Here is a question to the blog clinic from Neil who is a landlord
I had a tenant who gave me one month’s notice to quit, 9 months after signing an assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
At the end of the month notice, the tenant notified me that he wished to stay a few weeks longer – he did not specify an exact date of vacancy – and paid a full month’s rent.
The tenant left the property two weeks after this. He now has written to me requesting the balance of two weeks’ rent be returned to him. Am I within my rights to refuse this request, as I did not know when he would be leaving?
There is an argument both ways. You have been inconvenienced by the tenant’s failure to move out a the proper time. The tenant feels that you are getting something for nothing.
However happily for you, there is a very old law on your side. Under section 18 of the Distress for Rent Act 1737 you are entitled to claim double rent if your tenant served a notice to quit and then fails to vacate at the end of the notice.
So you can tell the tenant that he is not entitled to the return of the money.
You can find out more about this old rule here.