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Joint tenancy agreement when one party won't go

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Author Topic: Joint tenancy agreement when one party won't go  (Read 267 times)
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« on: January 25, 2022, 08:55:37 PM »

Hi all, new to the site to please bear with me. After 8 years at my property couple are now splitting up and wife/kids have moved out. She is dream tenant, he is a nightmare and a compulsive liar. I was happy to give her a reference and asked that she serve me with a month's notice which she did (unbeknown to him). From what I've researched on internet it is enough if one party serves notice but suspect husband will not accept this as he has always been adamant he  will never leave. I am worried that I no longer have a copy of my AST as the couple had lost theirs and asked to borrow mine in order to apply for universal credit/help with nursery fees. Needless to say I never got it back. Husband has taken over rent payments (not sure if this undermines my case?) and I have asked that she date notice 31st Jan so I can notify him on Feb 1.

If not having a copy of the AST is going to be an issue I would be prepared to give him a  new AST in his name and make sure that it is totally watertight if need be  so I can be sure of getting him out at a later stage. Any advice or imput would be most welcome. Thanks in advance
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2022, 09:28:35 AM »

If you have lost the original document,it sounds as if you did not renew it,so it will automatically have become a periodic tenancy.In any case,not having the actual  piece of paper should not make any difference to evicting him.I think it would be very unwise to offer another AST to him. A bad tenant should not be given any further ammunition to use against you.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2022, 12:47:07 PM »

When a Joint Tenant serves notice it will end the tenancy for all Joint Tenants.

But I don't think it feels right if one of the Joint Tenants is effectively unaware.

You have said - using the past tense - that you asked for notice to be served by one of the Joint Tenants, expiring on 31 January... but that you will then inform the remaining Tenant a day after he was supposed to leave? I am struggling to understand why the Tenant you expect to remain wasn't told the exact moment when you received the notice received from the Tenant who has already left? Was there a rationale behind this?
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2022, 07:40:12 PM »

I am maybe making assumptions,but it sounds to me that both the landlord and departing woman did not want any nastiness from him.It was proabably sensible to wait until she had gone before letting him know.
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2022, 01:06:27 AM »

The notice needs to be a valid notice to quit. Since it's being served unilaterally without the agreement (or knowledge) of the other joint tenant, the landlord cannot waive any issue with the notice. Is 31 January the last day or the first day of a period of the tenancy? Was the notice of sufficient length of one complete period of the tenancy? Was it in writing? Was it unambiguous as a notice?

Don't accept rent after notice ends. If he doesn't leave, you can go straight to court on the basis that there's no longer a tenancy. I wouldn't imagine he would be too happy to find out after the tenancy has ended though...........
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2022, 02:41:19 PM »

I wouldn't imagine he would be too happy to find out after the tenancy has ended though...........

Seems a fine way of encouraging some nastiness.
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2022, 03:55:30 PM »

He's not being thrown out on the street, he will get proper notice and the right to stay put and argue his case. The woman might have been acting upon advice to avoid confrontation if he has a nasty temper. 
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2022, 05:00:00 PM »

If a joint tenant is only informed that another joint tenant has served a valid notice to quit after the notice has expired, I'd say by definition they have not been given any never mind proper notice. He's not being thrown out on the the street in so much as that can only be done by a court appoint bailiff or high court enforcement officer if the landlord obtain an order for possession. However, there's actually nothing stopping the landlord in such a situation to wait until he is out of the property and then go and change the lock excluding the former tenant re-entry. The landlord risk a claim for illegal eviction if it turns out the notice to quit wasn't valid, but they would likely argue in such a situation that they were acting with reasonable belief the notice was valid hence they were within their right.
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2022, 04:31:45 PM »

Hi all, thanks for the replies.The wife is frightened of her husband and didn't want me to let him know she had served notice until she had sorted somewhere to go. The rent is due on 1st of month and is has rolled on from a six months AST to a periodic tenancy so we agreed to date it at the end of the month with a view to me informing him on the 1st of the next month and giving him a month's notice. I spoke to a local letting agent and he  said not having a copy of the original agreement was not crucial as they have lived there approx 8 years and regularly paid rent. He advised that one tenant giving written notice effectively end the joint tenancy so theoretically the remaining tenant has a month to leave. However if he digs his heels in I would have the option of going for a section 21 and giving him 2 months notice or a section 8 and taking him to court as he would be in breach of contract.

Since my original posting the wife has been offered council housing which should be ready at the end of Feb and I don't want to inflame a volotile situation by letting husband know she has given written notice. She has signed notice and asked me to date it when she is sorted. I am not in a great rush to repossess the property so was happy to wait but don't want to undermine my case.
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2022, 06:29:22 PM »

Quote
I am not in a great rush to repossess the property so was happy to wait but don't want to undermine my case.

But you will continue accepting rent? Aren't you creating a new tenancy / continuing the existing tenancy by doing so?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 06:01:23 PM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2022, 04:30:21 PM »

Hi all, thanks for the replies.The wife is frightened of her husband and didn't want me to let him know she had served notice until she had sorted somewhere to go. The rent is due on 1st of month and is has rolled on from a six months AST to a periodic tenancy so we agreed to date it at the end of the month with a view to me informing him on the 1st of the next month and giving him a month's notice. I spoke to a local letting agent and he  said not having a copy of the original agreement was not crucial as they have lived there approx 8 years and regularly paid rent. He advised that one tenant giving written notice effectively end the joint tenancy so theoretically the remaining tenant has a month to leave. However if he digs his heels in I would have the option of going for a section 21 and giving him 2 months notice or a section 8 and taking him to court as he would be in breach of contract.

Since my original posting the wife has been offered council housing which should be ready at the end of Feb and I don't want to inflame a volotile situation by letting husband know she has given written notice. She has signed notice and asked me to date it when she is sorted. I am not in a great rush to repossess the property so was happy to wait but don't want to undermine my case.

Urgh. I hope I'm misreading what you mean. Please tell me you are not conspiring with the wife to illegally evict the husband because what you posted sounds awfully like it.

Like I said before, a unilateral notice to quit from one but not all joint tenant has to be valid on its own merit, which mean unambiguous. She can't give you an un-dated notice that you then fill in whenever it suits you two. You're in communication with the wife. Just get her to give you a valid notice after she leaves the property.

With regards to the advice you've gotten from the local letting agent, this is a great example why you should go to a housing lawyer for such advice and not a letting agent. How can one advice that a notice effectively ends a tenancy yet at the same time think you can give a section 21 or 8 notice afterwards. Either the tenancy has ended in which case no s21 or s8 notice is possible or needed, or the tenancy never ended. Lastly, what breach of contract?
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2022, 09:46:19 AM »

Thanks for that. Yes on researching section 8 I do not understand the relevance. The letting agent did give me details of a specialist housing lawyer to seek further advice from but on checking the company's website I see her hourly rate is 170 and that is for a paralegal so I am keeping that in reserve as plan B. I am not aiming to collude and trying to be fair to both parties - he was a f riend before he was a tenant - and I could never put someone out on the street. She is due to be rehoused and he is paying rent promptly and looking after the place so I think I will just let things lie for now which I suppose is just extending the tenancy.
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2022, 10:40:14 AM »

She is due to be rehoused and he is paying rent promptly and looking after the place so I think I will just let things lie for now which I suppose is just extending the tenancy.

This might be splitting hairs and you might not care... but it may be the case you are effectively creating a new Tenancy... the other one had notice served, which you accepted, so didn't it therefore end? It cannot end and extend.

What matters most is what you said - keeping the place well and paying the rent. If that continues then your initial concerns about the remaining Tenant being a nightmare and a compulsive liar don't really matter. I might say.
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