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Rent Arrears - Am I responsible?

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Tenant

I’m after some advice from anyone that can help.  This may be a little long winded so i’ll try the short version…

So my brother and I rented a property on November 2013 and signed a 12 month tenancy agreement. The rent was always paid on the day it was due by standing order.  In November 2014 I moved out the property and another tenant moved in with my brother.  This was arrange between ourselves as 1 was going travelling at the last minute.  The landlord was made aware I’d moved out and another tenant had moved in.  In February while travelling, I received some text messages about the rent not being paid and the landlord wasn’t able to get hold of my brother to discuss it.  Told the landlord that I wasn’t in the country and couldn’t help.  In March 2015, the landlord went to the house to speak to my brother and the new tenant and at no point asked them to sign a new tenancy agreement.  In April 2015 I came back and rented a new property on my own. 

Since April 2015 the 2 tenants had fallen behind with rent payments and are around £2500 in arrears, they have since moved out and they have also left  some unpaid bills.  The landlord can’t get new addresses for either of them and neither will answer the phone to him.  The landlord is now saying it’s my responsibilty to pay whats outstanding.  I’ve been sent solictors letters asking for either the full amount or to set up a payment plan. They are now harassing me at work too.

I’ve fallen out with my brother over this issue.  I’ve asked him to contact the landlord but it falls on deaf ears. 

I’d like to know if legally i’m responsible as no new tenancy agreement was in place? Any advice or help would be much appreciated… Thanks

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