Legal question regarding rental arrears and new ASTS

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    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?

    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).


      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.


        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.


          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.


          Latest Activity


          • Reply to Advice
            by Lawcruncher
            Since signing by the landlord is not necessary, whether there is a binding contract depends on who said or wrote what in what order. Without knowing what has been said and done it is not possible to say if there is a binding contract.

            However, if the agent is saying that, you can, if you...
            26-09-2020, 11:28 AM
          • Advice
            by Tallulahpop
            Hi all, I’ve joined this forum specifically to get some advice as I don’t know who else to ask 🤷‍♀️
            I currently live in a rented house but the landlord is selling so we found another house through a letting agent and have signed a contract stating our tenancy starts on 3rd October....
            24-09-2020, 11:16 AM
          • Reply to Landlord Renewal
            by DPT57
            Very little advice is fully impartial unless you pay serious money for it. They're not required to teach the landlord about the impact of the various options, just to recommend an option that is legal and workable. As you suggest, its up to landlords to learn the bigger picture if they want to understand...
            26-09-2020, 08:47 AM
          • Landlord Renewal
            by Bubbles101222
            Hi everyone, hoping someone can help please.
            I have been letting my property out for around 3 years. I have a good relationship with my tenants.
            I got an email from agent to say it’s time for renewal on 14th Oct 2020 & would I like to do 12 months, I replied yes, thinking I had no...
            24-09-2020, 18:53 PM
          • Reply to Landlord Renewal
            by tatemono
            er... are they not legally obliged to?

            More common is that most LLs don't bother to aprise themselves of the full facts. This LL is one of thousands of examples.

            Contracts aren't like dairy products. They don't stop being binding just because time passes....
            26-09-2020, 08:37 AM
          • Reply to Advice
            by tatemono
            kudos to you for the pragmatic solutions.

            Be aware that if you do choose option 2, it's possible that you will put whoever is planning to buy your current home in your own situation.

            I would immediately be looking for new accommodation. In the current climate, if a property...
            26-09-2020, 08:31 AM
          • Reply to Advice
            by Section20z
            Too subtle, will use the winking emoji in future. Lol....
            25-09-2020, 22:14 PM
          • Reply to Advice
            by doobrey
            I understood the inverted commas to mean "so-called" or "perceived".
            25-09-2020, 20:27 PM
          • Reply to Advice
            by jpucng62
            Why is this a 'greedy scumbag landlord'? It is a tenant (who presumably gave notice), who is not moving out because their new build isn't ready on time (because the builder hasn't finished it - probably due to coronavirus) - about the only person not to blame is the landlord!...
            25-09-2020, 20:02 PM
          • Reply to Landlord Renewal
            by DPT57
            Its the way that Agents make their money these days. They don't reveal the full facts to landlords about most things that are not in their interest because they are probably in survival mode. As above, if you're unhappy, do what the rest of us do and learn the business so that you can self-manage.
            25-09-2020, 15:28 PM