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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My daughter is a shorthold tenant along with two other girls

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My daughter is a shorthold tenant along with two other girls in Oxford.
When the tenancy began each paid a £600 deposit.
Halfway through the tenancy one girl undertook work-experience in Hong Kong.
Another (unreliable) girl took the spare room (i.e. the one vacated) in the house and signed a contract with the agents BUT paid no deposit - and the agents did not insist on it (erroneously?).
That same girl has now defaulted on her June and July rents (£400 x 2), and the agents are threatening to deduct, at the end of the tenancy (23 July) those monies from the £1,800 deposit paid by my daughter and the two original tenants. Is this fair and equitable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

For now please let me know if the contract was amended please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not so far as I am aware. All I would appreciate is a general indication to enable me to test the agent! Thanks!
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Does the agreement say they are joint and severally liable?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I've not responded earlier but I've been very busy!My daughter afforded me a cursory lance at two signed agreements she had - one between the three original tenants (of which she was one), and a second, which substituted one of the other girls with the current occupant!As I see it, they are jointly and severally responsible for the rent - and any deficit in that will be deducted from the deposit of £1800, which is held in a deposit scheme, until the end of the tenancy, which is this week! I repeat - the girl who joined later and signed the later agreement was not asked to make a deposit - which I felt was erroneous on the part of the agents - and upon whom, in my view, it is incumbent to safeguard the 'collective'/joint interests of all tenants.It doesn't seem equitable to deduct those non-payments of rent from the deposits of others, when the non-payer has made no contribution to the deposit!I suppose one could dispute the point so that the deposit could not, under the rules of the deposit scheme, be touched until the dispute is resolved!Many thanks! This seems such a common issue with student lets. My son, at UEA, is trying to get monies he paid from one of his co-tenants, on whose deaf ears his entreaties fall!Best wishes***** *****
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Yes I agree Nick, but sadly that is the contract.
The law will only be concerned about what was written down and agreed. It was agreed they would be joint and severally liable, so they are.

However what your daughter can do is sue the non paying person for losses and any arrears.

But sadly she is liable in the interim as that is what she has signed, that is what she has agreed to and that is what is in the contract.

But you are correct, the deposit cant be touched until this is resolved.

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.
Thanks, ***** ***** I guessed that would be the response but I am grateful to you for taking the time to look at it! Plus ca change! Best wishes. Nick
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Happy to help.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

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