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Question

Ending a Tenancy (England) | England | Tenant Moves Out (England)

Tenant vacates 2 weeks early

11 Feb 2021 | 1 comment

A tenant gave (the correct) notice to terminate her tenancy on 21.02.21. She called yesterday to say she had moved out so could I meet her at the property today to check it over and see if I think anything has been missed on the cleaning front so she has enough time to rectify it. Happy to.

She then said she would inform the utility companies of her meter readings taken that day.  Regardless of her having vacated the property early, she remains liable for the property and utilities until 21.02.21 so I’ll have to contact the utilities on that date to amend her final readings.

(Annoyingly, despite your agreement’s clause, the local council here always award the tenant any exemption on empty propertieswhen they vacate early, much to my landlord’s disgust)

Am I right to refuse to accept the keys back today if she tries to leave them with me and tell her I will collect them on 21st when the tenancy has officially ended?

Also, if she asks, am I correct in saying I don’t return the deposit until the end of the tenancy.

 

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    We wouldn’t be refusing keys because you might not then get them back later and have to start proceedings in order to end the tenancy formally.

    You can accept them solely “for the purpose of conducting viewings” and make it clear the tenancy continues until 21st unless another tenant were to move in before then (unlikely).

    If the utilities are transferred from today, the tenant would only be liable for the standing charge for the remaining 10 days which to us sounds like a lot of work sorting out especially when you’ve got the keys back (it’s far worse when keys aren’t returned and unsure if the tenant has fully gone).

    You’re right about the council tax and it is frustrating but it’s how the legislation is worded so it’s more a matter for Parliament to change than the local authority (although local authorities do have some discretion over when and how much to start charging from empty).

    You can wait to return the deposit if you wish but again, we don’t see the point in causing upset especially if they were a good tenant during their time. As long as it’s been made clear as previously mentioned that the tenancy ends on 21st, we don’t see any harm in returning the deposit once you’re happy there won’t be any deductions. We don’t see any difference between returning tomorrow or in 9 days time (subject to checking everything is in order etc.).

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