One tenant walking away from a joint tenancy...

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    One tenant walking away from a joint tenancy...

    Hi, I’m after some advice please.
    My daughter is at university and shares a house on a short hold tenancy agreement with 2 others. They are jointly and severally liable and each students parents are guarantors.
    The landlord has declined to offer any reduction in rent during this Covid crisis and the 3 students are working from home, the university having told them not to return. 3 months rent was due in January. The landlord agreed to take monthly payments of £400 from each student instead of £1200 in one payment for this term. My daughter and one other student paid. The 3rd refused. Today we have learnt ( via an email to all parties from the landlord) that the 3rd tenant has paid £200 for January and has left the property and will not be returning. We are aware we are all liable but I am not sure what the procedure might be to try and recover the rent that hasn’t been paid and won’t be paid by the 3rd tenant.

    Would/should the landlord approach the 3rd tenants guarantor first or will that guarantor be ignored and the 2 tenants that have paid be pressured for payment? What actual responsibilities does the guarantor have? Can the landlord take the guarantor to court whilst leaving the other 2 tenants to pay their share ( although I realise they are liable for the others too)

    Thank you in advance.

    Raymondus

    #2
    From a legal poiint of view, with a joint and several tenancy there is only one tenant, one rent, one deposit etc.
    So who the landlord chases for any shortfall is up to them.

    They can simply demand the rent from the remaining occupants, they can not chase anyone and just live with the shortfall or just chase the leaving tenant.
    What they can do in relation to the guarantor depends on the specifics of the guarantor agreement - they can be hard to enforce legally, usually they're a relation when it's a student arrangement, so it rarely comes to that.

    If the landlord does insist on the remaining occupants paying the full rent, it could be recovered from the tenant who left, on the basis that the person who had left had agreed to pay a share of the rent and has welshed on the deal.

    Hopefully the landlord starts by writing to the leaver and points out that they've made an agreement and can't simply decide not to honour it.

    I can't imagine the student has returned any of their loan.
    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
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      I can't imagine the student has returned any of their loan.
      Perhaps that's a little unsympathetic to people's individual circumstances. For example, my maintenance loan is only £4,289 per year, so only gives £357 a month, before any bills, food, etc.

      I have summer internships to cover the rest of my expenses, which have given me an extra £3-£7k depending on the company (the latter being a competitive investment bank gig, so not typical for a student). I'm lucky enough to be studying Computer Science, so have marketable skills even before graduating, but many students do not.

      Some students that need to make up a shortfall take on jobs like bar work, waiting staff, etc. COVID lockdowns have eliminated this revenue stream. Additionally, many of my friends had their summer internships cancelled entirely this summer during lockdown.

      You have to bear in mind that students that fall into these latter categories have had no government assistance. Students are not eligible for furlough. Students are not eligible for benefits/universal credit. The University hardship funds are a pittance, they give £40 Sainsbury's vouchers out at my University if you can't make ends meet.

      My question back to you is, could you survive on £357 a month in a student HMO?

      Comment


        #4
        oscarvl it is an answer that is legally correct. There is no other possible answer. Your personal financial position is irrelevant to the answer.

        However, landlords are not eligible for furlough, landlords are not eligible for universal credit, there is no hardship fund, I can't get any vouchers, and I don't have parents to help either . . ..

        Comment


          #5
          And yes, it is easy to survive on £357 a month. Thousands do.

          Comment


            #6
            Of course, I cannot disagree with the legal correctness - perhaps student unions should push for a change in joint rent responsibility in houseshare contracts. Most people know nothing of the finances of their housemates when they sign that contract.

            > Your personal financial position is irrelevant to the answer.

            However, the financial position of the student is very relevant to whether a landlord gets money deposited in their account, whether you like it or not. I was merely disagreeing with the assertion that a student had just pocketed their maintenance loan as it's clearly very ignorant.

            As for landlord bailouts, your investment in property has an associated risk as with any investment (stocks & shares, property, bitcoin), if you find your investment does not perform as you had hoped, you can always remortgage or sell up to make ends meet.

            You choose to rent to high-risk tenants, students are hardly known for financial stability. If you wanted to be assured a stable return, perhaps invest in government bonds.

            Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
            And yes, it is easy to survive on £357 a month. Thousands do.
            You'd be hard-pressed to find any house share that's cheaper than £300/month, even in the worst slumlord dump. For instance, here's what £325 gets you in Southampton: https://www.savethestudent.org/accom...ent-house.html

            Then you've got to add gas, water, electricity (~£20 pppm minimum), WiFi (~£5, depends how many housemates you have), food (average student grocery spending is £23 per week, ~£100 a month).

            I make that £425 before we even consider costs like technology (necessary for E-Learning), mobile phone contract, clothing, transport, course materials (textbooks, pen, paper, notebooks), Christmas etc.

            I strongly believe it is near impossible to live off £357/month. The average student outgoings are £795 a month.


            New survey reveals the average student living costs in the UK. Includes student rent costs, average Maintenance Loan and how much money parents give students.

            Comment


              #7
              Thousands exist on £73 a week from which they pay water charges, gas, electricity, council tax (depending upon la) and food, transport etc etc. It's called being poor.

              Comment


                #8
                You conveniently left out rent though, which makes up the vast majority of any person's living expenses. I know few young people that spend less than 50% of their income on rent. There's not much left to squeeze.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by oscarvl View Post
                  You conveniently left out rent though, which makes up the vast majority of any person's living expenses. I know few young people that spend less than 50% of their income on rent. There's not much left to squeeze.
                  That's because poor people have their rent paid for them through UC or hb. Let's not hijack the thread anymore.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by oscarvl View Post
                    However, the financial position of the student is very relevant to whether a landlord gets money deposited in their account, whether you like it or not. I was merely disagreeing with the assertion that a student had just pocketed their maintenance loan as it's clearly very ignorant.

                    As for landlord bailouts, your investment in property has an associated risk as with any investment (stocks & shares, property, bitcoin), if you find your investment does not perform as you had hoped, you can always remortgage or sell up to make ends meet.

                    You choose to rent to high-risk tenants, students are hardly known for financial stability. If you wanted to be assured a stable return, perhaps invest in government bonds.
                    Or in tenants who can afford to pay rent.

                    Essentially your argument is that you are too poor to be a student, which isn't your fault (I blame the government - my own student days were funded by a grant, as I was too poor to be a student otherwise).
                    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


                      #11
                      Well, I am fine because of my personal degree choice and ability to make ends meet through summer internships at an investment bank. But I can see many are not so lucky.

                      I wonder how you know which students are able to afford the rent? After all, it's the poor students that will be getting huge maintenance loans, while middle class students get scraps. It might be hard to tell.

                      The real problem is student rents have risen at twice the rate of inflation for years. What students once spent 50% of their money on, they now spend 73% if their money on.
                      https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...-on-strike-too

                      ​​​​​I remember my dad telling me about his rent of £12 a week - inflation alone cannot explain the prices we see today.

                      In the last decades students have become a cash cow, an HMO's combined rent well exceeds market rent for a property of its size, and landlords know it can be rented in crap conditions as it's just a student house.
                      ​​​No wonder so many BTL landlords joined the gravy train. Landlords probably believed that student maintenance loans made their investment fairly risk free, but the reality is that their tenants income is now heavily reliant on unreliable gig economy work that students need to make ends meet. The student cash cow ran out of milk...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Like most prices, the cost of rent is essentially set by supply and demand, capped by affordability.
                        In a population growing faster than properties are being made available and, generally, growing older, demand is growing faster than supply.
                        So prices rise to the maximum affordable.

                        Students are, generally, young and naive and are often helped by supportive parents.
                        They're a perfect market!

                        And not one I get involved in, personally.
                        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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