Student landlord being difficult?

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    Student landlord being difficult?

    Ok, so a friend of mine is in a private shared housing. She's on an AST tenancy for the one room she's renting. There are two other residents residing in the property who is responsible for their own rent for their room.

    Her landlord moved into the property just before Christmas (he wasn't residing there at the start of her contract) He texted her to ask her permission about living there,

    Her tenancy agreement doesn't officially end until July, but she's wanting to move out and live with her sister this month. (Being the only young girl amongst guys)

    Her tenancy agreement states that she can leave her contract early providing she finds a suitable replacement to take over the agreement. The landlord had also emailed her stating that he had no objection to her moving out providing she found someone suitable too.

    She eventually found someone, took her to see the property and the prospective tenant agreed she wanted it. She emailed her references over, and sent them to the landlord and copied the prospective tenant in. She waited 24 hours before asking to respond to her email, and he stated that he was busy workwise and will get back to her that evening. Another 24 hours later still no reply she again contacts him via text and email. He still tells her that she's busy. This carries on for a while until she gives the prospective tenant the landlords number and the prospective tenant contacts him. He then deflects both their calls, even blocking them at one stage, and then tells her that he believes she's someone else cause she has a "different accent" and that he was dubious about her. He also emailed her saying that "there was no guarantee that the prospective tenant's references will go through" so I think he had a) no intention of honoring the agreement and b) frustrated her attempts to find someone suitable"


    One thing that was noticed with her contract was that it wasn't signed by the landlord either, and she again made numerous attempts to get him to sign it

    #2
    If landlord is living there, any new tenant will be a lodger most likely. Landlord is allowed to decide who he lives with.

    Tenancy terms stating that you can end the agreement if a suitable tenant is found are pretty vague, but whatever they mean it does not mean suitable to your friend. You may need to keep asking nicely, but other alternative is that your friend could just sublet the property to some other -- but that may become awkward.

    Signing of the contract is neither here nor there - tenancy agreements do not have to be signed to be valid, albeit it can be hard to determine what the agreement is is unsigned - but we presume your friend signed a version she gave to landlord.

    Bottom line -- landlord probably doesn't have to do anything sadly for your friend, but it may be worth sending us exactly what tenancy agreement says about the early ending.

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      #3
      The landlord had moved into the property after she had signed the contract in September. He moved in just after Christmas. So she had been living there a few months before the landlord resided.

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        #4
        AndrewDod also, if the landlord moved in if she was a tenant, should there have been another contract set up to change the status from tenant to lodger?

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          #5
          Yes, but that is not the issue. An AST tenant cannot mutate into a lodger by virtue of landlord moving in. However this is a new tenant replacing a tenant who wishes to terminate their contract by mutual agreement. The new tenant will likely be a lodger (there are various other criteria that determine status as a lodger).

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            #6
            If the original agreement was an AST, the LL should not have moved in, whether or not he asked 'permission'. IMO OP could move out and LL would not have a leg to stand on in terms of pursuing her for breach of contract. His own breach was sufficient grounds. The business of her having to find a suitable replacement is a red herring.

            The above holds even if the tenants have separate ASTs, rather than a joint one. If the LL had wanted to rent out rooms as a resident LL, he should have done this from the off, not half way through the tenancy.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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