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TheAtheist
07-04-2010, 09:04 AM
Hi all, this is my first post here, I hope someone can be of assistance?

I have been living in the same place (rented) for nearly 4 years and I am now moving out to live with a mate at the end of April. The problem is I gave 1 months notice to move out on the 18th April as the estate agent told us that the new place was available from the 17th; as it happens it isn't free until the 29th so I requested an extension on my notice from my current landlord about 1 week into the notice period (this was before any interest had been shown in my room so I didn't see there being any problem). Unfortunately my landlady was out of the country and hadn't informed us so only recently got the (numerous) messages and she's insisting on sticking to the original notice date of the 18th (even though my rent is fully paid until 1st May) as she now has an interested party.

My main issue is I have never signed a contract for this tenancy so does she have any legal footing to force me out during a period that I have paid for; is my original notice period binding even though I asked to extend it before any interest in the room had been shown?

Any help/advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

jeffrey
07-04-2010, 10:02 AM
Well, you must have a contract even if it's only oral. After all, L allowed you to reside; and you've been paying rent for it!

L relied on your representation that you would be leaving- she has found a replacement- so why do you think yourself entitled to change your mind?

mind the gap
07-04-2010, 10:18 AM
Assuming this is an AST in England or Wales...

n practice, you could refuse to move out and she would have to evict you, which would take time.

However I agree with Jeffrey that you should stick by your original notice period. You could perhaps agree with your Ll that you will move out as promised if she refunds a portion of the rent you paid (although I do not think she is not legally obliged to).

TheAtheist
07-04-2010, 10:28 AM
Thanks for your reply Jeffrey.

I don't think I'm entitled to change my mind, I'm merely looking for advice on what my options are really.

I think my main point of contention is that I informed my landlady of my need for an extension before she found any potential replacement (and in doing so actually gave her longer to find someone) so she had the opportunity to change the advertised available date. I Have always had a good relationship with my landlady (one of the reasons I've stayed here for so long) and it's not like I haven't paid the rent! I have also made arrangements for potential replacements to view the room as to make sure she isn't out of pocket.

With regard to your comment about the oral contract, does this not also imply that having paid my full rent for April that I should be able to reside there until the end of April?

Thanks again.

EDIT: Thanks for your input too Mind The Gap, didn't see your reply before posting this. I'm based in London. So you're saying to me that legally she wouldn't even have to refund any excess rent paid if I were to move out on the 18th?

jeffrey
07-04-2010, 10:35 AM
Each periodic tenancy month is a unit, not divisible (unless L is generous to you), so you owe each month's rent when the month begins.

mind the gap
07-04-2010, 11:37 AM
EDIT: Thanks for your input too Mind The Gap, didn't see your reply before posting this. I'm based in London. So you're saying to me that legally she wouldn't even have to refund any excess rent paid if I were to move out on the 18th?

Correct. My understanding is that rent paid in advance is unrefundable except with LL's agreement.

TheAtheist
07-04-2010, 13:40 PM
Correct. My understanding is that rent paid in advance is unrefundable except with LL's agreement.
Is she then legally allowed to charge twice for the same month, eg. if I do move out on the 18th and the new person moves in on the 19th can the landlady then claim rent off the new tenant for the rest of April or do they get to live there for free?

mind the gap
07-04-2010, 15:25 PM
Is she then legally allowed to charge twice for the same month, eg. if I do move out on the 18th and the new person moves in on the 19th can the landlady then claim rent off the new tenant for the rest of April or do they get to live there for free?

That is up to her, and most LLs who had not been financially disadvantged by a T moving out early would refund the 'overpaid' advance rent.