Tenant has left before term ends


We signed up a tenant in on May 1st 2021, using the OpenRent contract (AST 12months). Our tenant spoke to us the other day and due to family issues want to move out. I stated that after 4 months they can give us 2 months notice etc. I agreed with them that if I could find a new tenant then we could come to some agreement. I advertised, did viewings and picked a tenant that wanted to move in the following weekend, I relayed this to the tenant in situ, who told me they were moving out at the weekend anyway. It turns out the new prospective tenant has decided they no longer want the property. The best I have done is let it but in a months time, so losing out on 1 months rent at least, obviously if I had been given proper notice this wouldn’t of happened. I am also no owed the last months rent!

Question is, do I pursue the missed rent and lack of notice, will it be hassle and costly, have I made a mistake trying to be accommodating?


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That’s awful someone has up and left with no notice. I’m looking desperately looking for somewhere to rent in Maidstone.
How long was the contract signed for? Obviously they are still meant to pay this months rent regardless moving on a few days notice aren’t they?

This is a situation of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Short answer is, yes, you have made it complicated. You could’ve made it very easy and told them they could pay you one month beyond when they moved out as compensation for breaking the lease. That should’ve given you enough time to find another tenant.

Problem is when you say “if I can find one” you haven’t really given them a yes or no so how can they make plans? Did they tell you the date they were moving? Otherwise, how could you know when the other tenants could move in?

It’s also tricky as your agreement were not contingent on moving a tenant in (if I take your words at face value) but on finding a tenant. Strictly speaking, you have found a tenant. Did you say/agree that the “old” tenant would have to pay for the time the property was empty? If not, it’s hard to enforce.

I’d try to come to an agreement, or try to get the money off their deposit, but I wouldn’t go to court.

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“obviously if I had been given proper notice this wouldn’t of happened”

That’s not really true. You would have gone through exactly the same process and lost the first tenant and then had a delay. It happens to us all.

You could have tried to force the tenant to honour the contract, but that never works. That’s why many landlords give only 6 month fixed terms as a longer tenancy only really benefits the tenant.

If you implied in your communication with the tenant that he could be released at the weekend then you would be bound by that, particularly if its in writing.

Make sure you get a signed deed of surrender as he leaves.

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