1 of 2 tenants wants to move out early

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    1 of 2 tenants wants to move out early

    Hi,

    I have had an unmarried couple in my property since September 2013 on a 1 year AST. Today, the lady said that she would be moving out next week, but that the man would like to stay and will continue to pay the rent. She sadi that they would change the standing orde so that the money came from his account instead of hers as was previously the case.

    I am fairly OK with this, although I do have some concern as to whether he can afford the full rent, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as they've both been good tenants until this point.

    I'd like some advice as to my best course of action in regards to the tenancy agreement. I don't really want to start a new AST with just the man, as it only has 5 months to run and if things don't work out with just the man there, I will look for a new tenant.

    I would also like to know if there's anything I should do now to protect myself in case he starts to struggle to pay the rent.

    I also don't think that the lady realizes at this time that she is still liable for the rent even when moving out as she didn't ask for her name to be removed from the AST or anything like that.

    So, what is my best course of action in this situation. Any advice would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Lee

    #2
    Who's names are on the A.S.T. Just hers or both of them, but assume both of them.

    If both names are on the tenancy agreement you have no problem, if she does not pay, the man is responsible to pay the rent.

    If it's just the ladies name on the A.S.T. you will have to state that the tenancy was for 12 months, and if no break clause, she is responsible for paying the rent till September 2014, and that the man is her guest.
    She cannot move out / break her 12 month contract unless she has invoked any break clause in the A.S.T. ( Normaly a break clause at the 6th month stating she can give 2 months notice to quit.)

    do you have a break clause ?

    Or you come to an agreement that you let her go on payment of, lets say, 2 months rent from the month she leaves, but then there is the guest in the house who has not contract with you ( if only her name on the A.S.T. ) whereby the "guest will have to leave at the end of the prepayment of the 2 months rent.

    So which is it, one or two names on the A.S.T. ?

    If 2 two, then the contract is valid till Sept 2014.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Ram,

      Thanks for your response.

      Both names are on the AST and any break clause has now past.

      Based upon what you've told me I have a few follow-up questions if you don't mind.

      It sounds as if my best course of action is for her to leave but for her name to remain on the AST until it expires, this then puts me in the position that both are still liable for the full rent and I could chase both of them if he starts having payment issues ?

      If this is correct, do I need to notify her of her liabilities ?
      At the moment, she has told me that she wants to leave over the phone, is there any need for me to require this in writing (if her name remains on the AST) ?

      Alternatively, could I advise her that in order for her to remove her liabilities, she should pay me her share of the remaining contract upfront, and then I would cancel the AST and start a new one with the remaining tenant, I guess I'm not sure of any pitfalls of that, but from my perspective I would have 2-3 months rent upfront as a safeguard in case I run into any issues with the remaining tenant ?

      Would appreciate your thoughts

      Thanks

      Lee

      Comment


        #4
        Actions : -

        both are still liable for the full rent if both names are left on the lease.

        Others may correct me here, but "she" has jointly signed a contract to rent for 12 months and wishes to terminate "Her" contract with you, and she can't, as she has signed a contract so best to leave her name on the contract ( A.S.T )

        You can choose, to or not to remind her of her responsibilites, but if she is not there, the man pays the rent, as she will not want to contribute to rent when she is no longer there, but to remind her that it is a joint tenancy.

        You can of course have her put it in writing that she wishes to terminate the agreement, ( she must inform you in writing ) and you write a new tenancy agreement with just the mans name on it, but the tenancy will have to be for 6 months minimum.
        Happens all the time when you may have 2 or 3 people on one tenancy, and one wants to leave, and the get in another person ( so as to afford the rent ) you issue a new tenacy agreement.

        She must put it in writing that she wishes to be removed from the tenancy.

        You said : -
        Aternatively, could I advise her that in order for her to remove her liabilities, she should pay me her share of the remaining contract upfront,


        No, you cannot do that.
        I have said this many times on here, that it is not your concern as to who pays the rent, so long as the rent gets paid.
        2 tenants on an AST are NOT bound to pay you half each, as the rent is SET at so much per month, and not so much per month "each".

        Your finances state that you must receive £ x per month
        Their finances may be only one pays the rent, or they split it equally, or 20-80, or Great aunty Maude pays the rent into your account. Not your concern who pays what, or how much, so long as you receive the rent each month.

        Best to get her to "write" she wishes to teminate her tenancy, in any event, and you choose to leave her name on ast ( cos she signed a contract ) or the man then gets a new 6 month tenancy agreement. It's up to you.

        Comment


          #5
          P.S.

          Added to my above post number 4

          Deposit.

          I would not mention the deposit at the moment, as if you write a new tenancy, you will have to return the deposit, and take a new one from the man if you write a new tenacy.
          They may probably argue amonst themselves who gets the deposit back, ( but not your problem ) and you then have to re-protect the new depost.

          So maybe best to just leave her name on the AST, let the tenacy just run it's course, then at the end of the tenancy, remove her name, do an inspection before return of deposit, in case there are damages, issue new agreement and receive and protect the new deposit.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks again Ram.

            So it sounds as if it's in my best interests to have her name left on the AST. This will ensure that if I have any problems with getting the rent, I have two people to chase for the rent rather than one, is that correct ?

            One other question, what is my position if she requests to be removed from the AST ? I assume that I can just refuse, or is there any particular reason where it would be in my interest to allow her to be removed from the AST ?

            Cheers

            Lee

            Comment


              #7
              "Both names are on the AST and any break clause has now past."

              Not necessarily, depends on precse wording of the break clause.
              If there was anything that could be construed as a break clause, please provide exact wording.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi,

                The clause reads:

                5.8 BREAK CLAUSE
                5.8.1 - 6 Month Tenant Break Clause
                It is agreed between the parties that the Tenant shall have the right to terminate this
                Tenancy Agreement by giving the Landlord or the Landlords Agent, not less than two (2)
                months advance written notice. Notice is to expire not less than 4 months from the
                commencement of the Tenancy. Notice is to be delivered as detailed herein before in Clause
                3.11

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by lee_d_m View Post
                  I have two people to chase for the rent rather than one, is that correct ?

                  One other question, what is my position if she requests to be removed from the AST ?
                  Edit -- this was written before seeing the above break clause ( we were both writing at the same time )

                  2 people to chase is always better than one.

                  As always, if one does not pay the full rent, you chase the other.

                  if she requests to be removed from the AST. ?

                  From posts on here, it is suggested / normal to get both to terminate the tenancy, then issue a new tenancy agreemet for the remaining tenant, or a new tenant.

                  Look at it this way, when she leaves, you don't have to re advertise, it will cost you nothing to get another tenant in, he's already there, the rent will be paid in full, ( you hope - but then that's the chance you take with ANY tenant that rents your property ).

                  So you could just say, her name will stay on the tenacy as it's a contract, it's unfortunate, but you signed a contract, your ex-partner is going to pay so nothing for her to worry about... see how she is with that IF she asks.

                  You are not going to be put out if she leaves.
                  If she leaves, are you going to be upset, be financialy worse off, be worried, have sleepless nights ?
                  The answer is no.....

                  If she does not ask, leave her name on the AST.
                  If she does ask, then issue new AST with the mans only name on.

                  She's happy, you are happy, which ever way it goes.

                  Be glad it's not just her name on the contract and the boyfriend wants to take over the tenancy, then it may have been different, you would want some cash, maybe for her to end the tenacy early, but as I said, you have the best possible situation here, and two choices too !
                  Last edited by ram; 26-04-2014, 08:49 AM. Reason: First sentence added ( edit )

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by lee_d_m View Post
                    The clause reads:

                    5.8 BREAK CLAUSE
                    5.8.1 - 6 Month Tenant Break Clause
                    It is agreed between the parties that the Tenant shall have the right to terminate this
                    Tenancy Agreement by giving the Landlord or the Landlords Agent, not less than two (2)
                    months advance written notice. Notice is to expire not less than 4 months from the
                    commencement of the Tenancy. Notice is to be delivered as detailed herein before in Clause
                    3.11
                    Well, this "6 month break clause" actually allows the tenancy to be ended at any time after the first 4 months.

                    To use it, both joint-tenants would need to jointly give notice.
                    But it itself it wouldn't help the lady, as on expiry the tenancy would be replaced with a statutory periodic AST with the same tenant (ie. both of them). At that point she would be able to serve notice by herself to end that periodic tenancy, though.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Indeed, and if she did serve a NTQ during SPT it would end the T for both on expiry.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        ok, thanks chaps, I see what you mean about the break clause now that I've read it a few times.

                        If I've understood you correctly, in order to end the tenancy early, both tenants would need to serve notice. If she alone gives me written notice, it essentially means nothing, her name will still be on the AST until such time as the AST expires or the other tenant gives notice as well, is that correct ?

                        If both tenants were to give notice (let's say today), in light of the wording in the break clause, am I right in thinking that they are still obliged to provide me with two months notice ?

                        Thanks

                        Lee

                        Comment


                          #13
                          IMO Yes. Ts cannot give NTQ during fixed term, but they can jointly give due Notice to activate the break clause (2 clear cal months) and a SPT is created on expiry. In theory Ts should then serve valid NTQ according to SPT requirements, in practice, most Judges accept an NTQ does both together so T can depart on expiry of activation NTQ.
                          AFAIK it would then end T for both Ts, anyone wishing to subs remain would have to sign a new fixed term AST after property inspection, return of balance of orig deposit, pay new deposit requiring deposit protection and provision of PI within 30 days of receipt.
                          As previously stated, allow her to leave but keep her as joint T, on AST until end of normal fixed term. This should allow you to assess ability of remaining T to pay/look after property.
                          I would suggest a LL/LA general inspection when she leaves and 2-3 months later.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mariner View Post
                            Ts cannot give NTQ during fixed term, but they can jointly give due Notice to activate the break clause (2 clear cal months) and a SPT is created on expiry.
                            No, if tenant uses break clause then a SPT is not created on expiry.
                            I should correct my previous post (if I could), which is incorrect as well.

                            SPT is created if the landlord used the break clause.

                            Comment

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