Joint tenancy issues

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    Joint tenancy issues

    Hi,

    I am a current tenant in a joint tenancy agreement with 5 other people. However for personal and family reasons I need to move out of the house.

    The agreement is a fixed term short hold assured tenancy, and I along with 4 other tenants are on one joint tenancy.

    The house is run mainly by the estate agents who have agreed that I can move out and my tenancy will end as long as I can find someone to replace me. In the contract/ agreement there is also a "break clause" which states I may end the tenancy early as long as I find someone for the room to be re-let to otherwise I will be liable for the rent for the rest of the fixed term.


    I have indeed found someone to take the room on but here is where the problems lie. The other people on my joint tenancy are being very very unreasonable, they know my reasons for moving out and that I have to do it as soon as possible. They have met the person I want to take my contract and say he is a very nice guy but they are refusing to sign an agreement with him based on compatability.

    I want to know if they are able to make such decisions based on a reason sounding like they are trying to sign up for a dating site. I have fulfilled my obligation under the terms of ending the tenancy early and I will be moving out. However how can I solve this issue of them not signing?

    If the person I found to take over signs first, and they still refuse to sign what will happen?

    I am also confused because the estate agents said once I find someone I will need to sign a surrender. And pay £100 surrender fee. Doesn't that mean the other tenants should not have a say in the matter of who takes over the room? And that should stop me becoming liable for any rent after my surrender.

    There are only 5 months left in the contract and I have also proposed the term of the remaining tenants splitting my rent if they refuse to let the person I found take the room. But they are all refusing to do this also.

    I have explained to them I will simply not be able to afford the room anymore and that neither can my guarantor hence the reason I found someone to take over but they continue to refuse him. Because it is a joint tenancy they are liable for my part of the rent if I cannot pay it, but I do not want it to come to court sessions or eviction and I am sure they do not either.

    I asked the estate agent for the landlords email or contact number and they will not give it to me. Is this legal? I have met the landlord on many occasions when he has come to fix things in my room and around the house so I know there is one.

    One last question, is the person I find to take over the remainder of my contract a "replacement" or does the clause mean that the room will now be completely re let and that a new contract will be drawn? If so is it possible for the other tenants to be on a joint contract and the one taking my room to be on a sole contract?

    And advice on how to find a loop hole in this situation and how I can get out of this tenancy early without owing rent, would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry this is so long!

    #2
    Are you currently in the fixed term of the contract?

    Comment


      #3
      Yes I am, the fixed term ends on August 31st 2012 and I wish to be out by April 1st 2012. So there will be 5 months left of the fixed term.

      Comment


        #4
        Please quote the exact wording of the break clause in your contract, although I suspect that since it is a joint tenancy you will not unilaterally be able to extract yourself from it without your joint tenants' agreement.
        '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


          #5
          Write to the Agent asking for the LL's name and Home address and they are bound by law to tell you

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/landlord's_address.htm

          For speed you could pay a few pounds online to look at the land registry records of ownership, but the registered address may not be updated.

          Because you have signed a joint tenancy, no one can force them to take somebody in to their home. A surrender will require evryone to sign to make it stick.


          I think your best hope is that the landlord will put pressure on your house mates by saying that he will persue them and not you for unpaid rent, because they have not cooperated.

          Or maybe the Agent can also persuade them that this will happen.

          Or he can persue you or your guarantor, even if the others have been unreasonable.

          O the joys of sharing.
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

          * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

          You can search the forums here:

          Comment


            #6
            The exact wording is as follows, I have attached a print screen of the section

            Picture 8.jpg

            Can you see that? My laptpot can zoom into the page so it is easy to see but I will also type what it says:
            Part Vll: Interrupting or Ending this Agreement

            The following paragraphs set out the ways in which this Agreement may be brought to an end by either party. In addition, these paragraphs set out procedures which the Tenant or Landlord shall use when the Tenancy is brought to an end.

            It is agreed between the Landlord and Tenant as Follows:

            28.1 Ending the Tenancy and re-entry

            If at any time:
            (a) the Rent, or any part of it remains unpaid for 14 days after falling due, whether formally demanded or not; or

            (b) if any agreement or obligation of the Tenant is not complied with; or

            (c) if any of the grounds set out in schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended) being grounds 2,8,10,11,12,13,14,15,17 are made out (see definitions); or

            (d) if the Premises shall be left unoccupied for more than 30 days without consent of the Landlord;

            the Landlord may give written Notice to the Tenant that the Landlord seeks possession of the Premises. If the Tenant does not comply with that Notice the Landlord will bring this Agreement to an end and re-gain possession of the Premises by complying with his statutory obligations; obtaining a court order; and re-entering the Premises with the County Court Bailiff. When the Bailiff enforces a possession order the Tenancy shall end. This clause does not prejudice any other rights that the Landlord may have in respect of the Tenants obligations under this Agreement.

            Early Termination
            28.2 If the Tenant vacates the Premises during the Term, the Tenant will remain liable to pay Rent and any other monies payable under this agreement until the expires; or the Premises are re-let whichever is earlier, whether or not the Tenant chooses to continue occupying the Premises.

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Bel,

              Because you have signed a joint tenancy, no one can force them to take somebody in to their home. A surrender will require evryone to sign to make it stick.
              But if they sign a surrender, does that mean I can leave early, and not have to find someone to re-let and they can then sort it out or does it mean everyone has to surrender?

              I think your best hope is that the landlord will put pressure on your house mates by saying that he will persue them and not you for unpaid rent, because they have not cooperated.

              Or maybe the Agent can also persuade them that this will happen.
              Well the Agent is pretty useless because when I suggested that they explain the legal side of things to the others that if I am unable to pay they will be liable to make sure the rent is paid, they said they can not "threaten them" but it is not, it would be informing them of the procedure.

              As for getting the money from my guarantor, that person is my mother and our family situation has changed and she would not be able to cover it either hence why I have found someone to simply take over the room....oh yes the joys of sharing with incompetent housemates.

              Comment


                #8
                I found this on the Shelter website about ending joint tenancies


                If the other joint tenant(s) don't want to move out, they can try to negotiate a new agreement with the landlord.

                The remaining tenants may be able to:

                find another person to take on the tenancy of the person who wants to leave (the landlord would have to agree to this), or
                agree with the other joint tenants to stay on and pay the extra rent themselves.

                Your landlord may decide to:

                give the other tenants a new tenancy agreement, listing the new tenants (in practice, your landlord might not bother to do this)
                accept the rent from the new tenant – in which case the new tenant should have the same rights as a tenant whose name is actually on the tenancy agreement.

                Should I be able to try to negotiate a new agreement with the Agent also since they claim they fully manage the property? Which allows me to leave and they can then pay the rent jointly until they find someone they wish to accept into the house?

                It says the landlord may accept rent from a new tenant, but my name will be on the agreement, does this mean no one has to officially sign anything and I will be able to move out?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Antonia,there are only 2 ways a T can be legally ended during the fixed term
                  1 mutual agreed surrender with LL pref by both parties signing a Deed of Surrender. Even if T offers to surrender then LL is under no obligation to accept
                  2 Court Order, normally for rent arrears or serious breach of TA

                  Your Contract as written, does not contain a break clause, but allows for the fact that if a T wishes to vacate early, this is only possible if T finds a replacement, acceptable to LL, and Ts liability to rent etc only ceases when new T moves in. This is sometimes done properly by Deed of Assignment for remaining period in the case of loint Ts, rather than remaining Ts & newbie signing a new AST with new fixed term.
                  ALL joint Ts are severally liable for full rent for remainder of fixed term, inc you & Guarantors. If they do end up paying your share, then any one or all of remaining Ts can pursue you in Court for your share pro rata.
                  Your 'new' T will not be legally liable for rent unti accepted by LL as Ts do not able to assign T.
                  If your mother (G) owns her home albeit with a mortgage, then LL could put your debt as a charge on her home, recoverable when property is sold, fhough LL cannot force sale.
                  No sensible LL will force a replacement who is not acceptable to other joint Ts. Perhaps your approach should have been, and still could be to say to other Ts you need to move out, LL will still want full rent and you appreciate they need to vet new T so will they help you by finding a suitablereplacement they can live with as LL has agreed, subject to nec checks.

                  I appreciate your unfortunate change in circumstance, but renting comes with stat obligations on both T & LL.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    hi mariner,

                    No sensible LL will force a replacement who is not acceptable to other joint Ts. Perhaps your approach should have been, and still could be to say to other Ts you need to move out, LL will still want full rent and you appreciate they need to vet new T so will they help you by finding a suitable replacement they can live with as LL has agreed, subject to nec checks.
                    I have already tried this approach but as I said the tenants are being rather unreasonable and have not so much as helped me look for a replacement they would like but continue to dismiss the one's I bring in on little to no reasonable grounds. It is very frustrating as it is difficult to find a replacement they want to accept if they do not tell me what kind of person they want. But also it is difficult because I can not choose who answers the ad and lately it has been PG who will need to work on a dissertation during the summer term and the housemates claim this is one reason they do not want the first guy i brought to see the room. Even though he stated time and time again he does no work in the home but on campus. Yet they continue to go to this excuse saying they will be making noise during the summer.

                    I have lived with them a year and a bit now and can say in all he months they have never so much had a drink up in this house nor have more than 2 or 3 other people been around at the same time.


                    I know it is not a break clause to be exact but I did have a laywer look over it who said it does state that I can end the tenancy early allowing I follow this procedure, which I have. But like I have said the housemates are being unreasonable.

                    Yes the landlord will not try to force someone on the other tenants so not to upset them but this entire situation has really taken a toll on my health and university work, even my lecturers have noticed and I have been referred to counseling because of it.


                    As for
                    1 mutual agreed surrender with LL pref by both parties signing a Deed of Surrender. Even if T offers to surrender then LL is under no obligation to accept
                    does that also involve me having to find a new tenant?

                    Comment


                      #11

                      Early Termination
                      28.2 If the Tenant vacates the Premises during the Term, the Tenant will remain liable to pay Rent and any other monies payable under this agreement until the expires; or the Premises are re-let whichever is earlier, whether or not the Tenant chooses to continue occupying the Premises.


                      Originally posted by AntoniaA View Post
                      I know it is not a break clause to be exact but I did have a laywer look over it who said it does state that I can end the tenancy early allowing I follow this procedure, which I have. But like I have said the housemates are being unreasonable.
                      The words 'the Tenant' in the above clause refers to all the joint tenants named on the contract, jointly - not just one of you. You and the others are, together, 'the Tenant', and you cannot act unilaterally during the fixed term.

                      There is no 'procedure' in this clause, so I don't know what you think you have 'followed', nor does it state that the Tenant may end the tenancy early.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        @AntoniaA

                        You are bound by the contract you signed.

                        The clause you quoted does not entitle you to unilaterally end the tenancy, it merely states the position in the event that all the joint tenants decided to move out during the fixed term, i.e. that everyone's liability would continue until either fixed term expiry or the start of a new tenancy (and, note, the LL would not be obliged to seek replacement tenants and could treat the tenancy as continuing).

                        If you want to get out of the contract, you need the signed agreement of both the LL and all the other joint tenants. Most likely this would be effected by a Deed of Assignment, assigning your position on the contract to a replacement T. However, neither the LL nor the other joint tenants have any obligation whatsoever to give their agreement. They are fully within their rights to refuse any replacement you find, however apparently suitable he or she may be.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi westminister,

                          Thanks for your input but seeing as the clause 28 clearly begins with

                          Part Vll: Interrupting or Ending this Agreement

                          The following paragraphs set out the ways in which this Agreement may be brought to an end by either party. In addition, these paragraphs set out procedures which the Tenant or Landlord shall use when the Tenancy is brought to an end.
                          Then I have followed a procedure in terms of finding someone that the property can be let to before vacating the premises so that I no longer remain liable for the rent for the remainder of the fixed term.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Your interpretation is wrong, and I've already explained why.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Just to further Westminsters comment - your interpretation is wrong because in a joint tenancy, you are not "The Tenant", you are "a tenant". "The Tenant" is all of the occupants acting as one.

                              Comment

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