Jump to content

Tenant left 1/2 way thru contract


Recommended Posts


I am new to the BTL industry. I recently let my 2 yr old flat to a Tenant, who at the time agreed if she went on a 12 month tenancy, we would drop rent by £45pcm. After 6 months the rent stopped coming and after 2 weeks of no rent and communication, she posted keys to Letting Agent, stating she no longer wishes to live there. So I was sort of pleased, as at least if she was not going to pay, at least she left.

However when I went to property, she completely trashed it...there were needles and other drug implements around the property, the wall were all marked, her Dog(did not know she had one) ripped a 3ftx3ft hole in my new lino in bathroom, etc etc etc. This devasted me, it is a newish property, and for someone to live in it and leave it such a way is unbelievable.

However my Question is, is she still liable for Utility bills, council tax and rent until I find a new tenant, as she signed for 12 months and left after 6 1/2. ( and also new lino & cleaning/restoration bills).

I would very much appreciate if someone could advise, as my agent does not seem that interested.

Many Thanks in advance


I have her parents address and her employers(she is a youth worker...God help them!!!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Kerry,

Was this let under full mangement with the letting agent? If so you have been let down badly.

Did this 12 month AST have a six month break clause? Personally, in future, I would not fall for the 'reduced rent' mullarkey as you don't know if tenant will be any good and why should you want to reduce rent? Agree a sensible rent at the outset for 6 months, renewable if all goes well.

I suggest you read the meters and inform the utility companies and tell the council tax dept. that your tenant has done a runner and that the flat is empty. That is the end of that part.

You have to ask yourself is it worth pursuing her for the next 6 months rent? Person on drugs, couped up dog - no it isn't. Where was her deposit because the repairs should come from this? If LA has it get him to cough up. Take photos of damage before repairs as evidence and get re-let asap using new agent or have a go youself.

I think you were lucky she left of her own accord!


Link to comment
Share on other sites


You have a difficult situation, but personally I would give it a go. Former tenant debts are very difficult to collect, but the category that is often more productive than others is tenants in employment.

Some thoughts:

1. Council tax depends upon occupancy, so if she doesn’t occupy, shes not liable to the local authority. You will probably get empty property relief on your liability. You may then be able to sue her for any payments you make during the fixed period if the tenancy agreement is clear on this issue.

2. The utility companies will generally end the supply in her name if she has moved out, but clearly she is responsible for any charges and consumption until that time. If there are any standing charges after she has moved out, these will probably fall to you and again whether you can sue her for them depends on whether your tenancy agreement makes this clear.

3. With regard to the rent she is liable for the full amount until the end of the fixed period, provided that is you rtenancy agreement is clear on this point and that you havent done anything which could be construed as inviting or accepting an early departure.

So, my advice would be to add up all she owes, gather all the evidence you can, and write to her at her parents address and her employers address. By all means mark the latter P & C, but in both make it clear that if she doesnt contact you to negotiate then you intend to apply for a money judgement and subsequently for an attachment of earnings order, under which her employers will be obliged to make deductions from her salary. Employers dont have to give you details at this stage, but when and if you apply for an order they are obliged to notify the court of her details - assuming of course she is still employed by them.

This kind of debt is undoubtedly very difficult to collect but I do think that landlords sometimes give up a bit too soon, based on my experience. Many people really dont want their employers to get involved and will pay up to avoid the embarassment. Others just dont understand that the court has the power to force their employer to make a deduction - or perhaps they just dont believe the landlord will take the effort to follow through. So, my advice is give her a bit of a surprise, in the nicest possible way.

Good luck


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...