Joint tenancy - One tenant gives notice

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    Joint tenancy - One tenant gives notice

    I'll try and outline my problem.

    We entered into a joint tenancy agreement in 2008. Both husband and wife signed the AST. AST reverted to a statutory periodic after 12 months.

    Anniversary date of agreement is 10th of every month. On the 6th of last month, the wife informed us, in writing, that she was moving out and she was terminating her part of the agreement.

    We acknowledged the letter stating that the joint tenancy agreement would terminate on the 10th and they would need to move. We also stated that they would both remain liable for rent until the property was vacated. We also stated that the husband could contact our lettings agent, should he wish to enter into his own agreement. He has not done that and would not have qualified to rent the property as he does not work and LHA will not cover the rental amount.

    We are under the impression that when we go to check out the tenants, we are going to be in the position that the husband has not moved out.

    What is our legal standing regarding the property? Having researched the topic here, we understand that the husband would be a trespasser and we would have to apply to County Court for an eviction notice.

    The NLA offered a different opinion in as much as there is nothing we can do and the tenancy agreement continues regardless of one party giving notice. Their advice is to issue a Section 21 notice and then proceed through the court to gain possession and rent arrears (if any).

    We'd prefer to go down the trespasser route as it is a lot faster than going down the Sec 21 route.

    Any comments / help appreciated.
    I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

    #2
    In a statutory periodic tenancy either of the tenants can give notice that will end the tenancy for both.

    So the husband becomes an excluded occupier.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Dinkum View Post
      We also stated that they would both remain liable for rent until the property was vacated.
      Once the notice expires there's no longer any tenancy so they can't be liable for rent. Certainly the one who did vacate could not have any further liability, I think.


      Did the husband pay any rent to you/your agent since the wife's notice expired?


      Originally posted by Dinkum View Post
      The NLA offered a different opinion in as much as there is nothing we can do and the tenancy agreement continues regardless of one party giving notice.
      One would assume they'd know better...

      Comment


        #4
        Excluded occupier is another form of trespasser then?
        I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
          Did the husband pay any rent to you/your agent since the wife's notice expired?
          No payment has been made yet. Their notice period ends on Monday, 10 Sept. We are scheduled to do the check out at noon.
          I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

          Comment


            #6
            Once the tenancy has ended then any money you get for rent can be considered 'mesne profits'. Put this in a written note to the remaining tenant so there is no misunderstanding.
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

            Comment


              #7
              What are the correct court forms to use to evict the tenant please?
              I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

              Comment


                #8
                On the 6th of last month, the wife informed us, in writing, that she was moving out and she was terminating her part of the agreement.
                I think we need to know exactly what the wife's notice said as from the above it sounds like the notice may be ineffective.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Contents of letter:

                  "This is a letter to inform you that I have left my husband and the premises at ... as of 6 August 2012. I will try and come to some arrangement over the rent arrears that is owed to you. Sincerely"

                  Check out was today and they have not moved out. So much so, the wife was actually there for the checkout!

                  Do I proceed to county court tomorrow?
                  Last edited by Dinkum; 10-09-2012, 12:08 PM. Reason: Grammar
                  I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "This is a letter to inform you that I have left my husband and the premises at ... as of 6 August 2012. I will try and come to some arrangement over the rent arrears that is owed to you. Sincerely"

                    The above does not amount to a notice to quit. There is no mention of bringing any tenancy to an end and no period of notice or expiry date is specified. It amounts to no more than an announcement that she no longer resides at the property.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                      The above does not amount to a notice to quit. There is no mention of bringing any tenancy to an end and no period of notice or expiry date is specified. It amounts to no more than an announcement that she no longer resides at the property.
                      Thanks for that. I would have thought that if a tenant vacates a property and informs you of this, they have in fact surrendered the tenancy?

                      If this is not the case, do I then accept a tenant who cannot afford the rent and serve a section 21 notice?
                      I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        A surrender can only be effected by all the tenants acting together. As it stands, the couple are still your tenants.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                          "This is a letter to inform you that I have left my husband and the premises at ... as of 6 August 2012. I will try and come to some arrangement over the rent arrears that is owed to you. Sincerely"

                          The above does not amount to a notice to quit. There is no mention of bringing any tenancy to an end and no period of notice or expiry date is specified. It amounts to no more than an announcement that she no longer resides at the property.
                          I agree; therefore the joint, statutory periodic tenancy remains in place.

                          @Dinkum, if the wife had given written notice to quit, then it would have ended the statutory periodic tenancy at notice expiry. But she hasn't given notice to quit.

                          A surrender is a different ball game - for there to be a surrender of a tenancy, both the tenant and the landlord must agree, and in the case of a joint tenancy, both/all tenants are 'the tenant', not just one of them.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Dinkum View Post
                            Excluded occupier is another form of trespasser then?
                            No. An excluded occupier is an occupier with a tenancy or licence and who shares accommodation with the landlord.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hello all. Firstly a thank you to everyone for their advice and input.

                              We followed the advice as given and have been successful so far. We served a Sec 8 notice on the tenant for rent arrears and continuous late payment of rent. We finally got in front of the magistrate at the end of November. She granted us possession. We'd asked for 14 days but she said she wouldn't evict a tenant before Christmas and the CAB advisor wanted 56 days. She granted the tenant 28 days which ironically expired on Christmas day.

                              We attended the property after notifying the tenant that we would be doing the checkout on the 27th and to let us know if he was moving out. He never contacted us and when we arrived, he was still in residence.

                              We now have a date from the bailiff for eviction at the end of January. Hopefully that will be the end of that part. Now I just need to go after the guarantor for the 3.5k rent outstanding.

                              Once again, thanks for the advice.
                              I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.

                              Comment

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