'no notice' tenant

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    'no notice' tenant

    This is my second attempt at a 'first' post on this site and I hope this one's successful!!
    Briefly, the situation is as follows:
    I'm a landlord who let my (one and only) property to two joint tenants on a six month AST tenancy from 1st July - 31st Dec 2011. On 30th Sept I get an email from one of them that she's leaving 2 days later, on 2nd Oct. I emailed to say she would be liable for rent 'til end of tenancy and also explained this to her when I went to the flat the day she moved out. She agreed she would pay. Her rent was paid 'til end of Oct, so today I emailed her to find out why she hadn't paid November rent. She replied saying legal advice was she wasn't liable because I'd asked for her keys (lie) she offered them.
    So the the questions are:
    1) as it was a joint tenancy do I pursue the remaining tenant for the rent (I don't want to do this as I know she wouldn't be able to pay it)
    2) how do I go about pursuing the tenant for the rent?
    Any help or advice very much appreciated.
    Chris

    #2
    Did she offer keys & if so did you accept keys, did you hold onto them??

    If so surrender might be decided on by court... case law seems unclear... There's a case where LL accepted keys but returned them 6 days later, not taken as surrender...
    N4.17
    Proudreed Ltd v Microgen Holdings plc
    1996
    No surrender by return of keys
    Although the return of keys by a tenant to a landlord may amount to a sur-
    render, this is not so if there is no other evidence that the landlord intends
    to resume possession. In this case, the landlord held the keys for six days
    before returning them to the tenant’s receiver.

    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      As she emailed to say she was leaving the flat and then offered the keys on the day she left I automatically took them. Why wouldn't I?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by currycummer View Post
        As she emailed to say she was leaving the flat and then offered the keys on the day she left I automatically took them. Why wouldn't I?
        It would have been sensible to have made it clear she was not exonerated from her liability to rent, and AFAIAC she still is as all keys have not been surrendered, only hers.

        The contract is to be fulfilled by both tenants jointly so the tenant who is still there needs to contact the other; you can still pursue the exisiting occupant although you know she can't pay, but realise you don't want to cause any ill-will.

        I think you need to make it clear that there is no implied surrender as the tenancy still exists and one tenant is still there. You must pursue both tenants jointly for any outstanding rent, not just the one even though it might appear unjustified.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks. I did make clear to her via email and face to face that she was liable for her share of the rent 'til end of AST agreement and at the time she raised no objections at all. Can you give me an idea of how to word my next communication with her, especially as it looks as though the remaining tenant will become involved.

          Comment


            #6
            Point out the clauses within the AST that have been breached. I'm sure you can write a decent letter based on that.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks again. I'll write and see what happens.

              Comment


                #8
                You say you let the property to two joint tenants and presumably mean by that that you let it by one agreement. If that is the case then one of two tenants cannot effect a surrender and both tenants continue to be liable for the whole of the rent.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes, it was just the one agreement they both signed. I don't really want to pursue the remaining tenant, but would it be ok to say I am in my letter to the one that's gone? Also, how exactly should I word the letter? are there any templates I could access? many thanks

                  Comment

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