Who is liable for what?

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  • Who is liable for what?

    Good Morning,

    I’ve scoured the recent posts and not quite found the information that I need although I’m sure that one of your well advised users can help me out.

    I’m a landlord.
    2 bedroomed flat with 2 couples – all signed up on one AST. Each couple paying half of the monthly rent. Bills sorted out between them.
    Couple A leaves so just couple B remain.
    Couple B want to stay but are reluctant to sign up to a new AST until they find replacements for couple A.
    As B have the run of the flat am I correct to think that they are liable for the whole of the rent? They do currently take responsibility for all of the bills.
    It does seem at the moment that B are quite comfortable with the current arrangements and are not very progressive with finding flatmates.
    I don’t want to subject them to sharing with tenants of my choice as that may not work out as well but I am reluctant to keep things going as present indefinitely and am considering repossession.

    Hope that makes sense and I look forward to your guidance.

    Thanks - TT

  • #2
    As they signed one AST they are liable for the whole rent as they were Jointly and Severally liable with couple A. Notify them of this fact and ensure you charge them the whole rent. Advise them that if rent arrears accumulate to 8 weeks you will issue notice.... that may give them a rocket up their behinds to find new flat mates!!
    GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

    Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

    Comment


    • #3
      You say they all signed one agreement. That means, unless you provided otherwise, that each person who signed is liable for the whole rent. I think that if you tell them they are liable for the whole it will encourage them to find replacements.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow - thank you both very much
        My first posting and 2 replys within 31 minutes
        Keep up the good work for a fairer system for all

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello, back again, all is not as simple as I had thought – or am I getting my knickers in a twist?

          As a precautionary measure I am looking at serving a section 21 (a) notice and note that “all tenants must be named”

          As both couples A and B have signed original AST do I serve notice on them both but not hold them both liable for rental income from the date one pair left.
          OR
          Do I just serve written notice on remaining tenants?

          Tenants that left gave one months notice to all concerned and left 4 weeks ago if that makes any difference.

          Thanks in advance oh wise ones.

          TT

          Comment


          • #6
            Just to confirm: When notice was give was the tenancy periodic, i.e. had the fixed term expired?

            Comment


            • #7
              yes - 6 month AST had expired
              now periodic
              thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by timothytaylor View Post
                yes - 6 month AST had expired
                now periodic
                thanks
                1. What was the date of the last day of the fixed term?
                2. Was rent paid monthly?
                3. What date did couple A give notice?
                4. What date did couple A move out?
                5. Did couple A & B pay a deposit and was it protected?

                Comment


                • #9
                  AST began 1st May2009. Ran until 31st October.
                  Monthly rent – due on the first of every calendar month. Paid erratically but I show a level of leniency to accommodate tenants work regime.
                  Notice given 10th January.
                  Moved out 31st January – I know it’s not the full months notice but was mutually acceptable. – Yes I am too lenient as a landlord but I think the benefit of a good Landlord/Tenant relationship pays dividends in the long run.
                  No deposit taken – I make sure that I know my tenants so find the threat/use of small claims ensures eventual payment.

                  TT

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by timothytaylor View Post
                    Notice given 10th January.
                    Moved out 31st January – I know it’s not the full months notice but was mutually acceptable.
                    Technically, the earliest couple A's notice could expire is 28th February 2010 (notice served in periodic tenancy must be at least one month and also end at the end of a rental period, in this case the periods run 1st to last day of the month).

                    As far as I know, couple A's notice ends the whole tenancy, on 28th February 2010. If couple B remain in occupation, they will, I think, become trespassers. I don't know enough to advise you further on what to do next.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes. Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        Yes. Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.
                        Does that mean OP can apply for a possession order to evict the trespassers (aka couple B) on or after 1st March? (assuming OP has evidence that notice was given by couple A). And will couple B be liable for any sort of rent-type payment while they remain in occupation?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          Does that mean OP can apply for a possession order to evict the trespassers (aka couple B) on or after 1st March? (assuming OP has evidence that notice was given by couple A). And will couple B be liable for any sort of rent-type payment while they remain in occupation?
                          Both couples- A1/A2 and B1/B2- are joint tenants; so no-one's a trespasser.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So back to square 1 – but a bit wiser.
                            If only tenants B1/B2 remain by choice as tenants, not trespassers – are they liable for the full rent whilst they remain in situ?
                            AND
                            If I do issue a section 21(a) – [more than anything to encourage B1/B2 to find replacements for A1/A2 and/or to put pressure on B1/B2 to sign a new AST]– do I just issue to B1/B2 (which seems to make sense) or do I have to search out both A1/A2 as well – they being on the original AST which I wish to curtail.
                            Thanks a lot for now

                            TT

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                              Yes. Where joint tenants hold anything, they form one party- so it's impossible to end part of it without ending all of it.

                              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                              Both couples- A1/A2 and B1/B2- are joint tenants; so no-one's a trespasser.
                              I don't understand. Couple A gave notice to end the tenancy. This happened after the tenancy had become periodic. Couple A's notice, given on 10th Jan, has to expire 28th Feb. Surely that ends the joint tenancy of couple A & B as per your first comment.

                              Comment

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