Tenant wants to leave after 1 month

Hi, as recently as 5 weeks ago I let a property to a lady and her daughter.
This week (week 5) I received the following:

  1. Text to say she could not deal with spiders. She said there were quite a few and they were very very big spiders. Apparently she emptied a can of bug spray on one. I offered to come round and see the situation but she did not reply.
  2. On my way home from work I text tenant to say I was home slightly early and could come round.
    She did not reply until later and I missed the text msg. However, she went on to scold me on text to say i was disrespectful. There was a toaster and kettle that she found in the bottom cupboard that she would leave in the front garden as I did not collect it. When she moved in I said she could keep them or put them in the recycle bin.
  3. Hot Water. I received another text to say that after 30 minutes of showering the water would go cold. This time I tried to call her. She answered the 2nd time but said she would call back in 5 mins. 3 hours later she called but only to talk over me and rant at me.

I resorted to email and said I would assist but not sure what I could do. 30 mins of hot showering is a small 2 bed is good going.

She responded quite harshly to my simple email and said she is giving me notice.

I have checked the contract and it does state that unless mutually agree the earliest either side can give notice is 4 months (with 2 months notice period) ie the earliest she could leave is 6 months from contract date.

In her email she said “I dont care about the deposit”. But this is with DPS and unless she agrees to release deposit to me this is not a good avenue.

My Issue.
I feel the sudden change in the once very polite and very sweet person who has now turned quite nasty wanted out. She has now written to me to do as I please and her daughter is allergic to spider bites.
It is clear she wants to get out of the contract and looking for excuses.

Dear fellow Landlords - what are my options? It not going to be easy to show someone the property - I can tell from her nasty emails.
Can I withhold deposit?
Is court action wort it> ie she will be leaving 3 months earlier than stated in the contract.

Truthfully, if she was honest and explained her circumstances I would have been quite understanding and would have mutually agreed to exit contract. However, She is not going to be cooperative and I will most definitely be out of pocket.

What would you suggest.

Dont show anyone the place while she is living there.( Spiders live everywhere ) I would let her go Dont give a reference to another landlord

she could sign a form that you make out to say she wants the deposit to go to you in lieu of rent. I have done this successfully recently

This is a situation that I have experienced on a couple of occasions, they try to find something to complain about to walk away from the contract. Do you really need this tenant? my advise is get rid ASAP you don’t need the hassle and its not worth going down the legal route its going to cost you much more then you will get back. I always pay the insurance premium and keep hold of the deposit, in a case like this its better in your hands. Beats me how any one can stand in a shower for half an hour, she must come out like a prune.

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never thought of that ,Half hour in shower I am infor 5 minutes

Hi Vijai, sorry to hear about this frustrating situation.

This is the saddest part!

Tough situation and great to see other landlords offering their views.

I would probably agree with @Ashley3 and @Colin3’s point that, as annoying as it is, it probably isn’t worth the hassle of dealing with a tenant who is intent on making things difficult and trying to leave early without being upfront about it.

If you think your property is in a good state to be re-let, it could be worth allowing her to leave. Make sure you get everything you agree in writing, of course!

@Colin3 @Ashley3 and Sam
Thank you all for your feedback and advice.
The tenant has said she doesn’t care about the deposit. I will get it in writing and on that basis of keeping her deposit I will release her from the contract.

30mins in shower. It gets better - she wants to shower for 1 hour.

@Colin3 - totally agree that I cannot risk showing the place whilst she is there.
Spiders - my 10 yr old daughter is frightened of them but accepts that with windows open they will come in. She just gets the hand vac out - sucks them up and actually releases them.

I don’t need or want this tenant.

Does anyone want a Toaster and Kettle ? - LoL

Thank you all. Great advice - Vijai

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@Sam - Can the Notice be on email ?
Also the Deposit that the tenant agrees to lose - can this be on email (as per contract email address) or have to be in writing and signed?

Go for either. an email can be sent on to the deposit holding people

The tenant now has stopped communicating. Also not responded to DPS request to release deposit to me.
I have her text saying that she doesn’t care about the Deposit.
Do other Landlords know if this evidence is sufficient enough for DPS? I ask as its on SMS text.

you can get your sms printed out But i dont know how you do this

Hi all,
I requested the Full Deposit from the the tenant via DPS and they hav not responded. DPS advised me to complete the Statutory Declaration Form and get it witness signed by Solicitor, etc. This is a 14 day process.
Following that and no response / challenge from the tenant the Deposit will be released to me.

I have one question. Without a doubt the tenant will not be cooperative. How will I be able to trace her if she leaves no forwarding address / contact details.
Quite certain they will change their email and mobile number.
I have her passport details.
How can I take her to court if I don’t know how to contact her in future.

Hi Vijai, our partners at Landlord Action can help if it comes to that: