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Oct, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Tenant moved out before lease ended - do I have to repay rent?

    Hi folks

    This is a great forum, I hope someone can help me!

    I let my apartment to a tenant in September. He was a foreign student and paid 6 months rent upfront but then had an accident and had to return home unexpectedly after only living there for 2 months.

    I asked the agent to re-market the property and a new tenant moved in 3 months after the original contract began.

    The managing agent have just invoiced me for the three months rent where the new tenant had moved in, but I don't know if I'm liable or not.

    The contract we signed says "The Tenant may bring the tenancy to an end at any time (but not within six months of the original commencement date) by giving the Landlord at least two months notice in writing from the rent due date". The same condition applies to the Landlord. There is no break clause in the contract, the exception being an early termination fee to be paid to the agent.

    The agent is telling me that it's illegal for me to hold on to two lots of rent for the same period - but I can't find anything anywhere that confirms this - can anyone give tell me if there are regulations on this over and above my contract?

    Thanks!!

    L

  2. #2

    Default

    I've always been told you can't accept two sets of rent for the same period. However you can charge for the void and any additional costs you incurred such as advertising, fees, cleaning, etc.

  3. #3

    Default

    Really? I'm living in Australia at the moment and that's definitely not the case here... If you terminate early and you sublet/find a new tenant you can agree with the landlord that you're not liable but you have to negotiate and the landlord is under no obligation to accept (although most would).

    Does this mean it's different in the UK?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Andalucía
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    Default

    There are two possibilities here.

    The first is that the agreement provided for six months' rent to be paid at the start of the tenancy. If it did, then no rent is refundable because the rent paid applies not just to the whole period, but to any part of the period. (This does not apply if the agreement provides to the contrary.)

    The second is that the agreement provided for rent to be paid monthly (or whatever) but that a sum equal to six months' rent was paid at the start. Where rent is paid before it is due it is not rent but money to be held and applied as rent when it becomes due. That means that the amount received starts as "non-rent" and month by month (or as the case may be) a sum equal to one month's rent is applied as rent on rent day. If the tenancy ends early, then any money not applied as rent is refundable. You do though apply the rule set out in the previous paragraph and keep the last whole month's rent even if the tenancy came to an end half way through the month. So, if the tenancy started on 1st January and ended on 15th April, you keep the rent for January, February, March and April, but refund it for May and June.

  5. #5

    Default

    Hey - thanks for that.

    The contract says "The rent shall be £4770.00 per six calendar months, payable in advance" so I guess that means the first option applies?

    L

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central south coast
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    2,760

    Default

    I thought same as Jane. You can't accept 2 lots of rent on same property concurrently.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Andalucía
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ldeville View Post
    The contract says "The rent shall be £4770.00 per six calendar months, payable in advance" so I guess that means the first option applies?
    It does.

    Anyway, there is no need to worry about it until the tenant asks for his money back.

  8. #8

    Default

    Yes, that's a good point. The agent is asking for it at the moment but I'm not sure if that's because the tenant is or not...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Andalucía
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interlaken View Post
    You can't accept 2 lots of rent on same property concurrently.
    The position is this:

    If you grant a tenancy to A and then grant a tenancy to B in circumstances such that the grant of the new tenancy indicates either forfeiture or surrender of A's tenancy, then you are not entitled to any rent from A which would, but for the forfeiture or surrender, be due after the date of forfeiture or surrender. You can however retain any rent received before the forfeiture or surrender even if it relates in part to a period after that date.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Andalucía
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ldeville View Post
    Yes, that's a good point. The agent is asking for it at the moment but I'm not sure if that's because the tenant is or not...
    The agent is your agent not the tenant's. He cannot be personally liable to repay it - so tell him he has no need to worry!

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