End of joint tenancy question

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    End of joint tenancy question

    My friend has split up from her partner. They live together in a rented property. Their fixed term AST will come to an end on the 23.01.12 and she has informed the LA in writing that she does not wish to continue with the joint tenancy thereafter.

    She then signed a new tenancy agreement in her sole name, the LA witnessed and signed it. Her ex-partner then complained to the LA and is not willing to move out.

    My understanding is that the joint AST has been ended (if he likes it or not) and he has no right to remain in the property past the 23.01.12.

    However,the LA now requires a notice signed by both of them, which her expartner refuses to sign. As mentioned before, my understanding is that if one tenant gives notice to quit, the joint tenancy comes to an end and her new AST in her sole name should become legally binding.

    Am I correct in my assumptions?

    #2
    Hi hunter

    You are correct in that she has ended the joint tenancy, however, the joint tenant is not legally obliged to move out at the end of his fixed term, even if the other joint tenant (your friend) has given notice.

    To remove the ex-partner, the LL cannot just throw him out; he must serve him the statutory two months' notice via section 21 (if he hasn't done this already) and if ex-p fails to vacate when that notice expires, apply for a court order for possession - even instruct bailiffs if need be. Al this can take weeks if not months, so in the circumstances your friend may be advised to live elsewhere until he is out - which means tearing up the new agreement unless she is willing to continue to co-reside while efforts aremade to evict him.

    The agent should not really have gone ahead and organised a new contract if there was any prospect of the other joint tenant refusing to move out at the end of the fixed term.

    An interesting question is who remains liable for the whole rent if one partner in a joint tenancy validly ends the tenancy and moves out, but one remains. I suspect that only the one who remains is liable, but I'm not sure.
    '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

    Comment


      #3
      I think that for the joint-tenancy to end at the fixed term's expiry all joint-tenant should surrender the tenancy.
      It's only once the joint-tenancy is periodic that one of the joint-tenant may end it by serving a notice to quit.
      As such, the landlord would be in trouble to grant a tenancy starting after the fixed term to a new tenant...

      So imo, if ex-partner is uncooperative the only thing to be done is to serve notice to quit once the fixed term has ended to stop further liability, and probably to move somewhere-else.

      MTG: Assuming the tenancy is ended by notice to quit and one of the joint-tenants remains, imo he'd become a trespasser and the landlord could start the eviction procedure immediately but should be careful not to create a new tenancy by accepting rent.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for your comments.

        If notice is given 1 months (that's what it says in the AST) before the end of a joint tenancy, the joint tenancy comes to an end. It can be ended by a single tenant as a joint tenancy is treated like a single tenancy during the fixed term. It's different when it's periodic and it's different if it would be during the fixed term.

        However, my friend has conviniently left him near the end of the fixed term. She and her kids live with me but understandably, she wants to get back into her home with her kids.

        My understanding is based on my research on several forums and the Shelter website:

        http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...nt_tenancies#5

        Can one joint tenant end the whole tenancy?

        The rules on how and when a tenancy can be ended depend on whether the tenancy is fixed-term (ie for a set period of time) or periodic (ie rolling from week to week or month to month)....

        If you have a periodic tenancy, or the fixed-term has ended and your tenancy has not been renewed, one tenant can end the whole tenancy and does not need the agreement of the other joint tenants. However, the landlord must be given a valid written notice and there are special rules about how and when this must be done

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by hunter View Post
          If notice is given 1 months (that's what it says in the AST) before the end of a joint tenancy, the joint tenancy comes to an end.
          I would be careful with these often dodgy clauses. It'd be useful to see the wording.
          No notice is need to end a fixed term tenancy, which ends at the end of the term.

          Originally posted by hunter View Post
          It can be ended by a single tenant as a joint tenancy is treated like a single tenancy during the fixed term.
          No, imo all joint-tenants should give notice to action say a break clause since they are collectively the tenant.

          Originally posted by hunter View Post
          Can one joint tenant end the whole tenancy?

          The rules on how and when a tenancy can be ended depend on whether the tenancy is fixed-term (ie for a set period of time) or periodic (ie rolling from week to week or month to month)....

          If you have a periodic tenancy, or the fixed-term has ended and your tenancy has not been renewed, one tenant can end the whole tenancy and does not need the agreement of the other joint tenants. However, the landlord must be given a valid written notice and there are special rules about how and when this must be done
          Yes, that's what I mentioned in my previous post: A single joint-tenant can end the tenancy only once it is periodic.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you.

            She has given notice already. You might be right that it wasn't needed, but there is no harm done and better save than sorry I guess.

            Are you saying that comes the 23.01.12 the periodic tenancy will start and my friend then has to give 1 month notice so the AST will end by the 23.02.12?

            Comment


              #7
              Any further comments?

              Comment


                #8
                A notice purporting to end a fixed term which is not a notice exercising a right to break is of no effect even if the tenancy agreement provides for such a notice to be given.

                If at least one of the tenants remains in occupation a statutury fixed term arises when the fixed term ends.

                There is no certainty that the periodic tenancy will begin until it has begun. Until it exists it cannot be terminated by notice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you Lawcruncher.

                  The fixed term will end on the 23.01.12 as 12 months fixed term will be over. Both tenants have been ask if they want to renew the joint tenancy agreement and my friend told the LA in writing she doesn't want to continue/renew.

                  So if her ex-partner wants to stay, he can do so without a renewal or new AST? The AST will turn into a periodic one and she will have to give notice then?

                  Do I understand this right?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    T ending Agreement close to end of fixed term is confusing.
                    AIUI no T can be terminated during fixed term unless by
                    1.mutual agreement of all Ts & LL with signed Deed of Surrender. Ts & LL are required to have served requisite Noticee
                    2. by Court Order
                    3. departure of all Ts on final day of fixed term, no Notice required
                    4. during fixed term there is a single Tenant comprised of ind named joint Ts acting as one 'T'

                    "If notice is given 1 months (that's what it says in the AST) before the end of a joint tenancy, the joint tenancy comes to an end. wrong IMO
                    It can be ended by a single tenant as a joint tenancy is treated like a single tenancy during the fixed term IMO wrong, the 'T' comprises all names of Ts

                    If any joint T remains in occupation after end of fixed term then SPT automatically created with requisite notice requirements.
                    OPs friend could vacate on last day of fixed term or 1 month after service of NTQ but it would be for Judge to decide on ongoing liability.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Once the fixed term is ended, either tenant can give notice on behalf of all tenants. The tenancy wil end at the date specified - which in practical terms will be no earlier than TWO months after the end of the fixed term.

                      At expiry of the notice, the tenancy ends. If either tenant stays in the property the landlord can evict quite easily with a court order, or negotiate a new tenancy with the remaining tenant(s).

                      A departing tenant should ensure that a record is obtained by the landlord of he condition of the property at the end of their tenancy. Deposits should be returned to whomever and if a new tenancy is negotiated with any remaining tenant(s) then that wil require a new deposit to be protected.

                      Many landlords will not understand the significance of that, bt it genuinely is for the benefit of everyone concerned, including the landlord.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by hunter View Post
                        Both tenants have been ask if they want to renew the joint tenancy agreement and my friend told the LA in writing she doesn't want to continue/renew.
                        That is no more than a statement of intention that has no legal effect.

                        Originally posted by hunter View Post
                        So if her ex-partner wants to stay, he can do so without a renewal or new AST?
                        Yes, except of course if nothing is done both will be tenants under the new periodic tenancy

                        Originally posted by hunter View Post
                        The AST will turn into a periodic one and she will have to give notice then?
                        Yes, if she wants to bring her obligations to an end.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Oh dear - what a minefield (or is it just me?). Got the AST in front of me now. I hope the following information will help to clarify the situation. Sorry if I repeat myself.

                          The joint AST has a term of 12 months, starting from 23.01.11

                          It says in the AST: "If the tenant does not wish to remain in the property after the end of the fixed term then one month's prior notice to quit should be given to the landlord or agent."

                          My friend has given 1 month notice to quit to the agent as she does not wish to remain, at least not as a joined tenant after the end of the fixed term.

                          She and the agent have signed a new AST with her as a sole tenant starting from 23.01.12

                          If I understand the previous comments correctly, she has to wait until the 23.01.12 until the AST turns into a periodic one and give notice again. Right?

                          PS: I still hope he will see the light and leave and let the mum and two kids remain in their home. He would have had 2 months to find a new place to rent.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The problem is that 'the tenant' in your case consists of two people, not just your friend. Nowthat I have read others' answers, I see that they are right - your friend cannot unilaterally end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, only once it has become periodic. At that point she must serve notice of at least one month, to expire at the end of a tenancy period. Your Ts' tenancy periods begin on the 24th of the month and end on 23rd.

                            In other words, if she gives one month's notice on 24.1.12 (the day after the fixed term ends), the soonest it can expire is 23.3.12. At that point your friend will have ended the tenancy and if ex-partner hasn't vacated, according to Snorkerz at least, the LL will be able to treat him as a trespasser (I'm not sure about that, but he is infinitely more knowledgeable than me on this subject!).
                            '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

                            Comment


                              #15
                              MTG is quite right - it must be one of the most difficult things to get to grips with in this area - "The Tenant" may be any number of people from one upwards, confusingly we call those people 'tenants'.

                              Comment

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