Reletting on behalf of tenant

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Can anyone help me on where I stand with this? (sorry its a long one)

I signed two tenants up to a 6 month AST on 25 June 2010.In October they phoned to say they would not be renewing the tenancy and that they wanted to move.

In November they called to say they had signed a lease on a second flat that ran from 1 December. They asked at this point if they could have their deposit back on the 1st and cease paying rent from then. Both of which I refused.

They also suggested that I could find new tenants to replace them and therefore release them from the tenancy and refund any rent that would be due.

I actually had put the flat on the market for sale in October when they gave their first notice. I did also show a set of prospective tenants round but they were not suitable and I left the flat for sale.

An agency had contacted me about the flat, by December, there had been few viewings and no offers on the flat and I let the agency try and find new tenants (I lived in the main in Edinburgh and the flat is in London). They found two suitable tenants. I met them and they said they wanted to move in after Christmas, in reality they signed the tenancy on 18 December.

Throughout December the previous tenants sent many texts and made phone calls asking about whether I had found new tenants to move in, they also wanted to hand the keys back but I asked therm to hold onto them. Unfortunatley they did not give any written notice nor did we put anything about this agreement in writing.

The previous tenants are now claiming that as I let the flat they are due the final weeks rent back of 195. However, agents and advertising fees cost me 382. When I relet the flat I thought they owed me the difference but didn't pursue it as I thought the timing and amounts were petty.

I think my position is that strictly speaking they owe me money as I can deduct my reletting expenses from the rent paid - is this the case or am I wrong?

24/01/2011 00:00

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