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timothytaylor
24-02-2010, 09:09 AM
Good Morning,

I’ve scoured the recent posts and not quite found the information that I need although I’m sure that one of your well advised users can help me out.

I’m a landlord.
2 bedroomed flat with 2 couples – all signed up on one AST. Each couple paying half of the monthly rent. Bills sorted out between them.
Couple A leaves so just couple B remain.
Couple B want to stay but are reluctant to sign up to a new AST until they find replacements for couple A.
As B have the run of the flat am I correct to think that they are liable for the whole of the rent? They do currently take responsibility for all of the bills.
It does seem at the moment that B are quite comfortable with the current arrangements and are not very progressive with finding flatmates.
I don’t want to subject them to sharing with tenants of my choice as that may not work out as well but I am reluctant to keep things going as present indefinitely and am considering repossession.

Hope that makes sense and I look forward to your guidance.

Thanks - TT

justaboutsane
24-02-2010, 09:36 AM
As they signed one AST they are liable for the whole rent as they were Jointly and Severally liable with couple A. Notify them of this fact and ensure you charge them the whole rent. Advise them that if rent arrears accumulate to 8 weeks you will issue notice.... that may give them a rocket up their behinds to find new flat mates!!

Lawcruncher
24-02-2010, 09:40 AM
You say they all signed one agreement. That means, unless you provided otherwise, that each person who signed is liable for the whole rent. I think that if you tell them they are liable for the whole it will encourage them to find replacements.

timothytaylor
25-02-2010, 08:57 AM
Wow - thank you both very much
My first posting and 2 replys within 31 minutes
Keep up the good work for a fairer system for all

timothytaylor
25-02-2010, 09:46 AM
Hello, back again, all is not as simple as I had thought – or am I getting my knickers in a twist?

As a precautionary measure I am looking at serving a section 21 (a) notice and note that “all tenants must be named”

As both couples A and B have signed original AST do I serve notice on them both but not hold them both liable for rental income from the date one pair left.
OR
Do I just serve written notice on remaining tenants?

Tenants that left gave one months notice to all concerned and left 4 weeks ago if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance oh wise ones.

TT

Lawcruncher
25-02-2010, 10:34 AM
Just to confirm: When notice was give was the tenancy periodic, i.e. had the fixed term expired?

timothytaylor
25-02-2010, 10:43 AM
yes - 6 month AST had expired
now periodic
thanks

westminster
25-02-2010, 13:36 PM
yes - 6 month AST had expired
now periodic
thanks


What was the date of the last day of the fixed term?
Was rent paid monthly?
What date did couple A give notice?
What date did couple A move out?
Did couple A & B pay a deposit and was it protected?

timothytaylor
25-02-2010, 14:24 PM
AST began 1st May2009. Ran until 31st October.
Monthly rent – due on the first of every calendar month. Paid erratically but I show a level of leniency to accommodate tenants work regime.
Notice given 10th January.
Moved out 31st January – I know it’s not the full months notice but was mutually acceptable. – Yes I am too lenient as a landlord but I think the benefit of a good Landlord/Tenant relationship pays dividends in the long run.
No deposit taken – I make sure that I know my tenants so find the threat/use of small claims ensures eventual payment.

TT

westminster
25-02-2010, 14:38 PM
Notice given 10th January.
Moved out 31st January – I know it’s not the full months notice but was mutually acceptable.

Technically, the earliest couple A's notice could expire is 28th February 2010 (notice served in periodic tenancy must be at least one month and also end at the end of a rental period, in this case the periods run 1st to last day of the month).

As far as I know, couple A's notice ends the whole tenancy, on 28th February 2010. If couple B remain in occupation, they will, I think, become trespassers. I don't know enough to advise you further on what to do next.

jeffrey
25-02-2010, 16:04 PM
Yes. Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.

westminster
25-02-2010, 16:53 PM
Yes. Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.
Does that mean OP can apply for a possession order to evict the trespassers (aka couple B) on or after 1st March? (assuming OP has evidence that notice was given by couple A). And will couple B be liable for any sort of rent-type payment while they remain in occupation?

jeffrey
25-02-2010, 17:04 PM
Does that mean OP can apply for a possession order to evict the trespassers (aka couple B) on or after 1st March? (assuming OP has evidence that notice was given by couple A). And will couple B be liable for any sort of rent-type payment while they remain in occupation?
Both couples- A1/A2 and B1/B2- are joint tenants; so no-one's a trespasser.

timothytaylor
25-02-2010, 18:29 PM
So back to square 1 – but a bit wiser.
If only tenants B1/B2 remain by choice as tenants, not trespassers – are they liable for the full rent whilst they remain in situ?
AND
If I do issue a section 21(a) – [more than anything to encourage B1/B2 to find replacements for A1/A2 and/or to put pressure on B1/B2 to sign a new AST]– do I just issue to B1/B2 (which seems to make sense) or do I have to search out both A1/A2 as well – they being on the original AST which I wish to curtail.
Thanks a lot for now

TT

westminster
25-02-2010, 18:48 PM
Yes. Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.



Both couples- A1/A2 and B1/B2- are joint tenants; so no-one's a trespasser.

I don't understand. Couple A gave notice to end the tenancy. This happened after the tenancy had become periodic. Couple A's notice, given on 10th Jan, has to expire 28th Feb. Surely that ends the joint tenancy of couple A & B as per your first comment.

chappers2341
25-02-2010, 19:02 PM
Yes the joint tenancy is now over, notice should be served on couple B, but I would have thought that a new tenancy had now been created and notice couldn't be given for 6 months, provided they paid the whole rent.

havensRus
25-02-2010, 20:23 PM
Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.


Couple A gave notice to end the tenancy. This happened after the tenancy had become periodic. Couple A's notice, given on 10th Jan, has to expire 28th Feb. Surely that ends the joint tenancy of couple A & B as per your first comment.



Yes the joint tenancy is now over, notice should be served on couple B, but I would have thought that a new tenancy had now been created and notice couldn't be given for 6 months, provided they paid the whole rent.

Following this logically, the joint tenancy of A1/A2 and B1/B2 ends on 28-Feb-10, following the NTQ given by A1/A2.

That means both couples must vacate the property, as per their notice, on or before 28-Feb-10.

If B1/B2 wish to remain after that date, they must sign a new AST. Otherwise, they may be subject to the Distress for Rent Act, S18 which states: "T who determines tenancy by NTQ but then fails to vacate and wilfully holds over has to pay DOUBLE RENT"

Perhaps OP can use that to put a bomb under them to find new co-sharers within the next few days or sign a new AST anyway - for the whole flat!

timothytaylor
26-02-2010, 09:12 AM
What a dilemma!!!!!!!!!!

I have found many threads where couples as tenants have separated and one has remained.
As its not possible to second guess the whereabouts of all tenants, am I to assume that remaining tenant is then without any tenancy agreement as original was signed by both? – Similar to my situation.
If remaining tenant refuses to sign new tenancy OR landlord doesn’t want to commit to full 6 month term then what?

To serve section 21 on absent tenants is not always possible so the implication is that Landlords can be stuck in a situation not of their doing.

Common sense (which is not always applicable) tells me that it is only possible to serve notice on remaining tenant and as I don’t wish to commit to occupancy for a full 6 months seems the logical way forward.

Hope that brings about some sort of coordinated response for the best way forward.

As before thanks very much for your input.

TT

jeffrey
26-02-2010, 11:32 AM
Look- unless everyone vacates, those who remain must be holding either:
a. a continuation tenancy; or
b. a new tenancy.
Either way, the tenancy concerned is indivisible.

westminster
26-02-2010, 12:26 PM
What a dilemma!!!!!!!!!!

I have found many threads where couples as tenants have separated and one has remained.
As its not possible to second guess the whereabouts of all tenants, am I to assume that remaining tenant is then without any tenancy agreement as original was signed by both? – Similar to my situation.
If remaining tenant refuses to sign new tenancy OR landlord doesn’t want to commit to full 6 month term then what?

To serve section 21 on absent tenants is not always possible so the implication is that Landlords can be stuck in a situation not of their doing.

Common sense (which is not always applicable) tells me that it is only possible to serve notice on remaining tenant and as I don’t wish to commit to occupancy for a full 6 months seems the logical way forward.

Hope that brings about some sort of coordinated response for the best way forward.

As before thanks very much for your input.

TT

Aside from anything else, you don't need to serve notice on Couple A's new address.

What I would do, as you still have 2 days until this tenancy might expire due to Couple A's notice, is this: Serve a S.21(4)(a) notice before 28th February naming all four tenants as 'the Tenant' on the notice, served at the rental property address. It should seek possession after 30th April 2010.

This will avoid the uncertainty surrounding whether Couple A are legally tenants after 28th Feb. It will also encourage Couple B to sort themselves out and make a decision. If they don't, then you can start proceedings for possession on 1st May.

Due to the tight deadline, you would have to deliver the notice yourself, and take a witness so you have evidence the notice was served.