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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Maybe you can help. My daughter was a student of

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Hi,
Maybe you can help.
My daughter was a student of Leicester University and was in a joint rental agreement for a property. The contract for the property shows 5 tenants covering a rental bill of £1451.66 per calendar month. This equates to my daughters liability being £290.33 per calendar month. I stood guarantor for her to enable her to be included on the rental agreement.
At some point, one of the tenants left. The estate agency claim that my daughter agreed to pay an increased amount to cover the new rental amount (monthly rent divided by 4 people). I was never consulted (being the person with ultimate financial responsibility) and nothing was ever put in writing regarding the new agreement. The only contract the agency could give me was the one showing 5 tenants.
Due to my daughters mental health issues caused by the breakdown of all civil relations with the remaining housemates, Jordan has now left the property (since early December 2015) and is now living with me in Germany. I have told the agency that since there is no contract and no evidence that Jordan accepted the new rental amount, that her liability was limited to the £290.33 per month. Additionally, since the agency had already allowed one tenant to leave without penalty, that a precedant has been set and they should give my daughter the same right. Naturally this is resulting in strong discussions. I have agreed to pay rent up until the end of December (assuming £290.33 pcm) - of course this is not what they want.
What is my legal position here?
Please note, whilst I want an answer to the above question, I would also require someone to act on my behalf and contact the agency.
Please acknowledge that I am willing to pay for this service ONLY if both of my requirements can be met.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
This is a question and answer site, I can tell you what your legal position is, but I can't act for you. Is that ok?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this case Yes ok.May I ask though, if you are able to advise something that will help me, can this be worded so that I may forward it to the letting agency? There are additional points that I missed from my description...- The agency states that my daughter accepted the new payment as it can be seen from bank transfers that an increased amount of rent was paid. I can see this happened once and my daughter states she did not understand why the increased rent was required (but she is naive and just followed the other tenants).
- The higher rental amount was agreed with the head tenant apparently, but again nothing is in writing.
- I am so tempted to tell them to 'go away'. I assume they cannot do so much given that I live in Germany! However, I would prefer to close this issue from a legal standpoint rather than doing this.Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes I can certainly do this if that would help.
But is your daughter joint and severally liable under the tenancy agreement ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure actually, however, I have attached 3 files to this query.1 - the tenancy agreement signed by the 5 housemates (of which Hannah Buckland is no longer living at the property). Again there is no modified contract.
2. The guarantor form that I signed. Foolishly, I did not ensure it included the rent liability amount.
3. My daughters hap-hazard payments. Not sure if this is helpful actually.I also have several emails from the estate agency if you would like these!
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It's bad news I am afraid. The tenancy is clear, the tenants are joint and severally liable. This means they are all equally liable for the full debt, even the person that has left.
Indeed, you as guarantor are also liable for the whole debt. There is nothing in law that says all the tenants are jointly liable for all the debt together with the guarantor. Just because they let one off it does not automatically follow they let everyone off.
Further, if they let one person off and you had to pay their share of the debt then you could still sue that remaining person for the share.
But sadly the agreement Is clear, the tenants are equally liable, as are you,
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,I do need to clarify something.
You say that all tenants (or in my case being the guarantor) are equally liable for the full debt. So if none of the other tenants were to pay, does my liability then cover the complete rent each month of 1451.66 or only a proportion of this?If I completely liable for the full amount, what is to prevent the landlord chasing me for the complete debt and not the other tenants? If this is not the case, why am I responsible for 1 quarter of the debt and not one fifth?
This sounds like, if my daughter does not return to the property, and does not pay the quarter or fifth, then actually the other remaining tenants become responsible for the debt if I do not cover this. Is this correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, maybe i am pushing my luck, but one further question.
The estate agency states that my daughter can be removed from the contract if she finds a new tenant. However, the new tenant has to be accepted by the existing housemates. Given the bad relationship between my daughter and the existing tenants, they could easily reject every possible replacement. Surely if there is a willing and able tenant (with no criminal or other suspect behaviour) and the tenants reject this new person, they should then become liable for the rent since they have rejected a potential contributor/housemate?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You say that all tenants (or in my case being the guarantor) are equally liable for the full debt. So if none of the other tenants were to pay, does my liability then cover the complete rent each month of 1451.66 or only a proportion of this?
Sadly yes, the full amount, as does every other guarantor. There is nothing stopping the Landlord from pursing just you and indeed the Landlord can either go for everyone or just you.
You are not responsible for 1/4 or 1/5th as the tenants are joint and severally liable for the whole debt and therefore as guarantor you are as well.
If your daughter does not return then ALL tenants who have signed the agreement are liable for the full amount, whether they are there or not.
As to new housemates having approval, that gives your daughter better grounds as the others have 'failed to mitigate their loss' ie minimise it by rejecting the new housemate.
Does that help?
Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Alex. I appreciate your honesty in what you have written. Whilst I had hoped for a better response, I did not expect you to try and change the law for me!I have actually told them that I cannot afford to pay this and we are now trying to agree on a reduced settlement that avoids small claims courts. Whilst I understand from your comments I am completely liable, my hope is that nobody really wants to go down this route. I may be wrong but lets see what happens.Thank you for your help. I was extremely sceptical about this service, but it proved useful. I will no doubt use it again although I sincerely ***** ***** don't need to.Kindest RegardsColin Owen