Joint Tenancy Issues

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  • Joint Tenancy Issues

    Hi, I'm hoping someone on here can give me some advice.

    I currently rent a house with 3 other girls from a lettings agent and all our names are on the tenancy agreement. We have a joint bank account in two of the girl's names in to which we each pay a sum each month to cover the rent and bills. Before I moved in I was told that my share of the rent and bills would be £350 per month. I later asked if we were all paying the same and was told that we were. As the rent we pay the lettings agent is £850, this would leave £550 for bills. I thought this was awfully high and was told that any extra left in the account when we moved out would be split between the 4 of us.

    I have recently discovered that the other three are only paying £325 a month. From my point of view, this means that I have been paying £25 per month too much for 7 months, and if any mony left was to be split between the 4 of us, this would effectively mean they'd be sharing out my money. Their argument is that I verbally agreed to pay them £350 a month when I moved in.

    Having spoken to the lettings agent and told them the situation, they suggested that I deduct the overpayment from what I pay into the joint account the next month. Having done this, the other 3 are threatening not to pay their share next month which would leave one or all of us liable for the whole £850 (as we're jointly and severally liable).

    One of the girls has also moved her boyfriend in, he is being charged £50 per week and I have been told that we can all pay £50 a month less as a result. I said at the time that I wasn't happy with this as it constitutes subletting and breaches our tenancy agreement, but it has happened anyway.

    I've just bought a new flat which will be ready in August/September so can't sign in to another 6 month tenancy if I was to move out now.

    Can anyone suggest a way forward?

  • #2
    Dont sign any new agreement; they can't make a new agreement without you unless you have given your co-tenants power of attorney. You can allow the tenancy to go periodic; on a month by month basis. Let your agent know your plans and your co-tenants.

    When you give notice, this will eventually cause the tenancy to come to an end. They will need to start a new tenancy with the agent. You will no longer be jointly and severally liable. Sounds like the sooner the better to me.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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    • #3
      In your position I would call their bluff and pay your share of the rent directly to the agent from now on. This would make it immediately obvious to the agents who owes them money if the others withhold their payment. I think it is unlikely that they will carry the threat through.
      The joint account is a voluntary agreement so you need not pay any more money into that. Insist on seeing bills etc and pay only what you owe after they have used your contribution to the joint fund. Are any of the bills in your name? bear in mind that utility companies will only pursue the person(s) named on bills ...........

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