One tenant wants to quit the other three don’t

by Readers Question

10:55 AM, 12th October 2016
About 2 years ago

One tenant wants to quit the other three don’t

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One tenant wants to quit the other three don’t

One tenant wants to quit the other three don't

I currently have a tenant who shares a property with three other people, four in total on a single tenancy agreement and the tenancy is currently periodic

One of the tenants wishes to leave and has served notice on the whole property. As the tenancy is periodic I know they can do that.

My questions is; because one tenant has served notice and the tenancy is joint and several what are the implications on the outgoing tenant if the other tenants refuse to leave? Also, what are the implications on the tenants in situe?

I imagine that as they are joint and several they all remain responsible, but because one tenant can in effect give notice for an entire property without giving any prior knowledge to the rest of the tenants I was enquiring as to whether there is any difference compared to a standard notice to quit?

Thanks

Clive



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:04 AM, 12th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Clive

My understanding is that one tenant is perfectly within his rights to end the tenancy and if the others stay they will be trespassing.

One possible solution would be for the three who wish to stay to find a forth person and to arrange a deed of assignment of the outgoing tenants rights.

Another solution would be for the three tenants who wish to stay to enter into a new tenancy agreement.

Obviously you, as landlord, would have to be comfortable with this too. You cannot be compelled to offer the three remaining tenants any rights to stay on.

If you need to get them all out you will need to obtain an eviction order from the Courts. In theory this should be a quick and a simple matter of procedure. Sadly though, it rarely is though so I think one of the above solutions is likely to be your best option.

Presumably the outgoing tenant has served notice to quit in the proper form? If not, for example it's just a phone call or a text, then he will remain jointly and severally liable until such time as the tenancy is properly ended in accordance with the law.
.

Puzzler

19:26 PM, 12th October 2016
About 2 years ago

There are no implications on the outgoing tenant if the others don't go or get a new agreement. Mark has summarised the options above.

Darrel Kwong

9:58 AM, 13th October 2016
About 2 years ago

If the tenant has a contractual obligation to return vacant possession, then surely they are liable if the other three tenants do not vacate? i.e. landlord could deduct from deposit for loss of rent

from the court decisions, i.e. sims v sims, I dont think think this was ever discussed?

Mandy Thomson

17:31 PM, 15th October 2016
About 2 years ago

As the tenant who wants to leave can only give notice, not vacant possession, I don't understand how his notice can bring the tenancy to an end as only a surrender of tenancy or a court order and eviction enforced by bailiffs can do that?

Assuming the landlord wants all four tenants to leave, he would need to serve notice on all (being "the tenant") and this would mean (in this case) a section 21, which would not be appropriate if the tenancy had indeed ended or the assured status had been lost (i.e. tenancy became a common law tenancy). He would then need to enforce this with a court order and possibly a warrant for eviction if the remaining three tenants still refused to leave.

In an ideal world, a landlord would be able to enforce a notice to quit given by a tenant (whether a joint tenant or not) through the court, in same way as s.21 or s.8, though in practice, given our current housing situation, I can see why such legislation might be undesirable.

Mark Alexander

17:33 PM, 15th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "15/10/2016 - 17:31":

Hi Mandy

That is different to my understanding which is that if any one of a number of joint tenants serves NTQ that ends the tenancy for all tenants unless another agreement is reached.
.

Mandy Thomson

17:48 PM, 15th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "15/10/2016 - 17:33":

Hi Mark

But a notice from a tenant in itself doesn't end a tenancy if this isn't followed up by vacant possession?

Mark Alexander

17:52 PM, 15th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "15/10/2016 - 17:48":

Ah but NTQ from a single tenant who is jointly and severally liable does end the tenancy. If the rest don't grant vacant possession, my understanding is that the landlord would be able to claim "mesne profits", i.e. two times the rent from the end of the NTQ period.

If you think my understanding is wrong please help me to understand why.
.

Mandy Thomson

18:18 PM, 15th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "15/10/2016 - 17:52":

My understanding of mesne profit is an occupation charge, not a rent payable under a tenancy. A typical example of a situation where this might be charged is when the tenant moves out, stops paying rent, but leaves someone else in occupation who is not on the tenancy agreement - in that case, mesne profit is charged instead of rent to prevent an AST being created.

As an AST must be ended either by surrender or by eviction by court bailiffs, the rent remains due until the end of the tenancy.

From what I can gather, I think there might be some confusion here with commercial tenancy law, hence the common belief that mesne profit, not rent, should be charged after notice has expired but the tenant remains in situ. See Landlord Law Blog: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2010/09/25/mesne-profits-what-is-it/

Romain Garcin

9:56 AM, 16th October 2016
About 2 years ago

A valid notice to quit has the effect to end the tenancy on expiry even if the tenant does not move out.

On the other hand, if a tenant moves out and stops paying rent without giving notice the tenancy does not end.

Mandy Thomson

10:07 AM, 16th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain Garcin" at "16/10/2016 - 09:56":

So does this mean the remaining tenants have a common law tenancy instead of a full AST, or no tenancy at all? What sort of notice would the landlord need to serve on them and enforce?

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