2 students signing up for 4 bedroom property

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    2 students signing up for 4 bedroom property

    I own a student property in England (Bath). It's licensed as an HMO to be occupied by up to four people. The property is currently let jointly to four students, and I want to continue letting jointly to groups if possible.

    Now is the time of year to be signing up tenants for the 2015/16 academic year. I have offered the current tenants the chance to reserve the property for next year before I advertise it to others. Two of the tenants do not want to live there next year, but the other two have said they would like to stay. However, at this point they have not found two other people to live with. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position where I can wait indefinitely for them to find new housemates, as I need to make sure I don't miss the boat while all the university students are signing up to different properties.

    I have offered to talk to the two who are interested with regards to them signing an agreement to rent the entire property with the understanding that they can sublet the extra rooms to two other people they find, subject to my approval of the new tenants. However, I can see there potentially being problems with getting the guarantors to agree this is a good idea (I certainly wouldn't want to guarantee twice as much rent!). Also, I can see there being problems with the subletting, particularly if they can't find two more housemates or they find people I deem to be unsuitable.

    Therefore, I'm a bit concerned that I would be backing myself into a corner somewhat by getting just two of them signed up. Obviously, it would be simpler to advertise for group of four new tenants, but it seems slightly unfair to boot out the existing tenants who want to remain there. I wanted to ask your advice about what you would do in this situation (or what you have done in the past) and whether you have any ideas about how I can move this forwards fairly rapidly to ensure I don't get left behind.

    Thanks in advance for any help. If a version of this question has been asked before, please link me to it - I couldn't find anything by searching.

    For reference, the current tenancy is an AST which began in July 2014 and has an 11-month initial fixed term. I don't live at the property.

    #2
    Is it not up to you,
    to find 2 more students to fill your property, rather than the remaining students to do your work for you.

    Bit like me being asked when I leave a rental property, to find someone to take my place.
    I would say to the landlord, on your bike, I am leaving, and you the landlord puts an add in the paper for a new tenant. Not my problem.

    If the current 2 students want to pay ALL the rent just for the two of them, then fine, just make sure you get all guarentors to agree the new terms ( which effectively doubles the rent for each student )

    Often there are situations where 4 sharing, that the remaining tenants find suitable replacements, but not as lodgers but people they know or those they will be happy to live with, and pass the details on to you, or tell them to contact you and you go through the normal process of checking and issuing an A.S.T.

    Have you asked the tenants if they need 2 more to be able to pay the rent ?
    Put it to them that they can if they wish find 2 replacements, and get them to contact you, otherwise you will be puting an add in the paper, and the replacements will be complete strangers to them.

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      #3
      I'd advertise the rooms now and tell the tenants the rooms are advertised and if they want to share with womebody they know then they must let you know asap so you can withdraw the advert.

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        #4
        Haha, two different opinions there! At least that confirms my thoughts that there's various ways I can take this. Thanks for the input!

        I think I'll give them until after Christmas to find two new housemates, then advertise after that if they haven't found any. That seems like the fairest balance between my needs and theirs to me.

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          #5
          I would offer what ram said - If the current 2 students want to pay ALL the rent just for the two of them, then fine, just make sure you get all guarentors to agree the new terms ( which effectively doubles the rent for each student ). They can then find two other suitable housemates to take on themselves. Simples.

          By the way - don't you think you're overreacting slightly by saying if you don't get new people signed up now you're doomed? When I studied in Bath not so long ago landlords could rent out every last damp pile of garbage and could easily find tenants who paid top dollar for it. I'm sure this is still the same situation.

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