End of tenancy - minor disputes

Hi all, my first post here and would just really appreciate some advice before we go to our solicitor.

So my wife and I are a week away from handover/completion on our first purchased property, which we are obviously very exicted about.

However, things have progressed so quickly that our mortgage was accepted within a week of applying and the conveyancer’s searches came back just the week after than and they gave us the completion date of August 31st, (today is the 24th), just last week (17th). (We had the survey done before applying for the mortgage as we were 100% sure that was the property we wanted, and had the wait a month for the 6 month mortgage rule to end on the property so we could apply for the lender/deal/rate we wanted)

We didnt want to notify our landlord too early should things go wrong with the mortgage and he decide to increase our rent knowing we wanted to leave or drastically change our rental agreement in anyway, but thought it was only fair we notify him as soon as we found out our moving date.

As a bit of background, we have rented this property for 7 years and adore it, we even offered to buy it before we went house hunting but the landlord politely declined this offer. We have never missed a single rent payment in that time, and we have never caused a single issue to the landlord, and any property issues have been raised straight away to our landlord and they have been for the most part, rectified correctly. We called the landlord (and his wife) who co own the property as soon we we found out the completion date (17th Aug) to ask if they would come over to discuss our situation and ending our tenancy.

They said they were packing to go away for the weekend and would come round after they came home on Sunday, but we explained how urgent it was and that we didn’t want to keep them waiting/without knowledge any longer. We told them via phonecall and they said they would have to make sure it would be okay for us to leave?!

We then rang them Monday (21st) to ask when they were coming and they finally came Wednesday (23rd).

Obviously, this is slightly less than a month’s notice than is usually required on a month-to-month payment on rent, and we pay on the 1st of each month, for the following month, meaning we have never OWED any rent. We also paid a 125% deposit/bond when moving in, which was in cash (annoyingly).

We told them our intentions to move out on the 31st as planned and how they would like us to go about ending our tenancy. We have decorated since moving in in November 2016 (wallpaper/painting/furniture) but nothing too extreme. Wallpaper is removable and paint is obviously reversible. We were then told, by the landlord that he doesnt remember ever getting a deposit from us but we are in a contract (we havent signed anything since 2020).

He then said that we would have to put the tenancy exit in writing to him (which is absolutely fine) and would still have to pay on the 01/09 for September’s rent (which we had planned for) and the house would be ours until October 1st. Even though verbally, we gave our notice on the 17th, meaning four weeks would take it to September 7th. He said he has no recollection of the cash deposit and that we would also have to put the house back to complete standard (as it was when we moved in).

Where do we stand? I obviously dont want things to get nasty, but things definitely didn’t go down as I had thought they might.

We have since asked for a copy of our contract to read over but he will not send them to us (or we fear he may be editing it before he does) as we have repeatedly asked for a copy of our contract over the last few years.

As a bit of extra information, water utilities work was taken out in our front passageway but he requested that HE do the remedial work after completion instead of UU. That was over a year ago and we have had a wooden board over a hole in the front path since. The water pipe that was worked on has also been leaking ever since and is running into our cellar. Both of these issues have been reported multiple times to our landlord. Our ‘PAYG’ electric meter has also been defunct for at least four months, which we reported as soon as it stopped working and has not yet been repaired or replaced. Our gas and water heating boiler has also not been serviced in at least 4 years.

EDIT as of (24th) we have received a copy of oir contracts which states that we paid £0 deposit. But that is on a comtract dated 2020, regarding a deposit paid in cash, in 2016.

A lot to take in I know, but its a bit of a pickle for sure. We just want to avoid any confrontation, but I am definitely consdering contacting oir solicitor.

Many thanks,


Your problem is that he doesnt have to accept your notice as its invalid. Read the notice section of your tenancy agreement to understand what a valid notice would look like.

What evidence can you muster to show that you paid this cash deposit? Receipt? Bank statements? If none, then its going to be your word against his.

You could go to no-win, no-fee solicitor who will tell you whether you have a case.

I see, thankyou. Yes, I think we will contact a no-win no-fee solicitor who will advise whether to open a case.

We managed to find the bank statement of the withdrawal of the deposit amount and the first month’s rent on the same date that we moved in (they are of course separate transactions).

We have delivered our written notice explaing that we will settle the final month to month payment on 01/09 (annoying as we won’t even be in the old house by then - but rather safe than sorry and play by the contract).

tell me where I can buy reversible paint, sounds incredible!

I would contact Shelter asap if I were you, they will inform you of your tenant rights in this matter. You can phone them or use the online chat function.

We’re not trying to shortchange anyone. Like I said previously, we are more than happy to pay for the final month’s rent 01 > 01 (September to October) we just want to leave amicably, but they have clearly chosen that tbey do not want to do that by sending an altered contract.

Because they are refusing to admit that we gave them a deposit, we only feel it is right to leave without setting the decor back to neutral, as this isnbhat deposits are for. If they accepted that they still had our deposit and would return it to us, we would happily revert the house to it’s original state.

May I add that we keep the house in exceptional condition and it is always very clean.

It’s a secret!!! But you know what I mean…

Why do you not have a copy of your tenancy agreement from 2016?
Why do you not have a receipt for the deposit you paid in 2016?
I know it doesn’t help you much in your current situation, but this stuff is really important. But I’m surprised that they can claim they know what the house looked like in 2016 if they can’t remember whether you paid a deposit. I assume there was no inventory report completed at that time.

Anyway, it sounds as if your landpeople try to take advantage of you at this stage, which is unfortunate if you think you always had reasonable relationship with them. However, you don’t need to accept everything they request. For example, if you can come up with evidence for the deposit, chances are that your landpeople are in trouble because, from what you’re saying, they almost certainly didn’t protect it. If your boiler hasn’t been serviced for that long, they also haven’t done the regular gas safety checks that they’re legally required to do. I certainly would try to find an amicable solution that is stress-free for both sides, but if they want a fight, you can certainly fight back.

Hmmm I think in that position I would make your landlord aware you have evidence of the deposit (they aren’t to know it’s not hard and fast evidence) and that from him/them you require the prescribed information and the protection documents for how it has been protected since 2016 as stated by law. You also require all gas safety certs since living at the property (done yearly to comply with the law) and maybe drop in that you are aware thst failure to show proof of deposit protection you would be within your rights to claim for 5x the deposit amount. He/she may suddenly become a lot more willing to be amicable. You may be able to use the lack of protection as leverage to end the contract the when you require. Have you any written consent to change the property eg your decorating if not I would be buying tins of paint to restore the property to its original state especially if the contract states no cosmetic changes without consent (ours do) or any changes must be put to their original.
You should have a copy of every contract you have signed and not getting that would be a huge red flag along with not getting any deposit protection information.

If no inventory was made then the LL has no proof of what the state of the property was when you took it over.
If neither of you has the original tenancy agreement then you only. have the most recent agreement to go by.
Take advice but I would be tempted to negotiate that I would not pay for September in lieu of the fact I was convinced there was a deposit at the beginning. Odd if an inventory was done and no deposit taken.

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