View Full Version : Couple splitting- new AST for one- what about deposit?

13-03-2009, 12:01 PM
I let out a flat to a couple with a baby and they have told me they are splitting up and that the woman wants to stay there and claim housing allowance to pay the rent. This is not a problem as I regard her as a reasonable tenant and I believe she would continue to pay on time if she gets the housing benefit.

I understand that the best course of action will be to end the current tenancy and issue a new tenancy in the woman's name only.

The problem is what happens with the deposit? The original deposit is with the protection scheme and I understand that the tenant claims it back from them when the tenancy ends and I agree that there is no damage to be paid for. This is fine except that I would require a new deposit before the new tenancy starts and the woman cannot pay this until she gets the previous deposit back.

What should we do? Any suggestions?

13-03-2009, 12:12 PM
Have you, the woman and the woman's partner agreed that the tenancy has come to an end? Has the partner vacated?

13-03-2009, 12:25 PM
The man is staying with his parents and has not 'officially' moved out yet. Both agree to sign a letter stating that they wish to end the current tenancy. The woman would then be willing to take out the new AST in her name only. I understand she has an appointment to apply for housing allowance on Monday.

13-03-2009, 12:30 PM
I would STRONGLY suggest you end the current tenancy (send notices etc or get cast-iron letter from current tenants that your solicitor is happy with) then raise a new tenancy agreement.

Situation you wish to avoid is that of thinking everyone agrees "he" has gone , 5 months further on, man decides he wishes to move back in and the court decides he is still a legal tenant... I'd also want to be very clear to the woman who is allowed to reside in the property (just her & baby unless with your written consent..)

Single ladies have a habit of getting new partners, particularly if there is a bed/food/TV....

Good luck!


13-03-2009, 12:33 PM
Single ladies have a habit of getting new partners, particularly if there is a bed/food/TV....
Well, not every one- but, if they do, the 'partner' is usually not so concerned with the food or the TV!

13-03-2009, 12:44 PM
I find single mothers one of the best bets when taking some one on who is getting HB/LHA.

13-03-2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks for advice so far.

The rent has been paid today for the next month, so I guess that gives me a bit more time to decide what to do.

I had wondered what would happen if they decided to get back together at a later stage. If it was this particular man there would be no problem with him living there, but I obviously don't want to get into the situation where any Tom Dick or Harry is there.

I'll explain the implications to the tenants and ask them to give formal notice if they still want to end the tenancy. Until they do this I don't really think I need to do anything else - or do I? Not much point in me issuing notices - wouldn't it be better to leave it to them to make their minds up and take the necessary action, ie. giving the correct notice in writing, to end the tenancy?

BTW any suggestions re. the deposit, if they do decide to give notice?


13-03-2009, 12:48 PM
If the tenancy ends the deposit would have to be returned to the tenants. If you chose to re-let to one of the couple it would be a new tenancy, with a new deposit if you choose to take one, and need protecting correctly.

13-03-2009, 12:53 PM
That's the problem - she wouldn't have the cash for the new deposit until the first one was repaid from the scheme - which I understand takes a couple of weeks.

Therefore she would be living there without a deposit in place for that time or she would have to move out until she had the deposit. It seems a bit extreme to make her move out but I don't want to be in a position where I don't have the protection of the deposit.

13-03-2009, 12:56 PM
The deposit has to be protected with in 14 days of RECEIVING it. If the deposit isn't paid until she's been living there for a couple of weeks the 14 days would start then. You'd just have the risk of a let property with no deposit.

13-03-2009, 13:18 PM
Would she be elgible for a crisis loan from the DWP so that she could pay you the deposit at the start of her tenancy? She could then pay the DWP back when she gets her money out of the DPS. It would make sense if she could be helped out over a couple of weeks csahflow problem than risk homelessness with all the costs that puts on the public sector not to mention the harm it would do to her and the child.

Alternatively, maybe teh local credit union could help out with a short term loan.

13-03-2009, 13:27 PM
Crisis loan - good idea - I hadn't thought of that. Might be a possibility. Thanks

Although I trust the tenant, I dont want to risk a period of time without a deposit being in place - just in case!

13-03-2009, 13:46 PM
Also Local Authority often have homeless prevention teams that have 'homeless prevention budgets' and also 'rent assist' schemes.