This article has been written in response to a landlord’s query: “If I rent to students, what would happen if they leave the tenancy when their course ends?”
In a case where a tenant vacates the property prior to the end date of the tenancy, the tenant will remain liable for the rent until the end date stated in the tenancy agreement. There are instances where a tenant will request, to the landlord/agent, permission to leave the property early; this will remain the landlord/agents decision. It is a common occurrence that in situations such as this, the landlord/agent will grant permission to bring the tenancy to an end on the condition of finding another suitable tenant to commence a tenancy at the property.
Where the tenancy deposit is protected or held by TDS, the parties will not be able to request for the deposit to be returned (Custodial scheme), or protection ended (Insured scheme) until such a time that the tenancy agreement has officially ended. In the instance of TDS dealing with disputes, TDS will look at the date each party has stated the tenancy ended, if the claim is over rent arrears, and will look for supporting evidence.
As previously explored in our blog Ask TDS: “We are letting our property to four tenants – do they pay the deposit separately or together?”, you may have instances where you have tenants that have paid a combined deposit. If one of these tenants takes the decision to vacate the property early, for instance when their course ends rather than the end date of the tenancy, they will remain equally responsible for any deductions from the deposit even if the property was in good order when they vacated.
One student may leave the property and fully clean the property, including communal areas before they leave. If the remaining tenants then go on to leave the property in an unclean condition, the tenants will remain jointly and severally liable. The relevant deductions will then be made from the deposit as a whole.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.