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Tenant wants to leave AST early

(17 Posts)
queencupcake Mon 09-Jan-17 14:44:03

I've just received a voicemail from my tenant giving me 2 weeks notice. (Next months rent is due in 2 weeks)

She is 3 months into her 12month AST agreement.

She originally was renting with her fiancé (paid EA to find the tenant) her and her fiancé split up and she wanted to remain in the house so I did a new tenancy 3 months ago for 12months as per her request, I then filed her deposit (again)

I get a feeling she doesn't understand that's she's signed up to 12 months. There is no break clause in the contract.

Can anyone advise what to do?

sparechange Mon 09-Jan-17 15:19:19

January is the busiest time for lettings, so probably the easiest time for you to get a new tenant.

It would be reasonable to say you'll let her out early subject to you finding a new tenant, but if she can't afford to stay, it is going to be far, far easier for you to let her go than for you to have to start a legal process to evict her after months of missed rent.

You need to phone her back to talk about it, either way. If she can't afford to pay anything in 2 weeks, then you are better having the place back and empty, but if it is possible, I would try and get her to give you 1 month's notice, to allow more time to get viewings lined up

CotswoldStrife Mon 09-Jan-17 15:21:51

Meh. If she can't afford it, it is probably better to let her go but not at only two weeks notice. Check the tenancy agreement but I suspect that she can be held liable for the rent until the place is rented out again - if you remind her of this, then she may be in less of a rush (as well as the fact that she just agreed to stay for a year!).

specialsubject Mon 09-Jan-17 15:55:39

Do a deal to help each other. You will let her out of the LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT early if she helps you find a replacement by allowing and aiding viewings with a tidy and clean place.

and make sure you get signed documents - I think it is called a deed of surrender but check with a grown-up. You need to terminate the tenancy properly to stop her coming back.

but first, try explaining what she signed up for and what is going on.

as noted, if she decides she can't afford it and stops paying, it will cost you up to 2 grand to evict her and all the lost rent. So it is also in your interest to get rid.

queencupcake Mon 09-Jan-17 17:54:29

I've spoken to her and she really can't grasp the fact she's signed 12 month contract.
She said she can give 30 days notice if that's the correct procedure.

I think she thinks she can just give 30 days and may be getting confused with a rolling contract.

Money isn't a issue, she's moving closer to work (it's only 5mins away) and the rent is more.

She's been a good tenant so I can't grumble to much and of course will let her go.

I am considering selling soon anyway so I am going to use the opportunity to get some agents round and get some valuations then get it back on the market to rent for a bit longer while I consider my options.

Needmoresleep Mon 09-Jan-17 17:58:58

I understand that whatever the contract says it can be quite hard to impose more than 30 days notice.

It all sounds very complicated. I would negotiate 30 days plus a promise from her to keep the place looking good for viewings, and let her leave on good terms. So much easier than it getting nasty or her doing a flit.

RubyPumps Mon 09-Jan-17 18:02:47

Did you pay EA the finders fee as a one off or is it integrated with a monthly management charge?

queencupcake Mon 09-Jan-17 18:11:37

I paid the EA as a one off fee.

I refuse to use them as a management company as I have before and they were beyond useless.

So bad you would not believe and charging £100 a month for the privilege.

But as agents finding tenants they were superb.

specialsubject Mon 09-Jan-17 19:43:21

Nobody is that thick, she is either pissing you about or has been speaking to shelter.

Get rid, but get everything in writing.

wowfudge Tue 10-Jan-17 07:29:06

Check your paperwork OP. Have you got everything with the new contract right? She's trying it on.

queencupcake Tue 10-Jan-17 11:39:03

After quite a sleepless night about this I have read over the contract again. There is no break clause.

If it was a case of not being able to afford the rent I would be happy for notice to be given but I've been thinking (overthinking) and the reason I sign up for a 12 month contract is as the finders fee is so high I don't want to go through it every 6 months.
Plus the agent charges the tenants £400 + vat each time.

I spoke to her and explained my predicament that she did sign a 12 month contract, no break clause just 3 months ago. She said she was adamant the agents said regardless of how long the AST is she is only required to serve 30 days notice. She said originally she thought it was 14 but she re read her initial email from the letting agent and it states 30. I asked for a copy.

The letter includes the contract for her to sign and a right to rent guide has a copy of gas safely and EPC and states deposit amount and will be filed within 30 days ect
It says:

The rent is £xxx per month
The rent is due on X date per month
The deposit is £xxxx and will be filed with the TDS.
The Tenancy agreement is a 12 month AST (30 day notice period to leave the property)

So it looks like the agents have told her this. I am going to call after lunch and try and get to the bottom of this.

LIZS Tue 10-Jan-17 11:44:50

The wording is ambiguous but the contract itself should clarify that it is 30 days to expiry of 12 month term. How easy is it likely to relet, can you afford a void period while you market it?

queencupcake Tue 10-Jan-17 11:52:59

I struggled a bit to re let it last time. It was on the market 3 months my previous tenants gave me 4 months notice.

I market it at under market value, it's a great location BUT it needs a bit of modernization don't get me wrong it's fine but really could do with a new kitchen so the price reflects that.

specialsubject Tue 10-Jan-17 12:10:37

in this case all that matters is what the document she signed says. So that's what you need to see.

what she thought she signed is utterly irrelevant.

I'd dump those agents too, although if you are in London/SE they are all shysters anyway.

queencupcake Tue 10-Jan-17 13:17:50

No I'm in the SW. I've been waiting to tell the agent to do one as they are a shambles. I'm going with a family run agency to debt with my house sale as they were fantastic.

GU24Mum Tue 10-Jan-17 22:52:06

Are the letting agents ARLA registered? If so, I'd complain to them about what the tenant was told which does sound misleading. Agree with the others that there is no point trying to hold the tenant to it - she's in your house which is far more valuable to you than a few extra weeks' rent. Agree it's a real pain though.

queencupcake Thu 12-Jan-17 21:10:58

GU24 I've checked there website and all the paperwork I have off them and I can't see ALRA on it.

I've spoken to her today and also the letting agents and I understand she should know the contract she's signed upto but it's in black and white 30 days notice on the letting agents email so I actually can't blame her.

So I've laid the blame at the agents door they agree that the person who sent the email should not of included that into the email template. That member of staff is no longer working there suprise suprise.

They are going to give me a call tomorrow once they have discussed it with head office.

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