View Full Version : Help! Tenants want to leave after only two months

29-10-2009, 20:52 PM
Ok firstly I am new to these forums, so hi and apologises in advance for what may be quite a long post!

My husband and I decided to rent our flat out a couple of months ago in order for us to move as the current climate has scuppered any chances we had in selling! We managed all the advertising and AST's etc ourselves successfully and got two good tenants in (Friends). After two days of them being in the property the boiler packed in despite the fact we had a check prior to them moving in. This left them without hot water and heating (At the start of sept) and we endeavoured to sort this through our insurance, which unfortunately for us was a very long winded process and left them without hot water for over two weeks, we then had to pay for a specialist to come in and fix it. During this time we were constantly in contact with them and sent a box of chocs and wine as a way of an apology and agreed to take a week off the first month’s rent. The boiler was fixed and we had not heard from them since rest assured that all was well, until tonight when I received an email to say they had both lost their jobs and other details contributing to the fact they would now like to move out as they do not want to mess us around with rent and are happy for us to keep the deposit!

My questions is what are our rights? They have been in there less than two months, in theory have only paid 3 weeks rent in that time (They are due to pay us again in a couple of days) and we are now nearing Christmas when it will be harder for us to find new tenants. They signed a 6 months AST on moving in. Part of me questions if they have both lost their jobs. Are we within our rights to ask for them to pay until the end of the year and set about finding new tenants immediately? Can we do this and still keep their deposit?

I would welcome any advice and help!

Many thanks

mind the gap
29-10-2009, 23:16 PM
They are legally liable for the rent for the whole of the six months, unless you agree to an early surrender of the tenancy (but you are not obliged to do this).

If your AST agreement allows you to use the deposit for rent, then you can, except that it should be in a protection scheme. Is it?

29-10-2009, 23:54 PM
Standard questions to all new-ish landlords:

As MTG says, was the deposit protected
Did you have an EPC completed before you let the property
Do you hold a valid gas safety certificate for any gas appliances

MTGs post is essentially right, though I would add that although the tenants are liable until the end of the 6 months, if you re-let the property during that 6 months then their liability stops there.