One tenant wants to move out & return and found a substitute. How do I make it legal?

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    One tenant wants to move out & return and found a substitute. How do I make it legal?

    This is an odd problem which I have never encountered before.

    I have three lovely tenants who share a house on one tenancy. It was renewed early October for one year.

    One of the ladies is now moving abroad for work but would like to return in July. She doesn't want to live anywhere else (very flattering for me) and has found a replacement tenant. They have agreed that when she returns in July, the new tenant will leave.

    So how do we make this legal?

    An agent I know suggested a Deed of Assignment but from what I've read online, that simply means we all agree that there is one tenant replacing another without having to change the tenancy agreement. Our problem is that she does want to return! Should I simply cancel the tenancy which is one month old and start a new one but instead of a one year term, I simply end it at July? I was going to produce a one page document stating what we have agreed but apparently if there were any problems in the future, it would not stand up in court.

    The deposits are all secured individually via DPS so that isn't a problem.

    So there are 3 tenants.
    One wants to leave in next two weeks.
    A new tenant moves in to replace her.
    Then the one who left returns in July.
    The other tenant leaves.

    Thank you




    #2
    Don't do anything at all.

    The replacement person can contribute the rent to the two that remain (so she'll basically be a lodger) and the three tenants remain as they are.
    Assigning a contract is very hard to do properly (and most agents do very badly indeed - messing up the deposits completely).
    And any formal tenancy agreement would mean that the returning tenant had no right to return or you to end the "temporary" tenant's right to live there.

    If you insist, end the current tenancy and start a new one and then repeat this in a year's time.

    But there's no need to make things complex.

    Just for the avoidance of doubt, you do know you have an HMO there don't you?
    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
      I spoke with our local authority and they assured me that we don't have a HMO as there are only three people and not five. I even made them put it in writing!

      I think I will end the tenancy and start a new one to end at July.

      I find HMOs all very confusing.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Maroni1 View Post
        I think I will end the tenancy and start a new one to end at July.
        Don't forget to tell the tenant moving away that when she wants to move back she'll need to sort it out with the replacement,
        there's not going to be much you can do to help if the replacement doesn't want to move.

        If the three people live in more than one household, you have an HMO (just one that your council doesn't need to licence).
        But the rules for a small HMO are pretty much the same as a licensable large HMO.
        You need a fire safety assessment, proper fire retardant doors, electrical safety certification, proper smoke alarms and so on.
        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


          #5
          Thank you so much for your advice.

          I will contact my local authority as I want everything to be okay. I have looked at their website and it seems they have changed it from 5 to 3 but I wasn't aware.

          We converted the house with all building control reg so everything is new. We had the gas/water/electrics split, installed fire doors, wired in smoke alarms on every single floor, new D/G, SAP reports passed with good results, sound insulation passed etc.

          Hence why our tenants really enjoy living in our beautiful flat. We even have a wet room with WC/basin and a separate large family bathroom with shower. Plus a very large and bright lounge. All for only three sharers!

          I will let the tenants know that we shall change the tenancy. I hope they understand but there isn't much we can do. Such a shame when you find lovely decent tenants and you can't find a way around things.

          Comment


            #6
            Oh god I don't know what to do.

            Can anyone tell me if on the Deed of Assignment we put that the tenant leaving can return and the new tenant will have to move out. Is that legal?

            The tenant moving out is desperate to secure her room for when she returns in July. The new tenant isn't too keen and I don't want to upset either of them.

            Comes to something when you get great tenants and they are desperate to stay! I should count my lucky stars especially after reading some of the horror stories other landlords are going through on here.

            Comment


              #7
              Don't change anything then.
              Keep the original tenants on the tenancy agreement and make the new person a lodger.
              When the original tenant comes back, they can ask the replacement to leave, and, if they don't, they can give them notice and they'll have to leave.

              That makes the existing tenant responsible for the rent.

              The solution that you came up with has a number of issues and the solution above is best for you (possibly not for the tenant if the replacement leaves after a few weeks).
              But you can't realistically expect to leave a rental for 12 months and be able to move back in - the replacement tenant has a lot of rights.
              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


                #8
                They are going to discuss what they want to do tonight.

                I don't think the new tenant likes the idea of being a lodger and would like the contract started again until July. She would be given plenty of notice to leave as the tenant moving abroad for work will know by March.

                Thanks again, much appreciated.

                I've been reading other posts but found it so depressing that I stopped. LOL

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just one thing though. How do we make her a lodger? Surely she must have something in writing to make it legal for her?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Do Nothing! She won't be your lodger, she will be your tenants lodger (they will be her landlord).
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Maroni1 View Post
                      Just one thing though. How do we make her a lodger? Surely she must have something in writing to make it legal for her?
                      She's the tenant's lodger, so whatever they agree between them.

                      A lot of lodgers live with no written agreement at all, or you can buy one on Amazon (used to be some at WH Smiths) or find one on the internet.
                      The basic point is that she pays the existing tenants the rent as a lodger and they pay you all the rent as tenants.

                      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


                        #12
                        The number of people for an HMO has been three since the legislation was introduced! It is possible the council has introduced Additional Licensing, but that doesn't change the need to comply with other HMO law.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                          The number of people for an HMO has been three since the legislation was introduced! It is possible the council has introduced Additional Licensing, but that doesn't change the need to comply with other HMO law.
                          It's why three people or two couple's sharing is so rare.

                          I'm not surprised the tenant wants to be able to move back!
                          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


                            #14
                            My reccomendation is to make temporary person a lodger of your 3 tenants (as suggested above).

                            There appear to be so many potential pitfalls with chaging the tenancy, including
                            • properly terminating one tenancy before entering into the new tenancy.
                            • sorting out inventory and identifying damage and deteriortion between tenancies
                            • sorting out deposit between tenancies
                            • being able to remove the 'temporary' person next year.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I can't thank you enough!

                              I have told them the options and left it with them as there are far too many emails and messages and it's starting to make me over eat chocolate...like i need an excuse.



                              Comment

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