Joint liability tenant refusing to move out

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Joint liability tenant refusing to move out

    To cut a long story as short as possible:

    My brother was on a 12 months joint liability tenancy (with a friend of his - hereafter referred to as F) for a private rental. They had both agreed to move out at the end of the tenancy (Dec 2017) as the rent was very expensive, and my brother also wished to move in with his girlfriend. They gave notice to the management company which was accepted, and new tenants were found.

    In the midst of planning to move out, F decided he was going to apply for social housing (he has a disability and assumed he would qualify). About 10 days before they were due to move out, the council told him that he didn't qualify - HOWEVER, if the management company kicked him out (the council specifically advised a repossession order would do the trick) then he would be considered homeless and be given a property.

    F therefore decided (with mere days to go before vacation), that he was going to stay in the flat until the management company applied for and was granted a repossession order. F informed the management company of his intention and that they should make plans to get a repossession order. Management company accepted this (I presume because they don't really have any other option) and have had to locate the new tenants elsewhere. They told F (and my brother) that they could continue paying rent while this was going on, or alternatively they would go after them for the accrued rent once F had finally moved out.

    My brother was horrified and said he was moving out as agreed. Management company have been very reasonable but say that - as joint liability tenants - my brother is liable for any accrued rent while F is still living there.

    So - since December - F has been living at the property, paying his half of the rent. My brother moved out at the end of the tenancy as agreed. F doesn't seem to care one jot that this is accruing thousands of pounds of rent against my brother and attempts to reason with him have failed. Repossession order has still not been granted and we have no idea when it will be or whether this will even be enough for the council to house him.


    So - my questions are for anyone who has experienced anything like this.

    - Can we challenge the management company on levelling rent charges against my brother when he moved out as agreed?
    - Alternatively - if we cannot challenge the management company - has anyone ever successfully gone after a F in this situation and won their money back?


    We're already looking at £4k in accrued rent. I reckon it will end up being at least £6k or £7k in the end - possibly more.

    #2
    Your brother should give notice to the landlord/agent.
    When that notice expires, the joint tenancy will be ended and F will be on his own.

    As the tenancy is now periodic, your brother's notice needs to be a minimum of a month ending at the end of a rental period.

    They could have done this at any point since the tenancy ended.
    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
      Brother should explain to "friend" that arrears are liability of all joint tenants, there is no "pay my bit & no arrears" and he is minded to inform council that "friend" has arrears & therefore "intentionally homeless"" and therefore v unlikely to be rehoused; See....
      https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...nally_homeless
      - and would he perhaps like to move out TODAY and perhaps brother won't be able to find council 'phone number

      But yes, also do as jpkeates says... TODAY!
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Posage View Post
        They gave notice to the management company which was accepted, and new tenants were found.
        What notice exactly? If it were during a periodic tenancy, and it was a valid notice to quit (in writing, of at least one period of the tenancy long, ending on the last or first day of a period of the tenancy), then that tenancy has ended.

        Originally posted by Posage View Post
        About 10 days before they were due to move out, the council told him that he didn't qualify - HOWEVER, if the management company kicked him out (the council specifically advised a repossession order would do the trick) then he would be considered homeless and be given a property.
        I reallly wish council would stop saying or implying that. If he were homeless, then the council would have a duty under homelessness, that's emergency accommodation at best to start with (a bed in a hostel maybe). Either he qualify for a council house or he doesn't. If he didn't qualify before, he wouldn't qualify now.

        Originally posted by Posage View Post
        They told F (and my brother) that they could continue paying rent while this was going on, or alternatively they would go after them for the accrued rent once F had finally moved out.

        My brother was horrified and said he was moving out as agreed. Management company have been very reasonable but say that - as joint liability tenants - my brother is liable for any accrued rent while F is still living there.

        ....

        So - my questions are for anyone who has experienced anything like this.

        - Can we challenge the management company on levelling rent charges against my brother when he moved out as agreed?
        - Alternatively - if we cannot challenge the management company - has anyone ever successfully gone after a F in this situation and won their money back?
        Depends on answer to the question above about the notice. If a valid notice to quit had been given, then your argument would be that the management company have granted a new tenancy to F where F is the sole tenant. It is not possible for the tenant to withdraw a valid notice to quit that's been given to the landlord. If the landlord agrees to "waive" the notice, a new tenancy is granted.

        If the previous notice wasn't a valid notice to quit could F be sued? Best seek legal advice there. Also serve own uniliteral notice now, as jpkeates suggested above.
        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by KTC View Post

          What notice exactly? If it were during a periodic tenancy, and it was a valid notice to quit (in writing, of at least one period of the tenancy long, ending on the last or first day of a period of the tenancy), then that tenancy has ended.
          I read the original post as saying that the tenant(s) served notice within the fixed term, to end at the end of it, which can't be valid notice.

          It would be very helpful to the tenant if a) that wasn't the case or b)it could be argued that by accepting it, the agent made it valid.
          I suspect that b) would depend very much on the exact words used in the communications back and forth.

          I also suggest that the brother stops paying the rent.
          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


            #6
            If the brother carried on paying rent then is that not agreeing the tenancy continues. I'd have stopped paying when I left as agreed with the landlord . Horrible situation.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Posage View Post
              So - since December - F has been living at the property, paying his half of the rent. My brother moved out at the end of the tenancy as agreed. F doesn't seem to care one jot that this is accruing thousands of pounds of rent against my brother and attempts to reason with him have failed.
              F is continuing to pay half the amount of the previous rent, not the brother. Brother moved out and stopped paying.
              I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

              Comment


                #8
                Then as far as I can see, he left on the agreed date at the end of the tenancy which was accepted by the agent and he hasn't entered into a new tenancy. It looks to me as though the managing agent / landlord has entered into a new tenancy with 'F' which is not the brothers problem

                Comment


                  #9
                  That hinges on the notice being valid.

                  If the notice wasn't valid, it didn't end the joint tenancy.
                  And, while I am of the view that at the end of the fixed term one tenant moving out ends the joint tenancy, no one else seems to agree.

                  So, assuming I'm wrong, without valid notice, the joint tenancy has continued, and both F and the brother remain the single joint tenant and the tenancy continues.

                  If the notice was valid, F has probably created a new tenancy at half the rent value.
                  Which should concern the agent.

                  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


                    #10
                    If the AST is for a specified time and gives an end date by which the tenant leaves, is notice actually required? He's simply adhered to the agreement.

                    In any event, one tenant offered surrender and the agent accepted.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Hillsy101 View Post
                      If the AST is for a specified time and gives an end date by which the tenant leaves, is notice actually required? He's simply adhered to the agreement.
                      Notice isn't required, the tenancy will end by time. The question is whether a periodic tenancy then arise pursuant to s5 of the Housing Act 1988. If the tenancy ended as a result of surrender or other action of the tenant, then no. But if it's just ended because of time, then yes.

                      In any event, one tenant offered surrender and the agent accepted.
                      One joint tenant cannot surrender on behalf of all of them. Either the tenant (all of them jointly) had offer surrender or she had not. By not giving up possession, there's clearly not been an offer, never mind any acceptance by the landlord.
                      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The issue is whether the "tenant" has left or not.

                        My view is that the joint tenancy ends at midnight at the end of the fixed term and, can't, therefore' become a periodic tenancy unless all the tenants remain in residence. Otherwise, the joint tenants are caught. They can't serve notice during the fixed term, and therefore can't exit their joint liability for an extended period. That seems fundamentally wrong - you can't enter a contract for a six-month term that is really a seven or either month term - the necessary intent is missing.

                        There's nothing I can find to support that assertion and the alternative view, which is that there is only one tenant (which is all of the people who signed the tenancy agreement) and that tenant hasn't completely left the property, so a new periodic tenancy arises, has some logic to it.

                        So the tenancy arguably won't end with time in this case.
                        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


                          #13
                          Thank you all for the replies. I'm waiting for copies of the correspondence between my brother and the management company on ending the tenancy to see exactly how it was done and via what method. What I believe happened (and I'm paraphrasing) is that there were emails back and forth between Brother, F and the management company essentially amounting to "hey, your tenancy is coming to an end on X date. Do you want to renew and stay on?", to which Brother and F replied "no thanks, we'll move out". Management company then emailed back going "ok great, we're happy with that, we accept you're moving out on the day it ends and we've found new tenants".

                          I know that Brother did then separately send a formal notice to quit via post once it became clear that F was planning on staying in the flat.

                          We're also seeking legal advice on whether it would be best to challenge the management company or the flatmate.

                          Brother was advised by the management company that he would be pursued for his half of the rent if F remained, so unfortunately under duress he did pay 1 more month's rent before ceasing after we stepped in and advised him to stop. This has been a steep learning curve for him in terms of who to put his trust in and how to deal with things formally.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If the management company have accepted the notice, the tenancy ends when the notice did.
                            That wording would be enough.

                            If both tenants and the management company agreed to the end of the tenancy, it ended.

                            However, paying rent may have started another tenancy.

                            What you'll need is the exact communication sequence and in date order.
                            And the dates of the tenancy and the tenancy agreement.

                            Professional legal help at the outset would have been cheaper.
                            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


                              #15
                              This is going to stray off the original topic, so I'll limit myself to this one post.

                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              The issue is whether the "tenant" has left or not.

                              My view is that the joint tenancy ends at midnight at the end of the fixed term and, can't, therefore' become a periodic tenancy unless all the tenants remain in residence. Otherwise, the joint tenants are caught. They can't serve notice during the fixed term, and therefore can't exit their joint liability for an extended period. That seems fundamentally wrong - you can't enter a contract for a six-month term that is really a seven or either month term - the necessary intent is missing.
                              The joint tenants may well only have intended to enter into an agreement for X months, and one of the joint tenant here clearly does not either assent positively or wish to withdraw implied assent to continue periodically, but it doesn't matter because whether a periodic tenancy arise under s5 Housing Act 1988 rest solely on how the fixed term tenancy ends.

                              If an assured tenancy which is a fixed term tenancy comes to an end otherwise than by virtue of ... a surrender or other action on the part of the tenant, ...
                              A tenancy ending by the effluxion of time is not a surrender. By "other action", we're talking break notices for example. There has not been a surrender by deed. With one or more of the joint tenant still living there, it's hard to argue how there can be implied surrender / surrender by operation of law since the starting point would be the action of the tenant is inconsisent with a tenancy continuing.

                              The unfortunate effect of this is as here when one or more joint tenant want to leave but the others don't, but overall the clauses are drafted to prevent a landlord from being able to prevent a SPT from arising.
                              I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X