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Assured shorthold tenancy, other tenants left before agreement end.

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470 views 5 replies latest reply: 03 May 2015
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Tenant

Hello,

I am the lead tenant in a property situated in Sheffield. Our AST agreement ends in mid June 2015.

There were 4 tenants, but they left 2 months before AST agreement end. There is no break clause in AST, so I need to pay the rent for the rest of the tenancy. Agency is searching for new tenants, so I could move out but who knows.

Is there a legal way to demand payments from other tenants? Or some other way to solve the situation? Because I won’t be able to pay the rent / bills by my own.

Thanks,

Pavel

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Administrator

Hi Pavel

Do you have the landlord’s details? This should be on your tenancy agreement. You could contact the landlord and suggest a compromise that you are allowed to leave in mid May instead? Ask the landlord if they would be willing to surrender the tenancy a month early. They might not agree but it’s worth a try.

You could also search for tenants yourself to speed things along a bit – if there are new tenants ready to move in straight away then the landlord would probably agree to the tenancy ending early. And the agents would get all their new tenant fees so they’d be happy.

If none of that works then you could sublet the rooms for a month or two – you would need to get the landlord’s permission for that or you’d be in breach of the tenancy. If you make it clear you’ve been left in a tough spot and, if they allow you to sublet for two months, then you’ll be able to pay the rent that might be more convincing. If you get your subtenants to pay their rent directly to the landlord then that’s normally evidence that the landlord consented.

If you can’t pay the rent then you – and all the tenants on the tenancy agreement – are liable for whatever is unpaid. Most tenancies will give the landlord the right to come after all the tenants for unpaid rent, as well as individual tenants so even though they have moved out, if they’re still on the tenancy then they’re still on the hook until it finishes. The landlord may also take unpaid rent out of the deposit if it covers it – presumably you all paid into the deposit together and that’s still in one piece?

Alex

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Tenant

Hi Alex, 

thanks for the response.

As of landlord details, I only have their names. Even though there is address and tel. number on the agreement, it points to the agency office. And when I asked them to talk to the landlord, I’ve recieved reply “We manage this property so unfortunately we can’t give out his details.” Kind of strange.

I was searching for new tenants / sublets for about a month but the property is unfurnished with no appliances, so its not something sublets are looking for. There were possible tenants for a viewing last wednesday, so at least something is happening.

The deposit is still intact in DPS and yes, it is in one piece.

The AST agreement has been made with guarantor, he is responsible for paying evertyhing if we do not. I will discuss the matter with him.

I was more asking if I will pay the rent by my own / guarantor means, do I have any legal way to demand the payment from other tenants. Because I would probably need to approach the case as a “tenants owe money to lead tenant” and not “tenants owe money to the lanlord / agency”.

Thank you,

Pavel

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Administrator

Hi Pavel

You’re entitled to know the contact details of your landlord – take a look at section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

I am not a lawyer and I think you’d probably need to speak to a lawyer or an organisation like Citizen’s Advice – but I would imagine that you might be able to make a debt claim via a small claims court against the other tenants.

However, would it not just be easier to use the deposit to cover the rent? As far as I know that’s ok for a deposit held with a scheme. It would solve the problem of the other tenants contributing as their share would come from the deposit already paid.

Alex

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Tenant

Hi Alex,

thanks for the information. I will use it to get landlord’s details.

Deposit will be used to pay the rent + council for last remaining month, if the landlord won’t surrender the agreement.

The problem is, that they already owe me money for 3 months of bills and previous month rent + council. So even if I leave month earlier, deposit won’t cover all those expenses. Nevertheless, I am making progress with other tenants, so it all might avoid court claims but I will get informed at Citizen’s Advice anyway.

Thank your for pointing me in the right direction, Alex, I really appreciate it.

Pavel

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Administrator

No problem, good luck with it.

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