Here is a question to the Blog Clinic from John who is a tenant:
I got into arrears with my rent, after the fixed term, my landlord asked me to leave the property, which I did as it did not serve any purpose staying.
He now says that he wants paying for the rest of that month and the following month, as “I did not give him notice to leave”.
How can this be, when he told me if you can not pay the rent you owe you will have to go, and gave me a date..the issue was not solved and I left…I have a text message from him telling me to go and then later another confirming me leaving..surely he can not then ask me to pay for time not in the house?
Well in some circumstances a landlord CAN claim rent if the tenant is not living in the property. A tenancy is a legally binding agreement between the landlord and the tenant for the tenant to pay rent on a monthly basis for the fixed term. So if the tenant just ups and leaves during the fixed term, the landlord can still claim for the rent.
However, I agree, here the situation is different. If the landlord has actually asked the tenant to leave and the tenant has left in response to that request, I don’t think the landlord is entitled to claim that the tenancy is continuing.
He will be deemed to have accepted a surrender of the tenancy early, by requesting that the tenant leave, and then accepting the keys when the tenant moves out in response to this.