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silverbak
20-01-2009, 13:17 PM
Hello there,

Excuse my layman explanations.

Myself and 3 other housemates signed an AST. We all pay equal rent of £325 a month to the landlord. We all paid £400 each separately under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is a contract where we are all liable as a group for the rent and does not consist of individual tenancies.

We signed to start on 01/07/08 and we all moved in then.

Come 01/01/09 the AST had completed its first 6 months and as per the very clear contract we are now in the 'rolling monthly contract' period.

On 07/01/09 our housemate, J, decided announced that she would be moving out to be with her boyfriend before the end of January and this is when she contacted the agent who said to her that this would end the contract and that we need to find another housemate if we wished to stay in the property. If we had a replacement housemate fully paid up (and cleared) with deposit with the landlord, as well as the first months rent, the landlord says they would be prepared to end the old tenancy as of 01/02/09 and to sign again for another AST with the existing three + new housemate. If this does not happen the landlord has reminded us that that earliest opportunity to service notice that we intend to leave is (as per the contract) is on rent day, 01/02/09 to move out before 01/03/09.

Because we have been unable as yet to secure another housemate it may be that we all go out seperate ways.

The three of us remaining wish to pay for the rent in February and move out prior to 01/03/09. We want good references and the landlord has been good to us.

J however has announced that she has paid up already until 31/01/09 and will not be make any rent payment for February, the last month of the rolling contract after notice is served by us on our next rent day (01/02/09).

I have not been concerned about this because there is no household damage and she paid her £400 deposit.

The house has been very well looked after and will be left very clean by the remaining three of us, as such at this stage anticipate any damage deductions for the property.

The concern I do have is what happens when it comes to the Deposit Scheme and getting our £400 back.

Can the landlord just dispute her £325 defaulted rent from just her £400 or will that £325 be deducted from the deposit as a group, and then monies returned.

I would need to know exactly how this works because I would be prepared to take 'J' to the small claims court in order to file a claim against her. I anticipate that given the good records I've kept and the good relationship we have with our landlord that I would be successful in any judgement. Getting her to actually pay would be another thing, but aside from that in principle it could work.

Naturally the remaining three of us do not want to go down that route and would like to know if her defaulted rent by 'J' will be deducted from just her share and the rest of us get ours back untouched? Or whether it will be deducted at a group level and then we as individuals need to go down the small claims court route to resolve the £325 shortfall?

Thank you in advance for any advice you could share.

jeffrey
20-01-2009, 13:36 PM
Problem: once it's periodic, any of the joint tenants can UNILATERALLY end it.

Planner
20-01-2009, 14:13 PM
As tenant J hasnt served the correct notice, she is liable for the rent until 01/03/09. If she is unwilling to pay this, then the other tenants should pay it and take tenant J to small claims court. If you leave it to the landlord to claim from DPS, the rent arrears will be taken from that and the remainder devided between all of you, including tenant J, which is obviouly not what you want.

silverbak
20-01-2009, 14:25 PM
Thank you for your responses.

I have had an interesting clarification from one of my housemates.

It appears that the deposit is dealt with on a group level so the £325 will be deducted from the total deposit.

However, 'J' is not the 'head tenant' with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, it turns out that 'B' is. She informed me that when her last tenancy (in the same house, same landlord and same Tenancy Deposit Scheme) ended after the landlord deducted a small amount for some very minor damage the rest of the deposit was offered for return using the TDS's online interface. Because 'B' was the head tenant using the online interface it was up to her to decide how the remainder of the deposit was to be distributed. It does so appear at this stage that we will be able to ensure that 'J' receives her deposit less any defaulted rent at our own discretion.

Thank god for the TDS, it really solves a lot of problems for honest folk.

Planner
20-01-2009, 14:30 PM
Thank you for your responses.

Because 'B' was the head tenant using the online interface it was up to her to decide how the remainder of the deposit was to be distributed. It does so appear at this stage that we will be able to ensure that 'J' receives her deposit less any defaulted rent at our own discretion.

Thank god for the TDS, it really solves a lot of problems for honest folk.

Thats very intersting to know.