Joint tenancy fixed term one party moving out?

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    Joint tenancy fixed term one party moving out?

    I am the Landlord of a two bedroom flat in England. The current tenants, a mother and daughter have been in the property for about four years. They have been good tenants in that the rent has always been payed on time and they have kept the property in good repair. Currently they are on a joint tenancy fixed 12 month term AST until April 30th next year, mother is head tenant. This week I have received an email from mother stating that the daughter is moving out on Friday and does the tenancy agreement need to be changed? I have heard nothing from the daughter and she has not given me any notice. The issue that arises is that the daughter earns much more than the mother, I suspect that the mother alone may struggle and may well need a guarantor without daughters help, though she states she has always paid the rent alone and this is not a problem. Any advice or considerations as to the correct procedure as a way forward would be appreciated

    #2
    Whether the daughter moves out or not, the tenancy continues 'as is' and the daughter's rights and liabilities under the tenancy remain the same and there is no action required on your part and you need not get involved in any way. As the tenancy is still in the fixed term the tenants cannot serve a valid notice to quit (unless they were exercising a break clause). If 'both' tenants express a wish to negotiate the early surrender of the tenancy you would need to consider it if/when that happens but not before - acting on the word of one tenant could end up in an inadvertent illegal eviction of the other. If both tenants express a wish to surrender early you could either decline the request or agree to it. If you agree in principle to it I would carry out a full affordability assessment for the remaining tenant before making a firm decision on how/if you proceed with their combined request make this clear from the onset). If having done all this you decide to grant a 'new' tenancy to one of the tenants have all parties sign a Notice of Surrender executed as a deed to avoid ambiguity before granting a new tenancy and all the associated formalities a start of tenancy brings e.g. Protect deposit in new tenants name etc.

    Comment


      #3
      As above.

      In the fixed term of a joint tenancy it's not possible for any of the people who are jointly tenants to serve valid notice.
      Notice can only be served by any individual during a periodic tenancy, and that would end the tenancy for everyone.

      It's not possible for one tenant to give notice for the other, and the tenancy will just continue (and go periodic) until it's brought to an end.

      I'd point out to the tenant that you are concerned that they won't be able to afford the property and that her daughter will remain a tenant until the tenancy goes periodic and she serves notice (which will also end the tenancy for her mother) or they both move out on or before 30 April 2020.

      Put it more politely than that!
      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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        #4
        is the tenancy in joint names, or is it in one name with the other living there?

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          #5
          Its in joint names with the mother being the head tenant, thanking everyone for their help and responses so far

          Comment


            #6
            There's no such generally accepted notion of "leading tenant", so it doesn't mean anything on its own.
            You'll need to tell us what the contract says about who the tenant is.
            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


              #7
              If both are on the agreement it's a joint agreement. Even if one of them is the one paying you rent.

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