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Tenant left with too short notice after AST finished

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Author Topic: Tenant left with too short notice after AST finished  (Read 87 times)
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« on: July 19, 2021, 08:14:11 PM »


I am a landlord who used an estate agent to rent out my property in London to two tenants and their daughter. The tenants had a 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy contract with monthly rent that started on 16 June 2020 and finished on 15 June 2021 .

The AST also contained a clause which is attached as an image:

"When the tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy at the end of the fixed term the tenant is required to give 2 months notice (or one month in the case of a month tenancy) in writing to end the tenancy.  The landlord is required to give two month's notice in accordance with the statutory rules prescribed by Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 but the landlord's notice does not need to expire on the first or last day of a period of the tenancy."

Does the last line:
"  but the landlord's notice does not need to expire on the first or last day of a period of the tenancy. "
mean that the tenants' notice must end on the first or last day of the a period of the tenancy?

Also does the clause mean that the tenants' contract became a Contractual or a Statutory Periodic Contract after the AST ended?


The tenants had agreed to move out at the end of the AST agreement but failed to do so. On the 23rd of June they gave a VERBAL notice to the estate agents that they would be leaving on the 7th of July, paid until this time, and then left on that date. We initially had a new potential tenant who had been willing to move in a week after the AST was originally due to finish, but they were unable to wait this long and made other arrangements. In addition, the house has been left in a total mess, and it is taking a while to fix the damage.


Some more questions I have are:

1A)
Until what date are the old tenants responsible for the rent?
Given the clause, is it the earlier of one month after they give a proper notice or we get new tenants?
Also given the tenants' actions I would prefer to have them legally held responsible for rent for the maximum time possible or until I can find new tenants.  This is important as I will be trying to claim back as much of the missing rent from the Deposit Service as possible.


1B)
The last line of the clause:
"  but the landlord's notice does not need to expire on the first or last day of a period of the tenancy. "
seems to imply that the tenants' notice must end on the first or last day of the a period of the tenancy. 

In that case, once the tenants stayed on after the 17th of June without giving written notice, are they automatically responsible for rent until at least the 15th of August?   
(As the next first or last day of the a period of the tenancy is 15 July and one months' notice takes it to 15 August.)


2)
Are the tenants responsible for Council Tax and utility bills until the end of the answer to question 1A&B ?


3)
Did the tenants break the rules of the contract by staying on past the date they had agreed to move out?  If so, does this help my case?



Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help.
CL
« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 09:43:50 PM by Cautious Landlord »
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2021, 08:46:24 PM »

Quote
The tenants had a 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy contract with monthly rent that started on 16 July 2020 and finished on 15 July 2021

You had a 12 months fixed term. The contractual clause on how long notice must be are useless as long as the tenancy is assured.

The tenancy ended on the end of 15 July 2021. The tenant did not have to provide any notice to leave by the end of that date. The tenant was legally liable for council tax up to but not including 15 July 2021.
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2021, 09:43:16 PM »

Quote
The tenants had a 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy contract with monthly rent that started on 16 July 2020 and finished on 15 July 2021

You had a 12 months fixed term. The contractual clause on how long notice must be are useless as long as the tenancy is assured.

The tenancy ended on the end of 15 July 2021. The tenant did not have to provide any notice to leave by the end of that date. The tenant was legally liable for council tax up to but not including 15 July 2021.


Oh my mistake - sorry.  I meant from 16 June 2020 and finished on 15 June 2021. 

I will adjust the original post.

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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2021, 10:01:40 PM »

Then either the tenancy is continuing or you have accepted (as demonstrated through your action or explicitly by deed) a surrender of the tenancy. That remains the case until the tenant serve a valid notice to quit, or you agree a surrender.

If the tenant left 7 July, then you're legally liable for council tax to the council from and including that date. You may or may not have a contractual agreement with the tenant for the tenant to be liable to pay the council tax. If it exist and the tenant doesn't pay, the tenant owes you the money for the council tax as debt, it doesn't stop you from being legally liable to pay the council.
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2021, 10:22:37 PM »

Then either the tenancy is continuing or you have accepted (as demonstrated through your action or explicitly by deed) a surrender of the tenancy. That remains the case until the tenant serve a valid notice to quit, or you agree a surrender.

If the tenant left 7 July, then you're legally liable for council tax to the council from and including that date. You may or may not have a contractual agreement with the tenant for the tenant to be liable to pay the council tax. If it exist and the tenant doesn't pay, the tenant owes you the money for the council tax as debt, it doesn't stop you from being legally liable to pay the council.



Thank you for the feedback.

The AST does state that
"
The tenants agree to pay promptly to the authorities to whom they are due, council tax, water and sewerage charges, gas, electrics, telvision lcense and telephone charges (if any) relating to the Property, where they are incurred during the period of the tenancy or any subsequent periodic tenancy.
"
so does this mean the tenant owes me council tax and utility charges until they give a valid notice to quit?

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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2021, 10:34:09 PM »

The AST does state that
"
The tenants agree to pay promptly to the authorities to whom they are due, council tax, ...............
"
so does this mean the tenant owes me council tax and utility charges until they give a valid notice to quit?

No. The tenant don't owe any council tax to the council for the dates from when they moved out during a (monthly) statutory periodic tenancy, so them agreeing to pay promptly whatever they owe doesn't change that.

I make no comments on utilities. I don't know.
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2021, 02:08:19 PM »

Thanks again for the feedback.
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