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James2308
12-03-2010, 13:57 PM
I have two tenants sharing a property under a six month assured short hold tenancy.

The one tenant's cheque was returned to me 'refer to drawer' not paid and when I contacted him he said he was a victim of identity fraud and was trying to sort out out with his bank. This went on for over a week with various excuses and no payment. I then called the co-tenant who is a doctor and he said not to mentioned anything to his friend, but in fact it was he who had paid the first full months rent and bond and the the other guy still hadn't paid him. This of course rang alarm bells with me, as if you added up what he owes me and the other tenat it comes to circa £1,000.

I didn't mention this as requested as the friend asked me not to as he didn't want to compromise their friendship. He had paid his 50% of the rent by standing order to my bank.

However, myself and the non payer had a fairly heated falling out over the phone wherby I said his excuses were wearing thin and I was wary he had actually been the victim of identity fraud. Since then he has asked for a copy of his contract which I put through the property door with a letter advising he is in breach of contract in not paying his rent, and if the outstanding balance plus the current rent is not paid by the due date I would take legal action to persue the outstanding balance.

I understand this is via a section 8 form (?) though I can't seem to get one anywhere in my home city.

Is there anyway I can find out if he is a genuine victim of identity fraud?, his bank won't assist. Also, what would be my best course of action to obtain my outstanding money and persue all costs against him? Does it make a difference that one of the tenants is keeping his payments up? Also, if the tenant who is keeping the payments is the lead tenant, does he have further obligations to ensure the co-tenant is paying?

I am disappointed that though the one tenant is paying the rent, I have asked him to discuss with his friend and have not had any response.

Thanks in advance for any assistance or ideas.

matthew_henson
12-03-2010, 14:00 PM
Are they both names on a single AST or under separate agreements?

James2308
12-03-2010, 17:36 PM
Are they both names on a single AST or under separate agreements?


Hi Matthew,

Thanks for the reply.

Both tenants have signed the AST six month contract, but the gentleman who is the doctor (and actual pays his half of the rent) is the lead tenant.

Preston
12-03-2010, 19:45 PM
If it is a joint tenancy, then both are "jointly and severally" liable to pay the whole rent, not just half. So, you can sue both or either for the full amount owed.

westminster
12-03-2010, 19:55 PM
Both tenants are jointly and individually liable for all of the rent, for the whole of the fixed term. Being 'lead' tenant or not makes no difference, and the doctor has no obligation to encourage the other T to pay his 'share'. Legally, there is no such thing as a 'share' of the rent. Whatever arrangement the two tenants have between them in regard to paying rent is none of your concern.

It's also irrelevant whether the identity theft story is true or not. Proof of it will not affect either/both tenants' liability for the rent.

Section 8 is not a form, it's a type of notice which a landlord serves on a tenant, most often when the tenant (in this case 'the Tenant' is both of them together) has at least two months' rent owing (i.e. rent due in advance) and unpaid. The notice gives the tenant 14 days, after which if the T doesn't pay the rent owing, the landlord can then start court proceedings for possession.

See http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-factsheets/factsheets/factsheet-8-claims-for-possession-the-section-8-notice.html

You do not necessarily need to hire a solicitor for all this - it can be easily DIY'ed but you should do your research first. Reading this forum is a good start - there are many threads on the subject of eviction/possession.

Ultimately, if the tenancy ends and the tenant owes you money, you can seek to recover it via county courts. Or, if the sum owed is less than the deposit, you can raise a dispute with the deposit scheme and retrieve the debt that way.

James2308
13-03-2010, 11:21 AM
Sincere thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

I'll be sure to re-visit this thread if I need any more assistance.

Thank you!

James2308
22-03-2010, 00:03 AM
Thank you to everyone who previously responded, I am now looking for some further advice on this situation.

The non paying tenant2 did not pay his feb rent and in March actually paid £337 instead of £337.50 (technically 50p behind in march and £337.50 in Feb totalling £338). So as such I guess he is not 2 months behind with his rent?

He is sharing with a friend who actually pays his rent, tenant1. Tenant1 one is at the end of his tether with tenant2 and his non payment and constant lies.

Tenant1 who is the 'lead' tenant, would like me to somehow get tenant2 out of there as he feels very uncomfortable and not safe living with him. He states he would take up the remaining 4 months of the AST contract on his own paying the rent in full.

Is there any quickish way I can get tenant2 who is in arrears out, he is now unemployed? Can I get the DHSS to pay me the outstanding rent as he was unemployed at the time of Feb's rent date, though lying to me he was working?

Any ideas or solutions please?

Thank you!

James2308
22-03-2010, 10:19 AM
As an update tenant1 who is the lead tenant has agin called me this morning stating he feels unsafe in the property with tenant2 and wants him to leave and has suggested changing the locks.

Can I as a landlord with the lead tenants permission do this?

Paul Gibbs
22-03-2010, 10:40 AM
If the tenancy is periodic then T1 can serve a notice to end the tenancy. You could then offer a new tenancy to T1 on his own.

If T2 failed to leave at the end of T1's notice then you would have to issue court proceedings.

If you are still within the fixed term of the tenancy then you can serve a section 21 notice, however it could not expire until the end of the fixed term. You did refer to 4 months remaining, so if this is part of the fixed term that is a long way away.

You can serve a section 8 notice, however, you should only look to rely on this if you have a mandatory ground.

You would actually have to take action against both T1 and T2. If I were you I would be pointing this out to T1 and suggesting he looks to resolve the situation, otherwise you will take eviction steps against both and claim for the rent arrears and the costs from T1 as he (unlike T2) is not a man of straw.

Do not change the locks like T1 has asked.

Watch out that T1 and T2 are not colluding to produce an illegal eviction.

westminster
22-03-2010, 11:14 AM
As an update tenant1 who is the lead tenant has agin called me this morning stating he feels unsafe in the property with tenant2 and wants him to leave and has suggested changing the locks.

Can I as a landlord with the lead tenants permission do this?

The 'lead' tenant has no greater status than the non-paying tenant. If you change the locks you would be committing a criminal offence - illegal eviction - which could lead to a heavy fine and even a custodial sentence.

Apart from Mr Gibbs' practical advice in respect of legally ending the tenancy, you need to do two things.


Refuse to get drawn in to the tenants' personal battles. It is not your problem or responsibility that they don't get on.

Stop thinking of this in terms two separate tenants. They are joint tenants, they BOTH owe ALL of the rent. You can't end the tenancy for one without ending the tenancy for BOTH (you are, of course, free to start a new tenancy with one of them after the current joint tenancy ends).

jeffrey
22-03-2010, 11:40 AM
The 'lead' tenant has no greater status than the non-paying tenant. If you change the locks you would be committing a criminal offence - illegal eviction - which could lead to a heavy fine and even a custodial sentence.

Apart from Mr Gibbs' practical advice in respect of legally ending the tenancy, you need to do two things.


Refuse to get drawn in to the tenants' personal battles. It is not your problem or responsibility that they don't get on.

Stop thinking of this in terms two separate tenants. They are joint tenants, they BOTH owe ALL of the rent. You can't end the tenancy for one without ending the tenancy for BOTH (you are, of course, free to start a new tenancy with one of them after the current joint tenancy ends).

This is excellent advice, esp. the final paragraph. There's no such thing as a 'lead' tenant, anyway.

James2308
22-03-2010, 17:19 PM
Can I issue a section 8 if the tenants have missed the feb monthly payment (still not paid) and was 50p short in march's. Trivial I know but I hope it's a technicality that means in some shape or form I can issue as section 8.

Thank you

havensRus
23-03-2010, 06:27 AM
Can I issue a section 8 if the tenants have missed the feb monthly payment (still not paid) and was 50p short in march's. Trivial I know but I hope it's a technicality that means in some shape or form I can issue as section 8.


Paul has already given you the answer:



You can serve a section 8 notice, however, you should only look to rely on this if you have a mandatory ground.



Ground 8 is a mandatory ground, but requires that T have at least 2 months of unpaid rent. That is not the case yet with £338 owing. Sounds like the full rent is £675pcm, therefore, ground 8 would apply if and when the unpaid rent hits £1350.

At this stage you could issue S8 on grounds 10 and 11.

Remember, you cannot issue S8 Notice on just one. Both are jointly and severally liable for the rent as per the AST.

Ericthelobster
23-03-2010, 07:26 AM
Can I issue a section 8 if the tenants have missed the feb monthly payment (still not paid) and was 50p short in march's. Trivial I know but I hope it's a technicality that means in some shape or form I can issue as section 8.

Apart from what others have said, if you issue the section 8, then all the tenants have to do to scupper the mandatory reposession is to pay you enough to bring the arrears below the 2-month threshold.

It's clearly a bit a of a nightmare having the good-tenant/bad-tenant scenario and I can't see how practically you are going to be able to lose the bad and retain the good.

Is the good one aware that he is also liable for the other one's share of the rent? and ultimately are you going to go after him for the full rent (which will clearly be much easier than chasing the bad one?)

The problem for the good tenant is that the longer he keeps doing the right thing and paying you rent, the longer it will take for you to repossess the property, and the bigger the debt will be due to the bad guy not paying.

Several have correctly commented that you can't change the locks. Out of interested, what would happen if Good Tenant did this himself, unilaterally? I'm NOT suggesting this as a course of action, but curious to know the implications.

James2308
23-03-2010, 19:57 PM
If the tenancy is periodic then T1 can serve a notice to end the tenancy. You could then offer a new tenancy to T1 on his own.

If T2 failed to leave at the end of T1's notice then you would have to issue court proceedings.

If you are still within the fixed term of the tenancy then you can serve a section 21 notice, however it could not expire until the end of the fixed term. You did refer to 4 months remaining, so if this is part of the fixed term that is a long way away.

You can serve a section 8 notice, however, you should only look to rely on this if you have a mandatory ground.

You would actually have to take action against both T1 and T2. If I were you I would be pointing this out to T1 and suggesting he looks to resolve the situation, otherwise you will take eviction steps against both and claim for the rent arrears and the costs from T1 as he (unlike T2) is not a man of straw.

Do not change the locks like T1 has asked.

Watch out that T1 and T2 are not colluding to produce an illegal eviction.

Thank you Paul

James2308
23-03-2010, 20:00 PM
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply and provide me with useful information.

Disillusioned
30-05-2010, 20:02 PM
hi Everyone,

Having similar problem. 2 tenants plus 5 month old baby. Both signed short assured tenancy, however found out by accident that boyfriend has been removed from the contract, ie his signature.This contract has since been submitted to the council requesting HB.Where do I stand with the contract.It was jointly and severally, however worried.I haven't executed it properly.i signed in the witness whereof box by mistake and i didn't put the witness address on the form.Does this invalidate the contract? The AT5 is ok, as both parties have signed it, I don't know if thast has been submitted to the council.I have requested a copy of everything with mysignature as I have learned that the sharing ofinformation form has my name forged on it.To make matters worse, they have started refusing access for upgrading to be done.They asked for anew boiler in December which works,I sourced a grant, they decided they wanted to keep the £4,000.00 for the council house when they get it.What can I do? How do I get access to the online court eviction process, been searching..

Much Appreciated,

Angela

jeffrey
31-05-2010, 20:56 PM
AT5 and 'Short Assured' are hallmarks of Scottish law. LZ is based almost entirely on the law of E&W.
So your similar problem may have an answer that's similar or not. We probably cannot assist here. Sorry!