One tenant wants to stay

I have 2 tenants on a periodic (rolling monthly) tenancy. They are good friends but one of them wants to move out and has given notice.

They want to move out mid-month and only pay for half of the last month.

The other one is scrambling around looking for a friend to live with them so she can stay.

Legally how do I deal with this?

Do I…

Say that the move out date has to be the same for both of them, and that I will accept mid-month, and if the other one wants to stay then she has to do a completely new agreement/contract.


…is there an easier option?

Is the tenants notice valid? It must be a minimum of a month expiring at the end of a tenancy period unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise. If its valid then it will end the tenancy for both tenants and you will need to decide at the end whether to offer a new tenancy to the other person or whether they also have to leave. Their tenancy will have ended so if they dont leave they will be a trespasser and can be evicted without a court order. However, if they dont go, come back for more advice and dont take any rent from them at that point. There is no reason why you have to accept a partial rent payment.

If the notice is invalid then they will have to serve a fresh valid notice or their tenancy won’t end and the other tenant won’t be bound by it.

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David122 is right about notice periods on periodic tenancies but the praticallity/cost of enforcing this can make it not worthwhile pursuing. You need to make a decision on the cost of rent you are forfeiting by accepting short notice versus the cost of pursuing any rent you are legally due. Also the souring of relationships, void periods, cost of advertising etc etc.

I would be inclined to accept the notice if the remaining tenant is prepared to take on a new tenancy in their sole name (and can afford to) whilst they search for a new person to share with. You can always issue a new tenancy again once this is done. My personal preference is to have tenancies in a sole name on the outside chance you need to pursue a course of action. Only one person to focus on then.