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  • FIRST POST
    • LEK
    • By LEK 19th Apr 17, 6:43 AM
    • 69Posts
    • 27Thanks
    LEK
    Ex Landlord demanding final settlement
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:43 AM
    Ex Landlord demanding final settlement 19th Apr 17 at 6:43 AM
    Good morning,

    Just a few hours ago I received a very surprising text message from my ex landlord with regards to demanding a final settlement bill to be paid for a property we've just moved out of.

    Just an insight into this scenario, myself and my partner moved in towards the middle of November last year, and signed a 6 month private tenancy agreement that started as of the 1st December (I paid him a little extra as instructed by him in order to move in on the earlier date) and to last until 1st June of this year. In the meantime we have been had on our local housing association list to get a more, affordable rented council property eventually.

    Fast forward to the end of Feb of this year, we gave him written as well as verbal notice to end the tenancy early as we had been approved a new property through the housing association. On my end of tenancy letter that I presented to him, I specifically instructed him to inform us what a final settlement bill would come to based on the date from when we would moved out of the property - on paper this was dated the 25th March, to which we managed to carry out successfully.

    However, between the time of us giving him notice in late Feb, moving out in late March & right up until now - he has failed to come back to me with regards to a final settlement bill and over text message last night is rudely asking for this money to be paid, despite his lack of detail.

    This also comes very conveniently that his date to respond with regards to the refund of our deposit via the TDS people is also due today.

    Throughout this time period I have liaised with him over the phone on three separate occasions since giving notice, but not on one of the occasions has he ever brought up the following I am writing about today and it's only been about arranging new tenants to come and view the property, meter readings from suppliers & arranging to hand keys in etc. - all of which was met to his satisfactory and he even informed me when I last saw him face to face that he was happy with the property, had a courtesy email from the TDS people with regards to my deposit refund and would sort it out (which he hasn't done either). Additionally, I have been reliably informed that one of the new tenant viewings was successful and as a result has since moved into the property.

    I feel that all of this is likely because the refund of the deposit is due and I reckon he's trying to withhold it from us for what ever reason. Just one final note, we always paid the rent on time to him and our final payment before moving out in late March was made to him at the 1st Match (which would bring us up to date anyway with rent and technically I overpaid him as we moved out on the 25th). Quite frankly though I am disgusted and insulted by his behaviour with what has arisen.

    If I could have some insight and advice into this, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Many thanks - Liam.
    Last edited by LEK; 19-04-2017 at 6:48 AM.
Page 1
    • anselld
    • By anselld 19th Apr 17, 6:59 AM
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    anselld
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:59 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:59 AM
    You have not stated the terms of your tenancy agreement and the basis for giving notice in Feb. If you were part way through a fixed term contract then there is no requirement for the L to give you a settlement figure since you are liable to the end of the fixed term.

    So we cannot really advise without knowing the contract.

    If it is true that he has re-let the property then he cannot charge you for rent whilst the property is let to someone else, however all other early surrender terms are negotiable.
    • LEK
    • By LEK 19th Apr 17, 7:36 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LEK
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:36 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:36 AM
    You have not stated the terms of your tenancy agreement and the basis for giving notice in Feb. If you were part way through a fixed term contract then there is no requirement for the L to give you a settlement figure since you are liable to the end of the fixed term.

    So we cannot really advise without knowing the contract.

    If it is true that he has re-let the property then he cannot charge you for rent whilst the property is let to someone else, however all other early surrender terms are negotiable.
    Originally posted by anselld
    Thanks for your quick response.

    I'm having a check over of the tenancy agreement now, which is a factory standard template one that is linked to the Department for Communities and Local Government "Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement" that he has printed & filled out part of the required fields himself (a good chunk of the requirement fields, he has failed to fill out himself). However and this goes for the same as to when we moved out, checking over then & now - I cannot find any particular detail in there with regards to us, the tenants moving out early and what would be owed in the event of - it details in full how to go around giving the landlord notice, and the timing procedure with giving notice to which we followed accordingly.

    The only detail that is noted in particular is with regards to the landlord himself ending the tenancy early and the like etc.

    I understand this may seen vague, but I will triple check this again tonight when I have more time. I've also now got proof that a new tenant moved in as well, which relates to it being around the start of this month.

    Many thanks - Liam.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th Apr 17, 8:00 AM
    • 13,953 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:00 AM
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:00 AM
    It sounds as if you have a six-month fixed term AST.

    If that is the case, then, no, you cannot unilaterally give notice and terminate the tenancy before 1st June. You were contractually bound to pay your rent until 1st June, and the landlord can take any unpaid rent from the deposit. If there is still a shortfall - or any damage - then they can claim from you in court. They would win. If you still do not pay, you will face a CCJ.

    If a new tenant has moved in, then that is tacit proof of the landlord accepting your notice - so your liability ends on the date they moved in, unless the landlord did work in the property between the two. He would have been unable to gain access legally to do that work, so the work would have been proof of your tenancy having ended.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 19th Apr 17, 8:02 AM
    • 35,123 Posts
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    silvercar
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:02 AM
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:02 AM
    ...and signed a 6 month private tenancy agreement that started as of the 1st December (I paid him a little extra as instructed by him in order to move in on the earlier date) and to last until 1st June of this year....
    I cannot find any particular detail in there with regards to us, the tenants moving out early and what would be owed in the event of
    There wouldn't be. You signed for a 6 month tenancy, that means that you agreed to pay rent for the whole term.

    .... I've also now got proof that a new tenant moved in as well, which relates to it being around the start of this month....
    Luckily for you the landlord did this. So now this means you are only liable for rent until the new tenant started their tenancy.
    • LEK
    • By LEK 19th Apr 17, 8:17 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LEK
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:17 AM
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:17 AM
    Thanks for the advise all,

    Just reiterate again that when we moved out of the property on the 25th March, I had paid myself a full month right up until the end of that month. The landlord also got his keys back at the end of that following day.

    Therefore at best I would say that the property was empty for only a handful of days after we left (and as mentioned, the rent had been paid up until the 31st March), also up until the point of us moving out it looked like he two new potential tenants lined up going by the successful viewings that were carried out while we were still living there.

    With regards to moving forward with this, if he still decides to pursue things further with obtaining more money from me - how would I go about defending myself & the evidence that new tenants have since moved in? Also does he still even hold the right to take back my deposit in the event that he doesn't pursue me for anymore money? Just for the record, I informed the TDS people on the 27th March that we had now moved out and that got the ball rolling for him to respond to my bond refund request - which he has failed to do still, and his response to them is required by today.

    Many thanks - Liam.
    Last edited by LEK; 19-04-2017 at 8:26 AM.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 19th Apr 17, 8:42 AM
    • 14,896 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:42 AM
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:42 AM
    Thanks for the advise all,

    Just reiterate again that when we moved out of the property on the 25th March, I had paid myself a full month right up until the end of that month. The landlord also got his keys back at the end of that following day.

    Therefore at best I would say that the property was empty for only a handful of days after we left (and as mentioned, the rent had been paid up until the 31st March), also up until the point of us moving out it looked like he two new potential tenants lined up going by the successful viewings that were carried out while we were still living there.

    With regards to moving forward with this, if he still decides to pursue things further with obtaining more money from me - how would I go about defending myself & the evidence that new tenants have since moved in? Also does he still even hold the right to take back my deposit in the event that he doesn't pursue me for anymore money? Just for the record, I informed the TDS people on the 27th March that we had now moved out and that got the ball rolling for him to respond to my bond refund request - which he has failed to do still, and his response to them is required by today.

    Many thanks - Liam.
    Originally posted by LEK

    If the LL agreed that you could move out early, then that is slightly different.

    Do you have this agreement in writing?

    Even so, you will be liable for the landlord's re-advertising and re-letting costs, plus any vacant days before the new tenants moved in.

    I would find out WHEN the new tenants moved in (go ask them!) then you need to agree an amount to be deducted from your deposit to cover all the above.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • anselld
    • By anselld 19th Apr 17, 8:44 AM
    • 5,125 Posts
    • 4,660 Thanks
    anselld
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:44 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:44 AM
    Just reiterate again that when we moved out of the property on the 25th March, I had paid myself a full month right up until the end of that month. The landlord also got his keys back at the end of that following day.
    Originally posted by LEK
    You are "reiterating" as if you feel you have done right, whereas in practice you are in breach of you agreement by leaving several months early.

    You are fortunate that the L has mitigated his loss by finding new tenants so quickly. However you are still liable for any residual loss, i.e. the costs or re-advertising, agents fee, admin etc associated with setting up the new tenancy.

    I would suggest you start negotiating with the L rather than being defensive about your actions.
    • LEK
    • By LEK 19th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LEK
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    You are "reiterating" as if you feel you have done right, whereas in practice you are in breach of you agreement by leaving several months early.

    You are fortunate that the L has mitigated his loss by finding new tenants so quickly. However you are still liable for any residual loss, i.e. the costs or re-advertising, agents fee, admin etc associated with setting up the new tenancy.

    I would suggest you start negotiating with the L rather than being defensive about your actions.
    Originally posted by anselld
    I feel I have the right to be "defensive" as you may refer to it as, this is in the event that he is trying to pull the wool over my eyes and do my over for more money that could potentially may not be owed to him.

    With regards to re-advertising of the property, this was solely carried out via a local newspaper as a private renting advert - just like how it was when we originally found the property for rent months ago. We weren't through an agency and he's not gone through an agency this time around either. He even asked me when I first gave him notice to do him a favour to spread the word about him looking to re-advertise the property so he can secure new tenants in good time.

    I will indeed start negotiating with him in a way that is viable, but I'm not prepared for him to try and pull a fast one over on myself. There again let's hope he does start to communicate properly as he's failed to do so in relation to my TDS refund claim that he has still failed to respond to.

    Pinkshoes - After giving him detailed written notice followed by a courtesy phone call, he has in no way liaised with me further since then officially in writing. The only communication I've had with him since giving notice / moving out in answering his three phone calls regarding returning keys back to which he agreed to, and also queries relating to the energy suppliers & meter readings for the address.

    Liam.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th Apr 17, 9:16 AM
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    • 12,351 Thanks
    AdrianC
    I feel I have the right to be "defensive" as you may refer to it as, this is in the event that he is trying to pull the wool over my eyes and do my over for more money that could potentially may not be owed to him.
    Originally posted by LEK
    Hold on one minute, and put your outrage back in its box.

    This is SOLELY caused by you attempting to back out of a legally binding contract that you freely agreed to.
    • Heather2603
    • By Heather2603 19th Apr 17, 9:30 AM
    • 64 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    Heather2603
    What has the landlord actually asked for that is 'outrageous'? By the sounds of it you would be liable for rent until the 1st of June so 2 months rent and any additional reletting fees the landlord has incurred(add in the paper would still incurr costs) and you should have negotiated this before leaving. In writing.

    I hope you are not speaking to the landlord like you are on here because that will get his back up and make him less amenable to reaching an amicable conclusion.
    • SerialRenter
    • By SerialRenter 19th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    • 561 Posts
    • 559 Thanks
    SerialRenter
    Not sure if i've read this thread correctly, but i don't see what he's asking money for?

    We can't give you advice on if it's correct or not given the circumstance (mutually agreed surrender of the tenancy at the end of March?) unless we know what they're asking for.

    If there's new tenant in, it shouldn't be rent, but as other's have stated, it could be costs associated with reletting, even an ad in the paper costs something.

    There's also the costs of anything not covered by wear and tear, which should be taken out of the deposit.

    Frankly, i think you've been quite lucky that the landlords agreed to end the tenancy and they've been willing to find new tenants so quickly. Usually this process involves hundreds of pounds going to the landlord/letting agents.
    *Assuming you're in England or Wales.
    • sammyjammy
    • By sammyjammy 19th Apr 17, 9:53 AM
    • 4,115 Posts
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    sammyjammy
    If you don't know what you are being charged for you can't know whether it is correct. Deal directly with TDS.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 19th Apr 17, 10:16 AM
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    FBaby
    Also how are you so sure there are new tenants?
    • Shelldean
    • By Shelldean 19th Apr 17, 10:26 AM
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    Shelldean
    So you agreed to a six month tenancy? By signing the agreement.

    You wished to move out early, but you could still be liable for rent until completion of the tenancy, so until the end of May.You keep saying you've overpaid rent but as rent was due to until the end of May I reckon you've underpaid.

    The landlord appears to have accepted your request for an early surrender, but you have no written proof of this?

    The landlord is entitled to claim any costs from you for the reltting. This may be just the newspaper advert or may include reference fees.for the new tenants.

    You moved out 25 Mar and handed keys back the following day. So believe you've overpaid as you'd paid until 31 Mar. But if the new tenants didn't move in until say 10 Apr, you'd also be liable for the void period between the end of your rent and the starting of the new tenants.
    What amount has the landlord asked for?

    When.Did the new tenants move in?

    If the figure equates to a newspaper advert, a reference fee and a few days rent, the landlord probably can claim. Especially as he's mitigated his losses by getting new tenants.
    • LEK
    • By LEK 19th Apr 17, 10:32 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LEK
    Hold on one minute, and put your outrage back in its box.

    This is SOLELY caused by you attempting to back out of a legally binding contract that you freely agreed to.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Woah wait there a moment - I didn't come on here to deliberately start an argument or a keyboard warrior contest here, I've came on here for helpful advise to which I feel I have achieved up to now. However one thing I won't tolerate whether it's on here or face to face is being talked down to like I'm point blank in the wrong without knowing the full facts - it seems to be a bit of a trend on here at times where certain devoted posters with a high post count can think they can talk down to others!

    Perhaps originally I may come across as slightly vague with my original explanation and conflicting information due to all this coming around only just this morning and me trying to keep the peace at home, but I correct these as & when and try to be cooperative as much as possible with the helpful advise I am given. At the end of the day I'm only trying to look out for not only myself, but also my other half as it was a relative of hers who lend us the money originally for the deposit.

    Not sure if i've read this thread correctly, but i don't see what he's asking money for?

    We can't give you advice on if it's correct or not given the circumstance (mutually agreed surrender of the tenancy at the end of March?) unless we know what they're asking for.

    If there's new tenant in, it shouldn't be rent, but as other's have stated, it could be costs associated with reletting, even an ad in the paper costs something.

    There's also the costs of anything not covered by wear and tear, which should be taken out of the deposit.

    Frankly, i think you've been quite lucky that the landlords agreed to end the tenancy and they've been willing to find new tenants so quickly. Usually this process involves hundreds of pounds going to the landlord/letting agents.
    Originally posted by SerialRenter
    Precisely - not once up to now has he informed me with regards to if he has fully inspected the property / whether he is happy with it or not and to take things on from there, nothing. Like I said the only point of contact he has had with me was three separate phone calls regarding returning the keys when we move out & utility supplier firm enquiries. The text message I had from him this morning was the very first line of enquiry I've had regarding this outstanding monies matter.

    If you don't know what you are being charged for you can't know whether it is correct. Deal directly with TDS.
    Originally posted by sammyjammy
    A new development has arisen in the last hour or so - I've had an email from the TDS people to notify me that the landlord has now authorised the refund of my deposit in full and to be paid directly to me. Now this is interesting...

    Liam.
    Last edited by LEK; 19-04-2017 at 10:38 AM.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th Apr 17, 10:40 AM
    • 13,953 Posts
    • 12,351 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Hold on one minute, and put your outrage back in its box.

    This is SOLELY caused by you attempting to back out of a legally binding contract that you freely agreed to.
    by AdrianC
    Woah wait there a moment - I didn't come on here to deliberately start an argument or a keyboard warrior contest here, I've came on here for helpful advise to which I feel I have achieved up to now. However one thing I won't tolerate whether it's on here or face to face is being talked down to like I'm point blank in the wrong without knowing the full facts
    Originally posted by LEK
    Sorry, you misunderstand my intention. I'm simply stating a bald fact that you appear to have forgotten.

    • You signed a six month contract.
    • You want to terminate that contract early.
    • You can only do that WITH the landlord's permission.
    • You are legally liable for any costs and losses arising from that early termination

    As it happens, he's given his acceptance of your early termination - tacitly - by reletting the flat. But you are still liable for any costs and losses he incurs due to your early termination of that contract.

    It looks as if he's now accepting he can document minimal losses, and so is returning your deposit in full - this is probably simply because he cannot provide the documentation that TDS are after. This is your good luck, no more than that. If your ex-landlord was less unprofessional, you would not be getting away so lightly.
    • LEK
    • By LEK 19th Apr 17, 10:51 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LEK
    Sorry, you misunderstand my intention. I'm simply stating a bald fact that you appear to have forgotten.

    • You signed a six month contract.
    • You want to terminate that contract early.
    • You can only do that WITH the landlord's permission.
    • You are legally liable for any costs and losses arising from that early termination

    As it happens, he's given his acceptance of your early termination - tacitly - by reletting the flat. But you are still liable for any costs and losses he incurs due to your early termination of that contract.

    It looks as if he's now accepting he can document minimal losses, and so is returning your deposit in full - this is probably simply because he cannot provide the documentation that TDS are after. This is your good luck, no more than that. If your ex-landlord was less unprofessional, you would not be getting away so lightly.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Thank you for your input and highlighting the key factors involved, at the end of the day I believe that if the landlord was more forthcoming with communicating with me much earlier and being thorough with his requirements / intentions then it would not of come to this.

    Much appreciated once again.

    Liam.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 19th Apr 17, 12:28 PM
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    • 38,494 Thanks
    FBaby
    So within only a few minutes the LL text you to say he wanted money from you whilst instructing DPS to release the deposit. Unless he thinks he has a better chance to get something from you for breaking the terms of the lease taking you to court rather then through the deposit scheme, his actions make no sense.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 19th Apr 17, 12:48 PM
    • 39,218 Posts
    • 44,562 Thanks
    G_M
    Just to add to Adrian's bullet points of relevant facts above:

    * the LL had no obligation, or reason, to be "more forthcoming with communicating".

    * YOU were the one wishing to end the tenancy early

    * so YOU are the one who should be politely ASKING him if you can, and on what terms,

    * and YOU are the one who should make sure that you get his consent (in writing to protect yourself) before assuming you can end the tenancy.

    * the LL has done nothing wrong. Indeed, as others have said, he has helped you by finding a new tenant (thus relieving you of obligation to pay rent till June)

    I'm afraid you are in the wrong here (from a strictly legal perspective), and getting annoyed with people who point that out will not help.

    True, the responses were were not based on the full facts. Because you did not provide the full facts (& still haven't). So the responses were based on the limited facts you DID provide.

    If you take a similar defensive /aggressive attitude with your LL, he is likely to demand everything he's entitled to, rather than responding more sympathetically.
    Last edited by G_M; 19-04-2017 at 12:50 PM.
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