Here is something to challenge you on a Friday! Help needed please

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    Here is something to challenge you on a Friday! Help needed please

    We have a tenant (married couple with one child) who rented a property in January and signed a 12month agreement. The rent has recently been late during the last three/four months (currently two weeks in arrears). the husband works abroad and infrequently in the uk which has been the excuse for the erratic rent payments.
    this morning i receive a text from the wife saying she has left the property (domestic violence) with her son, made herself homeless and she wont be going back and to take her off the tenancy agreement.
    Bit stuck on what is the best course of action here...............
    Can anyone give any advice?

    Who are the responsible parties on the Tenancy Agreement ?


      the husband and wife. both names are on there.


        If T1 and T2 sign a one-year Tenancy Agreement, they are liable (probably jointly and severally) for all the rent for all the term: whether or not they reside, or split up, or both vacate early.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


          It only takes one of the joint tenants to give notice for the tenancy to come to an end. The wife can't be just "taken off the tenancy agreement" . I should try to get it from her in writing though, rather than rely on a text, and obtain the keys to show that the tenancy has been abandoned.

          Find out, if you can, whether the husband wants to stay on, and if so make out a new agreement in his name only. He will still be responsible for the rent arrears from the first agreement, so it may be the best way to recoup the arrears, even though he may seem a bad bet.

          If you don't want the husband to stay on, contact him if you can, and tell him his wife has terminated the agreement and handed back the keys, and that he should collect his possessions. If he doesn't reply, you should store his possessions safely until he claims them.

          As the couple have signed for 12 months, they are responsible for paying the rent until you have found new tenants, or to the end of the term if that comes sooner. As the landlord,you are obliged to make every effort to find new tenants as soon as possible.

          You should keep a good record of the amount of the arrears up to the date new tenants move in, and use the deposit against the arrears, then if necessary go to the small claims court to obtain the balance.

          Good luck!



            Be careful of accepting keys or any surrender of the tenancy...this can be construed as accepting that the lady no longer has a liability to pay more rent. You need to make any acceptance of the keys conditional that she owes rent until either her husband signs a new agreement with you or a new tenant is found and you obtain vacant possession by both the man and his wife.

            Of course if you want to release her from her obligations its up to you, but you don't have to.Your obligation is to find a new suitable tenant; the original man, or someone new...otherwise the pair must pay rent until the end of the fixed term if no one suitable can be found.
            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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              since the last post, the LL and i had reasons to believe the property had been vacated and today entered the property.
              It looks like it has been ransacked! appalling state. There are debt collectors letters all over the place, the house is a total mess, anyone would think it had been burgled.
              We have taken photos of the house and tried to contact the husband who we think is abroad.
              We are obviously keeping records of phone calls, letters etc but if we dont hear anything anytime soon, possessions remaining in the property (we think only the husbands remain) will have to be put into storage and regain possession of the property.
              Any advice here?


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