Joint HMO tenancy – Can I just change the locks?

by Readers Question

2 months ago

Joint HMO tenancy – Can I just change the locks?

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Joint HMO tenancy – Can I just change the locks?

My query revolves around the following. I understand if a tenant from a ‘joint’ HMO tenancy leaves ‘before’ the end of the fixed term it requires the agreement of the other ‘joint tenants’ but ‘Not’ if ‘after’.

So query would be if a joint tenant left after the fixed term due to issues with the others as I understand it that would mean the end of the tenancy for the others so does mean if a landlord really wanted to could just change the locks/get the police to stop the others entering without the court order for possession/illegal eviction?

And the resulting question would those tenants be seen as ‘intentionally’ homeless or not?

Tobias



Comments

Neil Patterson

2 months ago

Hold your horses Tobias. You can't just chuck tenants out like that. Please start by reading all the series of articles by Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law >> https://www.property118.com/category/landlord-law-2017-updates/

And the Deregulation act article by Paul Shamplina >> https://www.property118.com/what-does-the-deregulation-act-2015-mean-for-landlords/

And I would advise you do not evict anyone without seeking professional assistance >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

Robert Mellors

2 months ago

That's good advice from Neil, ignore it at your peril.

It is my understanding that if the joint tenant served you with proper formal notice to end the tenancy, then that would end the tenancy for all the joint tenants at the expiry of the notice period. However, things may not be that simple! Did you let the other joint tenants know that their joint tenancy was ending? Did you give them the opportunity to negotiate a new tenancy? Have you serve them with notices? Have you accepted rent from them after the expiry of the notice (and possibly created a new tenancy by default)? What has happened to the deposit? - All of these (and no doubt many other matters) are all factors that may affect what you can now do, or not do, so you really need to go and get some professional legal advice.

Ian Narbeth

2 months ago

Tobias
If you are a landlord you need to get an agent to manage your property/ies. Your post demonstrates your own total lack of knowledge to such an extent that it is not worth Property 118 members posting answers here. Get professional help now before you end up with a criminal record.

Martin Crossley

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 15/05/2018 - 11:03
Tobias
I think you have summed it up perfectly.

Richard Adams

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 15/05/2018 - 11:03
Ian Narbeth's contribution is rather sneering. Tobias, like many of us, may not have a lot of knowledge while he, Ian, doubtless is overloaded with it. Hence Tobias has come on to this forum seeking advice which is what it is for surely? For Ian to say it is not worth Property 118 members bothering to help Tobias is a regrettable contribution.

Martin Crossley

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 15/05/2018 - 12:07My previous comment was not very well explained. I did not agree with its not worth Property 118 members posting advice, just that the advice given of seeking legal advice is the best advice possible for the situation the landlord is in and no point in debating further. The situation is far too complicated for an experienced knowledgeable landlord, never mind one who might not be aware of all the rules and regulations. A solicitor specialising in housing (NOT your local one you use to buy property or sort your will) or contacting Landlord Action is the sensible way for this landlord to go.

Ian Narbeth

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 15/05/2018 - 12:07Richard, I am happy to help other landlords as I trust my comments on this board demonstrate. Tobias' question betrayed such naiveté that the best advice is for him to get professional help. To ask if a landlord could "just change the locks/get the police to stop the others entering " because one tenant has left shows a complete lack of knowledge that will not be supplemented by a few comments.
I will give Tobias the benefit of the doubt that he is well-meaning but he appears ignorant of even the basics of landlord and tenant law. If my comments have brought him up short then so be it. You can be a "rogue" landlord without realising it and changing the locks in the circumstances he describes is a sure way to a criminal record and being barred from running an HMO.

Richard Adams

2 months ago

Fair enough Ian. Tobias asked for help and advice and has been given the latter. The very fact that he sought advice indicates to me that he is not so naive as to have proceeded with changing locks etc without first checking his ground. There may be other inexperienced landlords seeking help etc re other matters on this forum in the future which is its purpose, so let's help them without commenting on their ignorance and seeming to say they should have known better in the first place.

I was just curious because I am sure other hmo landlords who have 1 or more problem tenants on a joint tenancy rather than risk damage over the long 7-8 month eviction if it was legal(albeit frowned upon) to change locks if 1 tenant has left. I may not know all the ins and outs but I know a great deal more than some of the fellow landlords in my area some of whom own north of 50-200+ . Which having checked a chunk of their properties last year EPC rated are E year where as mine have been C for 6 years now. Having been in some of their properties by their tenants I note no emergency lighting (even where it is required in 3 stories or above again unlike mine. No contact details of the landlord (as required by Hmo management regulations 2006) I also note these bigger 'professional' landlords typically do not give 24 hour notice. My properties also have had Smoke/CO detectors long before the 'deregulation act' made it the law but not for 'social landlords' I note. I am aware of the archaic stuff such as if a tenant does not leave after the fixed term the landlord is liable for the council tax but not if your tenancy agreement states it goes to a 'contractual periodic tenancy'. I am aware of the legionella check which many of the landlords in my area seem unaware off

Or a fire assessment is required if a hmo is individual tenancies but perversly if it is a 'joint' tenancy the fire assesment (if not the safety aspects) is not required.

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