View Full Version : Tenant posted keys back and left
05-12-2011, 18:40 PM
first post so please be gentle .
Young couple both signed AST for 12months at end of July .Received parcel yesterday containing property keys plus letter saying due to being laid off at work moving away and back to in-laws ,rent was paid till end of November. AST doesnt finish till end of June 2012.Bathroom left mouldy mess ( it was all brand new) They have now applied to DPS for deposit back (yep cheek beyond belief).I have registered dispute on DPS site. As they are contracted to pay rent till next June will dps scheme allow me to keep deposit towards there unpaid rent?Any advise very welcom.
05-12-2011, 19:02 PM
Imo, they have pretty clearly offered to surrender the tenancy. But as the fixed term runs until next June, the tenancy continues until then unless you accept their surrender (at which point their liability would end).
From what you describe you'd be probably better off to end the tenancy and relet as soon as possible.
Based on that:
1. I would tell the DPS that the tenancy has not ended so that T has no ground to request repayment of deposit.
2. I would contact T and tell them that I could be agreeable to the surrender provided that, fopr example, deposit is forfeited and two months worth of rent is paid.
In the meantime act as if T was still at the property.
05-12-2011, 19:12 PM
This is just a warning....
You have entered the property without the tenants express permission. As per jjlandlords last line, you have to act as if the tenancy was continuing and I would hope that you wouldn't just wander in and out at will if the tenancy was on-going?
I don't think a single visit that potentially no one even knows about will cause any problems, but be careful.
There is an exception to this rule, if you are entering the property to do something with the intention of reducing the tenants liability (ie attempting to get the place let). So booking some cleaners to come and do a days work - fine. Doing viewings with prospective tenants - fine. Having a new years eve party - not fine.
05-12-2011, 19:29 PM
Thankyou for those replies .I have entered the property and after taking pics of the steadily rotting bathroom began clearing the mess. Rest of property was just about okay.I would be prepared to accept deposit and call it a day as by the volume of brown envolopes for the tenant I am not going to be alone in chasing for money ,I am counting myself lucky that they left ,they posted me an undated letter telling me they have left and they posted all the keys back.No mention of forwarding address . If I issue unpaid rent notice its just going to end up on doormat of empty property but my question really is if I dispute returning deposit due to ending AST 8 months early will that suffice or would DPS not agree with that outcome -any thoughts
05-12-2011, 19:37 PM
I dispute returning deposit due to ending AST 8 months early will that suffice or would DPS not agree with that outcome -any thoughts
Ending the tenancy 8 months early does not entitle you to retain the deposit: Indeed if you accept that the tenancy has ended without agreement so as to the deposit you are only entitled to propose deductions according to any damage caused to the property.
If they are still in the fixed term you are under no obligation to mitigate the debt, however if you accept the surrender it can be with your terms, such as that they continue to pay until you manage to re-let the place, as soon as the new tenant moves in then they owe you nothing further.
05-12-2011, 19:41 PM
DPS should agree without any problem. Fingers Xed.
If this exceeds the value of the deposit I would claim for rent in lieu of notice - that's a minimum of a month ending on the last day of a tenancy month. So if the tenancy started 1/7/11 and you recieved the keys on 4/12/11 then you would claim rent until 31/1/12 (not until 31/12/11 because that's less than a month).
You could pursue for rent until you relet or the end of the contract, but in view of your comments, the stance of 'rent in lieu of notice' should cover you.
05-12-2011, 21:12 PM
I have tried to contact T but not answering/ignoring call, also sent email asking them to contact me ,so far after five days no contact.Im a very reasonable person and would happily talk but with no fowarding address and not responding to calls its very difficult to accept surrender or move forward in anyway ,so far Iv responded to DPS email telling me T has requested deposit back which i have to admit surprised after the manner in which they left.I will keep you posted as things progress or not as the case may be.
Thankyou agin for your most useful responses.
06-12-2011, 20:35 PM
Still have no contact from T other than 2nd request for deposit back on DPS, I have declined but DPS site kind of assumes the T is communicating with L ,he is not so presumably when his 2nd deposit repayment request is declined T will at some point have to contact me to discuss. Have sent numerous emails/texts all with no response from T.Oh well will just sit on it anmd see if T ever gets in touch.Very odd behaviour I feel but nothing surprises me in this game.
06-12-2011, 20:42 PM
Still have no contact from T
Maybe you should send your tenant a text and an email, saying that unless you hear from them within the next 5 days that you will have no option but to begin legal proceedings to recover the remainder of the unpaid rent until the end of the tenancy in June. The amount of rent owing will be £XXXX and all legal costs associated. Maybe that will flush them out.
Did you obtain next of kin details at the start of the tenancy?
07-12-2011, 00:32 AM
Has OP contacted DPS to put deposit 'in dispute'?
If not T will soon try to claim it under single claim mech.
07-12-2011, 08:30 AM
always a dilemma in these situations but it is clear that the tenants have no further use for the property and are not in occupation so once you have taken photos you may as well get your contractor on site as quickly as possibly to carry out remedial work (which will be the measure of your damages claim) and re-market accordingly.
07-12-2011, 10:11 AM
You do not need the tenants express permission to enter the property, so don't worry about that.
Always make sure you have a term in your tenancy agreements that allows you to recover unpaid rent before any deposit is returned.
That way, you simply point the DPS to that clause, and have the deposit returned to you as landlord.
07-12-2011, 14:24 PM
You do not need the tenants express permission to enter the property, so don't worry about that.Please read the sticky about a landlords right of access. The OP must act as if the tenancy is continuing - if he doesn't (with the exceptions outlined in the Artworld case) then his actions will lead to a surrender by operation of law.
no option but to begin legal proceedings to recover the remainder of the unpaid rent until the end of the tenancy in June. The amount of rent owing will be £XXXX and all legal costs associated.OP can only sue for rent unpaid at that time - Right now, next Junes rent is not owing.
I think this is because the landlord could win such a case and then re-let before the end of the contract resulting in the tenancy being ended before the tenant had paid up 'til.
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