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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7105
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a Landlord. My tenants rent was due on the 4th of this

Customer Question

I am a Landlord. My tenants rent was due on the 4th of this month (July) and he asked could he drop it in a day late as he was waiting for some money to come in. I agreed and asked him to let me know once he had done it as I needed to collect it. Suffice to say I heard nothing from him and so began to try and make contact with him by txt and phone. He didn’t answer my calls or respond to my txt (red flag) so I dropped a note off at his flat on the Saturday (6th) to ask him to contact me. Still no response and he would not answer my calls I left answer phone messages too. On the Monday (8th) I got a long txt from him explaining that he had got a job working away and that he had moved out he said sorry for the short notice and non payment of rent and to use the deposit as his rent. The Shorthold Assured Tenancy Agreement states one months notice. Deposits are not stated to be used as rent.

When I went into the flat as I have spare keys, he had obviously planned this departure it was completely empty apart from a sofa, it was left fairly clean with a couple of exceptions the oven and floors, the note I had dropped off was still on the mat so he had well gone before the weekend in question.

He had left the key to the flat under the mat but had not left the keys to a communal hall where he would retrieve his mail. I did txt and ask him to return the keys but he did not reply.
There was damage to a toilet and I had to replace it, there was damage to the bath panel which had to be replaced. The oven had to be cleaned and the carpet in the lounge had to be cleaned. I had to pay to advertise the flat and had to get fresh keys cut to the communal area.

I managed to find a new tenant quite quickly who moved in on the 16th of this month. 2 weeks after he had left.
I have just received a txt from him saying he couldn't contact me sooner re the keys as he is working off shore with no phone allowed (not quite sure that this is true). He said he would drop the keys off. I responded to his txt and asked him to forward them to my home address. He is now asking if I had found a new tenant and that he wants the dates they moved in, money back , that he has paid until the end of the month and a letter from me stating that he is still resident.
He gave me the notice in his txt to say he had gone
He did not give me the correct 30 days notice
He did not pay his rent
I did not agree to him using the deposit as rent.
There are costs that I have incurred through damage and advertising and he had txt me to say he had gone.
He has now threatened to take me to court not sure if this is just hot air.
I didn’t put the deposit into a scheme will this affect my rights (what ever they may be) in this situation.
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

When does the fixed term of the tenancy expire please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He was on a periodic as the tenancy started in 2010

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

What have you done with the deposit monies?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I did not put it into the scheme. I kept it in my bank and have used it to cover the damage plus advertising and lost rent.



Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

This is a little complicated.

Basically, if you did not protect his deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme then he could apply to Court to have the deposit returned to you in full. He would be successful with this. This really does put you at a considerable disadvantage.

As the tenancy is a statutory periodic tenancy the tenant should have given you one months notice to vacate in writing with such notice to expire at the end of a rent period. If the tenants rent period ends on the 4th of the month then plainly the text that you received was not sufficient as a notice to vacate. In normal circumstances you would be able to say this to him then get him to serve the proper notice and pay rent up until it expired.

However, because you have re-let the property this is not an option and you cannot insist he serves notice on a properety which he no longer occupiers.

It’s a real pickle, but I would basically say to him that even though his notice that he gave by text is insufficient you are prepared to accept it provided that the deposit monies are accepted as being used to cover a partial amount of the rent that you could have insisted on if he served the correct notice (and damage) AND that he returns the key.

I would keep silent on the fact that you have relet the property. I appreciate that it is frustrating because there may be some elements of damage that you might not be able to claim for this way, but the reality is that if you proceeded to issue a claim against him for these he would immediately see a solicitor who would tell him to counter claim for the deposit.

I am sorry that it could not be better news, I would negotiate your way out of this one, chalk it of to experience and (most importantly) make sure you protect tenant’s deposits in the future.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I have read through your answer. If he were to sue me through the court for his deposit.

Would I get fined x3 times the amount?

Would the fact that he told me to use the deposit for rent alter anything?

Would I be able to deduct for the damage and my costs?

If he has breeched the agreement does this alter anything legally?

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

Although it's still possible that you could be ordered to pay a fine of up to three times the amount there have been judgements that have rendered this very difficult to get in practice.

I doubt that he would get that in view of his statement on what the monies could be used for.

You would in - in principle - be able to counter claim by issuing proceedings against him to sue him for the damage under breach of contract but you would want to avoid getting to this stage for the reasons above.

Tehcnically, he did breach the agreement by not giving you the correct notice, but you appear to have accepted the breach by reletting the property.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

Is there any further information you require?

I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on your position. Please remember to RATE my answer, if you are satisfied.

Kind regards,


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