Joint tenancies

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    Joint tenancies

    Hi all

    Just checking on a situation with joint tenancies.

    Three joint tenants in a fixed term of a contract, expiring - 14/07/2012. Two of the JT's want the third to leave and have informed the LL that they do not want to continue the joint tenancy, although they want to stay on.

    LL has subsequently asked the third JT to leave at end of contract - verbally and by text I believe.

    Joint tenants are considered equal. So if landlord asks one to leave it ends for all - is that correct? To do so, proper notice must be issued - s.21 and PO. If LL then wants to issue new contract to remaining JT's he can do so once possession is granted. Is this the correct process?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    All joint tenants together legally comprise 'the tenant'; they are not divisible.

    LL asking T3 to leave has no legal effect, and he should be careful not to harass T3.

    If T3 is unwilling to voluntarily exit the joint tenancy, the only way that LL can unilaterally end it is by giving notice (to T1/T2/T3 as 'the tenant'), then obtaining a PO, and getting a bailiff to execute the PO - i.e. physically evict all three Ts. Only at that point would the tenancy legally end. (LL would be free to immediately grant a new tenancy to two of the evicted Ts).

    If T3 is willing, then LL/T1/T2/T3 should agree a written Deed of Surrender. LL will then be free to grant a new tenancy.

    Note that if any one or more of the Ts are in occupation at fixed term expiry, (i.e. even if T3 vacates), the joint tenancy with T1/T2/T3 will continue as a statutory periodic tenancy.

    It's essentially not the LL's problem that Ts don't get on with each other, and he should encourage the Ts to come to an agreement between themselves. A surrender is by far the simplest solution.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by westminster View Post
      Note that if any one or more of the Ts are in occupation at fixed term expiry, (i.e. even if T3 vacates), the joint tenancy with T1/T2/T3 will continue as a statutory periodic tenancy.
      Just out of interest (it applies to me) - is this the case (i.e. beomes a SPT) even if the joint tenants have asked to stay on for a second fixed term beginning the day after the old one ends, not move out at all, and having signed a new AST agreement to that effect?
      '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


        #4
        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
        Just out of interest (it applies to me) - is this the case (i.e. beomes a SPT) even if the joint tenants have asked to stay on for a second fixed term beginning the day after the old one ends, not move out at all, and having signed a new AST agreement to that effect?
        A SPT won't arise if LL/T have agreed a new fixed term tenancy.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by westminster View Post
          A SPT won't arise if LL/T have agreed a new fixed term tenancy.
          Phew. Thanks! I thought not, but it's always best to be 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


            #6
            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
            Phew. Thanks! I thought not, but it's always best to be sure.
            Section 5(4) HA 1988 confirms it:

            The periodic tenancy referred to in subsection (2) above [i.e. SPT] shall not arise if, on the coming to an end of the fixed term tenancy, the tenant is entitled, by virtue of the grant of another tenancy, to possession of the same or substantially the same dwelling-house as was let to him under the fixed term tenancy.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks everyone for their answers, very useful.

              The scenario that has now arisen is that the two other JT's has apparently given notice to leave at end of fixed term (14/7). Agents are now asking all three JT's to vacate.

              My advice is to the third JT is she is under no obligation to leave - to end a fixed tenancy all three JT's have to be in agreement.

              However, if they become periodic tenants (after 14/7) and one gives notice, it ends it for all. What happens if one remaining JT is left...The tenancy would have ended and technically that remaining tenant would not only be holding over (and liable for three times the value of the rent) but also liable for all the other JT's rent as they are joint and severally liable.I also assume she is entitled to a PO. Unless she gets other tenants in to replace, with landlords agreement/consent.

              Ths is a bit of a nightmare - I agree with Westminster that a deed of surrender is easiest - but what if all three JT's are not in agreement?

              Thansk in advance for any advice and help.

              Comment


                #8
                If 1 tenant remains, then on 15/7 there will be an SPT in all 3 names.

                If one of departed tenants gives notice after that date (so earliest effective end date 14/9) then, as you say, tenancy comes to an end.

                If tenant remains after expiry of notice, landlord can either grant sole tenancy to remaining person (potentially oral) or treat as a trespasser and evict. To evict is forms n5 & n121 and a hearing would probably be a week later.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The Housing Act 1988 provides that where you have joint tenants and any number less than all of them stay on that the tenants of the statutory periodic tenancy are the same as those who were tenants when the fixed term ended. It further provides that any notice given to end the statutory periodic tenancy before it begins is of no effect. These provisions are designed to protect tenants, but have the effect of causing difficulty where some joint tenants wish to leave and others stay on. Further, a notice purporting to end a fixed term is of no effect as the fixed term ends anyway; even if it did anything, the Act would still kick in and the statutory periodic tenancy arise with all the tenants as tenants.

                  Once the fixed term has ended any of the departing tenants can give notice to quit. Once they do, the tenancy ends on expiry of the notice. There is no need for the landlord to give notice to anyone and if the remaining tenants do not leave on expiry of the notice he can go straight to issuing proceedings. However, unlike the situation where a landlord serves a section 8 or 21 notice, the landlord must be careful about demanding or accepting rent in respect of any period after expiry of the notice as doing so may give rise to a new tenancy.

                  Comment

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