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Tenant asking for a 1 week repayment after paying a full month

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Author Topic: Tenant asking for a 1 week repayment after paying a full month  (Read 138 times)
Newbie
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« on: February 20, 2020, 02:02:22 PM »

Hello! First post so go easy on me.

My tenant formally handed his notice to leave the property (giving me 1 months notice) even though the AST contract states 2 months notice, but I agreed to 1 month as he was a good tenant. He handed his notice on 27th Dec to leave on 26 Jan. The contract is for a full month rent payment in advance on the 2nd of each month. He paid the final payment on the 2 Jan for the full month. He left the property in good order on the 26 Jan and I promptly gave back the deposit via the DPS.

A few weeks past. He contacted me a couple of days ago to say that he expected 1 week rent back as he vacated on the 26 Jan. He said he had overpaid.

Do I have to give the tenant the money back by law? We didn't agree this was going to happen, before he vacated the property. I assumed a full months rent would be paid.

Any advice welcome?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 02:54:14 PM by matthamm »
Newbie
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2020, 02:09:22 PM »

Pretty sure if the agreed end date was 26th an then rent is owed up to that point unless you have a tenancy agreement clause stating otherwise.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2020, 02:23:46 PM »

No, you're not legally obliged to pay him back, unless your AST is bizarrely worded. The general rule is that the tenancy ends on the first or last day of a tenancy period so, if the tenancy began on the 2nd, the default position would be that it would end on the 1st or the 2nd.

What you have in your AST may override that if you're still within the time-frame of the contract, but I think it would have to be fairly explicit in the terms.
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2020, 03:03:22 PM »

The notice from the Tenant should have had a date on it of the 1st of a month... not a 26th. It is weird to end a tenancy in the middle of a rental period. The Tenant can obviously physically leave at any time - but rent is due for the entire period unless expressly agreed between Tenant and Landlord. This is why the notice period is "at least one month" then people don't have to serve notice on specific days, but the notice should run until a specific day... because someone serves notice on the 11th, it doesn't mean their tenancy ends on the 10th... hence "at least one month"... in your case the notice was served on 27th Dec and that means their tenancy ends on the 1st Feb.

If SPT, on reading this it makes it easy to assume it is, then your AST cannot attempt to override statute by imposing a [at least] 2 month notice period from the Tenant... but this is by-the-by really, now.
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2020, 08:50:43 PM »

Regardless of all that, a LL is free to accept a short notice from a tenant, in which case the notice and acceptance binds both parties and the tenancy end on the corresponding date stated on the notice (26 Jan).

Unless the tenancy agreement explicitly state that the LL need to refund prepaid rent overpayment if the tenancy ends earlier than the rent payment covers, then no the LL does not "have to give the tenant the money back by law". Unless consumer rights law override, the princples from Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd [2015] would apply.
Newbie
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 09:45:37 AM »

Thanks for your help everyone. Great advice.
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