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Tenants separating -one staying HELP

My tenants are separating and one wants to stay. Apparently I have to have a new agreement drawn up, return the joint deposit (even though the “leaver” has agreed to pass it back to ex who is remaining AND i now need an electrical report. Help. Is there a legal way round this!

Depends who the deposit is held with. I use DPS and you can transfer deposits without the money actually ever leaving DPS. You do not need to have a new tenancy agreement but I would definitely advise it. Much depends on the financial situation of your remaining tenant and you should check affordability for the sole tenant. If you do create a new tenancy, you will definitely need to get an EICR certificate. Plenty of suppliers of this service out there. Certs are valid for up to 5 years.

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You can do nothing. That way whether one has left or not, both are still legally liable for the rent. If the one who is leaving wants to end their liability then they will have to serve a valid notice to you once their fixed term ends. Once their notice expires you would have to have a new tenancy with the one who is staying, but you should go through full referencing again with that person to ensure they can afford the rent on their own.

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cant see what your issue is with an electrical certificate is, its the law so just do it. ref the new tenant you could issue an addendum if the remaining tenant is the one who paid it but it might be better to issue a new AST when the new second person comes along assumning thats the intention

Although it is not a legal requirement to get an EICR report, it is highly advisable to do so. If you are a landlord, an Electrical Installation Condition Report will help protect you from prosecution in the event that a tenant is harmed by faulty electrics in your property.
(copy-pasted from landlordsafetycertificate.co.uk - who make money from arranging these - so if they say it is not a requirement it seems likely it may be true) The landlord has always been potentially liable for harm to tenants from electrical faults.
stop press: that website appears to be wrong as are several others. There are new rules for tenancies from 1 July 2020 onward. Fortunately my last tenancy was 14 June.

You’re wrong on that Stephen28. Its a legal requirement for all new tenancies and for existing tenancies from April

I had exactly the same situation recently. I took advice from the NRLA. On their advice I issued a statement which effectively links to the contract, which stated that the individual was leaving the property & therefore was no longer liable for rental payments from a specified date. The ast was not changed. This is important as the split put them in a small amount of arrears. The deposit remained without change. I would refuse to return the deposit & allow it to go to dispute resolution if it’s in a prescribed scheme.

About the electrical check, you’ll have to get it done early next year anyway. Why not get ahead of the situation & do it now anyway.