Can this landlord claim for outstanding rent from a tenant who moved out early?

Moving out vanThis is a question to the blog clinic from Gerry (not his real name), who is a landlord in England.

My tenant only fulfilled 7 months of a 12 month lease, citing personal problems.

The property was left in an unfit state for reletting. Upon request the tenant did return to clean up/remove some items, but we still have repairs/expenses. They broke into a shed and kept a dog on the property without our knowledge.

We are holding a bond with the DPS. What is my legal position? I believe I am within my right to hold money from the bond for repairs but can I withhold money for loss of rent?


The answer will be in your tenancy agreement.

The deposit money belongs to your tenant and you can only make deductions from it if this is authorised by the tenant. This is not implied in law so you have to state in your tenancy agreement what the deposit can be used for.

Then, when the tenant signs the tenancy agreement, this confirms their agreement for you to deal with the deposit as provided in the relevant clauses in your tenancy agreement.

If you have a professionally drafted tenancy agreement this will almost certainly have suitable clauses. But you need to check and see what they say.

What did you agree with your tenant about moving out?

One extra point about the claim for rent. Did you agree to the surrender of the tenancy? If so, then you cannot claim any rent from the tenants for the period after the surrender, as you cannot claim rent for a tenancy which no longer exists!

You will only be able to claim outstanding rent up until the time the tenancy ended.

It is important that, when tenants ask if they can leave early, landlords make it clear that they are not agreeing to a surrender of the tenancy and that they will expect tenants to be responsible for the rent until such time as either the fixed term has ended or until a new tenancy is signed with a new tenant.

The post Can this landlord claim for outstanding rent from a tenant who moved out early? appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.





Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.


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