When are you able to charge your tenant double rent?

Liam O’Shea, Director and Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution department discusses the circumstances in which you may be able to charge your tenant double rent.

Liam explained “It can be a cause of frustration for Landlords to not get vacant possession of their property by the date their Tenants told them they would vacate.

Unfortunately, should a Tenant fail to vacate the property by the stated date then the Landlord would still need to apply to a Court for an Order granting possession of the property.

However, there may be a silver-lining for a Landlord.

The Distress for Rent Act 1737, which is still in force today, states that in circumstances where a Tenant has served notice to quit a property and then fails to vacate on the agreed date, the Tenant is liable to pay double the rent that was due under the tenancy agreement.

This is subject to the following caveats; first, should the Tenant genuinely believe they had the right to remain in occupation then they may be able to defend a claim for double rent and secondly, the Landlord must treat the Tenant as a trespasser once the notice to quit has expired and must not accept rent at the old level.”

Should you need to obtain possession of your property, or should your Tenants be in arrears of rent, then please contact Liam O’Shea of Astle Paterson’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution department on 01283 531366 or by way of email to

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