Tenants break up and lock change request

by Readers Question

10:29 AM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Tenants break up and lock change request

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Tenants break up and lock change request

My tenants split up last week telling me straight away and the guy is going to keep on the flat. The girl moved out and collected her stuff over the weekend, but since it was at the start of the month and short notice, she has paid me half of May’s rent and he has paid the other half.

Now, there seems to be a hoo ha over a dog and he thinks she’s going to come back for the dog and pinch it. My understanding is the dog is hers anyway but that’s by the by.

She has agreed to post me her key asap, but he is now asking to change the locks. Since she has paid rent for May and is still on the lease til I send him a new contract, I don’t know where I stand. She sent me an email formally terminating her tenancy yesterday.

I don’t want to accidentally scupper anything from either side. Also, I’m then concerned if changing the locks is an option, I then don’t have a key for my own property.

Any help would be gratefully received.

Maggiedog



Comments

Sam Addison

12:15 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Changing locks while she may still be a tenant is risky. If it just the dog he is worried about he could put it into kennels until the end of the month. Alternatively, if he changes the locks himself without reference to you then you will not know about it unless she complains and you cannot be held liable for a lock change done by tenant until you are informed about it.

wayne carson

12:24 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I agree with Sam. Contractually she has paid her commitment to the contract. I dare say it won't happen the month after. Avoid taking sides, she is entitled to access to the property until the end of the contractual arrangement. The only way he can stop this is with a court injunction prohibiting entry, not worth it really for a dog.
If he does change the locks against your wishes then the rectification of this will come out of his deposit unless he provides you with keys.
The possession of the dog is a private civil matter between the 2 parties.
At least they are talking to you!

Michael Barnes

18:55 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

If she has given valid notice to end the tenancy, then that ends the tenancy for the guy too. If he is to stay after that, then you need to get a new AST signed and inventory done.

Recardo Knights

7:26 AM, 6th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Michael, I am in a similar position as a couple with kids signed an a12 month AST about 28months ago, which rolled on to a periodic.

The Guy wanted to leave and signed a letter stating he was leaving, so giving up his tenancy in favour of his partner who would be responsible for the rent. As they have 3 young children he also signed saying he was giving up his right to the deposit they had paid at the start of the AST in favour of her.

I told the woman she could stay on under these terms on her own as long as she took responsibility for the rent. I said the tenancy would remain in her name and continue as a Periodic tenancy.

Was I wrong to do this. Does the periodic tenancy continue wit her under these cifcumstances, or do I have to do another AST, deposit, protection, inventory etc. I would prefer not to do this in case she defaults on payments.

A Section 21 was served at the start of the AST, so I feel it would be easier to get them out if I needed too.

Michael Barnes

9:24 AM, 8th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Recardo Knights" at "06/05/2015 - 07:26":

It sounds like this was intended to ba an assignment of tenancy, not a termination of tenancy.

I am not familiar with the ins and outs of assignment of tenancy; I have never done it.

It may be that the tenancy continued as a sole tenancy under the same terms; it may be that a new tenancy was created, possibly with no agreed terms.

If a new tenancy was created at that time, then it may be that you can get written agreement to vary the terms of the agreement without creating a new 6-month fixed term (I don't know; I am just floating an idea that comes to mind).

Perhaps someone knowledgeable in this area could comment.

Philip McKuhen

10:41 AM, 9th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I would treat her notice to quit as ending the current tenancy, issue him a new AST and change is locks. If they had still been a couple, gave notice they were ending the tenancy and both vacated, you would not think twice about re-letting the same day which would deny them access. So surely its the same principal?

maggie gillies

12:52 PM, 9th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Thank you so much for your replies, it's very helpful. They're managing to speak to each other at the moment so are hopefully sorting it out like adults after all.

Neil Robb

19:20 PM, 9th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Are you sure your tenant will be able to afford the rent if he is now on his own.

I would strongly advise a good conversation to ensure he will pay the rent on time and in full.

It does not mater she paid two weeks and he paid two weeks they paid the months rents. So be aware of this. If you change the locks you will have to give both tenants a new key until the notice expires.


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