adding and removing tenants from AST before tenancy begins

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  • adding and removing tenants from AST before tenancy begins

    I apologise if the answer to this is somewhere else on the forum - I have tried to check! I am still trying to work through the situation I described in another thread but now face a different problem. The answers I received about adding a minor to the contract were very helpful...so am hopeful you can help me on this aspect too!

    5 students signed an AST (joint and several responsibility) back in January, with the tenancy to start in Sept. In Feb 2 of them told me they were changing course and universities. Since then we have been working together to find 2 replacement tenants. Ideally I want to sign up a new group of 5, made up of 3 existing ones plus 2 new, onto a fresh AST as soon as possible so that everyone can relax!

    At the moment I have only one new student - whom the others know and like - wanting to sign. (The chances are that I will find another replacement but possibly not until the end of the summer now.) If the new student doesn't sign a contract then he has no assurance of a place to live.

    However I believe that I have to start again with a new one for the whole group - is that correct? If that is so, I will be left with a contract with 4 people not 5 (as there would be no reason for either of the 2 who are leaving to sign again) which means either each of the tenants would be liable for a bigger share of the rent - which they won't want! - or I have to reduce the total amount and risk losing out.

    Is there any way of legally adding and removing tenants one at a time from an AST without starting completely afresh each time the group alters please?

  • #2
    Yes, you can assign the lease.

    Basically, Tenants 1,2,3 & 4 assign the lease to tenants 1,2,3,4 & 5.

    Tom999 gave an excellent template here:
    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...66&postcount=4

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
      Basically, Tenants 1,2,3 & 4 assign the lease to tenants 1,2,3,4 & 5.
      But they cannot vest any legal interest in more than four individuals.
      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.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        But they cannot vest any legal interest in more than four individuals.
        Jennywren - what this means is that only the first 4 will have joint and several responsibility. The 5th one may think he is so, but he isn't.

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        • #5
          Thanks for replies and the link to the template.

          Not too sure if it doesn't leave me with the same problem though. I can ask the remaining tenants 1, 2 and 3 and the outgoing T5 to sign but can't see how I can make T4, who also wants to leave, sign anything new! If she doesn't sign, is the document still valid please?

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          • #6
            I would think that the departing tenant(s), (i.e. the one(s) who want(s) to be removed from the contract), would need to sign a Deed of surrender with the LL, to prevent them coming back and claiming that they still had an agreement to create a tenancy.

            Then the new one(s) can be assigned the tenancy in their place.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
              Jennywren - what this means is that only the first 4 will have joint and several responsibility. The 5th one may think he is so, but he isn't.
              All five will be jointly and severally liable as a matter of contract. The fact that only the first four named will have the legal estate vested in them is irrelevant.

              Since the tenancy has not started a surrender is not what is needed. The way to do this is for the five who signed up to enter into a deed with the landlord in which the the five release the landlord and the landlord releases the five from their respective obligations under the tenancy agreement. Once that is done (and obviously the whole thing needs to be done at the same time) a new agreement can be signed. There is of course no obligation on the landlord to do anything if a second replacement cannot be found.

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              • #8
                So can the departing person not be released and the new person assigned to the tenancy without the other four being first released then re-committed as well?
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  So can the departing person not be released and the new person assigned to the tenancy without the other four being first released then re-committed as well?
                  The drafting would be a bit involved as you are assigning an agreement and not a tenancy.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks again for advice.

                    If I am following this correctly, I can't really change anything until I have 2 replacements and, when I do, I need to get all 5 of the original tenants to sign a deed whereby we release each other from the first contract, before the new group of 5 sign up........have I got that right?

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