Reading this thread I now feel my comment should have been stronger.Unusual situation (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=13391#post13391)

It's not general practice either to block quote a long post from another contributor when dealing with one small point. The non-relevant material can be deleted by a <snip> e.g. <snip> (relevant point) <snip>

I wondered why this thread, that I thought had been resolved, was still in progress and I was quite dismayed to see such an unpleasant dispute in progress on a forum that is intended to help people.

Even if you do have the expertise and ability to set up your own forum it is my suggestion PMS that you learn from this forum rather than have the dishonour of being banned.

Now to get this thread back on track how about some missed points?

If through force of circumstances a tenant needs to leave the property before the end of a period for which he has paid rent then it is to the tenant's advantage to:-


have the end of his responsibility for the care of the property. For example the tenant may be moving to a distant area.
the tenant will have a final inspection of the property and be informed if there are any damages beyond those considered fair wear and tear
the landlord will be in a position to return the tenant's deposit


We are then in a roulette position. The landlord may able to relet promptly or it could be some time before a replacement tenant is found. From a practical point of view I would feel it is best the tenant regards the contract at an end once the keys are handed over and the deposit repaid

Worldlife
26-03-2006, 19:02 PM
This post has been edited to remove quoted content or 'confessions' that may attibute the alleged libel to any particular person.

Decided to start new thread concerning internet libel so that issues arising from this thread can be discussed in a more neutral atmosphere.

See:- Chat room insults lead to internet libel victory (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=13659#post13659)

pms
26-03-2006, 23:32 PM
Looking back through the post's who is the victim?

Worldlife
27-03-2006, 07:28 AM
Looking back through the post's who is the victim?

A valid point pms.

You will see that in my previous post I've removed the quotation that suggests that any named individual might be responsible for any libel on this thread.

On reflection would you have objected if moderators had edited or removed insulting posts that you or others may have posted on this thread?

Do you consider such edits would have helped keep the thread on track?

pms
27-03-2006, 19:33 PM
Worldlife: I would have had no objection to the mods getting involved.