Joint tenancy obligations for lad that has had to quit?

Joint tenancy obligations for lad that has had to quit?

9:46 AM, 8th December 2021, About A year ago 26

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The Basic scenario is: HMO joint tenancy, five tenants. On a fixed element for first 12 months. Then break clause kicks in at one-month notice upon renewal of the next contract due July 22.

One poor lad (tenant) has had to quit university for his mental health, and he’s one of the joint parties. My understanding is that he (we? Including the agent) has two options.
1) Find an alternative tenant
2) Continue to pay the difference for the sake of the other tenants.

Needless to say, option 1 is the best and always open for the sake of the tenants. However, is he legally obliged to continue to pay the remaining the 7 months’ rent (I think so legally)?

What happens if he refuses?

Can hardly blame him if he goes down this route, it’s a lot of money, and I’m sure his guarantor won’t want to do this?

Would the onus be on the remaining tenants to pursue him for the outstanding rent, or myself as landlord and or the agent?

I had his mum on the phone in bits at the prospect of him paying £400 a month until July for nothing, effectively. I’ve sought legal advice from my conveyance, of course. Just wanted to test the water with you guys for insights of maybe the best ways to proceed.

I feel bad, and I am asking if this was your child, how would you play it?


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Simon M

14:24 PM, 10th December 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Lloyd at 09/12/2021 - 15:12Letting the lad and his mum off would be a mistake unless you write off the rent for the rest of the year.
If I were one of the remaining occupants I'd feel you'd been unfair and would be unwilling to pay extra, look for another housemate - or welcome a stranger into a settled house.
If another tenant wants to leave for any reason, it would be difficult to argue they remain liable.
Similarly, the other guarantors will argue they accepted a liability with the other guarantors. Whilst you may be right in law, it will be more difficult in practise.
Coming back to your original post, you have a choice: use the contract to encourage tenants & guarantors to comply with the obligations they agreed, or if you feel so uncomfortable, write off the rent and hope the 4 stay to the end of the year and perhaps reconsider whether you want students in future.


17:06 PM, 10th December 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon M at 10/12/2021 - 14:24
Thx. Simon. that's a very sensitive (positive) post. the likelihood is that the remaining tenants wont support his leaving the contract therefore i could legally enforce the contract upon them to cough up as they're jointly liable above their (non) consent.... thx Ll

David Judd

9:49 AM, 11th December 2021, About A year ago

The easiest situation is to find a replacement tenant - but until then all tenants are responsible for the rent. Its in everyones interest to find a replacement tenant, so the sooner the better


12:58 PM, 11th December 2021, About A year ago

I too have had this problem quite a few times. I don't agree with Simon M that finding a new tenant isn't liKely. Every time this has happened to me, the tenants have found a new tenant in a timely manner and the most any leaving tenant has been out of pocKet is a month's rent. That's usually because they leave it until the last minute to deal with the issue. I feel for both the tenant who is leaving and their mum, but help the tenants to find a channel for finding a new tenant and that will alleviate your guilt. If you can't find a new tenant you could offer to go halves between the whole group. Half the rent between 5 should be manageable, if not ideal.


18:07 PM, 15th December 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dancinglandlord at 11/12/2021 - 12:58
good advice sir. for the second time this week we've had two potential new tenants. fingers crossed. and i'm happy to go month for month. its the prospect of 3k bill which causes the anxiety i suggest in the mum and the lad. they'll have to pay this month but hopefully we'll get it resolved for the new year.


18:10 PM, 15th December 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David Judd at 11/12/2021 - 09:49
yup. appreciate your insight 🙂

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