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Tenants threatening to leave 3 weeks into tenancy: new landlord needing help!

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Author Topic: Tenants threatening to leave 3 weeks into tenancy: new landlord needing help!  (Read 227 times)
Posts: 1

I like property

« on: April 03, 2020, 12:06:34 AM »

Hey everyone,

Firstly I would like to thank you all in advance for any help you may be able to offer me. This is my first post and I am looking forward to becoming a member of this community. This is my first rental property and given the mayhem of COVID-19, I am already facing some issues. Please forgive me if I seem rather clueless about some things, I am still learning. :-[

So I posted my property (a 3 bedroom house) on gumtree as I was hoping to avoid agencies and the fees that come with them. As the property was nearing completion of the renovation, I was rushing to secure tenants. I was contacted by a local agency who told me they have 3 men who were interested and protected by the rent guarantee scheme. The tenants are 3 cab drivers who had a decent income and 10+ years of solid references. The agency asked for 600, which I paid, and we moved forward and signed contracts.

I received a call 2 days ago from the agency telling me that the tenants now want to terminate the contract and leave, I am assuming their old landlord offered them a better deal given their incomes have been hit badly by COVID-19. They are giving excuses of the house not being up to a good standard and suggesting that 1 of the bedrooms are too small. I advertised the house as 2 double bedrooms and 1 single, they viewed it and were happy to proceed.

There are no break clauses in the contract, and it is for a term of 12 months with 2 months notice. I have one month of rent as their security deposit, and the first month was already paid.

I am essentially seeking advice from you all as to what to do. I understand they are in a bad place and want to accommodate as much as possible. I was advised by a landlord friend that court proceedings right now would be a terrible idea, and they are likely to be favoured. I'd rather let them leave and find new tenants, however, I cannot miss out on payments.

What do you think is the best way to compromise? Can I suggest they must continue rent payments until I find other tenants? Are they in a position to terminate the contract leaving me vulnerable at this precarious time? Finding new tenants right now would undeniably be very difficult. Ideally, I would keep 1-month rent (that is IF I manage to secure new tenants within the month), as well as ask for the 600 agency fee back.

Also, is there any particular liability on behalf of the agency?

I must also mention their deposit is not in any particular protection scheme, in retrospect I have read that this may be to my detriment.

Any advice on the routes I can take would be invaluable and would be greatly appreciated, no matter how small.

Thanks again and I hope you are all staying safe and sane during this difficult time;

Global Moderator
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Posts: 3412

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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2020, 10:12:19 AM »

Just to take a few things in isolation... when did you receive the Deposit monies? What actual date? Is there still time to get that protected, regardless of what else might be happening at the same time?
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3412

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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2020, 10:15:26 AM »

Secondly... your notion of letting them go seems pragmatic to me... I've always operated by a relatively simple rule - it's better to let people go when they want to go, there's nothing worse than having someone trapped in your property if they don't want to be there. The rest will be pieces you need to pick up later.
Posts: 36

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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2020, 10:56:40 AM »


I certainly wouldn't be returning the first months rent or the deposit. Personally, i would then look about getting new tenants and cutting any ties or notion that these tenants should or will pay any more rent. What are you going to do - take them to court??

Maybe look at offering the first month half price when advertising for new tenants, or even free? The Corona is hitting everyone badly, and businesses (including being a landlord) are no exception. You got unlucky - that's business. Presumably the first months rent and deposit money goes some way in covering any outgoings for this short period of time.

Best of luck.
Jr. Member
Posts: 70

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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 03:21:03 PM »

Don't protect the deposit if you've had it for more than 30 days, that will make things worse.
If you've had it for less than 30 days, then protect it straight away.

Have the tenants actually moved in?
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