Landlords often face problems collecting rent when tenants break the tenancy agreement and leave their home early.
The property investor is generally left with two scenarios – collecting rent that is unpaid and challenging to keep the deposit to cover damage.
The Tenancy Deposit Service (TDS) regularly adjudicates on these cases and urges landlords to have clear, written tenancy agreements to help with deciding who has to pay if the tenant leaves before the rent agreement ends.
In a briefing, TDS offered a case history based on a recent adjudication.
A landlord was claimingfor collecting rent of £650 in lieu of a tenant leaving a buy to let a month early and without giving notice.
Both had signed a six month tenancy agreement at the start of the rental, and both agreed the tenant could stay on a rolling tenancy once the agreement finished.
However, the landlord issued a notice to quit and applied for possession after his relationship with the tenants worsened.
The notice was served on January 21, 2013, requesting possession on April 11, 2013.
On March 8, the tenants wrote to the landlord explaining they had moved out and no additional rent would be paid. They also felt this was in line with discussions they had with the landlord.
However, no written amendment was made to the tenancy agreement, and although the renters asked to discuss the matter with the adjudicator, the request was declined as only written evidence is considered by adjudicators.
The adjudicator decided the tenants did not give sufficient notice and were liable to pay the rent until the end of the tenancy agreement.
However, TDS also felt the tenancy agreement did not explain the notice periods or method of giving notice very well and the dispute could have been avoided with better communication between the parties.
In this case, the landlord collected the rent of £650 from the deposit