Joint HMO tenancy – Can I just change the locks?

by Readers Question

A month 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

Michael Barnes

A month ago

If tenant leaves without serving valid notice, then it does not affect the tenancy.

If tenant gave valid notice, then it ends the tenancy for all.
However, if others fail to leave, then you need a court order and enforcement to remove them.

Yvonne Francis

A month ago

I am a landlord with HMO's on a joint fixed term tenancy. You did say Tobias that their lease is on a fixed term which has not expired and presumably if it is drawn up properly it is Joint and Severally liable. My tenants cannot give notice during that fixed term and if one wants to leave a replacement has to be found by the rest of the group or the outgoing tenant still has to pay or the remaining tenants have to make up the difference. If one tenant wanted to leave I am certain the others would not want to follow so all leaving makes trouble for them. Have you not talked to these tenants and established if they want to stay and find a replacement or share the rent between four? A replacement can be taken on by a new lease or a deed of assignment.

Chris Daniel

A month ago

Regardless of what Notice a Tenant has, or not given, if Landlord wants Possession, it has to be legally sought from the court, (as Michael points out) and there are rigid processes to follow. { for competitive service, - http://www.PossessionFriend.uk }
In defence of Ian, a Landlord is in business and a several hundred thousand pound one at that. Whilst its not legally mandatory to have any qualifications or accreditation ( although many L.A's are requiring such as part of licensing ) the amount and pace [ not to mention consequences ] of not getting oneself 'up to speed', can be disasterous.
In fact, the worse of these examples are used by the likes of Shelter and Labour to justify even more legislation against Landlords.
The sheer amount of responsibilities cannot be learned from ad hoc questions on a blog. [ even one as good as Property118 😉

H B

4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 15/05/2018 - 14:23
Tobias did at least think to get advice, but he clearly blundered into a tightly regulated section or an already well-regulated sector. He really should know this very basic information.

If he doesn’t know this, what else doesn’t he know?

Richard Adams

4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by H B at 28/05/2018 - 11:53
HB, I thought this issue was dead now after 2 weeks but I just can't fathom why you say about Tobias "If he doesn’t know this, what else doesn’t he know?" If we all knew everything then this forum would not be required!!!!!
And I don't believe he "blundered" into anything. He commented on things he might do - mostly unwise as pointed out by Forum members - but sought advice which he duly got before taking action. There is plenty I don't know and frankly I will hesitate to seek advice from fellow members to avoid being sneered at for my ignorance.

H B

4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 28/05/2018 - 12:03
And it is great that we have forums for the likes of Tobias to not go around changing locks at random.

It is because he is dealing with people’s homes and their safety that it is so worrying. He actually thought he could change the locks. Given the level of ignorance I wonder about the level of compliance with relevant regulations, such as fire safety.

Not sneering but shaking my head disbelief.

Reply to the comment left by H B at 28/05/2018 - 12:15
No I knew you could not just change the locks normally. I was thinking due to a technicality that if one joint tenant leaves it means the tenancy is over therefore you could call it a loophole if you will.

Yvonne Francis

3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Tobias Nightingale at 06/06/2018 - 11:41
The ending of a joint tenancy by one tenant giving notice does not apply during a fixed tenancy.

Michael Barnes

2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Tobias Nightingale at 06/06/2018 - 11:41
If one tenant just leaves, then nothing changes; all are still responsible for the rent.
If one tenant gave valid notice and not all leave, then I believe that you are due payment equal to twice the rent until they do leave (S18 Distress for rent Act 1737).

Yvonne Francis

2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 07/06/2018 - 22:22
If one tenant gives valid notice to leave this does not end the tenancy during a fixed term and act as a loophole as Tobias had hoped. If he wants to get rid of his present tenants then he will have to wait until the fixed term ends using of course all the legalities required to obtain possession, so the S18 Distress for Rent Act 1737 could not possibly apply at this moment of time.

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