Tenants Responsible as group..n..1st Inspection!

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  • Tenants Responsible as group..n..1st Inspection!

    Here goes.....

    I had a group of 4 tenants start together for a yrs contract. We have since had an ok relationship.
    Anyway, then one of them left suddenly! I explained nicely that it states in the contract that all others are responsible to pay the difference till new person found.

    They agreed and I started advertising and asked them to look also. However, within a month I found another person soon. And they didn’t have to pay as the month was covered quickly.(phew!!)

    But the new (4th) persons contract is only for 6 months so I had to put it on a new & separate contract.
    ( Suppose this is the only way to do it….is it..am really not sure!)?

    But since it was a new (4th) person on a separate 6 months contract, am I right in thinking that the other group of 3 cannot be liable anymore except for each other as a group of 3 only, from this point on?
    Does that make sense!!

    Plus i need to talk to them about the state the carpet has become (dirty, stained, burnt in patches) in my first ever inspection.

    Obviously i want to make my point clear but in a way thats all understood and agreed with out having to be 'over bearing'!! Any tips would really help pls!

    Please help with any information you can on this as it would really help clear up my head!
    Bear with me if the answer is (of course u wally)!! But am learning as im going along. Don’t want to short change myself or anyone if you know what I mean. Want to be fair all round.
    Thanks in advance guys.( and thanks for other help u have all provided ).

  • #2
    So as TM found the 4th person and they can't be considered as a single houshold, is this a HMO?


    • #3
      well, TM, this is interesting from a legal point of view - thanks for the challenge!

      it all depends on what the tenancy agreements say about the sharing arrangements.

      presumably the original one made the 4 tenants jointly and severally liable, but what does the new one say?

      Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right


      • #4
        2 different agreements, the thing of the others covering rent when someone leaves has just flown out of the window. As long as anyone of them gives you 1/2 months notice, that should be plenty of time to find a tenant. If you put the onus on them, it will just stress them and they may decide to find other accommodation.

        i started with 4 female students back in 2002 after 5 months 1 left but through advertising and word of mouth i managed to fill the room with no voids and indeed i have been lucky as people have been coming and going but i have never had a days void. Only 1 of the 4 is still there.

        On the issue of the carpet just tell the 3 to have someone come out and clean it, retain some of the deposit from the person who left so it's all fair. Give them 2 weeks o sort it otherwise you will find someone. Also maybe say no more smoking in the house and point to carpet for reason.

        Always check references and id making note of personal details... dob, previous address etc and you should find letting to students/young professionals a doddle.

        My old neighbours always praise me when i go down to visit. Only ever carried out 1 inspection since 2002 and house was how i handed it over. Give it to them clean, have white goods insured against breakdown and have someone on call in case of emergencies (had one last week, elec shower packed up. New one installed within 2 days £100 layout but will hopefully be good for 3 years)


        • #5
          Thanks for all your help guys and girls.
          Yeah i think cos the 1st agreement was with 4 people, they were all responsible, so that was clear!

          Anyway, the last person to enter, had nothing to do with the group at all, so she had a seperate agreement, so i have decided to NOT put the onus on them. You are right, in that hopefully i can find someone quickly. Plus dont wanna rock their boat and rattle their cages also!!

          Ok..so i CAN tell them not allowed to smoke at all, if i choose to?! They dont move out till Oct anyway, but i will pop up in couple of days to explain how i feel about the state of the carpet (and god knows wat else i will see or smell..or hear...!).
          I will explain no smoking because of that, and that the cleaning bill will come from their deposit towards the end. (as its beyond cleaning im telling ya!!). Does that sound right people?
          Thanks again for your advice n help.
          Damn this site is a godsend!! or id be in prison for not dotting an i !!


          • #6
            i forgot...also..

            Yes i think your right Dan . I went to sort Council Tax and they told me because you have 2 seperate agreements , its classed as a HMO, therefore you (me) are liable for c.tax!!
            Hope thats clear!


            • #7
              still another ?...

              was just wondering tho...am i right in thinking that you can only have a group severally liable for each other if they all use 1 agreement for the same period? Like for eg..4 people = 1 agreement, for 1 yr. (sorry not patronising u guys n girls..but its just for MY benefit.its a maths thing im afraid!!)
              Then if someone leaves and i find a New person (who only wants 6 months), that New person cant be put onto the same agreement for only 6 months can they? Thats what i think! Probably logical to many of you but ..really..it really is worrying that i do it all right!
              Thanks people.


              • #8
                two agreements = utter confusion

                you are right TM - the only way you can create joint and several liability between four people is to get all four of them to sign a single agreement. To have two agreements for people sharing the same property creates total confusion re who is liable for what ... and is asking for trouble.
                Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right


                • #9
                  Different dates on 1 Contract? How?

                  Thanks lawstudent.
                  but you see, that is now confusing me..( it dont take much)!

                  I mean, sounds right to me what ur saying but how can i get them all to sign one agreement if they start and finish different dates?! ie. 3 of them start in Oct 04, for a yrs contract.
                  Then the 4th person joins the property but starts later ..say in Jan 05, and only wants the room for 6 months.
                  Is it possible to put the different dates onto one contract? How? & Is it allowed?
                  Thanks for your patience people!


                  • #10
                    T.M. - your confusion is understandable - this kind of situation is inherently messy.

                    All you need to bear in mind is that everyone must agree to what is proposed and you need to get everyone to sign a single agreement. The fact that there is currently an agreement in force does not stop you, by mutual consent, bringing it to an end and substituting a new one.

                    In the example you give, if the three who started in October 2004 are on a year's contract, you could create a new contract from January to October 2005 for all four people, containing the following clauses:

                    "This agreement brings to an end the agreement dated ... between ... and ..."

                    "This contract may be terminated at any time after six months have elapsed by the tenant giving one month's written notice"

                    Then, if the fourth person leaves after 6 months but the others do not, you will revert to the situation you were in before his arrival.

                    All this should be explained carefully to all four before the new written agreement is entered into.

                    I hope this helps
                    Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right


                    • #11
                      THanks LawStudent.


                      YEs that DOES help and many thanks. I had no idea how i would have even thought of how to go about it. REally appreciate it.


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