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NeddyB
10-03-2010, 11:17 AM
Hi,

I have been renting my flat for nearly 3 years, my current cotenant moved in about 18 months ago

However, we don't get on (I didn’t know her before she moved in) . We have very little contact, but when we do - she is very rude towards me... long story short - I've had enough of living with her. I have now found another friend who I know and trust that would like to move in.

When she moved in we signed a 6 month shorthold tenancy. Previously when this expired before, I always signed on for another 6 months. However she refused to sign another term after the expiry of our first 6 months together, so we are now on a monthly periodic statutory tenancy.... (which is something, I hope I can use against her)

I am very settled in the flat, and have absolutely no intention of moving out myself, I have however asked my cotenant if she would move out a couple of times, and she has refused. I tried to do it the nice way, so now basically I’m asking if there are any underhand techniques I can deploy??

What I want to know is what happens if I hand in notice? (although I’m not going anywhere) I know she would be responsible for all the rent. But then if she did find someone to share with her – would she have to sort out a brand new tenancy for both of them? (that’s what I had to do when she moved in) If this is the case, does she have any exclusivity?? Does the landlord have to offer it to her?? Could he then say sign a tenancy with me & my friend.

Given the fact that I get on very well with the landlord and she very much rubs them up the wrong way, I can’t see there being any issue in getting him to agree to giving me first shout on the flat. I’m certain that I have them onside

I know it’s not the most ethical way of doing it... I’m essentially trying to ransom my flatmate with – move out, or pay all the rent on you own (knowing she can’t afford that), but I have to get this woman out of my home.

Also, as we are on the rolling monthly deal, is it worth discussing with the landlord, getting him to serve us both notice, and perhaps using the bargaining tool of, me been willing to sign say a 12 month deal – which obviously brings them greater security, as they are still paying the mortgage on this place

Any thoughts on how I can gid her out, much appreciated. I know many people will say I will have to move, but I don’t want to do that, this is my home and she has come in and made it a crap place to live.

Cheers

eneiand
10-03-2010, 13:34 PM
This sounds like a hilarious rom-com. While trying everything you can to get this woman to leave she drives you so crazy you fall for her :)

Everything you are suggesting sounds real slimey. I think if you can't work it out then you have to move. Everything else is probably not worth the stress to pull it off never mind that it is also ethically wrong.

I mean you wouldn't advise a landlord to employ any of those tactics to get rid of someone, they would be tarred as pure evil to do so, so what is the difference for a tenant?

westminster
10-03-2010, 14:58 PM
What I want to know is what happens if I hand in notice? (although I’m not going anywhere) I know she would be responsible for all the rent.
Wrong. Assuming this is an AST in England/Wales, if Tenant1 gives notice in a periodic tenancy it ends the joint tenancy for Tenant2 as well. (If it wasn't so, T1 would be stuck with endless liability for rent if T2 never moved out).

LL is free to issue a new tenant to whoever he wants when the joint tenancy ends. (Not sure, but you might have to move out for at least one day/night to draw a legal line under the old tenancy - though I might be imagining this...)

If the woman refuses to go, LL would have to take action to evict you both. (Though he could always let you back in afterwards on a new tenancy :))

Notice in a periodic tenancy must be in writing and at least one month and expire on the last day of a rental period. The periods begin the day after the fixed term ended. So, for example, if your fixed term ended 20th January, the periods would run 21st - 20th of the month, and notice would have to end on the 20th of the month. Using this example, if you served notice today, the notice would have to expire on 20th April.

Also note that LL would have to return the deposit to you both, then re-protect any deposit you paid for the new tenancy.

Preston
10-03-2010, 22:01 PM
LL is free to issue a new tenant to whoever he wants when the joint tenancy ends.

This is true.


(Not sure, but you might have to move out for at least one day/night to draw a legal line under the old tenancy - though I might be imagining this...)


No, there is no requirement to move out. The key issue is whether the previous tenancy has ended. In this regard it is, as Westminster has pointed out, vital that the tenant's written notice is correctly drafted otherwise (unless endorsed by both tenants and accepted by the landlord) it will have no legal effect.

NeddyB
11-03-2010, 08:43 AM
Okay many thanks guys, does anyone know where I can find a template or something similar to make sure my notice is correctly drafted...

westminster
11-03-2010, 13:24 PM
Okay many thanks guys, does anyone know where I can find a template or something similar to make sure my notice is correctly drafted...

There is no official format for T to give notice. So long as you get the expiry date right*, you could just say that you are giving notice to end the tenancy for [rental property address] on [date], yours sincerely, NeddyB.

If you want to be a little more formal about it, you could include all the tenancy details, such as the date the fixed term was created, name of LL and both Ts. You could then cc the woman so she is aware that this means the tenancy ends for both of you. If she doesn't believe you, show her this link (http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/ending_a_tenancy_or_licence/ending_a_periodic_agreement) from the Shelter website on the subject of ending periodic tenancies; scroll to the bottom, where it says:

"If just one joint tenant gives valid notice to the landlord, the agreement will normally automatically be ended for all of you. None of you will have the right to continue living there."

Be sure to keep a copy of the notice, and post the notice first class, with a free certificate of posting. Also, if posting close to the monthly deadline, bear in mind that the notice will not be deemed as served until 2-3 days after you post it, so factor this in.

*Are you clear on how this is worked out?

NeddyB
11-03-2010, 14:12 PM
We pay rent monthly on the 1st of each month.

I can't remeber which month, but our fixed rental agreement ended on the last day of a month (I have this at home, and can check it).

So if thsi is all correct, and I were to serve notice today, would it have to be for the tenancy agreement to terminate at the end of April?

westminster
11-03-2010, 14:31 PM
We pay rent monthly on the 1st of each month.

I can't remeber which month, but our fixed rental agreement ended on the last day of a month (I have this at home, and can check it).

So if thsi is all correct, and I were to serve notice today, would it have to be for the tenancy agreement to terminate at the end of April?

Yes, correct.

Mars Mug
11-03-2010, 14:32 PM
What happens if the other tenant refuses to move out? Will the landlord then take you both to court (or just her)? Won’t it become apparent to her that something funny is going on when you don’t move out before your notice expires?

NeddyB
11-03-2010, 14:50 PM
This is my only real fear - that she may not physically move out.

I don't care if she knows something is going on, as long as it is all perfectly legal... I asked her more than once if there was any way she would consider moving out, and she said no, and was also quick to point out that I have no way of kicking her out. (at this point I was only being friendly and not trying to kick her out).

She's said she's fine if I want to move out... I can't do that without ending our tenancy agreement, so I'm happy to take the chance that the landlord will prefer me staying there

Stel
11-03-2010, 16:02 PM
Sounds like your co-tenant is also quite settled in her home and will be just as keen as you are to stay on. If I was your landlord I would be saying thank you for your notice and looking for another tenant. Last thing Id want is to have to got to the /bother and expense of starting eviction proceedings to sort out your squabble. It sounds like your co-tenant may well be willing to force that situation.

westminster
11-03-2010, 17:31 PM
Sounds like your co-tenant is also quite settled in her home and will be just as keen as you are to stay on. If I was your landlord I would be saying thank you for your notice and looking for another tenant. Last thing Id want is to have to got to the /bother and expense of starting eviction proceedings to sort out your squabble. It sounds like your co-tenant may well be willing to force that situation.

Eviction proceedings will be necessary regardless of any squabble if the woman simply won't go. And, @Mars Mug: the LL would have to evict both.

If I were the LL and knew NeddyB had been a good tenant for three years, I'd be open to negotiate a new tenancy with him - why not? It doesn't matter who's fault it is they don't get on, these things happen and I can see why Neddy feels he has a greater 'right' to stay put, having lived there for twice as long as the woman.

Mars Mug
11-03-2010, 22:25 PM
If I were the LL and knew NeddyB had been a good tenant for three years, I'd be open to negotiate a new tenancy with him - why not? It doesn't matter who's fault it is they don't get on, these things happen and I can see why Neddy feels he has a greater 'right' to stay put, having lived there for twice as long as the woman.

Sure, but would you be willing to take them both to court to get just one to leave? And of course we are only seeing one side here.

NeddyB
12-03-2010, 08:48 AM
From the landlords point of view:

If I tell him I want to hand in my notice he essentially has 3 choices

1 - Me - I have a new cotenant who wants to move in, willing to sign a new tenancy agreement asap. The landlord and the new cotenat have met before and got on. I have always been willing to recommit to a further 6 months when my AST expires. He knows I'm a good tenant, who wont cause him any hassle and will pay promptly every month.

2 - My housemate - She doesn't have anyone who will move in with her (she will be advertising on the internet for a roommate). She was unwilling to commit for a further 6 months after the AST expired. Also she has written the lanlord letters in the past, complainng about their service when it comes to fixing things etc..

3 - New tenants, he could tell both of us to leave and find new tenants, but again I know they have had problems with tenants in other properties, causing damage, and hence I think they appriciate I'm a pretty good tenant.


Valid point, this is only 'my side' of events, but these are all facts.

Mars Mug
12-03-2010, 11:56 AM
Maybe the other tenant will simply leave, you can judge that for yourself, but if they choose to be difficult then a court case may be the only option left. I just wonder if the landlord would be willing to go to that much trouble, and just how it would look to a judge who finds that neither tenant wants to go and the landlord is really planning to force just one to leave?

NeddyB
12-03-2010, 12:43 PM
But niether the Landlord or I would be doing anything wrong...

This is what i was really trying to find out, that if I end the tenancy agreement, the landlord can then start a new tenancy agreement with whoever he chooses.

westminster
12-03-2010, 12:47 PM
But niether the Landlord or I would be doing anything wrong...

This is what i was really trying to find out, that if I end the tenancy agreement, the landlord can then start a new tenancy agreement with whoever he chooses.
Yes, of course he can.

westminster
12-03-2010, 12:49 PM
Maybe the other tenant will simply leave, you can judge that for yourself, but if they choose to be difficult then a court case may be the only option left. I just wonder if the landlord would be willing to go to that much trouble, and just how it would look to a judge who finds that neither tenant wants to go and the landlord is really planning to force just one to leave?

The only way NeddyB can get out of the situation is by giving notice, and that notice will inescapably end the joint tenancy. He doesn't have the option of just leaving, and letting the woman 'keep' the flat, because he'd remain liable for rent.

Do you have a better, alternative idea?

Mars Mug
12-03-2010, 13:09 PM
There’s always the option to leave things as they are since they rarely meet, but it seems to me that the real incentive is to get a friend in rather than a problem sharer out. Nothing I have posted is intended to be an ‘idea’, just pointing out possible problems, should I not be doing that?


But niether the Landlord or I would be doing anything wrong...

This is what i was really trying to find out, that if I end the tenancy agreement, the landlord can then start a new tenancy agreement with whoever he chooses.

I’m not suggesting that anyone is doing anything wrong, just pointing out that if the other tenant chooses to exercise their rights then things could be a tad more difficult than you might think. Will the landlord be willing to go to court if necessary to get the other tenant out?

NeddyB
12-03-2010, 13:37 PM
Mars mug - appriciate where your coming from, and granted my housemate will probably be as akward about things as she can (I wouldn't of thought she'd take it to court but I guess you never know....)


Will the landlord be willing to go to court if necessary to get the other tenant out?

Well he has no choice but to accept my notice, the real issue is whether or not he would be willing to let me re-sign. So basicaly I'm relying on him not wanting to loose a good tenant, and from his point of view a willingness to sign on and garentuee his income ought to be enough incentive. It's deffinatly a risky strategy, but a route I'm willing to take

Mars Mug
12-03-2010, 14:17 PM
Only you are in a position to judge how the other tenant might respond, I’m not able to.

You say the other tenant does not want to leave, they may ask the landlord if they can stay, they may look for another person to share with.

The other tenant may not want to go to court, but they have no control over when you give notice and your notice period might not suit them in terms of finding another place and moving, with all the costs involved, so they may well drag their heels.

If they do stay beyond the notice period then because it is you who has given notice I’m not sure on what grounds the landlord could take you to court? If the landlord does not take you to court, and the other tenant stays beyond the leaving date, then so do you. If the landlord really wants to play along with the plan then he may need to issue notice to you both to quit. I think it has the potential to get very messy depending on the reaction of the other tenant, and any advice they might be given.

I understand what you are saying about the landlord not wanting to lose a good tenant, but I don’t see that as the problem, I see the potential problem being how do you actually get the other tenant to leave if they really don’t want to?

westminster
12-03-2010, 19:14 PM
I just wonder...how it would look to a judge who finds that neither tenant wants to go and the landlord is really planning to force just one to leave?

There’s always the option to leave things as they are since they rarely meet, but it seems to me that the real incentive is to get a friend in rather than a problem sharer out. Nothing I have posted is intended to be an ‘idea’, just pointing out possible problems, should I not be doing that?
No, of course it's worth pointing out pitfalls and it wasn't a criticism, it's just that I don't see what other option NeddyB has in the circumstances - living with someone you dislike is a nightmare.

Nor do I agree that the LL's response is inevitably going to be negative. Obviously not his problem if the tenants don't get on, but in LL's position I'd be realistic and understand that giving notice was the only available option for NeddyB as opposed to gritting his teeth for the foreseeable future. Especially given that NeddyB's been there for 3 years without any other problems.

If NeddyB gets LL fully on-side, a better option might be for the LL to issue notice, as the woman T may take that more seriously.

Either way, if the woman decides to be uncooperative, LL would have no alternative but to evict both in order to clear the field to create a new tenancy, whether that's with NeddyB and a new co-tenant, or completely different tenants (and I doubt a judge would either ask or care about what LL intends to do after regaining possession, nor would it have any bearing on LL's legal right to regain possession).

Consider alternative scenarios. T1 plays music at full volume every night (and LL gets constant complaints from neighbours), whereas T2 is as quiet as a mouse. Or T1 never pays their rent and T2 always pays on the nail (obviously T2 liable for all the rent as well, but from LL's POV he'd know who's the reliable payer). LL would have to evict both in order to get rid of one.

westminster
12-03-2010, 19:25 PM
I understand what you are saying about the landlord not wanting to lose a good tenant, but I don’t see that as the problem, I see the potential problem being how do you actually get the other tenant to leave if they really don’t want to?
It's a pointless question because NeddyB can't 'get' the other tenant to leave. Only the LL can apply for possession and go on to enforce a possession order.

Mars Mug
12-03-2010, 20:16 PM
It's a pointless question because NeddyB can't 'get' the other tenant to leave. Only the LL can apply for possession and go on to enforce a possession order.

The point of the question (which was intended to be rhetorical), and everything else I've said, is to highlight that even though the ending of the contract might be legal and correct things may not go too smoothly. If NeddyB is made aware how the other tenant could respond then there’s still opportunity to re-consider plans. But as I said, only NeddyB can gauge the likely reaction from the landlord and other tenant.


Either way, if the woman decides to be uncooperative.

The issue here is what many people, including the OP, would consider to be an underhand way to force someone out of their home, someone who has already stated that they do not wish to leave.


We have very little contact, but when we do - she is very rude towards me...

With very little contact I don’t see it as a nightmare scenario. This still suggests to me that the real reason for wanting her out is to get a mate in.

westminster
12-03-2010, 21:01 PM
The issue here is what many people, including the OP, would consider to be an underhand way to force someone out of their home, someone who has already stated that they do not wish to leave.

I don't think it's particularly underhand, and a periodic joint tenancy is about as insecure as it gets with ASTs. Either tenant can give notice to end it at any time (as can LL).

Honest, non-'underhand' way: NeddyB tells woman he intends to give notice to end the tenancy. He tells her he has already agreed a deal with the landlord to begin a new tenancy when this one ends, and that LL will pursue eviction proceedings if necessary.

I don't really see how her knowing the whole truth would change anything? She could, I suppose, try to negotiate a deal separately with the LL (in an underhand way), but she's free to try to do that anyway, and good luck to her.


With very little contact I don’t see it as a nightmare scenario. This still suggests to me that the real reason for wanting her out is to get a mate in.
Many years ago, I was in a houseshare situation with no control over the other tenants. After several months of happy, carefree occupation, one day I came home to find someone I already knew (we were both acquainted with the landlord) had been installed in the adjoining bedroom. I literally couldn't stand this person; he made my skin crawl. Of course, I avoided him as much as possible, and succeeded. But regardless of how little contact I had with him it was still impossible to live in the same house, knowing I might walk out of my room and encounter him on the stairs, or coming out of the bathroom. I was also uncomfortable just knowing he was in the room next door. I left very soon afterwards.

Your home is the one place you don't want the outside world affecting. I can totally understand why NeddyB can't stand living with someone who is rude even on the rare occasion they bump into each other.

Preston
12-03-2010, 21:24 PM
I think I am with the OP and Westminster on this one.

There is no obligation on joint tenants to be joint tenants for ever. If the "relationship" has run its course, it seems quite reasonable to me to end it.

Mars Mug
12-03-2010, 23:26 PM
There is no obligation on joint tenants to be joint tenants for ever. If the "relationship" has run its course, it seems quite reasonable to me to end it.

Yes, but there's better ways to go about it.


Honest, non-'underhand' way: NeddyB tells woman he intends to give notice to end the tenancy. He tells her he has already agreed a deal with the landlord to begin a new tenancy when this one ends, and that LL will pursue eviction proceedings if necessary.

I'd go with that option.