Deed of Surrender_ tenant who leaves before 6 months contract date has been reached

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S
Shale
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We are landlords that operate professional HMO,s. One of our recent tenants is a prison officer and was 3 months into her 6 month shorthold tenancy.She seemed happy enough in the house until a new young man moved in and came back to the house with his friends one night and started to use Cocaine. He was a professional chap and when we found out about this we made it clear drugs would not be tolerated in our properties and he would be evicted if he used drugs in the house again.

The young lady who works in the prison service was naturally nervous about this, as I suspect they have sniffer dogs who can pick up Cocaine and this may have put her position at work at risk. We offered to move her next door, as we have a large portfolio of properties and always have other rooms to move people into if there are issues. However she rejected all offers and did a moonlight flit. She did not offer us 1 months notice and she still has 3 months to go on her contract. She has just hooked up with a new boyfriend and we suspect that moving in with her new man was also part of the motivation.

I know we are entitled to take her to court for the months she owes us, but we do feel some sympathy for her situation and do not want to hold her to the 900 rent outstanding she owes us. We wish to come to a mutual solution out of court. Have you any advise. We did offer to remove her from her contract as soon as we found someone else to rent the room, but she has rejected this offer. We believe we acted in the correct way by a) offering to remove the man who was the drug taker (who is now on a warning) or b) offering her a choice of other accomodation nearby which was a like for like swap.

If we do ever reach a mutually acceptable resolution, do we need to sign a deed of surrender with her by which she agrees to end her tenancy with us and maybe just pay us 50% of the weeks she owes us up to the date we mutually terminate the contract. Or...are we being too soft? Any suggestions

02/10/2011 00:00

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