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Returning Deposits

sassy two

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I have a tenant who moved into the house on Feb 5th, she worked it out that she could afford it, as the Housing Benifit would pay part of it,she has now told me (sob story) that they won,t pay her now, she has had the chance from the Housing Ass,that she can move into another house!!.and has asked for her Deposit back, she sighed a ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY for six mths she is leaving on the 5th March which is when the rent is due again,do I have any come back ? or do I have to give her her monies back?thanks for your help :angry:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello sassytwo,

The legal position is that you have a legally binding contract for six months. Neither landlord nor tenant can break that agreement. You may have difficulty getting any further rent out of this tenant as it sounds like she is not in full time employment. You have to decide if you want her to stay for the full term of six months. It might be better to let her go if you feel you will struggle to get any more rent out of her.

You have been paid the first month's rent up to 4th March, and you have the deposit, which should take you up to 4th April.

You need to explain to her that her Tenancy Agreement is legally binding and she is contracted to stay, paying full rent up to 4th August 2006. Is it fair to you that she should break her agreement at a moments notice and leave on 5th March. If she has gone by now, explain to her that she is leaving you in a position where she will cause you to lose a lot of money through no fault of your own. You have to pay to re-advertise to get another tenant and any prospective tenant may have to give a month's notice so it is unlikely you will get another tenant for some time, possibly until April or May. Why should you lose money as a result of your tenant's uncaring and reckless actions? Under no circumstances can you pay her, her deposit back. You will need every penny to re-advertise and for loss of rent until such time as you can get a new tenant.

I would write to her and confirm that she has left and has voluntarily terminated her tenancy. I would change the locks if she still has the keys so she can't get back in to willfully damage your property.

You may lose some money as a result of this episode but the positive side is that

you won't lose as much money as you could do if she was determined to stay. The most important part of letting is to take extreme care in choosing your tenants. You have now learned this lesson. For the next time, try to choose a tenant in full time employment, try to get a letter of guarantee, so someone will pay the rent if you tenant is unable to do so. Carry out a full search on all future tenants and if you can' get a letter of guarantee then take out insurance against loss of rent.

Best wishes,


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