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I signed a 12 month AST which was due to expire 19th December 2014. Once I had given my notice to the letting agent that I was not going to renew (I have bought a house) then agent asked if they could begin viewings for a potential new tenant, so we allowed this. They found a new tenant quickly and asked (via telephone) if the new tenant could move in at the end of November. We completed on the house in October and so the keys were handed back on 25th November 2014 on the basis that this was a joint and voluntary surrendering of the tenancy agreement. This was all done via telephone and nothing received in writing.

 

I wrote a letter, which I took with me when I went to the letting agent to handover the keys (see attachment). The letting agent wrote 'return of keys only' underneath and signed it. I have received no other communication from the letting agent to say that the tenancy agreement has ended and I presume I am still bound by it.

 

The deposit has not yet been returned, despite me asking for it.

 

I have cancelled the standing order for the rent and am worried that I am still liable for the last month of rent. Have I been evicted? Where do I stand legally?

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You have not been illegally evicted, you vacated voluntarily and returned keys on 25 Nov to Agent.

Unfortunately there was nothing in writing about mutually agreed surrender.

Assuming T commenced 20 Dec 13 and rent payable pcm in advance, you maybe liable for rent due 20 Nov 14, however a reasonable LL may disregard in acknowledgement of your co-operation.

Send LL a Letter before Action asking for return of full deposit within 14 days, to AST 'address for service of Notice', prob LA address, reminding him he benefited from your early departure. If no reply, be prepared to lodge a MCoL claim. cc LA.

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Thank you mariner51. I have already sent a letter asking for return of deposit, which has not been acknowledged. I've opted for the MyDeposit dispute resolution rather than court proceedings at this stage (but this does not seem to preclude me from raising court proceedings at a later date). Rent was paid 20th November for a full month (but as I vacated early, with letting agents verbal agreement, am I therefore due a partial refund?). Standing Order has now been cancelled, there will be no further rent payments.

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Full rent for month (20 Dec - 19 Jan) was payable on due date, any rebate is at discretion of LL. Sorry.

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Has a new tenant moved in, and if so, when?

 

They cannot charge you rent and also charge the new tenant rent. But if the tenant ended up not moving in at the end of November, it may be that they have done you up like a kipper.

 

Alternatively, they are slow and inefficient. Have you spoken to them?

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agree with Steve, LL cant get paid twice! can you check if new tenant actually moved in?

Also have you informed scheme you have moved out and they should contact LL or agent about returning deposit within 14 days!.

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The new tenant moved in on the 30th November (I have checked, I live nearby). I have informed the MyDeposits that I have moved out and new tenants are in. Agent ignores requests for return of deposit by stating "waiting for landlord to make a decision on deductions for gardening". It's been 4 weeks since I handed the keys in!

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Well if you have advised my deposits, they should be chasing it; get dispute resolution going and indeed possibly start court proceedings.

Send a letter before action to LL and agent for return of deposit within 7 days or you will go to court.

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