Leaving a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy (joint tenancy)

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    Leaving a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy (joint tenancy)

    Hello.

    A bit of a backstory about the situation. I am a second year university student and was supposed to live in a 2 bedroom flat with my friend this year. We signed a joint tenancy agreement (a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy). Unfortunately, in August my friend informed me and the landlord that due to personal reasons she is not able to return to university this year and therefore will not be living in the flat. The landlord asked me to find a replacement tenant which is what I did.
    Unfortunately, the girl I found was not the best fit. Several problems appeared right away, the biggest ones were her regularly smoking weed in the flat and her moving in some guy with her, despite the contract saying that only two people sleep in the premises. I have talked to her personally about the smoking issue after the very first time. She promised me not to do it again, but, unfortunately, it still continues. I also let her and the landlord know that I am uncomfortable living there as this unknown male spend so much time there, but it got me nowhere. When the unknown male pretty much moved in and started staying in the flat at least 5 - 6 nights a week, I brought up the situation to the landlord who just suggested I talked to the flatmate about this. And then, if nothing is solved, write a letter of complaint to him.
    Unfortunately, the living situation has gotten really out of hand and has worsened my mental health problems. Because of this, my studies have also suffered. As the landlord is not willing to involved (at least until I write the letter of complaint), I feel like the only solution to this is me moving out. However, before I do that, I want to make sure there would be no repercussions.

    TLDR:
    -Joint tenancy
    -Flatmate smoking weed
    -Extra person living in the flat without paying the rent
    -Feeling unsafe and anxious in my own home
    -Landlord aware of the problems but doesn't want get involved.

    Does the contract still hold when the other tenant is breaking the law and and the landlord knows? Am I able to get out as based on this?

    #2
    Originally posted by CaffeineAndInk View Post
    Does the contract still hold when the other tenant is breaking the law and the landlord knows? Am I able to get out as based on this?
    Yes the contract holds.
    You can only end the tenancy with the agreement of both the landlord and the other tenant.

    I suggest that you write to the landlord and point out that the reason you agreed to the tenancy was the condition that only two occupants are allowed in the property and that he is not enforcing this term and that this is causing you distress.
    Ask them to enforce the term of the agreement.

    Have the same conversation with your flatmate.

    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      The landlord should be concerned that there are three people living there as it has made the flat into an HMO, which means there is a lot of law that now has to be obeyed, possibly involving expensive safety work, and in some parts of the country, he will need a licence to do this, and will be risking large fines and difficulties in renting out property in future.

      A combination of fire and intoxicating substances is a significant fire risk, which he would need to take into account, in his fire risk assessment for its use as an HMO.

      Even with only two sharers, he is quite likely to be breaching the terms of his own lease.

      Comment


        #4
        The HMO thing is a good point, you could tell him that and that you don't want to have to go to the local council yourself and report him.
        If this was my property I would be looking at enforcement to get rid of boyfriend.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          The landlord should be concerned that there are three people living there as it has made the flat into an HMO, which means there is a lot of law that now has to be obeyed, possibly involving expensive safety work, and in some parts of the country, he will need a licence to do this, and will be risking large fines and difficulties in renting out property in future.
          Excellent point, which I missed.

          As well as a lot of work to make the place compliant, it's possible that the landlord would need planning permission and, as noted by leaseholder64, he may be in breach of his own lease.

          If you bring this to his attention, even suggest that he gets some advice, he should take action.
          Being in breach of HMO regulations isn't a trivial thing.

          The landlord may (wrongly) think that HMO legislation only matters when there are 5 people living in a property, but that's when the property has to be licensed.
          The HMO regulations apply when there are more than two people living in separate households, and they are quite stringent.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment

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