New joint AST tenancy - 2 tenants want to move in earlier than 3rd tenant

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    New joint AST tenancy - 2 tenants want to move in earlier than 3rd tenant

    Hey everyone,

    I have a rental property which is vacant. I have 3 prospective tenants who have said they want to take the house. It will be a 6 month joint AST (Wales). 2 of the girls want to move in on 1st November but are held back by the 3rd tenant who cannot move before 1st December because she's tied into a contract. They asked if this would be possible for the 2 girls who don't have a contract to move in and pay 2/3 of the rent for that month. They said if it's a problem, they will just all move in on 1st December.

    The property has been vacant for several months as I've had huge delays with builders and tenants messing me around, costing me £1000s in lost rent - so getting some kind of rental income for November would be heavenly.

    Could we do an AST commencing 1st November for full amount of rent, they pay their deposit in full amount, (so everything as if the 3 of them were starting the AST on 1st November) but then we'd have an agreement in writing whereby I'd only collect 2/3 of the rent for the first month only?

    Thanks in advance,

    Are they students? Why not give each tenant an individual contract? Why do you want to issue a joint contract?


      No, they are professionals. I like issuing joint contracts because that way, if one tenant wants to moves out, the rest are responsible for finding a replacement, or continuing the contract regardless.


        Understood. My advice would be to have 1 Dec be the date then to keep things simple however understand that you want to get £ in. You can still have the joint contract for all 3 but stipulate an addendum where only 2/3 of the monthly rent is to be paid for the first month.


          Disagree: I tenancy states 1st december but some move in 1st Nov then you've likely established an earlier, different, tenancy for just the two.

          I'd say start joint tenancy 1st Nov. Only 1 of joint tenants has to move in for tenancy to start. It's then up to them (as joint tenants..) how rent is paid; EACH joint tenant is liable for ALL the rent - unless (no offence) you've been daft enough to specify rent amounts for each.
          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...


            Thanks both. No, no rent amounts for each. Rent is £1,100, to be paid in full by the lead tenant on the 1st of every month.


              That sounds like it has a similar problem to setting individual rents, as it could mean that you cannot pursue the other joint tenants if the "lead tenant" fails to pay.


                No such entity as a 'lead T', all are liable from start.


                  That depends on how the agreement is written. The agreement could define the term "lead tenant". I assume the concern expressed about agreement that specified individual rents was that the liability of one person might be limited to their share. A joint tenancy agreement should not be saying who actually pays.

                  The real problem is probably that of using a joint tenancy when the reality is much closer to three individual ones.


                    Sorry, I should have been more exact in my use of English.

                    The joint tenancy should start on 1 Nov (all 3 people are the tenant). If you decide that they can be given a 'discount' on the first month (to get some money in) then you add this as an Addendum or a variation to the contract. I was advised to do this once before a couple of years ago by my then agent, the tenants were separating during the renewal period and a new partner was taking over as the joint tenant, so I am not totally sure of its absolute legality (he was no solicitor) but I am sure that it is possible given that the tenancy is still for 6 months and the rent is specified at the £1100 level. It is your choice to give them a discount in effect by way of a variation.

                    The next problem is possibly going to be the deposit as they will say that they want it to be divided again. This must be the 1 month's rent (£1100) or whatever amount you specify.

                    The tenants to be sound like they want to make their arrangement, between themselves, your arrangement, thus heed leaseholder64 above '
                    The real problem is probably that of using a joint tenancy when the reality is much closer to three individual ones',
                    be careful!

                    I personally don't like the 'Lead tenant' as it implies that they are the point of communication and decision making which they may not be. It is used a lot in the student world I understand so that the agent only has to deal with one person. I am pretty sure that it means nothing in law.

                    Hope that is clearer.


                      If you want a joint tenancy, begin it for all three of them on November 1st and just accept 2/3rds of the rent for the first month.
                      Accept the whole deposit on 1st December and protect it then (don't accept 2/3rds of the deposit any earlier).

                      Or just insist the tenancy starts on 1st December, there's no need to be flexible if it makes things more complicated.

                      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).


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