Tenants split up – Notice to Quit

by Readers Question

9:50 AM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Tenants split up – Notice to Quit

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Tenants split up – Notice to Quit

My tenants advised that they have split up. Miss T wishes to remain at my property, but wants Mr T removed from Tenancy (its on periodic).notice to quit

I have been advised by RLA that if Mr T sends me Notice to Quit (NTQ) that will remove him from the Joint tenancy and liability will pass to Miss T (who I know after credit checking when they moved in will not be able to afford rent)

My letting agent has advised me that if Mr T gives me NTQ then it surrenders tenancy for them both. I have also read on forums this is the case

HELP ! I am so confused

Melvyn



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:53 AM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Melvyn,

Your letting agent is correct and on a joint tenancy the NTQ will surrender for both.

Standard advice for when one Tenant leaves on a joint tenancy is to start again with a new tenancy and referencing if you feel that is required.

Mandy Thomson

12:32 PM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "11/07/2016 - 09:53":

Yes, I agree with Neil. For the purpose of a tenancy, joint tenants are regarded as one tenant, so therefore if one surrenders, they both surrender. However, in reality they will both need to give you vacant possession, so (assuming you don't want Miss T to take over the tenancy) I would write to them both stating that you accept Mr T's surrender on behalf of you both, and your tenancy will therefore end on ..... and you will both need to move out on before that date, and return the keys (legally, the tenants must give you at least a month's notice).

If Miss T won't give you vacant possession, it's important that you don't accept rent from her, or you could be creating a new tenancy.

Steve Masters

13:56 PM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "11/07/2016 - 12:32":

Mandy, I'm not sure whether you are correct about accepting rent creating a new tenancy, can anyone else clarify this please?

Does the Landlord needs to serve notice or can they go straight to court for a possession order?

melvyn dougie

14:09 PM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "11/07/2016 - 12:32":

Thanks for comments

Tenants pays rent by standing order - so if she sends it to me then I am unable to stop it - what happens then ?

Mandy Thomson

14:30 PM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Masters" at "11/07/2016 - 13:56":

I've had a further look into this, Steve and I believe you're right. Taking no rent would be the safest option, but may not be practical, so assuming "Miss T" remains after her boyfriend has given notice and moved out, Melvyn could write to her making it clear that a new tenancy has not been created and that future payments Miss T makes to him are occupation charges and not rent payments - see solicitor Tessa Shepperson's blog on this here: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2010/09/25/mesne-profits-what-is-it/ As an AST doesn't have to be in writing, I would be inclined to err on the side of caution and do everything possible to prevent creating a new one in this situation, or even giving the tenant some ammunition to argue this.

Where notices are concerned (either by the tenant or the landlord) these don't end the the tenancy, they are just that - a notice of INTENTION to end a tenancy. The tenancy doesn't end until vacant possession is given.

Kate Mellor

17:09 PM, 11th July 2016
About 2 years ago

My understanding is that it won't be a NEW tenancy if Mr T moves out and Miss T remains in the property. If both tenants (having given notice) don't move out then the tenancy does not end at all and both tenants remain jointly and severally liable for the full rent until such time as vacant possession is given. Notice alone does not end a tenancy, the property must also be surrendered by all parties to it.

If you believe that Miss T cannot afford the rent on her own and you would not consider letting to her alone in your normal course of business, my advice would be to offer her the option of obtaining a referenced guarantor to insure the rent and commence a new tenancy on this basis, or alternatively serve both tenants with a section 21 notice immediately.

I would write to them both and advise them that unless full vacant possession is given on the date the notice ends, then the tenancy will continue as it stands with both tenants liable for the rent until such time as full vacant possession is given, whilst also serving a valid Section 21 to cover yourself if Miss T does not move out and does not pay rent.

Whilst you will need to give two months notice for a S21 you will at least be on track to regaining possession of your property. You could then wait and see how she goes with paying rent (if you thought it was advisable) and if any arrears develop you could apply to the court for a possession order, with the S21 already in place. Bearing in mind the potential 6 month expiration date of S21's for tenancies which commenced after October 2015, tenancies which commenced earlier than this currently don't have an expiration date on any S21 notices served (although they will be brought into line with each other in the future).

In my experience with this scenario the remaining tenant has struggled on for a few months, gradually getting into arrears and then leaves owing money.


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