Couple split up leaving one tenant behind

Both tenants on tenancy agreement for 2 bedroomed maisonette. The man left giving his partner no warning. She cannot afford the rent and managed to get in contact with him. He has moved on and paid a months rent for somewhere else so cannot meet his commitment to pay this months rent due on 11th June, she can only pay £500 of the monthly rent of £1400 this month. Only found out all of this today. She says she should be able to pay £1000 next month and wants to meet to discuss a short term arrangement. She is looking for more work. On AST since early December, now periodic. What can I do? My son owns the maisonette and has a mortgage to pay. I don’t want to make any mistakes that would have legal implications. Would appreciate all advice

The basic rule of renting is you earn three times the rent.
If she went onto a contract by herself you would likely not rent to her because she cannot afford it.
You have to sit down and have a real conversation.
She will not be able to afford all the other bills ( council tax , gas, water , electric etc).
You are unlikely to recoup your money that has not been paid unless you go to court.
You are likely to end up with more debt.
I would ask her to find a one bed or studio and serve an eviction notice.

Gothard Rowe mediate and may be able to recoup your money if you want to keep her but as it stands she will not be able to afford it anyway.

You are not the Samaritans. You have a mortgage to pay.

Good luck

As he’s still on the tenancy he is still liable for the rent owed to you.

Point it out to him, yourself or via a solicitor if you are taking that route.

One caveat: if the tenant left without giving you the relevant notice, then both remain liable on an equal basis, although you can pursue either for the full amount.

If formal notice was given, the tenancy for both ended at the end of the tenancy notice period. After that time, the remaining tenant is liable for the full amount if they agreed to continue paying the old rent amount. If they paid you less, then that is the rent due.

That is my understanding of the situation.

If they gave formal notice and the tenancy ends, my suggestion would be to accept no more rent from them or its likely that a new undocumented periodic tenancy would be created. If either tenant holds over after a valid notice expires, they can be removed as a trespasser.

She should qualify for Housing Allowance if she is looking for work and will need to make an application straightaway

Sounds like no formal notice has been given. If you pursue the absent party for unpaid rent, then someone will advise him to give formal notice and she will have to leave. And you can nail him for this if he has higher earnings. Alternatively she could find someone to share with - I’ve had a lady in a 3 bed property for 6 years and in that time she’s been divorced and remarried with her husbands friends who were sharing originally replaced with two female relatives. And she’s up to date with rent - she has been behind at times but I’ve stuck with her.

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If you want to make sure you do everything legally and efficiently then the best thing to do is use a solicitor. This isn’t straightforward. She might be entitled to housing benefit, but the chances are that it won’t do anywhere near the rent as the property is probably bigger than she is entitled to as a single person. Officially you can chase him for arrears until he gives notice. Once he gives notice she has to leave. Will she?

Breaking up is never easy and the turmoil and aftermath of shorting things out is never easy. Sit down with her and get to grips with everything, confirm back the summary agreements from the meeting in writing.

Both parties are liable for the rent, if he passed a credit reference for the new rental and he did not disclose his liabilities on your property, therefore legally in default. If he did then that will not help. Just something to bear in mind if things go bad.

However, she has to realise that being the remaining person will cause her extra expenditure.

The tenant will try to offer a lower rent whilst she looks for extra work, you will have issues if she pays part of the rent.

Depending on her earnings and your local authority she may be eligible for certain benefits and housing allowance via U.V.C. However, she has to apply quickly as it can take 6 weeks to gain support and only from that date will benefits start so for 6 weeks her debt will rise even more.

She should also contact the council to gain the single person rates credit.

Also to take meter readings so she can pursue a contribution from her ex.

Depending who the services name are in she may wish to do a new contract ending the joints and going into her own name. I only say this to help her lowering her costs to help your rent contribution. Plus if she has the partners new address she can refer the service providers to chase him.

I would discuss with her about moving out quickly to reduce her pending enormous debt and future impact of her living style and ongoing repayments (with interest).

Even if you did take small payments until she moves you must state in writing (do everything in writing) that these are only a contribution to the full required payment and any shortfall at the end of the tenancy must be repaid in full and will be pursued.

Still go after the party who left and make it clear he remains liable for any debts which will be pursued. Demand payment to equal the rent, let him know regularly ( of his responsibilities and monthly growing debt). If he maintains he has no money , It would be possible to affix a payment schedule from his pay via the courts if it came to that or you could go after any assets. Hopefully it wouldn’t.

You also need to look at the deposit and in whose name(s) it is in, if his, you have a potential issue to manage, if joint or hers less.

Keep records of all conversation with dates and summary of discussions. this applies to texts, Whatsapp, email or whichever media you use. Start making a chronological log now as it could get quite large and its easier to start as you mean to go on rather than battling with the collation later.

If you have helped her in these difficult times by suggestions above, hopefully you have mitigate your losses.

Good luck