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  • Buy-to-Let

    Tenant wants to leave early

    Hi. Looking for a bit of advice. My tenant wants to leave a flat I rent out well before the end of the 12 month AST. He has offered to pay for the reletting fees and deposit registration fees. I have an issue with other costs such as inventories but wondered if anyone can think of anything else I should be arguing for to protect myself.

    My worry is that he could move out promising to pay the rent until I get a suitable replacement tenant and then not pay after leaving. The agent has offered to mediate and wants to let another flat to him but will no doubt disappear if the tenant stops paying and leaves me to sue to recover any rent owed. Is that worse than just having a tenant stop paying rent. Anything else I have missed?

    Thanks in advance

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    Council tax & utility standing charges while it's between lettings - if it's a long period empty property insurance.

    It's better to have possession of the property and be chasing non-payment - than to be both chasing non payment and getting possession.

    On the broader point - when should the T surrender the tenancy & possession ?

    Because if you accept surrender of the tenancy on the day they move out,  will T try to claim they are no longer liable for rent from that date, instead of when replacement T found or end of fixed term whichever happens first...?

    (but the plus side of that is you definitely have possession before advertising to get new T)

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    DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.


    Tenants sometimes have good reasons to leave early, have you asked why before trying to load the tenant up with other charges.

    If you try and put too many charges on the tenant , then the tenant just turns round and does not pay you rent and says take a hike.

    You are then left with eviction hassle costs etc.

    Put yourself in the tenants position and do a reasonable deal. Remember tenants can play the game for months and you are out of pocket with all the hassle.

    That's the cost of renting so take in on the chin and move on.

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    You need to be sure you have a written deed of surrender covering these points. I would add that it should include a clear commitment to leave the property on a set date removing all possessions and rubbish and returning all keys.

    You can add in your other costs but it is very hard to ensure payment other than by court action.

    You can hold back the deposit until you relet but that is probably not all your cost.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    They can leave any time they like - this evening at 20:37 if they wish.  But owe rent to end fixed term.  Negotiate a surrender, you hold the cards!

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    Thanks all. Great advice from the forum as usual.

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