Tenants arrived singly (on different dates); joint AST?

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  • Tenants arrived singly (on different dates); joint AST?

    3 weeks ago i moved into a 4 bedroom house, each bedroom has locks on the door and the tennants share the bathrooms, lounge and kichen. a 2nd person was moving in a few days later and the landlord was still looking for a 3rd and 4th. I signed an inventory and accepted a notice that the LL wanted the property back in 6mths, which had just my name on and my room number and only me and him signed. Its £300pm all in plus £300 deposit.
    Roll on 3 weeks, endless problems with no heating (now fixed) and no hot water (now warm) and hot water tank that leaks all over a plastic cover that has electrics under it (sorry dont know what its called).
    The LL is insistent we are joint tennants and that:
    a) its why he hasnt registered the deposit yet cos he's waiting for the last £300 of the 4th tennant - there isnt one in mind yet.
    b) if one of us moves out the others have to stump up the extra rent

    We, as tennants, did not know each other prior to moving in, we each moved in on separate days and i said i did not want to be a joint tennant. LL says i must pay extra £40 to have an individual contract.

    I know that because we've not signed its assumed legally to be an assured shorthold tennancy, but is it assumed to be joint or individual?

    I want to move out, and get my deposit back, I do not wish to be a joint tennant with people i dont know!!! I know the LL paid £150 to a letting agent to introduce us and always knew the LL was managing the house. I paid the letting agent £99 for credit checks, on the phone he says he assumed it was individual but i dont have it in writing (he was advertising 1 room individually not the whole house).

    Any help you can give i'd be really greatful.

    paulz

    EDIT - its still listed on Rightmove, its being advertised as "being let room by room"
    Last edited by paulz; 05-11-2009, 10:30 AM. Reason: add info

  • #2
    Originally posted by paulz View Post
    3 weeks ago i moved into a 4 bedroom house, each bedroom has locks on the door and the tennants share the bathrooms, lounge and kichen. a 2nd person was moving in a few days later and the landlord was still looking for a 3rd and 4th. I signed an inventory and accepted a notice that the LL wanted the property back in 6mths, which had just my name on and my room number and only me and him signed. Its £300pm all in plus £300 deposit.
    The notice was presumably a section 21 notice. Note that this is invalid as the deposit wasn't protected at the time of issue.

    I know that because we've not signed its assumed legally to be an assured shorthold tennancy, but is it assumed to be joint or individual?
    The assumption here would be that you have an individual AST for your room, even though you have not signed a contract. Keep the notice that he gave you when you moved in in a safe place - it is good evidence that you have an individual AST for your room. The locks on the bedroom doors are another sign that this is an individual AST. Take photos of the locks in each bedroom (if the other occupants let you!)

    I want to move out, and get my deposit back, I do not wish to be a joint tennant with people i dont know!!!
    Then don't sign the joint tenancy agreement. The LL can't force you to. And you already have an oral/verbal tenancy agreement. As there is no written contract as yet, I believe it would be regarded as a periodic tenancy. Therefore, if you wish to leave, give LL notice to end the tenancy. This must be in writing, give at least one month's notice, and it must end at the end of a rental period. For example, if you moved in on the 15th October, your notice must end on the 14th of the month; so, if you issued notice today, then the notice would have to say you were leaving on 14th December, (not 14th November as that would not be at least month's notice).


    I know the LL paid £150 to a letting agent to introduce us and always knew the LL was managing the house. I paid the letting agent £99 for credit checks, on the phone he says he assumed it was individual but i dont have it in writing (he was advertising 1 room individually not the whole house).
    EDIT - its still listed on Rightmove, its being advertised as "being let room by room"
    Print this webpage out immediately, before it's taken down. And again keep safely as additional evidence.

    These may seem like excessive precautions, but this LL sounds extremely untrustworthy, and you never know what kind of false allegations he might make against you, and you may end up having to issue a claim against him to get your deposit back. So protect yourself by hanging on to evidence. With any disrepair, always report in writing, keep copy and get proof of posting. Keep a diary of events.

    As well as having a legal obligation to protect your deposit, LL also must provide a gas safety certificate (if there's a gas boiler or appliances). Did he?

    I suggest you have a good look through the Shelter website to swot up about tenancy rights. The water leaking into the electrics sounds dangerous, and you should perhaps consider reporting it to the Environmental Health Officer at the local council. They can order the LL to carry out essential repairs.
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...n_private_lets

    Also, is the letting agent a member of any estate agent organizations? If so, they will have a code of conduct and it would be worth reporting LL's dodgy behaviour to the agent. Agent is also liable for the legal repercussions of LL failing to comply with deposit protection so I'm sure they'd be interested to know about this. They might even persuade the LL to behave more responsibly (perhaps unlikely).

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