Joint Contract. Pursuing rent arrears

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    Joint Contract. Pursuing rent arrears

    Hi,

    I let my house via a letting agent to 3 students each with a guarantor. The contract is a joint contract, however the guarantor is only for each individuals share of the rent.

    One of the students stopped paying his share in Jan 2010 and then disappeared. The letting agents have tried to contact him and his guarantor through a collection agency however have heard nothing back. The other 2 students do not know where he has gone and will not provide any contact details for him. They also tried to quit but were told they would need to find someone to take over the tenancy, they decided to stay and said they would try and find someone to take his place. However they told the agent they cannot find anyone. The agent has explained they are liable for the rent as it was signed as a joint contract, but they are refusing to pay.

    I visited the property to arrange some maintenance work and was met by someone who informed me he had been living there since Feb 2010 and had been paying rent to one of my tenants, however they did not inform the agency of this new tenant nor pass any money onto the agency.

    The tenants are due to move out shortly and I believe they will leave the property without being evicted. However both original tenants are 3 months behind with their rent £1,000 each and the tenant who left in Jan 2010 will owe me about £2000.

    I just need advice as to who I should pursue through the small claims court.

    I'm guessing
    i)The two tenants who stayed - I will take their guarantors to court for each of their arrears. Can I do this on one claim form or does this have to be done separately?

    ii)The tenant who disappeared -should I just take the 2 original tenants who had been subletting to court rather than waste time chasing someone who has gone underground. Also they have been collecting rent money and not passing it on. (However when challenged they denied this and blamed each other for collecting the money).

    As there are so many people I could pursue I would just like your opinion on which route to choose first.

    Many Thanks for your time
    Lou

    #2
    Do you think all of them are likely to pay a county court judgment?

    I would sue the three tenants jointly for the full rent arrears, together with the guarantors for each respective tenants breach.

    You should check the form of the guarantees to ensure they are valid.
    PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

    Comment


      #3
      I believe at least one of them will pay a county court judgment as her guarantor has been in contact and also paid for the previous two months. I'm not sure of the other two.

      I would sue the three tenants jointly for the full rent arrears, together with the guarantors for each respective tenants breach.
      Can this all be done on one form and at one hearing?

      You should check the form of the guarantees to ensure they are valid.
      Is there anything in particular I need to check? It lists there details and the individual tenants with a payment schedule, period of tenancy, start date and address of tenancy. Also states "I will act as a guarantor as stated above. I will accept that you will contact me when the tenant does
      not pay, and I will make payment." and signed.

      Many Thanks again.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes you can claim against all in 1 claim.

        are the guarantees by way of deed?
        PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

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