Here is a blog clinic question from Frank who is a tenant:
Hello! I’m glad I found this website because I have some difficulties to understand the word “rent in advance” in UK (I’m from France). My contract goes from 22th of October 2011 to 21th of April 2012. The part of the contract regarding this is the following:
” The tenant agrees to pay the Rent in advanced by 4 weeks in the following instalments namely a first payment of £1800 on the signature of this Agreement and thereafter the sum of £450 per calendar week commencing on the Friday of each week to 21th of April 2012.”
What I understand is: I have to pay £1800 at the signature and I don’t have to pay anything until the 5th week because I paid that money in advance… But my landlord expects me to pay these 4 first weeks and explain me that “advance” means that he always have 4 weeks front, so I have to pay each week until the end and then I won’t have to pay the last 4 weeks. Nice… But the contract don’t mention this at all so I’m a bit lost. Is that way to pay so standard that it doesn’t have to be mention on the contract or am I right if I refuse to pay the 4 first weeks, considering that I already paid for it?
Under the general law, ie if your landlord did not provide a tenancy agreement, rent is payable in arrears. However if they use a tenancy agreement, landlords can require tenants to pay rent in advance. So this means that, if rent is paid monthly and is payable on the first day of the month (for example), the tenant pays rent rent for, say June, on the 1st June rather than on 1 July.
What your landlord is doing is asking for two months rent in advance. However, you are quite right, the tenancy agreement does not actually say that, other than for the initial payment. So I don’t see why you should not refuse to pay the second months rent, on the basis that you have already paid it.
What does anyone else think?