Joint tenancy- fixed term ended; can I end my liability?

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    #16
    Agent46; your last posting confirms that one party in a joint tenancy can give notice for all parties. I assumed like you that if after such a notice, one or more of the joint tenants refused to leave, then ALL the joint tenants would be liable for continuing rent and other costs.
    "Not so" said my Judge and when I protested politely, he reminded me that HE was the Judge. Subsequent research appeared to show that he was wrong in his judgement but only because the Notice of the leaving joint tenant was not correctly presented. Judges of course can overlook little details like this if they are so-minded.
    I'm sure that if Karrielou delivers a correctly presented one-month Notice, that will bring his liability to an end, albeit much later than he would like.
    The idea that Karrielou might be OK if he left at or before the end of the fixed period, is interesting. It's true but not at all fair, that tenants can leave without giving any notice at all, at the end of the fixed period. So, maybe any sort of note refering to leaving at the end of the fixed period, might be acceptable to a Judge. I don't think this should be the case but I think the concept of joint and several liability in relation to residential tenancies, is much weaker than it should be, from the landlords point of view.

    Comment


      #17
      I've just had a very quick scan of the thread. If I've missed something, please shout.

      Looking at the thread-starting post and #7, OP is not very clear on what type of tenancy this is. It could either be

      (a) a 6 month fixed term that became a statutory periodic AST in March 08, or

      (b) a fixed term 12 month tenancy (to Sept 08) with a 6 month break clause and they are now in that "window".

      If (a), the OP can give unilateral NTQ (Hammersmith v. Monk), but if (b) then both tenants will have to give notice together (Re: Viola).

      Whether her actions 6 weeks ago count as NTQ in the proper form, is another matter. I suspect not and, if I'm correct in my suspicions, the tenancy (and liability for rent) is continuing.

      Karrie - please give more info to answer the above. Ta
      Health Warning


      I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

      All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by agent46 View Post
        I've just had a very quick scan of the thread. If I've missed something, please shout.

        Looking at the thread-starting post and #7, OP is not very clear on what type of tenancy this is. It could either be

        (a) a 6 month fixed term that became a statutory periodic AST in March 08, or

        (b) a fixed term 12 month tenancy (to Sept 08) with a 6 month break clause and they are now in that "window".

        If (a), the OP can give unilateral NTQ (Hammersmith v. Monk), but if (b) then both tenants will have to give notice together (Re: Viola).

        Whether her actions 6 weeks ago count as NTQ in the proper form, is another matter. I suspect not and, if I'm correct in my suspicions, the tenancy (and liability for rent) is continuing.

        Karrie - please give more info to answer the above. Ta
        Hi,

        thanks for everyones responses I really appreciate it.
        To answer Agent46 query - it was a fixed term for 6 months and went onto a monthly periodical.
        What I have done is sent a letter to the LL stating that I gave my notice 5 weeks ago (31st March) and that LL confirmed back the next day but told me I had to find a replacement to be released from my tenancy. I have contacted Shelter who have advised that this is not my responsibility as I was out of the 6 months fixed term and into the monthly roll over. (although I have now spent £45 on adverts etc.) I will see what the LL has to say to that. I think deep down I know that I will have to pay to the end of May. But I might as well state my case first (This was my first house share and I dont think I will be as naive again.)

        thanks
        Karrie

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by karrielou View Post
          Hi,

          To answer Agent46 query - it was a fixed term for 6 months and went onto a monthly periodical.
          What I have done is sent a letter to the LL stating that I gave my notice 5 weeks ago (31st March) and that LL confirmed back the next day
          What date did your tenancy begin?

          You say you gave your LL notice 5 weeks ago:
          - was this in writing?
          - if so, what date did you say you were leaving (expiration date)?
          - if so, did the LL acknowledge receipt in writing?
          - if you gave an expiration date, did you remain in the property after that date?

          Did you pay a deposit? If so, has your LL protected it?
          Health Warning


          I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

          All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by agent46 View Post
            What date did your tenancy begin?

            You say you gave your LL notice 5 weeks ago:
            - was this in writing?
            - if so, what date did you say you were leaving (expiration date)?
            - if so, did the LL acknowledge receipt in writing?
            - if you gave an expiration date, did you remain in the property after that date?

            Did you pay a deposit? If so, has your LL protected it?
            Hi,

            No unfortunately its not looking good for me...
            No I phoned her and left a message and she phoned me back. I did state in my message I was giving a months notice and she left a message saying that that was ok but she would only renew the tenancy agreement once a replacement was found.
            This has all come about as both the LL and co-tenant said I couldnt break tenancy without finding a replacement first. So therefore I have been trying to find someone. My co-tenant has now decided to move out but will not give her months notice yet as she has not find the 'right' house. So I wasted my time and money etc. (But the LL has agreed with her that if she finds somewhere to start in June then she can leave then, without giving a months ?!?)

            I paid my deposit to the flat mate that was leaving the room I was to rent as the full deposit was sat in the bank. It is protected with both mine and the co-tenants name on it.

            Thanks Karrie

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by karrielou View Post
              I paid my deposit to the flat mate that was leaving the room I was to rent

              Thanks Karrie
              Did you move in midway through someone else's tenancy?

              What is your rent date?
              Health Warning


              I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

              All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                Did you move in midway through someone else's tenancy?

                What is your rent date?
                No, the person I replaced in the house was told the same as me, they couldnt be released from the tenancy agreement until a replacement had been found so when I agreed to take the room a new agreement was written up for myself and the exsisting co-tenant.

                My rent date is the 8th of each month.

                Thanks
                Karrie

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by karrielou View Post

                  My rent date is the 8th of each month.

                  Thanks
                  Karrie
                  Notice to quit in periodic tenancies needs to expire at the end of a tenancy period (in your case either 8th or preferably, the 7th). Therefore you could give notice today to expire on 7th June, but it would need to be in writing and in the LL's hands today (hand delivery or courier?). Obviously, you would need to pay rent for this month.

                  Your notice would terminate the joint tenancy on 7th June and you should inform both your LL and your flatmate of this in order to avoid any later arguments.
                  Health Warning


                  I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                  All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                    Notice to quit in periodic tenancies needs to expire at the end of a tenancy period (in your case either 8th or preferably, the 7th). Therefore you could give notice today to expire on 7th June, but it would need to be in writing and in the LL's hands today (hand delivery or courier?). Obviously, you would need to pay rent for this month.

                    Your notice would terminate the joint tenancy on 7th June and you should inform both your LL and your flatmate of this in order to avoid any later arguments.
                    Yes I posted a letter last night to try and argue that my tenancy should hve ended today. (we will see where I get with that) Though my co-tenant text and said she has handed her notice to LL today to end contract for 7th June.

                    Could the co-tenant sue me for the bills she is saying I am responsible for through May till June as I am no longer living there? I have paid the co-tenant up till the 7th of May (albeit I have not been living there for since mid April).

                    Thanks for clearing up my first query I really appreciate it.

                    Karrie

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by karrielou View Post
                      Yes I posted a letter last night to try and argue that my tenancy should hve ended today. (we will see where I get with that) Though my co-tenant text and said she has handed her notice to LL today to end contract for 7th June.
                      To be on the safe side, you should also give notice to end the tenancy on the 7th June. Don't rely on your flatmate to do this as she may make a mess of the wording, or get distracted by a fluffy kitten and forget to deliver the letter, or simply change her mind.

                      As for the bills - that would depend on what (if any) agreement you had between yourselves, and/or in whose name(s) the utilities were billed.

                      However, presuming that you had some sort of agreement to share the bills, then if nothing was agreed specifically on the issue I suppose the agreement would be for the currency of the tenancy, not for periods of actual occupancy, although it could be argued both ways.

                      Realistically, do you think she will go to the trouble of suing you for what will probably amount to about £100? If I were you I would come to some amicable agreement (say 25%), put it down to experience and be a little less trusting and informal with your next flatmate.
                      Health Warning


                      I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                      All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Johnjw
                        Of course, if your 'good' tenant does give notice and you feel that the remaining tenants are 'bad' and unlikely to pay their rent in future, you can always give them a section 21 at that point and hope that you'll be able to keep your losses to a minimum.

                        There's always a risk of non-payers whether you have joint or indiviual ASTs.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by bagpuss View Post
                          Johnjw
                          Of course, if your 'good' tenant does give notice and you feel that the remaining tenants are 'bad' and unlikely to pay their rent in future, you can always give them a section 21 at that point and hope that you'll be able to keep your losses to a minimum.

                          There's always a risk of non-payers whether you have joint or indiviual ASTs.
                          bagpuss:
                          Yes you could issue a section 21 notice but don't forget that the Notice given by the "good" joint tenant has already legally terminated the tenancy. Bad tenants in my book don't take any notice of section 21, section 8 or possession orders - they move (as slowly as possible) when the Bailiff knocks on the door.
                          My point in relation to this thread is that a "good" joint tenant isn't an effective guarantor for a "bad" tenant. I understand Karrielou's point of view. After the fixed period ended, she could just have given Notice; she was under no obligation to find a replacement tenant. However, I think there is a good chance that it will be the Landlord who will be the eventual loser in this situation

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Rent Arrears - joint tenancy agreement

                            I was in a similar situation with the headposter. Here is a chronology of events:

                            August 2006: signed a joint tenancy agreement with 2 flamates
                            Feb 2007: Tried to put a 2-month notice to leave, informed by agent that the tenancy won't be ended by that.
                            April 2007: I left the property and someone took my room. Sent a few letters to agent for the deposit, but met refusal.
                            August 2007: End of fixed term of the contract. I applied to court for the deposit.
                            Dec 2007: A flatmate handed a one-month notice to leave the house.
                            Feb 2008: Court case lost. The second flatmate left the house.
                            March 2008: Third and final flatmate left the house. Inventory checkout and tenancy ended.
                            May 2008: The second flatmate and I received solicitor letter for a £2k rent arrears. Apparently, the third flatmate didn't pay. It shows that they built up after the fixed term.

                            A few questions:

                            1. In response to a few posts above, what defines a 'proper notice' to clear the liability for rent? I know that the 2-month notice I put in Feb 2007 wasn't valid for tenancy termination purpose, but could that convince the judge that I am not liable after the fixed term?

                            2. From information by Shelter, it appears that we are STILL joint tenants after the fixed term. In the contract, I found a clause 'All tenants are jointly and severally responsible until such time that all sharers vacate the property'. What counter-arguments should be looked for to prove that the rent liability is no longer joint after the fixed term? (Seems unlikely)

                            3. What are the next steps? I found that the rent record missed out a few payments by us. This will be raised to their solicitor, and I have also told them that I tried to put a notice to leave. The second flatmate went to CAB, and they asked her to dispute the arrears.

                            After all, it was such a painstaking experience. I thought that a joint tenancy under an agent would be safe, after hearing so much bad stories about private landlords. I moved out early because of the party noise. The second flatmate had to apologize to neighbour for the noises, cover the rent in full soon after I had left, and she was threatened by the third flatmate to clear up the house for a deposit refund, or she would mess thing up.

                            I APPRECIATE ALL OF YOUR HELP.

                            Regards,
                            Sunny

                            Comment

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