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kangoo1
12-10-2011, 18:17 PM
My tenant is just a few weeks into a new (2nd) 6 months AST, which he requested and he has now decided that he wants to end the contract early. There are no issues with the tenancy. He tells me that a house has become available just a few miles away.
He is an indecisive person and I am afraid that if new tenants are found then he might change his mind again and decide to stay.
I have looked through FAQ's and wonder if I should consider a Surrender Deed and agree a notice period, also what is the likely cost for the deed?
Please help me make the right decision.

mariner
13-10-2011, 01:53 AM
AFAIK you cannot apply a Notice period so early in a fixed term other than ones laid down by AST for termination at end of fixed term
Don't know if Deeds of Surrender take immediate effect, but they need not cost anything provided they set out the Agreement and end 'signed as a Deed' with both parties signing and dated.
eg "Mr X, tenant of <address> surrenders Tenancy of said property on <date> and the landlord accepts.
Signed as a Deed
T sig LL sig
Tenant Landlord

Current Date

If T subs changed his mind / house purchase fell through LL would be under not obligation to offer further AST after surrender date.

kangoo1
13-10-2011, 05:24 AM
AFAIK you cannot apply a Notice period so early in a fixed term other than ones laid down by AST for termination at end of fixed term
Don't know if Deeds of Surrender take immediate effect, but they need not cost anything provided they set out the Agreement and end 'signed as a Deed' with both parties signing and dated.
eg "Mr X, tenant of <address> surrenders Tenancy of said property on <date> and the landlord accepts.
Signed as a Deed
T sig LL sig
Tenant Landlord

Current Date

If T subs changed his mind / house purchase fell through LL would be under not obligation to offer further AST after surrender date.

Thanks for your fast reply.
The Tenant wants to give me notice to enable him to get out of the AST. In the last 2 weeks he brought his partner to live with him in the house and I think that they have found a larger property.
He didn't ask about letting his partner stay and hasn't let me know officially.

islandgirl
13-10-2011, 09:53 AM
if you just get a letter of surrender it is worth nothing within the fixed term. Tenant can change their mind at any point. I do not know if this applies to a deed but a deed would certainly need to be witnessed etc. I would not give notice. Is this relating to a HB claim I wonder?

westminster
13-10-2011, 10:09 AM
The Tenant wants to give me notice to enable him to get out of the AST.
The T cannot 'give notice' to end the tenancy earlier than the end of the fixed term unless there's a break clause in the contract.

What he is doing is offering to surrender; you are free to accept or reject this offer. If you reject it, and treat the tenancy as continuing, then the T will remain liable for rent for the remainder of the fixed term.

If you accept the offer, you are entitled, as a condition of acceptance, to demand T pay you a sum of money (for example, a sum equivalent to a couple of month's rent). If T agrees to pay this money, then a Deed of Surrender should be drafted, and T should pay the agreed sum and vacate the property before the Deed is executed. The tenancy will then end on the date specified in the Deed, and you will be free to relet. Obviously, if T has paid the equivalent of two months rent, and you relet within a couple of weeks, then you would gain from this arrangement - but if it took longer than two months to find a new tenant, then you'd lose out. There are also associated costs such as drafting of the Deed, and/or reletting costs to bear in mind.

In your shoes, at this stage, I would simply remind the T that the contract he signed is binding, that you will not agree to an early surrender, and that he is liable for rent for the remainder of the fixed term.

Lawcruncher
13-10-2011, 10:11 AM
This is a case where you need to keep it simple. Either insist on the tenancy being maintained or agree a clean break on terms you are happy with.

kangoo1
13-10-2011, 17:43 PM
To everyone who has replied - many thanks for your valued advice. :(y):

kangoo1
15-10-2011, 12:36 PM
Just a small but important matter. I have written the deed of surrender as advised but need clarification on the witnessing of the signatures. Can I witness the tenant's and tenant witness mine or is there a need for a third party to witness both, if so must the third party be unrelated?
Many thanks in advance.

westminster
15-10-2011, 12:56 PM
Just a small but important matter. I have written the deed of surrender as advised but need clarification on the witnessing of the signatures. Can I witness the tenant's and tenant witness mine or is there a need for a third party to witness both, if so must the third party be unrelated?
Many thanks in advance.
Firstly, why are you agreeing to a surrender? Has T offered to pay you in exchange for agreeing to this?

Secondly, mariner's so-called 'Deed' is not adequate for the purpose, and no, you and T can't witness each other's signature; the witness must be a third party.

Go to a solicitor and pay him to draft a Deed. It should not be executed until the T has fully vacated (and paid you the money you ought to be demanding).

kangoo1
15-10-2011, 14:20 PM
Thanks Westminster. Tenant has agreed to pay me 2 months rent to come out of contract. I am happy with this.
I would prefer to purchase the deed of surrender on line. Is there such a service available and at what approximate cost. If anyone can help then please PM me. I will need it in the next few days.

Lawcruncher
15-10-2011, 16:11 PM
Didn't I put one on here somewhere?

westminster
15-10-2011, 16:15 PM
Yes, you did.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?28080-Surrender-of-lease-deed-or-letter&p=209236#post209236

But OP would need to add a clause about the tenant agreeing to pay £X.

kangoo1
15-10-2011, 19:29 PM
I appreciate your help so much.
I have studied the document which Lawcruncher kindly posted and added this clause:

3.1 The tenant agrees to pay the Landlord the sum of nine hundred pounds
3.2 The Tenant surrenders the Tenancy to the Landlord

Would this be the most appropriate place in the deed to insert the clause? Also do I need to state that it is 2 months rent or why it is being paid?

bhaal
15-10-2011, 20:02 PM
Subject to whatever lawcruncher says I would replace clause 4 with

"The Landlord will accept the Tenant's surrender of the Tenancy on receipt of £900 from the Tenant in a manner acceptable to the Landlord."

You'll also want to add "Subject to the Landlord's acceptance of the Tenant's surrender of the Tenancy..." on to the start of clause 5

This can be made more complicated but there's no need in this instance. The important point is that by running the clauses together you have made the acceptance of the surrender contingent on receipt of the money - if the tenant doesn't pay then their surrender isn't accepted and they'll still be liable for rent.

kangoo1
15-10-2011, 20:13 PM
Thanks bhaal

bhaal
15-10-2011, 20:28 PM
Just to clarify this means clauses 3, 4 and 5 of the Deed should read:

3. Surrender

The Tenant surrenders the Tenancy to the Landlord

4. Acceptance

The Landlord will accept the Tenant's surrender of the Tenancy on receipt of £900 from the Tenant in a manner acceptable to the Landlord.

5. Mutual Release

Subject to the Landlord's acceptance of the Tenant's surrender of the Tenancy:

5.1 The Tenant releases the Landlord from the Landlord's Obligations; and

5.2 The Landlord releases the Tenant from the Tenant's Obligations

For the avoidance of doubt no relationship of solicitor and client is intended to arise out of this communication. Advice is given in good faith but for full and accurate advice, backed by full indemnity insurance you should consult a qualified solicitor.

Lawcruncher
16-10-2011, 07:26 AM
A surrender is a done deal. You need to say the consideration has been paid and that the landlord accepts the surrender.

Insert at the beginning of clause 4: In consideration of the sum of nine hundred pounds paid by the tenant to the landlord (the receipt of which the landlord acknowledges)

westminster
16-10-2011, 10:07 AM
Also do I need to state that it is 2 months rent
It's not rent. It's money the T is giving you in exchange for you agreeing to the early surrender.

westminster
16-10-2011, 10:08 AM
... if the tenant doesn't pay then their surrender isn't accepted and they'll still be liable for rent.
If the T doesn't pay (and move out) then OP doesn't sign the Deed of surrender.

bhaal
16-10-2011, 14:31 PM
I agree that it is better for the OP if he goes with lawcruncher's wording - it allows you to show that the tenancy is surrendered using just the Deed and without needing anything else such as evidence of payment of the £900. There's also no need to add anything extra to the beginning of clause 5.

kangoo1
16-10-2011, 15:15 PM
Many thanks for sharing your expertise and guidance with me. I will be making a donation to Cancer Research.

kangoo1
16-10-2011, 15:42 PM
Many thanks for your valued advice. I will be making a donation to Cancer Research UK.
I think that I need to change the order of landlord and tenant in section 1 of the deed as they appear to change order in section 2. I cannot PM Lawcruncher because I only have 8 posts and I need 15.

Lawcruncher
16-10-2011, 16:33 PM
I will be making a donation to Cancer Research UK.

Thank you.


I think that I need to change the order of landlord and tenant in section 1 of the deed as they appear to change order in section 2.

No need to.

kangoo1
17-10-2011, 19:48 PM
Sorry to be such a pain but I am unclear about the following.
Would it be advisable for me to give my tenant a copy of the surrender deed for him to read prior to the moving out day and is it usual for both parties to have the deed signed and witnessed prior to the exchange meeting.
Should the date on the deed be the actual date of exchange?
Am I correct in thinking that I do not have to sign the copy of the deed that I receive from my Tenant? So each copy has just one witnessed signature.

westminster
18-10-2011, 16:14 PM
Sorry to be such a pain but I am unclear about the following.
Would it be advisable for me to give my tenant a copy of the surrender deed for him to read prior to the moving out day and is it usual for both parties to have the deed signed and witnessed prior to the exchange meeting.
Should the date on the deed be the actual date of exchange?
Am I correct in thinking that I do not have to sign the copy of the deed that I receive from my Tenant? So each copy has just one witnessed signature.

I was hoping lawcruncher would reply, but as he hasn't, I'll tell you how I think things ought to proceed:

1. Yes, the T should be given a draft of the Deed to read prior to moving out.
2. Assuming he's satisfied with the terms, T then pays you the money agreed and T moves out and give you the keys back.
3. Immediately after this has happened, you and T and a witness convene at a location which is not inside the rental property to execute the counterpart Deeds.
4. You and T each sign a copy of the Deed observed by the witness, and the witness signs both copies as witness.
5. The Deeds are dated (top line) on the date that you all sign.
6. You keep the copy signed by the T and the T keeps the copy signed by you.

kangoo1
18-10-2011, 21:42 PM
Many thanks Westminster for your guidance.

jjlandlord
18-10-2011, 21:55 PM
6. You keep the copy signed by the T and the T keeps the copy signed by you.

Both copies should be identical, so I'd just say "each of you keep a copy".
Apart from that the list matches my understanding of Lawcruncher's guidance as well.

bhaal
19-10-2011, 00:50 AM
I was hoping lawcruncher would reply, but as he hasn't, I'll tell you how I think things ought to proceed:

1. Yes, the T should be given a draft of the Deed to read prior to moving out.
2. Assuming he's satisfied with the terms, T then pays you the money agreed and T moves out and give you the keys back.
3. Immediately after this has happened, you and T and a witness convene at a location which is not inside the rental property to execute the counterpart Deeds.
4. You and T each sign a copy of the Deed observed by the witness, and the witness signs both copies as witness.
5. The Deeds are dated (top line) on the date that you all sign.
6. You keep the copy signed by the T and the T keeps the copy signed by you.

I would disagree slightly - both parties should sign two copies of the document and the witness should witness each. Both parties then take one copy of the document. The end result should be that either the landlord or tenant can prove that the document has been fully signed without needing the copy the other party has.

kangoo1
19-10-2011, 09:13 AM
I would disagree slightly - both parties should sign two copies of the document and the witness should witness each. Both parties then take one copy of the document. The end result should be that either the landlord or tenant can prove that the document has been fully signed without needing the copy the other party has.
Can T and (Joint)LL's have the copies signed and witnessed in advance and exchange one copy when house has been surrendered? House will be empty on Sunday and we are having the meeting on Monday.

westminster
19-10-2011, 11:40 AM
I was extrapolating from what lawcruncher says in his notes in the template Deed; he talks of one copy signed by T, and the other by LL.



6 Deed

This instrument is executed by the parties as their deed

[To be printed in duplicate one copy to have at the end:]

Signed as a deed by the Tenant
in the presence of

[and the other:]

Signed as a deed by the Landlord
in the presence of

[Each party should sign opposite the "signed as a deed" wording in the presence of an independent witness who should sign and write his or her name and address underneath the "signed as a deed" wording]

bhaal
19-10-2011, 20:57 PM
As far as i know you can't have a valid deed unless both parties sign one copy (Mercury tax case - will find exact cite if you want). Lawcruncher can you clarify

kangoo1
19-10-2011, 21:26 PM
Thank you Bhaal.
Tomorrow I will give T a copy of the unsigned and undated deed to consider for a couple of days. After the checkout, if the conditions are all met,I will date his copy with the same date and ask another adult to witness the signatures.

Lawcruncher
30-10-2011, 16:56 PM
Sorry to arrive late to the party, but I have been away.

A surrender can be executed as "part" and "counterpart", that is the landlord signing one copy to be retained by the tenant and the tenant the other to be retained by the landlord. Each party has what he needs: the landlord a deed signed by the tenant effecting the surrender and the tenant a deed signed by the landlord confirming he accepts the surrender.