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Tenants want to use deposit as last six weeks rent

(26 Posts)
newbiefrugalgal Thu 20-Jun-13 07:39:32

Hi, tenants have just given notice and said they will not pay last six weeks rent and we can keep the deposit.

Anything I can do?
We've had no problems in the past and last inspection all was ok with property.

primallass Thu 20-Jun-13 07:48:52

I would try and inspect again now. They can't do this legally however.

INeedALieIn Thu 20-Jun-13 07:52:36

If all is ok, let it go. But get them to sign a letter agreeing that their deposit is signed over to you immediately so that you can release it from dps or similar.

tallulah Thu 20-Jun-13 08:04:28

They can't do this shock. Go back to them and say no!

megandraper Thu 20-Jun-13 08:07:00

Do you have a contract? If it was done by an agency, it will almost certainly explicitly say that the deposit cannot be used as rent. Was the deposit lodged with a third party (again, if you went through the agent that will certainly be the case). If so, it can't just be released to you early - it is held until the end of the tenancy. I would say absolutely not, it's not acceptable.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Thu 20-Jun-13 08:09:20

Even If you inspect now, what's to say they won't have a massive party (or even just a massive messy spill accident) just before they leave? Then you'll have no deposit to use for those repairs and you'll have a hell of a job getting the money out of them no doubt.

I wouldn't.

tribpot Thu 20-Jun-13 08:12:59

I would definitely not be happy with this - particularly their assumption they could just tell you and that'd be that.

Presumably the problem is they've got to raise the funds for the deposit on their next place before the deposit on the old place is released. However, that isn't your problem and I think you would be unwise to make it your problem.

LittleFrieda Thu 20-Jun-13 08:14:40

Tenants' deposits are held in one of three deposit protection schemes, not with the landlord, so cannot be used in lieu of rent.

Aetae Thu 20-Jun-13 08:17:12

Nope. The deposit protects you in case of damage. It's not rent and you shouldn't let them do it. In any case, if you're in England or Wales and it's a proper short hold tenancy agreement the deposit must be held in a tenancy deposit scheme so you can't use it for rent?

I'm a tenant and I would never ask for this...

Poshpopcorn Thu 20-Jun-13 08:17:15

agree with LittleFrieda I wouldn't agree to it..

LIZS Thu 20-Jun-13 08:17:30

How much notice do they have to give ? 6 weeks is odd. normally it is 1 if not 2 months effective from a payment date so you should only be 4 weeks short. But technically no they should not do this , it is against the contract and deposit scheme terms and could give you a serious cashflow issue. What other closing bills might they not be in a position to pay ?

spillows Thu 20-Jun-13 08:20:57

I have to say, when sharing flats we started doing this after losing a hard-earned deposit - we would politely ask the agency or whoever if that was ok and in our case it always was. That was before the deposit scheme came in, I suppose that would have given us more security. I have since become a LL myself and have always allowed my tenants to take last month's rent as deposit as I know this is a huge help when you need to put money down on the next place. It would depend on the goodwill between you, though.

INeedALieIn Thu 20-Jun-13 08:23:28

Yes, in the terms if their agreement they can't do this. But in reality ut happens all too often and there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you take them to court to rectify it, by the time you have your hearing they will be long gone.

If they have behaved well and the property is looked after just suck it up.

A letter including forward address contact detsils, signed by the tenant advising they agree for the deposit to be released to be released to the landlord in full has always worked for me as suffucient evidence.

doubleshotespresso Thu 20-Jun-13 08:36:55

Exactly what spillows said.... Again before the Deposit Protection scheme came into play, but I have done the same due to landlords previously not returning deposit.....

If they have not given you any problems so far, then perhaps it is more a cash flow thing for them? Have you spoken to them?

newbiefrugalgal Thu 20-Jun-13 20:25:14

Yes I've spoken with them and I haven't agreed to it at all.
I am just being told this is what they are doing.
Notice period is 4 weeks, I need to check last rental payment which I can't do at the moment sad as I'm going to assume that it was only two weeks as it is normally 4 weeks but the six weeks notice with the departure date they gave me is from today.

Having a quick look, it seems like I have to agree anything I try to do to pursue won't be resolved within the six weeks.

Sunnyshores Thu 20-Jun-13 22:04:48

What I find annoying is the tenants insistence that this is whats going to happen. No asking, no apology.

We served a pain in the neck tenant S21 she refused to leave and begged for another chance - we gave in and signed another 6 month contract. Today (a month later) she phones up and informs me she's leaving on Monday!! Not a clue...

May09Bump Thu 20-Jun-13 22:53:15

If they are moving to another rental in the future, threaten to not give them a reference if they don't pay the rent. The deposit is your guarantee that the house will be left in a good condition.

I don't know why people don't stick to the contracts - both tenants and landlords.

Maybe worth checking if they need a deposit for the next place, sometimes you have 30 days to return the deposit. This can be a major pain in the arse if the tenants need to put another deposit down on a new house cash flow wise. Maybe as a gesture of goodwill (if that's the case and you can access the money) say if they pay the rent you will release the deposit asap after the house has been inspected / vacated.

specialsubject Fri 21-Jun-13 19:57:08

if the deposit is protected (as it should be) then they can whistle. Get in touch with your deposit protection scheme for their advice and raise a 'case'.

this is NOT what a deposit is for. If they leave the place in a suitable state they get their deposit back afterwards.

BTW six weeks rent as deposit is fairly usual.

AdiosMuffinTop Fri 21-Jun-13 20:17:06

I put this to my landlord as I feared that they would try to screw me. I had NO intention of trying to do them out of money but they had been spectacularly intransigent over the garden,making me pay 100s for a gardener. I didn't trust them to be decent, fair and honest which is why I suggested it.

the agent ASSURED me that he wouldn't let this happen. So (maybe foolishly) I agreed. I had all the keys of the internal doors and I kept them until I'd got my deposit back. The agent hadn't even realised I had locked a few internal doors after his inspection until I dropped the keys back in to him.

I will be flamed by people who own several properties but I had not got a pot to piss In and I protected myself.

TooMuchRain Fri 21-Jun-13 20:45:56

It depends on the trust between you I think, I have once done this (I asked and the LL agreed) and once got my depoisit back before moving so I could use it for the deposit on the next one. But I am a good tenant and the owners of the last place still come over to say hi and ask if I want to move back. My current LL on the other hand is a dishonest bastard and I won't be asking him for anything.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Fri 21-Jun-13 20:47:45

Yes, you need to give them a verbal bashing on this. Assume that the deposit is in the protection scheme?

Also agree that threaten you will include this in any future request for a reference.

Sunnyshores Mon 24-Jun-13 18:13:06

A Landlord cant 'screw' a tenant and keep money out of the deposit - if it is legally protected. If it isnt then the landlord deserves what he gets.

But for honest landlords, tenants thinking that landlords are making money out of them, is just isnt true. This law was brought in entirely for tenants benefit and its yet another way a landlord loses money and time. Yet still tenants want to buck the rules.

specialsubject Mon 24-Jun-13 18:49:42

...and tenants who don't protect themselves by checking that landlords keep to the law are also asking for trouble.

it keeps coming up - tenants who don't know about deposit protection and don't know about gas certificates. Plays into the hands of the dodgy landlords. If no-one rents from these people then they will wither away.

RenterNomad Mon 24-Jun-13 19:32:58

No. Tenants could dispute your deductions and that would mean they'd not pay anything for their last rent!

From a tenant's perspective: who the hell would want to pay 6 weeks' rent when they could pay the month's rent actually due! confused I understand that they may be struggling to raise their next deposit, but it's a very false economy... or the only way they can raise cash in time. <hand to mouth emoticon> sad

NotDead Mon 24-Jun-13 19:42:22

sorry I have to say that after several landlords shafted me over deposits including a firm of solicitors who wrote a fraudulent document to do so I always try and be in the driving position over deposits and not paying the last month was a very successful way of being able to control a negotiation which otherwise you are massively disadvantaged in.

I would just talk to them about it. inspect show goodwill and raise anything you think you have a genuine and reasonable point on with them as you do it and don't act like a ripoff merchant. be aware that their paranoia may well come from a highly sensible place.

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