Periodic Tenancy Expiration Con?!

Hi All!

I’ve just handed in my notice to leave my current tenancy. I had been sharing with two others. Our fixed term tenancy ended in March. Since then both of the other tenants on the contract have moved out and been replaced with others, however no new agreement has been signed.

Now that I am moving out the letting agent is claiming I am responsible for finding a tenant to replace me? Given that my notice period is a month surely I’m not liable for finding a new tenant?

Secondly they are claiming the two remaining tenants will be liable for the whole rent between them if they do not find someone. As neither of them have signed a contract surely this is not correct?

I’d love to know about this as this letting agent has been absolutely terrible from the get-go and I’d be happy to see them taken down a peg or two.

no contract, no agreement to do anything exept pay rent. . Not need to find new tenant as contract has expired and months notice given, they want you to do their work for them

Thanks for your reply. I’m confident that I don’t have to pay rent, but where do the other two stand? They aren’t under contract of course but are living in the house. Can they just pay 2/3 of the rent between them until someone else is found?

That is what I would do. it is up to the landlord to find a tenant. However he may want them to cough up. But then he may think they are paying all of it, no need to find anyone else

If the tenancy was for the whole property, then it is probably a joint tenancy and thus any tenant is jointly liable for the whole of the rent, not just their ‘share’. However, as two occupants haven’t signed a tenancy, I think it would be hard to enforce this. That said Stuart12 has signed a tenancy and could be liable for any rent unpaid by the others up to his date of ending the renancy. I would like to know what the agent is going to tell the landlord when they realise they have two occupants and no tenancy agreement in place.

Hi @Stuart12, We’ll need just a few more details before knowing the answer to your question.

Did you originally sign a tenancy agreement for the whole property, shared with your original two co-tenants? Or did you sign individual agreements for each room of the property? It sounds like the former, so I’ll proceed on that basis, but let me know if the latter.

Secondly, when the original two tenants moved out, were the new tenants added to the tenancy, e.g. via a deed of assignment? If not, then it is possible that the original two tenants could still be held to their obligations as described in the original tenancy agreement (e.g. owe rent). The answer to this probably doesn’t matter too much as I’ll describe now below.

I’m assuming you’re in a joint assured shorthold tenancy with two other tenants that has become periodic due to the expiry of the fixed term. In this case, any single tenant can end the tenancy for all parties by serving a valid notice to the landlord, with a minimum notice period of one month, expiring on the final day of the rental period.

If you serve notice, and then the it expires, and you have moved out and have stopped paying rent, then that means the tenancy has been terminated for all parties. There will not be a tenancy anymore, so the remaining tenants will not owe any rent, unless they remain there and begin a new tenancy, of which you have no part.

In general, landlords only make tenants responsible for finding a replacement tenant if they are moving out within the fixed term, but you are moving out after the fixed term has ended. I’m not convinced you can be made to pay to ‘find new tenants’ in this circumstance. If it was me, I’d just not pay, and if the landlord tried to deduct this from my deposit, I would challenge this via the deposit scheme’s dispute resolution service.

Hope this helps - let us know how you get on.