Awkward cotenant

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  • Awkward cotenant

    Hi,

    I have been renting my flat for nearly 3 years, my current cotenant moved in about 18 months ago

    However, we don't get on (I didn’t know her before she moved in) . We have very little contact, but when we do - she is very rude towards me... long story short - I've had enough of living with her. I have now found another friend who I know and trust that would like to move in.

    When she moved in we signed a 6 month shorthold tenancy. Previously when this expired before, I always signed on for another 6 months. However she refused to sign another term after the expiry of our first 6 months together, so we are now on a monthly periodic statutory tenancy.... (which is something, I hope I can use against her)

    I am very settled in the flat, and have absolutely no intention of moving out myself, I have however asked my cotenant if she would move out a couple of times, and she has refused. I tried to do it the nice way, so now basically I’m asking if there are any underhand techniques I can deploy??

    What I want to know is what happens if I hand in notice? (although I’m not going anywhere) I know she would be responsible for all the rent. But then if she did find someone to share with her – would she have to sort out a brand new tenancy for both of them? (that’s what I had to do when she moved in) If this is the case, does she have any exclusivity?? Does the landlord have to offer it to her?? Could he then say sign a tenancy with me & my friend.

    Given the fact that I get on very well with the landlord and she very much rubs them up the wrong way, I can’t see there being any issue in getting him to agree to giving me first shout on the flat. I’m certain that I have them onside

    I know it’s not the most ethical way of doing it... I’m essentially trying to ransom my flatmate with – move out, or pay all the rent on you own (knowing she can’t afford that), but I have to get this woman out of my home.

    Also, as we are on the rolling monthly deal, is it worth discussing with the landlord, getting him to serve us both notice, and perhaps using the bargaining tool of, me been willing to sign say a 12 month deal – which obviously brings them greater security, as they are still paying the mortgage on this place

    Any thoughts on how I can gid her out, much appreciated. I know many people will say I will have to move, but I don’t want to do that, this is my home and she has come in and made it a crap place to live.

    Cheers

  • #2
    This sounds like a hilarious rom-com. While trying everything you can to get this woman to leave she drives you so crazy you fall for her

    Everything you are suggesting sounds real slimey. I think if you can't work it out then you have to move. Everything else is probably not worth the stress to pull it off never mind that it is also ethically wrong.

    I mean you wouldn't advise a landlord to employ any of those tactics to get rid of someone, they would be tarred as pure evil to do so, so what is the difference for a tenant?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NeddyB View Post
      What I want to know is what happens if I hand in notice? (although I’m not going anywhere) I know she would be responsible for all the rent.
      Wrong. Assuming this is an AST in England/Wales, if Tenant1 gives notice in a periodic tenancy it ends the joint tenancy for Tenant2 as well. (If it wasn't so, T1 would be stuck with endless liability for rent if T2 never moved out).

      LL is free to issue a new tenant to whoever he wants when the joint tenancy ends. (Not sure, but you might have to move out for at least one day/night to draw a legal line under the old tenancy - though I might be imagining this...)

      If the woman refuses to go, LL would have to take action to evict you both. (Though he could always let you back in afterwards on a new tenancy )

      Notice in a periodic tenancy must be in writing and at least one month and expire on the last day of a rental period. The periods begin the day after the fixed term ended. So, for example, if your fixed term ended 20th January, the periods would run 21st - 20th of the month, and notice would have to end on the 20th of the month. Using this example, if you served notice today, the notice would have to expire on 20th April.

      Also note that LL would have to return the deposit to you both, then re-protect any deposit you paid for the new tenancy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by westminster View Post
        LL is free to issue a new tenant to whoever he wants when the joint tenancy ends.
        This is true.

        Originally posted by westminster View Post
        (Not sure, but you might have to move out for at least one day/night to draw a legal line under the old tenancy - though I might be imagining this...)
        No, there is no requirement to move out. The key issue is whether the previous tenancy has ended. In this regard it is, as Westminster has pointed out, vital that the tenant's written notice is correctly drafted otherwise (unless endorsed by both tenants and accepted by the landlord) it will have no legal effect.

        Comment


        • #5
          Okay many thanks guys, does anyone know where I can find a template or something similar to make sure my notice is correctly drafted...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NeddyB View Post
            Okay many thanks guys, does anyone know where I can find a template or something similar to make sure my notice is correctly drafted...
            There is no official format for T to give notice. So long as you get the expiry date right*, you could just say that you are giving notice to end the tenancy for [rental property address] on [date], yours sincerely, NeddyB.

            If you want to be a little more formal about it, you could include all the tenancy details, such as the date the fixed term was created, name of LL and both Ts. You could then cc the woman so she is aware that this means the tenancy ends for both of you. If she doesn't believe you, show her this link from the Shelter website on the subject of ending periodic tenancies; scroll to the bottom, where it says:

            "If just one joint tenant gives valid notice to the landlord, the agreement will normally automatically be ended for all of you. None of you will have the right to continue living there."

            Be sure to keep a copy of the notice, and post the notice first class, with a free certificate of posting. Also, if posting close to the monthly deadline, bear in mind that the notice will not be deemed as served until 2-3 days after you post it, so factor this in.

            *Are you clear on how this is worked out?

            Comment


            • #7
              We pay rent monthly on the 1st of each month.

              I can't remeber which month, but our fixed rental agreement ended on the last day of a month (I have this at home, and can check it).

              So if thsi is all correct, and I were to serve notice today, would it have to be for the tenancy agreement to terminate at the end of April?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NeddyB View Post
                We pay rent monthly on the 1st of each month.

                I can't remeber which month, but our fixed rental agreement ended on the last day of a month (I have this at home, and can check it).

                So if thsi is all correct, and I were to serve notice today, would it have to be for the tenancy agreement to terminate at the end of April?
                Yes, correct.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What happens if the other tenant refuses to move out? Will the landlord then take you both to court (or just her)? Won’t it become apparent to her that something funny is going on when you don’t move out before your notice expires?
                  I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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                  • #10
                    This is my only real fear - that she may not physically move out.

                    I don't care if she knows something is going on, as long as it is all perfectly legal... I asked her more than once if there was any way she would consider moving out, and she said no, and was also quick to point out that I have no way of kicking her out. (at this point I was only being friendly and not trying to kick her out).

                    She's said she's fine if I want to move out... I can't do that without ending our tenancy agreement, so I'm happy to take the chance that the landlord will prefer me staying there

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sounds like your co-tenant is also quite settled in her home and will be just as keen as you are to stay on. If I was your landlord I would be saying thank you for your notice and looking for another tenant. Last thing Id want is to have to got to the /bother and expense of starting eviction proceedings to sort out your squabble. It sounds like your co-tenant may well be willing to force that situation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stel View Post
                        Sounds like your co-tenant is also quite settled in her home and will be just as keen as you are to stay on. If I was your landlord I would be saying thank you for your notice and looking for another tenant. Last thing Id want is to have to got to the /bother and expense of starting eviction proceedings to sort out your squabble. It sounds like your co-tenant may well be willing to force that situation.
                        Eviction proceedings will be necessary regardless of any squabble if the woman simply won't go. And, @Mars Mug: the LL would have to evict both.

                        If I were the LL and knew NeddyB had been a good tenant for three years, I'd be open to negotiate a new tenancy with him - why not? It doesn't matter who's fault it is they don't get on, these things happen and I can see why Neddy feels he has a greater 'right' to stay put, having lived there for twice as long as the woman.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          If I were the LL and knew NeddyB had been a good tenant for three years, I'd be open to negotiate a new tenancy with him - why not? It doesn't matter who's fault it is they don't get on, these things happen and I can see why Neddy feels he has a greater 'right' to stay put, having lived there for twice as long as the woman.


                          Sure, but would you be willing to take them both to court to get just one to leave? And of course we are only seeing one side here.
                          I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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                          • #14
                            From the landlords point of view:

                            If I tell him I want to hand in my notice he essentially has 3 choices

                            1 - Me - I have a new cotenant who wants to move in, willing to sign a new tenancy agreement asap. The landlord and the new cotenat have met before and got on. I have always been willing to recommit to a further 6 months when my AST expires. He knows I'm a good tenant, who wont cause him any hassle and will pay promptly every month.

                            2 - My housemate - She doesn't have anyone who will move in with her (she will be advertising on the internet for a roommate). She was unwilling to commit for a further 6 months after the AST expired. Also she has written the lanlord letters in the past, complainng about their service when it comes to fixing things etc..

                            3 - New tenants, he could tell both of us to leave and find new tenants, but again I know they have had problems with tenants in other properties, causing damage, and hence I think they appriciate I'm a pretty good tenant.


                            Valid point, this is only 'my side' of events, but these are all facts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe the other tenant will simply leave, you can judge that for yourself, but if they choose to be difficult then a court case may be the only option left. I just wonder if the landlord would be willing to go to that much trouble, and just how it would look to a judge who finds that neither tenant wants to go and the landlord is really planning to force just one to leave?
                              I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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