Until when is a tenant responsible for their share of the bills?

by Readers Question

11:30 AM, 30th November 2013
About 7 years ago

Until when is a tenant responsible for their share of the bills?

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Until when is a tenant responsible for their share of the bills?

I wonder if anyone could give me their thoughts on what should be a blindingly obvious question.

I have 6 students in my HMO each on a individual tenancy, and one has just emailed to give me her notice. I’m amazed that for once a student tenant has gone through the right channels, and being a soft soul, wish her well as she moves into her boyfriend’s house.

Anyway, she realises that she must give notice on the next rent day (1st December) and will happily pay rent for that final month, but stated in her email that she’ll pay her share of the bills up to mid November when she physically moved out. Until when is a tenant responsible for their share of the bills?

I see where she’s coming from, but isn’t there an argument that she’s also liable until the last day of her notice period (31 Dec) even if she chooses not to live at the property?

Clearly, the other 5 would prefer to have their bills divisible by 6

I will assume that I dont get another tenant to replace her until the new year

Many thanks for your thoughts

G Brown


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Comments

Industry Observer

19:29 PM, 4th December 2013
About 7 years ago

@Romain

I may not have expressed myself very clearly. What I was trying to say is that a tenant can say they are leaving, which you can treat as an attempt to give notice or just ignore or whatever, but you cannot force them to keep living at the property. What I was trying to emphasise is you cannot force them to stay there, but equally they cannot just leave penalty free unless the landlord chooses to release them without penalty.

Quite where you get the idea from that a landlord has to accept surrender is beyond me.

Your last paragraph of course only makes sense if the last part of the one before it, about the LL having to accept surrender, is correct. Sadly it is not, so there is no principle to be contrary about!!

If a tenant offers surrender, or more likely simply walks away, in order to enforce the provisions of the agreement for the remainder of the term (if he wants to) the LL has to confirm to the tenant that their actions are not accepted by the Landlord. On the basis of what you imply a tenant would be able to walk away penalty free whenever they felt like it.

Romain Garcin

20:11 PM, 4th December 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "04/12/2013 - 19:29":

LL has to accept the surrender because the tenant is bound by the terms of the fixed term tenancy. And the tenant is so bound until either the term expires or the landlord accepts the surrender.

I'm really starting to be lost trying to understand your point, as it is your claim that implies that the tenant could leave whenever they like.

If the tenant just walks away, as per what I said above, the tenancy just continues. Actually, from case law, the tenant could leave and hands the keys back, and the landlord could try to re-let the property, and that would still not be ending the tenancy as long as the landlord did not get possession back.

These are all well established principles.

Industry Observer

20:16 PM, 4th December 2013
About 7 years ago

Romain

Are you a lawyer or legally trained in any way?

I ask because your first para makes no sense at all. If the tenant is bound by the terms, and there is no break clause, and therefore no right to give notice, how is the LL bound to accept the surrender? He is bound to accept the tenant's one month notice in the periodic state, but not otherwise.

I think we'd better leave this, as to me you are going round in circles too. I knw what I mean and that what I am saying is correct, and you probably feel the same way (about what you are saying!!).

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