Landlord asking me to pay for and reference replacement tenant

Hello, I’d like some landlord’s advice on what’s going on with my tenancy at the moment.

Contract details: Joint tenancy, was AST for one month (Dec 2018) and is now rolling month to month.

I’d like to leave the tenancy, so I have conducted viewings and found a replacement available to take over from when I want to leave (in ideal world).

The landlord is demanding that I reference them myself and pay for it. I said I wasn’t comfortable with that as I have no idea what I’m looking for in references (as I’m not a landlord) and he said to get in touch with the agency he used when I moved in.
This whole thing felt weird to me especially as nothing in my contract says I should take this obligation on. I’ve even had shelter read the whole thing with me to make sure I’m not missing something.
I popped in to the agency to get them to do it anyway and it turns out he ‘disinterested’ the agency a couple of months ago, meaning they no longer manage the property and can’t get involved with referencing. To cover my bases I emailed them asking them to reference the replacement for me and they replied saying they couldn’t and explained why, so I forwarded that chain to the landlord and said it was therefore his responsibility to reference the new tenant. This all happened yesterday.

He is absolutely refusing to back down. Today he asked me to call him and I declined, saying I’d rather stick to written communication so we had a log of everything said and agreed to. He then called my two housemates one by one, and said I was refusing to cooperate and annoying him and threatened to kick them out.

My housemates are obviously terrified now and are pressuring me to just do it but I really, absolutely, do not want to pressured into something that isn’t my responsibility.

What on earth am I supposed to do here. How do I get through to him?

Any advice on legislature I can point him to or someone I can get to get involved and manage his expectations of what tenants can and can’t do for him would be greatly appreciated.

You do not need to reference anyone. If it goes wrong he may blame you. If it were me I would tell hm I am leaving. and leave after appropiate notice.You wont get thru to him. give him the names of interested people its then up to him

Hi Jazz,

It’s not uncommon for a landlord to ask a tenant to find their own replacement when they are leaving a joint contract within the fixed term. Since landlords can no longer charge new tenants to cover the cost of referencing those tenants, it makes sense that he is asking you to pay. I’d wager this will be the landlord’s understanding.

Some things about your situation are unusual however.

Firstly, you are not in a fixed term. You are in a periodic tenancy. Therefore you could just serve notice and end the tenancy and have no responsibility for finding new tenants. Why not just do this?

Secondly, if you want to order referencing on a potential tenant, then all you need is some basic contact info of theirs and their consent. You can order it through our site for £20 per person. But I don’t think you should do that because you could just end the tenancy be serving your notice to the landlord!

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