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Does return of deposit implicitly mean contract is terminated?

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Author Topic: Does return of deposit implicitly mean contract is terminated?  (Read 110 times)
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« on: November 05, 2020, 03:07:20 PM »

Hi, I wanted to terminate my shorthold fixed term tenancy early, long story short through multiple in-writing negotiations my Landlord put forward his terms which I agreed to. He then broke his own agreement but after I had already moved out, handed the keys back to the agent etc. He went back on his agreement and said that I was still under contract until the end of the original contract so even though he agreed that I did not need to pay any more rent (I paid an additional 6 weeks after having vacated) and that he would handle the re-let or sale of the property that he would not return my deposit.

I finally lodged a dispute with the TDS and the Landlord had 2 weeks in which to submit his 'evidence' of anything he wanted to take out of the deposit. During those two weeks he contacted me directly, being almost threatening that he wanted me to paint the entire house and replace the lounge carpet (note that I was only in the house 10 months and the in-going inventory documents that the walls of all rooms were marked/scuffed etc., and I found photographs on the internet of when the house was offered for sale in both 2011 and 2013 which shows the same lounge carpet so that carpet is at least 9 years old). I provided him with some photos of all the improvements I had done at my own expense with a comparison of the same area/item from the in-going inventory, as well as copies of the outgoing photos and professional cleaner's invoice but said that as this was now in the hands of the TDS that he should submit his requests via them. He acknowledged that and said he would contact them.

The deadline for the Landlord to supply his 'evidence' is now past (as of yesterday) and he did not submit anything to the TDS - if the TDS settles the deposit side of things - does this constitute that the tenancy agreement has been surrendered and terminated or can the Landlord still keep threatening me that I am still under contract (even though he broke his own surrender agreement and told me I no longer need to pay any further rent so no idea why he wants to keep me under contract!)?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 03:09:08 PM by Tigerlily64 »
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2020, 04:26:29 PM »

I assume the 6 weeks was what you agreed to pay to terminate early? Becuase otherwise I don't understand when or why you paid that.

Your argument is that the tenancy was ended by implicit surrender (aka surrender by operation of law) when you moved out and handed the keys back etc. Once that happened, him changing his mind doesn't make any difference. That doesn't stop him from attempting to claim deductions for damages etc. from your deposit, assuming there was no agreement otherwise as part of your surrender.

He can threaten all he wants. Just ignore him unless he actually sue you, which is the only thing he can do.
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2020, 05:09:57 PM »

My guess is that he tried it on,you gave a robust response,and he will just let it go.
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 01:37:36 PM »

I assume the 6 weeks was what you agreed to pay to terminate early? Becuase otherwise I don't understand when or why you paid that.

Your argument is that the tenancy was ended by implicit surrender (aka surrender by operation of law) when you moved out and handed the keys back etc. Once that happened, him changing his mind doesn't make any difference. That doesn't stop him from attempting to claim deductions for damages etc. from your deposit, assuming there was no agreement otherwise as part of your surrender.

He can threaten all he wants. Just ignore him unless he actually sue you, which is the only thing he can do.

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the TDS responded to me saying that because the Landlord told them the tenancy is not yet over they cannot adjudicate on the deposit because they can only do this once a tenancy has ended. I called them and explained I now have no idea when the tenancy will end as the Landlord broke his own agreement with me to surrender the tenancy early and is now saying it will end when a new tenant moves in. However he only just put it up for rent again this week (I moved out 7 weeks ago) as he had hoped to sell it instead of letting it again. I am hoping it rents out quickly because by default that ends my contract and then I can file the dispute against all the costs he wants me to pay for when none of it is valid and I can prove that.
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2020, 01:43:27 PM »

My guess is that he tried it on,you gave a robust response,and he will just let it go.

If only he was so reasonable and used his common sense but no, he definitely isn't letting it go and seems to have conveniently forgotten that we had an early surrender agreement negotiated (and written down in email). Now he just says I am liable for everything until the house has a new tenant move in. I contacted the TDS to let them know that he might say I am still under contract but if that was really the case how come all the estate agent visits/viewers, the fact he himself entered the house a couple weeks ago and last week replaced a carpet (which was very old and worn, not because of anything I did) all without asking my permission to enter the house which surely he'd have to do if I truly was still the tenant. The TDS asked me to send them a copy of the surrender agreement for their records but said they really cant do anything as it is only the deposit that they deal with and they can't deal with that till the tenancy has ended.

Seems all weighted in Landlord's favour and hand on heart he is the one in the wrong on this one!
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2020, 01:54:54 PM »

I called them and explained I now have no idea when the tenancy will end as the Landlord broke his own agreement with me to surrender the tenancy early and is now saying it will end when a new tenant moves in.

Sigh, why would you say that to TDS? Did you completely miss my post that said:
Quote
Your argument is that the tenancy was ended by implicit surrender (aka surrender by operation of law) when you moved out and handed the keys back etc.

Why would you go along with the landlord's position? You have basically completely torpedo your case by accepting the landlord's position.

Please seek professional legal advice before you say or do anything which may harm your legal position.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2020, 02:07:49 PM »

I called them and explained I now have no idea when the tenancy will end as the Landlord broke his own agreement with me to surrender the tenancy early and is now saying it will end when a new tenant moves in.

Sigh, why would you say that to TDS? Did you completely miss my post that said:
Quote
Your argument is that the tenancy was ended by implicit surrender (aka surrender by operation of law) when you moved out and handed the keys back etc.

Actually yes I was expecting I would get an email from this forum if I received any replies and I didn't so I didn't see your post until after I had called the TDS. But I did tell them that I believed I had an implicit surrender as I had moved out, handed keys to Landlord's agent, had property cleaned and hedges trimmed etc., so believed this tenancy was now surrendered. That is when they asked if I had a copy of the early termination agreement which I have sent them.

Why would you go along with the landlord's position? You have basically completely torpedo your case by accepting the landlord's position.

Please seek professional legal advice before you say or do anything which may harm your legal position.

I haven't accepted the Landlord's position, I have not directly responded to him on any of his claims that I need to pay for cleaning or painting walls, I simply gave a one sentence response saying that as the TDS had already written to him giving him 2 weeks to put forth his evidence on any claims he feels he has to direct his claims at them to adjudicate. I did not accept anything to him nor did I accept that the tenancy was on-going - in fact I said the opposite and said that as far as I was concerned the tenancy had been surrendered when I handed the keys back.

I did pay the extra rent as that was part of the early surrender agreement which I, in good faith stuck to, prior to the point where the Landlord broke it (by not allowing me to offer it back up for rent after 4 weeks where he could offer it for sale only which was in the agreement to limit my liabilities).

At this point I have provided evidence to the TDS that there was an early surrender agreement negotiated and agreed in writing, proof that he then broke that subsequently, proof that he has asked me to do various things and that I have not agreed to any of that but instead directed him to submit anything he wants to claim to the TDS. The issue was that he told the TDS that the tenancy was not over and they therefore said they could only adjudicate on return of the deposit. As I then called them and told them as far as I was concerned the tenancy was over and provided them all of the above. They said they would review it all but they still seemed to think that until the Landlord says the tenancy is over then they wont get involved.
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