Tenant-fluctuation causes tenancy problem

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    Tenant-fluctuation causes tenancy problem

    Myself and a friend moved into our property in January 2008 on a one year AST. As it is a 3 bedroom property he agreed that we could move a 3rd person in as long as we let him know who it was. We found someone and let the landlord know. He agreed that the 3rd person could move in but did not put him on the tenancy agreement. Things were fine until one person who is named on the tenancy wanted to move out. We informed the landlord and he drew up a new page that he added to the original tenancy agreement with the signature of the 3rd person that we had moved in's signature on it and just wrote the word "NO" across the pages that the person moving out ad signed. This new page showed a new amount for the rent, increasing it by £50 per month. Unfortunately this was not noted until after we signed it.
    A last minute change of plan meant that in the end the person did not move out. We reported this to the landlord but he made no effort to add him back onto the tenancy agreement.
    The other week the washing machine in the property stopped working. The Landlord was told the day this happened but up until earlier this evening has made no attempt to fix it, telling us that it is our fault as we broke it.
    There was then a further problem last weekend when the electrics in the property started playing up with lights flashing and the electrics box making horrendous noises. We called the landlord immediately and he came round and turned the electricity off completely! He was quite prepared to leave us like this and eventually it was fixed when we called EON and they sent someone out. Luckily the fault was on their side and they fixed it. The landlord was trying to tell us that it was our fault for overloading the system but we have been advised by the electrician that this was not possible.
    Since the electricity came back on the boiler stopped working! We reported this to the landlord and he sent a friend round who was not CORGI registered and who just prodded it and said it was our fault for overloading the electric system!!
    Last night our Landlord as due round to collect the rent and we decided we'd had enough. We wrote our landlord a letter stating that we were without a washing machine and boiler and were therefore withholding rent and that if the problems were not rectified within 2 weeks we would get the repairs done ourselves and take it out of the rent then pay him the difference plus receipts. We also stated that we would pay rent as soon as the repairs were made. I understand that this was not quite the right way to do things but we were desperate. If we had have paid the rent we would have not been able to afford to undertake the repairs for another month if we had tob and the goodwill of friends only lasts so long when it comes to doing washing and allowing us use of their shower!
    We delivered the letter and tonight the landlord sent his son round to have a go at us. We asked him to leave as he was becoming verbally agressive and he did. A few minutes later e returned with the landlord and things got very nasty. Amongst other things the landlord told us that it is up to him to dictate what a reasonable amount of time is in which to undertake repairs, he cannot afford to have our boiler mended, that opening our front door caused problems with the electrics and that the problems with the electrics may have been caused by a lack of maintenance but the tenancy agreement we signed does not include maintenance!
    The upshot of all this was that after a heated argument in the street the landlord has agreed to start taking steps to get things sorted. So far e have not paid the rent but our LL has pointed out that it says in our tenancy that if rent becomes 2 weeks late we immediately forfeit our right to the property.
    Obviously if things are sorted we will have to pay the rent but can anyone advise on whether we should pay the original amount or the amount on the amended page that the new tenant signed?
    We are also now in a situation where one tenant wants to move out and take half the deposit with him. Please can anyone advise on what happens if 1 person on a joint tenancy wants to move out but the other one doesn't?
    There are also several other clauses in our tenancy that do not seem to be reasonable. FOr example can our LL insist on monthly access to the property for inspections and that we cannot put pictures up? The tenancy also states that if anything goes wrong it will be repaired within 28 days. Surely this is not a reasonable amount of time to wait in the case of a broken boiler???
    Sorry if this doesn't make much sense but it is late and I am tired, confused and desperate.

    #2
    You might get a quicker reply if you precis the post! it's far too long and rambles.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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      #3
      Just to comment on a couple of the points you raise.
      Firstly, the comings and goings of your fellow tenants will not affect the amount of rent owed. The agreement sounds messy but I would think that if the arrears were built up after the date on which the new agreement was signed, then the higher rent will apply.
      Regarding the return of deposit to the departing tenant; that would be up to you and your fellow-tenant. The landlord will obviously not be willing to return any deposit until the tenancy ends and the property returns to him. The leaving tenant will remain jointly responsible for the rent payments until the end of the AST (12 months), but this shouldn't be a problem if you and your colleague pay the rent in full.
      Any of the tenants can end the tenancy for all, once the 12 months are completed.

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