Short term lets during Coronavirus crisis?

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    Short term lets during Coronavirus crisis?

    In February, my tenants (sharers) gave 2 months notice and I issued a S21 (mutual break clause 6 months into a 12 months AST with joint and several liability).

    One tenant (who has been nothing but trouble...) has left the country without a forwarding address. Good riddance, but am I likely to encounter any difficulties in claiming her deposit in lieu of the last month's rent from DPS?

    Tenant 2 says she had been planning to move out beginning of May as per notice, but is now considering staying on, at least for a while.
    Tenant 3 says she is willing to move out as planned but ideally would like to stay an extra month, i.e. till June.

    Given the current uncertainties, I'd like to be helpful and let them stay. And continue to get two thirds of the rent rather than nothing!

    What kind of tenancy agreement could I use to ensure that there is flexibility on both sides, i.e. my tenants can move out with minimal notice, whilst at the same time ensuring that I could get them to leave without too much hassle when all this is over?

    Thank you all, as always ☺

    #2
    Are they joint tenants or on individual agreements?
    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
      As stated.... AST with joint and several liability

      Comment


        #4
        If the tenants were joint how come the one that skipped the country did not pay the rent. They are jointly liable to pay the rent.



        Freedom at the point of zero............

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          #5
          A new AST will give the tenants new rights.
          As this is already a complete mess from a proper legal point of view, I'd probably do nothing, accept the rent offered and wait for the tenants to move out when things are more normal.

          They are all liable for all the rent, so they'll be in considerable arrears, should you need to serve notice in future.
          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
            Have you served s8s on both at the address you have (property)? If not suggest you do
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              Have you served s8s on both at the address you have (property)? If not suggest you do
              What purpose will that serve?

              There's no county court system to enforce it, no-one evicts the tenants without 2 month's rent owing and it will stress the tenants who seem to be happy to pay some rent which the landlord is happy to accept.
              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
                I appreciate they are jointly liable for the rent.
                No rent is owing at this time.
                I'm hoping to use the deposit of the tenant who has left in lieu of her share of the rent for the last month.

                As it stands, the current tenancy will end at the beginning of May. The tenants gave 2 months notice, and I issued both a Notice of Termination and a S21 at the same time.
                I don't see a need for a S8 notice at this point.

                My question is: if the two remaining tenants want to stay, what is the best tenancy agreement to use?
                Particularly in view of the fact that one tenant only wants to stay an extra month, ie until beginning of June, at which point she will return to her home country.

                Ideally I would like to issue each tenant with some kind of separate/individual short-term agreement which both parties could easily terminate.

                Once all this C19 stuff settles down, the one remaining tenant can leave or find 2 new people to share with - at which point I'd issue a new AST.

                I hope this is clear.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'd just leave things as they stand, and deal with things if/when they arise.

                  If the tenancy has ended (albeit early because of the notice) then unless you have a possession order and enforce it then it should automatically roll over into a monthly periodic tenancy if they stay.
                  (Not entirely sure there because of the break clause notice?)

                  Nobody knows what the situation will be in a month, six months, or even a year from now.

                  Will your tenant even be able to go back to her home country?
                  Nobody is flying anywhere much at the moment.
                  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesas...ing-and-where/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I want to avoid a monthly periodic tenancy.
                    One tenant has already scuppered, and I'm sure the other foreign tenant will just leave before her national airline stops flying.

                    I know that the remaining tenant is by law liable for the full rent.
                    But I'm not kidding myself that she would pay it.
                    And I wouldn't want to pursue her through the courts.

                    Realistically, I think I have 3 options:

                    - hope that both leave at the end of the notice period (probably forcing me to leave the property empty until life returns to normal)

                    - accept that this will become a periodic tenancy in May and hope that the remaining tenant will at least pay her share of the rent

                    - issue some kind of separare short-term tenancy agreements for the 2 tenants, e.g. on a month by month basis, and try to find new tenants to fill the vacant room(s).

                    I'd much prefer the last option, but I have no idea what kind of temporary/short-term agreement, or if indeed there is such a thing.

                    I'm sure my situation must be very common at the present time, especially in London, where joint ASTs seem to be standard for sharers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The main reason for leaving things as they are is that if you issue a new tenancy agreement it will be a brand new tenancy, because the tenant will be different.
                      That means you can't serve a s21 notice for 4 months, so even if you exercised a break clause you have an issue.

                      In issuing a new tenancy, you'd have to resolve the previous (current) tenancy deposit - which is difficult because no rent is owed and you can't take money from the deposit of the tenant who's gone to cover missing rent on a different tenancy of which he is not a part.

                      It's already a bit of a mess and anything positive you are able to do to change things will (as far as I can see) make it worse.
                      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
                        Originally posted by LondonLover View Post
                        - issue some kind of separare short-term tenancy agreements for the 2 tenants, e.g. on a month by month basis, and try to find new tenants to fill the vacant room(s).
                        Various governments have bent over backwards to make sure that there are no such things as flexible short term tenancies (you could use AirBnB I guess) - even though that is exactly what many people want and need - especially right now - to be near children, family, love and care.

                        So no.

                        The entire structure is designed to make it as hard as possible and as dangerous as possible for everyone who wants and needs what you want to offer.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          *In issuing a new tenancy, you'd have to resolve the previous (current) tenancy deposit - which is difficult because no rent is owed and you can't take money from the deposit of the tenant who's gone to cover missing rent on a different tenancy of which he is not a part.*

                          Sorry if I wasn't clear. No rent is owed at the moment, but I am under no illusion that the tenant who left will pay her last month's rent, i.e. 7 April to 6 May.

                          I was hoping that I could use her share of the deposit in lieu of her share of the last month's rent. Is this not possible?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I hadn't thought about AirBnB... Might this be a realistic option?

                            Clutching at straws...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              No-one is supposed to be leaving their home unnecessarily and certainly not for a holiday, so I doubt this is an option.

                              Comment

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