Joint tenancy + Overcrowding + Coronavirus woes

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    Joint tenancy + Overcrowding + Coronavirus woes

    Hi all,

    I'm in a sticky situation and would appreciate some advice.

    I've been in a joint tenancy with someone I met on SpareRoom. We've bee living together for just over 7 months with no issues aside from the typical flatmate squabbles here and there.
    Due to Covid-19 complications, my sister's university accommodation has fallen through, and as of the end of April, she will not have a place to call home. I decided to seek a larger flat with enough room to accommodate the both of us, as there is no known timeline for a return to normalcy. I found a flat, explained my situation to the new landlord, and all is well on that front for now.

    I informed my flatmate of the situation from the get-go, and did the same with my letting agency. However, my notice to end the tenancy was denied as both my flatmate and I are required to agree to break the tenancy in order for it to be binding, as per our lease. My flatmate refuses to speak of the matter until the lockdown is over, understandably so I suppose. Therefore finding a replacement tenant is out of question for however long the lockdown lasts. I then informed my agent and my flatmate that my only other alternative would be to have my sister take up residence with me in the current flat, as she would have nowhere else to go and is ineligible to secure a flat on her own. They both stated they would not be ok with this option. As per my lease, this would be a breach of the overcrowding clause.

    So currently, I am not allowed to end my tenancy to secure another flat to house us, nor am I allowed to house my sister in my current flat. My agent's advise was to rent a second flat and 'face the music later'. He said if my sister moved in, he would advise my flatmate to call the police on her.

    I should add that I offered to use my savings to cover my portion of rent for the month of May to allow my flatmate some time to find a solution. This would ideally give her 8 weeks to do so. However, beyond that, I am financially unable to cover two rents, let alone for an unknown/indefinite period of time.

    I find myself in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. I am aware that I am legally bound to the lease but I'm genuinely at a loss for what to do at this point. I like to think I'm a fairly reasonable person, but would like a landlord's perspective. I don't want him to be inconvenienced in any way, but also unsure what options, if any, I could suggest to him. Any pointers or advice would be much appreciated. Ta

    #2
    Not sure I can help but I think it's unlikely the police will be interested particularly as they'd be making her homeless. Presumably you are allowed visitors? So she could stay for 4 nights then maybe find a sofa or Airbnb for a couple of nights then another visit. If she leave her stuff somewhere else it would be better. Or could you find somewhere suitable for the three of you?

    Comment


      #3
      I would check the tenancy agreement is legal, you need advice.

      If this is in Scotland you may have a PRT (despite what it says on your paperwork)

      had a quick search, see below

      https://www.morton-fraser.com/knowle...ation-scotland

      https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_...ential_tenancy

      If it is a PRT you can give 28 days notice and there is nothing the landlord or agent can do about it.

      Is your accommodation purpose built student (such as a hall of residence)?

      Comment


        #4
        baldelectrician is wrong there. (assuming this is a PRT - and it sounds like it then..) OP is right.

        It's explained here https://www.tcyoung.co.uk/blog/2018/...s-to-leave-prt

        I'm inclined to think that your flatmate is being completely unreasonable. The landlord must end this tenancy and commence a new one, surely? I don't see how tenants can be expected to live somewhere that they don't want to be because they cannot end the tenancy?!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mooch View Post
          baldelectrician is wrong there. (assuming this is a PRT - and it sounds like it then..) OP is right.

          It's explained here https://www.tcyoung.co.uk/blog/2018/...s-to-leave-prt

          I'm inclined to think that your flatmate is being completely unreasonable. The landlord must end this tenancy and commence a new one, surely? I don't see how tenants can be expected to live somewhere that they don't want to be because they cannot end the tenancy?!
          Something to do with signing a contract maybe 🤔

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Jon66 View Post

            Something to do with signing a contract maybe 🤔
            That's not correct
            ANY domestic dwelling tenancy agreement ( with several specific exemptions within the Act of the Scottish Parliament) after December 2017 is a PRT in Scotland.
            The law states that the PRT rules apply DESPITE what a tenancy agreement states

            A new tenancy agreement after 1st December 2017 can add right's and responsibilities but can not remove a tenants core rights.

            Comment


              #7
              It's in Scotland? Op omitted that important information . . .

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                It's in Scotland? Op omitted that important information . . .
                I assume so as it is in the Scottish section, and the op name is Edingurger

                Sometimes the Scottish Government gets on with the day job and passes legislation

                Comment


                  #9
                  I found it in residential! I didn't realise there were further subject sub categories . . .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                    I found it in residential! I didn't realise there were further subject sub categories . . .
                    90%of my work is landlord work- that's why I am not a landlord.
                    I see landlords getting caught out by mistakes and losing money

                    Comment

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