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Tenancy Agreement

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almcd007 | 23:56 Fri 06th Jul 2007 | Civil
8 Answers
A friend of mine who rents a house signed a 6 month tenancy Agreement in Feb 07. He left the property 4 months into the agreement after buying a house. He did not give the landlord the required notice and the landlord insisted he pay the two rental payments that were due, June & Julys.

The Landlord, in July, found other tenants who have moved into the property. I say he still owes the two payments. He is also late with June's payment and debates July's- He says he doesnt owe Julys as someone had moved into the house. His view is - Why shoud he pay if the landlord had another tenant ?

The landlord refuses to give him his Bond back if they don't pay July's last payment.

Today he has told me he has told the landlord that he refuses to pay June's payment (even though he was in the house for part of June) as he says they shouldn't owe July's as someone was in the house.

Who is right ? In particular to the landlord insisting they still pay what they have signed and agreed to pay for - 6 months What about the tenants can the landlord still insist on rent if he has new tenants.What part of tenancy law is the landlord trying to rely upon in this circumstance ?

I'm trying to get my mate to pay his dues and obligations and leave with a clean slate. The landlord has mentioned going to the small claims court to chase the money - I'm sure he will get Junes - but July's ? With someone being in the property ? I'm not sure what will happen.

Any reply would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

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Question Author
Hi The Prophet

The landlord DID take a deposit and insists that if the July payment is not made then he will deduct it from the bond/deposit taken.

My mate says if this is the case then the landlord can whistle for his June payment too - I'm totally against it.

Do you know what part of tenancy law says it's OK for the landlord to chase the remainding July payment - even though someone is in the house -obviously he owes the June payment regardless but he thinks he can get out of it if he can prove someone was in the property in July.
The fact that someone else is in the house is irrelevant. Your friend signed for 6 months and did not give the required notice, therefore he is liable for the full payment of the remaining agreement. I believe the Landlord is within his rights to with-hold his deposit against the rent your friend owes.
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Question Author
Yes I agree - very silly - I think he's coming around now to my way of thinking.

Thanks for your answers.
Question Author
However I have just read this posted by a Landlord & Tenancy Lawyer and I'm confused :

"You cannot claim rent from the previous tenants for any period of time when new tenants are in occupation and paying rent. This is because you are not entitled to claim rent twice - from the old tenants and from the new. By signing up new tenants, this effectively ends any agreement you had with the old tenants and their obligation to pay rent for that period of time ends"

Anyone know anything to the contrary ?
I can't be sure about this, but if you think about it from the point of view of the tenant he signed an agreement which gave him exclusive occupation of the property for 6 months. Fair enough, he moved out and didn't tell the landlord when he should have done BUT the landlord then breached the agreement by moving someone else in and taking rent from them before the 6 months was up. Consequently, the property would not have been available for the tenant to occupy. Why should he be expected to pay rent for that period - after all he might have decided he wanted to move back in & wouldn't have been able to.

I think the landlord is either unclear himself, or is trying it on.

Of course, your friend must pay for the period up to the date the new tenants moved in. The best solution would be for him to work out on this basis how much he owes over and above the amount of the deposit and send that amount to the landlord with a clear written statement of how he has calculated the amount (& saying why - i.e. the reasons given above) and asking for the deposit to be used to cover the rest. Keep a copy in case the landlord does take further action.
Question Author
Thank you for your answer.

I think we've finally clarified the position.

Although the tenant left the property - there was no way he was going to move back into it, he's moved to his own house with his family, gave a verbal "We're out from Tuesday" type notice. The landlord was left high and dry and without anyone to move in and no guarantee that the two final payments would be met. However since the new tenants moved in - I think the landlord has agreed after seeking further legal advice, that he can't legally demand that rent now for the July payment. However the tenant stupidly withheld Junes payment out of bloody mindedness and obviously all sides were standing their ground. The landlord was well within his rights to move someone in before the end of the term with the previous tenant as he was unsure he would get any money once the tenant had moved out - no-one can blame him for doing that - it's a business after all. I think it all blew up when the tenant said he wasn't going to pay June's payment that's when it all went "Pete Tong".

I now believe the landlord is taking June's rental payment out of the Bond paid initially and that will be an end to it all.

Many Thanks for all your replies

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