#AskTDS: "If I rent to students, what would happen if they leave the tenancy when their course ends?"

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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.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; we offer both insured and custodial protection. We also provide fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps.

Posted by Debbie Davies on 8 September 2017

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