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Very short Notice served by tenant on a rolling contract - legal? acceptable?

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Author Topic: Very short Notice served by tenant on a rolling contract - legal? acceptable?  (Read 155 times)
Newbie
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« on: October 30, 2020, 11:06:45 AM »

Tenants I have had for 2 years, now on a rolling monthly contract have notified me yesterday they want to leave on the 16th November.  Obviously they are hoping not to pay rent for the last month notice but only for the 17 days they are giving me.

Background : they have paid every month at any date they fancied, never on time (although they paid), the kids have broken more fitted furniture I care to count, new mould apppearing, garden never kept, holes in the walls, massive holes in the wooden floors from general carelessness and that is only what I have seen so far.

As much as I am happy to see the back of them, I do not know where I stand legally.  Obviously, the notice is written in the contract but if I regain possession of the house (would use a clerk) on their very short notice, have they ground to dispute the rent due? 

Have I ground to request that rent and tell them they are free to move out beforehand?

The money I have for the deposit will be used to an extent to put things right.  I know I cannot use it for rent but can they tell me to use that (and therefore I will be out of pocket for the repairs).

These are my second tenants and I must have been so lucky with the first ones! 

I would be grateful for any guidance.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 11:13:56 AM by natjojo »
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 12:48:53 PM »

They still owe you the rent for the remaining days,regardless of when they wish to move out.Normally,tenants accept this,or ask if it can be deducted from the deposit.In your case the deposit won't cover your expenses.Sorry to say,you will probabaly end up out of pocket.It is not worth pursuing them through the small claims process.Of course you can ask them to pay what they owe,but it sounds unlikely that they will cough up.On the plus side,good riddance,you have your house back.
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2020, 02:14:41 PM »

If they paid a deposit, you could make a claim for the balance of the rent owed from that. Assuming there is anything spare after covering the broken furniture that is.
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2020, 05:05:47 PM »

Whether something is legal, or not, in tenancy law land I find more and more of a grey (and useless) area... I find that tenancy agreements are basically a vehicle for outlining what each party expects of the other (and what is expected of them)... then everyone crosses their fingers and hopes people play nicely. Whether something is acceptable is entirely another matter... sending you notice on 29th October for departure on 16th November would not work in any Landlord's world... but you might just think it's better to get them out ASAP... and take the hit.

Pragmatism.
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 07:48:32 PM »

Absent any explicit clause within the tenancy agreement stating otherwise, service of notice by a tenant to bring the tenancy at an end part way through a period of the tenancy does not cause the liability for rent in the mean time to differ, or to entitle them to a pro-rata repayment of any prepaid rent.

If the tenant give a short notice, and you accept it, you are bound by that acceptance, and the tenancy will end on notice expiry. You are not obliged to accept the short notice, in which case tenancy will continue (and you may end up with a non-paying tenant but that's another matter).

Once the tenancy ends, through surrender, or expiry of a valid notice or an accepted otherwise invalid notice, no new rent payment liability will arise. Any rent owed up to that point is still owed.

I would advise seriously consideration of the last part of HIPPOGRIFF's post though. Sometimes, it may be better not to insist on your absolute legal right.
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2020, 10:46:21 PM »

My understanding is they have to give you a months notice and pay it. I have in my contracts they must give a minimum of a months notice from the 1st day of the month and pay that months rent. They can move out before the month is up if they wish and I have refunded the pro rata days when I've let a property before the months notice is up and the tenants have gone. But they must pay that months rent first.
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2020, 12:50:06 PM »

I have in my contracts they must give a minimum of a months notice from the 1st day of the month and pay that months rent. They can move out before the month is up if they wish and I have refunded the pro rata days when I've let a property before the months notice is up and the tenants have gone. But they must pay that months rent first.

Your contracts may state this, but it's not really necessary (nothing wrong with having it, because at least it's written there) as you can't override statutory law anyway... which says the same... assuming the 1st day of the month is the rent day? If it's not then that might be tricky for you... for a SPT the law says at least one full month of notice, and the notice should end on a rent boundary... of course, anything else by agreement is fine.
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