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Joint tenant wants to leave apart from advising that he is still jointly responsible for rent what else should I be saying or doing

Thank you for all the comments and advise
For now I have the assurances that the remaining tenant can pay and I’ve made it clear to both that should the remaining tenant not pay then both would be liable. I have also expressed to the remaining tenant that should financial difficulties happen communicating with me immediately will be better so a resolution can be found.

Please advise.
I have joint tenants just 1 month into an 12 month ast (who I waited 4 weeks for) they were looking for very long term and ideal for me. The one half has today emailed me today to say they are splitting up he is leaving to rent elsewhere and the remaining tenant will stay on.

  1. Apart form advising him that he is still responsible for Rent etc as it’s a joint tenancy what else should I do?
  2. What if he just ups and goes, I may not ever trace him? And my concern is the other not covering full rent if at all.
    3.He was also the larger income provider (the other was indicated not to be able afford the full rent on his own indicated by rent guard referencing) but both passed referencing. There is no guarantor
    Any factual and legal advise in what I should do would be greatly received

From a legal standpoint, as you say moving out does not end his tenancy obligations and he should be made aware of this. With a joint tenancy, each tenant is liable for 100% of the rent, so if he disappeared you could demand the full rent from the remaining tenant. However, mindful of your comment about affordability, I would suggest you make both of them aware of these facts and say that you will be willing to consider an early surrender if they don’t think they will be able to afford the rent.

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If he ups and leaves trying to find him and force him to pay for the rest of the year would be a massive waste of time unless they had guarantors then im not sure. I would think your first point of call is a discussion with the partner to find out what her plans are. unless she is going to find a friend or wants to find someone else to rent the other room she will probably need to move out asap as well as rarely can one person cover the full amount. The other option if you like her is to list the other room on open rent as a share but this maybe tricky as you might want her to sit in on the viewings because she will have to be the one living with the other person

Thanks David for your reply. Would it be normal practise to ask for a forwarding address for the tenant that is leaving ( no that they are likely to give me the correct one). I just feel a little uneasy that should the remaining tenant fail to pay I on,y have him to,Perdue the rent from.

Regards

Tracey

In 13 years of renting, I’ve never had a tenant give me a forwarding address. You can ask, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get one

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Hi Tracey9,

As already been mentioned both tenants are jointly responsible for the rent, so I would make that clear from the get-go. In your post, you did not elaborate on whether you had let them a studio, 1-bed or 2-bed flat which would either increase or limit the remaining tenant’s options.

What I did gauge from your post was that the tenants were a former couple that had split up and the richer party was moving out, if the home is studio/1-bedroom, the remaining tenant may struggle to find a replacement so David122 suggestion of surrendering the least might be your best option.

If the tenant that leaves stops payment you could pursue them through the courts, I assume you have all their ID and place of work etc, which I am sure would not be optimal as CCJs effect one’s desirability as a tenant.

Since you are only 1 month in, maybe you should think of the swiftest solution that doesn’t end up costing you an arm & leg!

Thank you for your reply. It’s just a 1 bed and yes I have all the info that referencing supplied and I have additional info as I carried out my own due diligence prior to this.

I have made contact with the remaining tenant and yet 2 days later still yet to receive a call. The tenant leaving didn’t either respond to my email when I made it clear that he would still be responsible for the remaining 11 months rent should the ex not pay.

I’ve always had forwarding addresses from all mine in 10 years when they end their tenancy legally

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I usually get a forwarding address as well

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It’s normal practice to ask but if he refuses and are already not answering your communications I would be wondering if they are going to be troublesome further down the line. Perhaps think about David122’s idea of offering early surrender.
Things unforseen do happen but on the other hand one month in and they are splitting up?

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one month in and splitting up is not unusual .Its easy to be happy not living together and then together all the time can be a different ball game

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Thank you for all the comments. I have now spoken to the one tenant who wishes to stay and both are aware of their commitments. Fingers crossed it will be smooth going for the remainder of the tenancy.
Out of interest the couple has been living together for several years Prior to this. I guess their emotions had taken over common courtesy in speaking to the landlord and working out arrangements going forward

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I would ask the remaining party if they have any changed circumstances that would render a new reference acceptable for their single tenancy, and / or if they can provide a guarantor. Then sign them up with a new TA in their sole name.

The other consideration is the bond, and whether the remaining tenant can afford to cover the whole amount, otherwise you would have to insist on retaining the departing tenants share and commitment.

I wouldn’t rely on crossed fingers. I can’t imagine the departing tenant will be inclined to contribute once he’s left. If he is, I would get all his details, forwarding address, employer, bank account, etc, and a written acceptance of his liability, to put your mind at ease.

It’s very useful to have their bank account details and I would, whenever possible, ask them to complete a standing order mandate form for you to submit to their bank for rent payments.

Then apply David122’s advice.

Yes consider a surrender, although not good time with Covid and Xmas for advertising so you may have a long void and associated holding costs such as council tax etc. An alternative may be to offer that you will be holding them both to the contract (jointly and/or individually if that’s what your contract says) and you all signed up to in good faith but as a concession you will re-advertise and if you can get someone in before the formal end of their contract you will release them both early (you might have to bear the re-advertising cost and do the running about, viewings etc) in the meantime point out that they can also run around doing advertising viewings etc themselves etc to find an equally suitable tent as their replacement. Whatever you do put any proposals and agreements in writing. My guess is the remaining tenant would do a runner, so watch out for abandonment and taking all reasonable steps to verify any abandonment such as a log of responses to contact attempts, duration of unpaid rent, statement from neighbours witnessing removals etc. You might pursue a CCJ (served at their last known address, which they just abandoned) knowing you will never recover your losses although remind your tenants that they will find that this public record will come back to haunt them for many years to come.

Original agreement was only get the house if had guarantor because you didn’t accept benefits and you did a reference check on my mum because she was paying it now u don’t do a check on you twst Tennant now u will accept benefits and no guarantor and shes got a dog shocking landlord and she’s got bad debts she owes about £20,000 and u won’t release my money