Question

Is there such a thing as a”retainer”?

by | 20 Nov 2016

Student lets are usually 1st July to last day June. July and August are often left unoccupied for some of the time by the tenants, even though they may have put their personal belongings there. The tendency by landlords and agents is to charge the tenants half rent for July and August as most of them start to move in sometime in September. However, some agents and landlords write on the contract that the money paid for July and August is a “retainer”. Is there such a thing as a “retainer”? Either the students are the legal occupiers or the landlord is, surely?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    I have had many a row with landlords in Wales about this – to the point I’ve given up! In England this is not done and it just seems to be a custom in Wales!

    I’ve always been concerned with this because crucially in the scenarios I’ve seen, the landlord excludes access during this 2 month period.

    That being said, I’m not aware of a landlord taken to task over this so there seems to be no decision on the point. I think retainer is the right word to use as it assists distinguishing it from rent. However, I think in reality it is rent and in my view that’s how the court would see it. If the tenant had free access during the period it would be okay – it’s the exclusion that bothers me.

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