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Tenant Wants to Leave Early with Only 28 Days' Notice on 12-Month AST Without Break Clause :(
Hello fellow landlords ,
I'm currently facing a situation with my tenant and could use some advice. The tenant is on a 12-month AST without a break clause, which ends on October 28th, 2023. As agreed in the contract, I inquired 2 months before the end of the AST about their plans post-contract. They informed me on August 30th that they would be leaving on September 27th to go back abroad due to personal reasons, giving only 28 days' notice.
I'm currently abroad, 6000 miles away, so this is both expensive and inconvenient for me. I immediately started advertising the flat on OpenRent. The flat is priced below market value, and I've received 15 inquiries in just 10 days. However, none of the inquiries meet the 2.5x rent for salary requirements; some are students, and some are on benefits. I've also told the tenant that they can introduce a new tenant as an option.
I've informed the tenant that they are liable for rent until the end of the AST or until a replacement tenant is found. I'm trying to secure a new tenant to avoid making a costly trip back to the UK. I've had bad experiences with letting agents in the area and can't find anyone reliable to receive the keys on September 28th.
Additionally, I've spent £200 on a full clean-up of the one-bedroom flat. The tenancy agreement requires the tenant to leave the flat in the same clean condition. I have concerns that they won't comply.
My questions are:
If it comes down to holding the tenant liable for the final month's rent (which I've never done before and feel terrible about), what's the best way to go about it? Should I deduct it from their deposit or ask them to pay as usual on the rent due date?
Are they also liable for other bills like council tax, electricity, and gas until the end of the AST or until a new tenant moves in?
Is there a way to recoup the £200 cleaning expenses if the tenant fails to leave the flat in the required clean condition?
Given that none of the inquiries meet the salary requirements, what are my options for securing a qualified tenant?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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