One T (of several) leaves; replacement enters; how to?

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    One T (of several) leaves; replacement enters; how to?

    AST contract was entered into on 1 July for 12 months by 4 females, payments were due every 3 months (ie 1 July, 1 October,1 January,1 April). In October one of the girls (A) decided to disappear and stopped paying rent. Landlord came to discuss the matter with the remaining 3 tenants and one of them suggested her boyfriend could move in from January instead of A. The landlord agreed. From January until March the boyfriend was paying monthly for the rent.

    Can I just check that by accepting the rent from the boyfriend, original contract becomes void and what was AST is now SPT?

    The boyfriend did NOT sign any papers/agreements. I presume it is implied by the landlord's acceptance of the rent that the boyfriend had become a new tenant? Please correct me if I'm wrong

    Any response would be appreciated.

    #2
    I would be inclined to think that the original AST still exists, with all 4 original signatories jointly and severally responsible (ie missing T may still be pursuable by landlord or remaining tenants). BF can not be added to the tenancy because missing T still has rights over the tenancy.

    As the tenancy has not been assigned, (Tenancy can not be assigned without missing Ts permission) I think BF is just a permitted occupier with no 'tenancy' rights.

    The missing tenant remains liable until 30/6/10, when any tenant (including the missing one) can terminate the agreement on behalf of all 4. I am not sure if her vanishing act constitutes termination. However, once the fixed term is over, there is nothing to stop one of the existing Ts giving notice and all 4 (inc BF) signing a new agreement.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes. No-one other than the named joint tenants can deal with the existing fixed-term Agreement.
      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


        #4
        Some time ago I was involved with a similar situation.

        I don't doubt the advice offered but have concern over how the principles of responsibility could later be applied.

        Specifically a tenant has absconded and the LL has accepted the replacement.
        In reading I assume the replacement has now departed, how can the LL still hold the original absconded T responsible under the terms of the original contract.
        It would seem to me that the absconded T would be released from contractual responsibilities when the replacement T was installed.

        Comment


          #5
          No, again. Only all named joint tenants can deal with the existing fixed-term Agreement.
          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


            #6
            Thankyou for your replies.

            If I understood it correctly, tenant A would be liable for her rent from October when she disappeared (or shall we say all 4 of them are liable). Would the money from the boyf be taken into account or is it just a form of compensation/extras, if you like, because there was no written agreement?

            Comment


              #7
              All named tenants are liable for all of the existing fixed-term Agreement for all of its term.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by L8r View Post
                Some time ago I was involved with a similar situation.

                I don't doubt the advice offered but have concern over how the principles of responsibility could later be applied.

                Specifically a tenant has absconded and the LL has accepted the replacement.
                In reading I assume the replacement has now departed, how can the LL still hold the original absconded T responsible under the terms of the original contract.
                It would seem to me that the absconded T would be released from contractual responsibilities when the replacement T was installed.
                Boyfriend is not, and can not be, a tenant until the original group of tenants (inc missing one) agree to assign the tenancy to the remaining Ts plus the BF

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by cherry1 View Post
                  Thankyou for your replies.

                  If I understood it correctly, tenant A would be liable for her rent from October when she disappeared (or shall we say all 4 of them are liable). Would the money from the boyf be taken into account or is it just a form of compensation/extras, if you like, because there was no written agreement?
                  The rent is not divisible - it is not 4 x 25%, it is just "the rent".

                  All four girls-A-B-C-D are individually and jointly liable for the whole of the rent.

                  If some of the rent is paid to you on behalf of girl-A by the boyfriend of girl-B, meaning that the whole rent has been paid up to date, then no, you cannot pursue girl-A for another 25% (and recoup more than 100% of the rent).

                  If any rent is unpaid, then you can pursue all four girls-A-B-C-D or any one of them for the unpaid rent.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Cherry1 - are you landlord / one of remaining tenants / errant tenant?

                    If you are the latter (as I suspect) then let us know so we can give you advice relevant to your situation.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thankyou for your time.

                      I was intending to keep it simple, avoiding writing in big chapters. I do apologise for any confusion.

                      I have signed the contract as one of the 4 parties. I have vacated the property (for a number of reasons, I will refer to them later on).
                      I understand the concept of my responsibilities and liabilities under the original contract and will be happy to pay the rent.
                      However, to my mind, the original contract has changed at the time when the landlord started accepting the rent from the boyf and has handed the keys to him.

                      WESTMINSTER -thankyou for your statement, I understand that the landlord cannot accept the rent from two parties at the same time, in my situation it seemed like he was intending to-he was chasing tenant A for the money, but has given her keys to the boyf and was accepting the rent FROM him. By such conduct I assumed the possession of the room the boyf occupied transferred to him.

                      The landlord did not always act in a respectful manner. After asking him a few times to let us know when he wants to come in, he had entered the property, on a number of occasions, without any notice and even entered occupied bedrooms, while girls were in bed.
                      Also he has failed to carry out repairs, after promising, again on a number of occasions, to do so.

                      This is why I am concerned about his actions and confused about the value of original contract

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        No, again. Only all named joint tenants can deal with the existing fixed-term Agreement.
                        You're not really explaining the position of the BF who has moved in and is paying the rent of the 4th T? Is he to be regarded as a 5th T? If so, this would surely change the original AST. By accepting rent and giving possession, keys etc isn't the LL creating a tenancy?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Cherry 1, if the LL gave the T's keys to the BF, does this mean she had surrendered the keys to the LL?
                          If the LL held the keys and passed them to a new party to occupy it seems like a definite act of granting tenancy.

                          Most LL's know the expectation of requesting permission to enter a property. Did the LL have reason to believe access was granted, did he attempt to make tenants aware prior to affecting their privacy in such an extreme way? It wouldn't take great intelligence for a LL to realise the risk of doing such a thing, were any complaints made?

                          I have had t's calling me for not speedily repairing a dripping tap or oiling a creaky hinge, is it possible your repairs were of a minor nature?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by cherry1 View Post
                            WESTMINSTER -thankyou for your statement, I understand that the landlord cannot accept the rent from two parties at the same time, in my situation it seemed like he was intending to-he was chasing tenant A for the money, but has given her keys to the boyf and was accepting the rent FROM him. By such conduct I assumed the possession of the room the boyf occupied transferred to him.
                            No, not unless you agreed to assign your tenancy rights to the boyfriend and the tenancy contract was formally amended to replace you as a joint tenant. Or if all four girls and the landlord signed a deed of surrender, (and then girls-B-C-D and the boyfriend signed a new contract). Otherwise, the original tenancy continues.

                            Girls-A-B-C-D signed a joint tenancy as 'the tenant'; the landlord cannot legally alter the rights conferred on 'the tenant' without all girls' express agreement. He can't give away your rights, or the rights of the other girls, just because someone else happens to be paying rent on your behalf.

                            Think of it this way, let's say you'd gone on holiday for two months, and girls-B-C-D had decided to move someone else in because you hadn't paid the rent while you were away - and then you came back and found that girls-B-C-D had moved the boyfriend in and he'd been paying a share of the rent. This wouldn't mean that you'd 'lost' your tenancy rights.

                            So, as it is, you are still one of the tenants, and retain the right to occupy the room the boyfriend is using, and therefore you are still liable for rent (if any of it is unpaid).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yes, she has given the keys back to the Landlord and I assume he had accepted them.

                              At the beginning of tenancy he didn't give notice at all. Then I have asked him to let us know if and when he wants to enter. After that he was giving notice by text. Receiving consent or not he would enter anyway. Then I have asked him again because we were still getting unannounced visits and after a few days it seemed like he started ignoring me again.
                              The first time he entered the room when tenant was asleep, he did not give any notice at all, walked into the property, knocked on the door, didnt get an answer and just walked straight in.
                              The second time- he gave us notice that he wants to access the property to repair the bathroom, but then decided to 'check out' a girl's room and just walked straight in again.

                              The repairs in my room were an issue. The roof was leaking onto my bed. I have asked the landlord to fix it, because I could not sleep at night and I could not concentrate on my work, he came to have a look, told me to move my bed around to the middle of the room (the room was not very big as it is) and said he would come back with a builder to sort it out. He did attempt, on a number of occasions, but failed to fix it and just forgot about it ( I did remind him a few times).

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