Legal question regarding rental arrears and new ASTS

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    Legal question regarding rental arrears and new ASTS

    Looking for a bit of guidance on this one. The situation is thus;
    Tenant is a student and had a contract from July 2019 to June 2020. Good tenant etc, paid all rent up to March 2020. In January 2020 he signed a new tenancy for a different house for July 2020 to June 2021. Not sure it makes any difference but it is the same landlord that owns both houses.

    March 2020 - Covid19 situation starts. Tenant moves back with his parents and the tenant declines to pay the rent for April, May and June 2020. They are now expecting to move into the new property.

    Can the landlord legally refuse them access to the new property until the arrears are cleared for the old one?


    #2
    Yes.
    But it's complicated particularly if the student is one of a joint tenancy.

    The student has a contract with the landlord (presumably) for the new accommodation and the landlord would be in breach of that contract if they don't let the tenant move in.
    The landlord would have to compensate the student for any losses that they suffer as a consequence, but they would be offset by the amount owed by the student.

    The problem arises if the student is one of a joint tenancy, because the landlord doesn't want to be compensating several people for their losses and if one of the joint tenants moves in, the tenancy begins and the student has a new right to enter the property and it would be illegal for the landlord to stop them.

    It would be more sensible for the landlord to advise the student that because of the debt arising from their last contract, the agreement is entirely void - they have acted in bad faith previously and they are not someone that the landlord can do business with, regardless of their having signed a contract.

    Again, much more complex if the student is one of a joint tenancy.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Why on earth would you start a new tenancy with someone who "refused" to pay rent before. As above, declare the thing void and find someone else.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
        Why on earth would you start a new tenancy with someone who "refused" to pay rent before. As above, declare the thing void and find someone else.
        When they signed they didn't have any debt.

        Comment


          #5
          You can still refuse to start the new tenancy. You must not permit it to start.

          You need to understand the terminology. A tenancy contract (such as an AST) is not a tenancy.

          Comment

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