How to end a joint tenancy at the end of the fixed term contract

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  • DPT57
    replied
    Tell the landlord and your flatmate that you will serve notice when hhe tenancy becomes periodic just in case but are prepared to move before the end of the notice if the new tenant wants your room.

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    Ideally, yes - confirmation from the landlord/agent would be helpful.

    But if the landlord/agent agrees a new tenancy agreement with new tenants for the property, it would be obvious that your previous agreement had come to an end (because the new tenant would be in the property, paying rent and you wouldn't).
    And I'm not really sure what the confirmation would be any use if the new tenancy didn't happen for some reason.

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  • jinxirony
    replied
    Hello, thank you for your reply.

    Quick update.
    My joint tenant said that he is going to enter a new AST with his friend (hopefully it will happen).
    In order to release me from the existing contract do I need any confirmation/agreement in writing from Landlord/Agent or(and) from my joint tenant?

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by jinxirony View Post
    As you have entered into a joint Assured Shorthold Tenancy, legally the tenancy will only end if you both vacate the property at the end of your tenancy If other tenant wishes to remain in the property, a replacement tenant is to be found in order to remove you from the lease.
    That is not correct.
    • The tenancy ends at the end of the term regardless.
    • If "the tenant" remains in occupation, then a statutory periodic tenancy arises; this is a new tenancy (Housing Act 1988 Section 5(2). You have already advised that you do not agree to be party to any tenancy after the fixed term ends.
    • The Housing Act 1988 says "the tenant" means "all the individuals that comprise a joint tenant" (Section 45(3).
    • Therefore if you vacate before the end of the fixed term "the tenant" has not remained in occupation.

    I suggest that you put that to the agent and see how agent responds.

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  • rahiismyabbo
    replied
    You need to carefully read all agreement terms than you can get the right way


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  • DPT57
    replied
    Im not suggesting you should do it, but it's not that hard to find a replacement tenant these days. If you advertise your room on Spareroom and Gumtree you would probably get responses.

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    You can't actually serve notice on the first day of the SPT, so it would have to be the day after.
    Most people don't know that, though, so it might be worth trying.

    Leave a comment:


  • jinxirony
    replied
    Thank you all for your replies!
    That's very helpful!

    Following your tips what I did is:
    - I've sent an email to the landlord and to the agent,
    - I've sent a "Notice of Intent to Vacate" (probably it will be ignored because I didn't get any response yet)

    after sending an email to the landlord, landlord redirected me to the agent straight away, the agent said:

    As you have entered into a joint Assured Shorthold Tenancy, legally the tenancy will only end if you both vacate the property at the end of your tenancy If other tenant wishes to remain in the property, a replacement tenant is to be found in order to remove you from the lease.

    From my perspective, it is not really doable to find a replacement tenant.
    It is obvious that nobody wants to enter 12 months of joint tenancy with a stranger.
    They don't want to sign the new contract with the remaining tenant either.

    I'll be moving abroad, I really wish to not be a part of the joint tenancy anymore.
    I think the only way for me to escape from that contract is:

    - Wait till AST will be converted to SPT
    - On the first day of SPT try to serve notice again...
    (I could not find any reference in housing act to confirm that what I'm planning to do is legally possible)

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Only kidding!

    I agree that the situation is unclear and that a test case would make things clearer
    But I do think that currently the situation is that a joint periodic tenancy does arise - because there doesn't seem any way to stop it.
    That, plus the tenant's inability to serve notice during the fixed term, causes the problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    I do agree that the landlord might not appreciate the legal specifics (it took me several months of arguing to get me to accept it!)
    Sorry jpkeates, I thought the discussion had ended with you still of the opinion that the interpretation above could be argued and that it would require a judgement to settle the issue.

    I continue to lobby my MP to try to get the situation addressed , and I hope that something will be done when the HA1988 is opened up for removal of S21 for new tenancies.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by MdeB View Post
    Note that the majority of posters on this forum do not agree that the above is legally valid, and only a judge can determine that.
    But your landlord might not understand the arguments and might not want to be a test case for the above interpretation.
    So, you have nothing to lose by the above approach and may get what you want.
    Let's be honest, it's not the majority of posters, it's all but one! 8-)

    I do agree that the landlord might not appreciate the legal specifics (it took me several months of arguing to get me to accept it!)

    However, just serving notice might be enough.
    I've been served all kinds of invalid notices, but forcing unhappy people to pay me rent when they have continued access to a valuable asset which they now think is owned by an a***hole never strikes me as the way forward.
    The landlord might just shrug and move on.

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    I believe that the only legally watertight ways to end a joint tenancy that was granted for a fixed term with monthly rental periods are
    1. All leave before the end of the fixed term.
    2. One tenant gives valid notice to end the subsequent SPT at the end of the second or subsequent month.
    3. An agreement is reached that one or more people will leave at the end of the fixed term and a new tenancy will be granted starting the next day and including the remaining joint tenants (this probably needs the involvement of solicitors, =£many)
    4. The tenancy is assigned to others.
    In practice, option 3 could be used, and as long as everyone does what they agree to do, then there will be no issues. Problems might come if one or more parties do not abide by their agreement.

    If none of the above are achievable, then read on ...


    It has not been tested in a higher court (and possibly not in a county court), but the wording of S5 Housing Act 1988 might mean that if one of the joint tenants ceases to occupy the property as their sole or main residence, then a SPT does not arise.

    I would suggest that you write to the landlord or LL's agent saying
    • You contracted for X months and are giving notice that you do not intend extending your obligations under that contract beyond the agreed X months.
    • You will vacate the premises on or before the last day of the fixed term.
    • Under Section 5 (2) Housing Act 1988 and the interpretation of tenant in Section 45(3) HA 1988, no statutory periodic tenancy will arise because the tenant has not exercise his (their) entitlement to remain in possession.
    • Therefore you will not be liable for any rent or other payments that might become due after the end of the fixed term, other than obligations that have arisen during the fixed term.
    You should also advise your joint tenants of your intentions.

    Note that you are not giving notice to end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term (which is generally agreed is not legally possible), but are giving notice that you do not consent to be party to any tenancy that arises or is granted after the end of the fixed term.

    Note that the majority of posters on this forum do not agree that the above is legally valid, and only a judge can determine that.
    But your landlord might not understand the arguments and might not want to be a test case for the above interpretation.
    So, you have nothing to lose by the above approach and may get what you want.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post
    It seems that the spirit of the intended law was lost in the detail of the small print.
    It is certainly the case that provisions aimed at protecting tenants disadvantage a joint tenant who does not wish to remain in occupation after the fixed term expires. It would not be too difficult to remedy the situation without leaving loopholes for landlords to exploit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Logical.Lean
    replied
    It seems that the spirit of the intended law was lost in the detail of the small print.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post
    So does that mean one tenant cannot end a joint tenancy on the last day of the fixed term unless the other agrees and moves out at the same time?
    (or does the decent thing and agrees a new AST with the landlord? )
    Yes.

    It seems unfair and I'd love to see someone test it in a senior court.
    Essentially someone signing up for a 12 month tenancy as a joint tenant is signing up for a 14 month tenancy unless the other people in the tenancy play ball.

    Leave a comment:

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