How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

Hallo and my questions is on behalf of my daughter (a

Resolved Question:

Hallo my name is ***** ***** my questions is on behalf of my daughter (a student) who is renting a flat together with 2 other people. It is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The contract started the 1st of July and cannot be terminated before the end of January 2018. The “Tenant” means all those persons listed in the Main Terms of the Agreement as being a joint and several Tenant of the Property. The problem we have is that one of the persons listed on the contract moved out of the flat at the end of August. They found a new person who can immediately move in thereby preventing any default or short payment in rent and services. However, the agency insist that a new contract needs to be drawn up, thereby moving the contract date to end of March, plus they have to pay all administration cost, plus guarantors’ fees again. Under the right to rent clause the following is stipulated:
1.To agree that all persons named as the Tenant or who resides at the Property as an occupier whether named in the Tenancy Agreement or not must provide a valid passport and visa or work permit to the Landlord or the Agent prior to taking occupation of the Property either before or during the Tenancy. To avoid doubt if any person forming the Tenant or the occupier fails to comply the Landlord may take any necessary legal action to have the person evicted from the Property.
2. If any person forming the Tenant or any occupier changes during the Tenancy all persons forming the Tenant agree to seek written consent form the Landlord or the Agent prior to any additional or new person taking occupation of the Property and to ensure that any new or additional persons forming the Tenant, the occupier or wishing to reside in the Property complies with the legal
requirements of the “Right to Rent” prior to taking occupation by meeting the Landlord or the Agent personally to provide a valid passport to be checked and copied; and to provide a valid visa to work or study in the UK to be checked and copiedAccording to the above they only need to seek consent from the Landlord or Agent.My questions are: 1. can the contract be amended, removing the one person and adding a new, without changing any of the contract clauses; if not , 2. Can they take in a lodger with a lodger contract? According to the contract they may not sub-let.Your advice will be much appreciated.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if your daughter still has contct details for the outgoing tenant?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
that is a separate matter that we are going to pursue through the smalls claim court as that person also borrow money from my daughter and friend.
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 months ago.

Thank you. There is no basis for the agent to request new fees to be paid. Agents rarely seem to have a very good understanding of contract and tenancy law, but this agents approach appears to be a simple attempt at profiteering by attempting to charge fees for work that has already been carried out.

The best approach to such changes is by way of a simple deed of variation and if the landlord is willing to release the outgoing tenant from the tenancy (he doesn't have to) a release clause in the same deed. However agents rarely employ lawyer to prepare their tenancy agreements prefering to make what often amounts to a hash of them themselves. As a lawyer will very unlikely be involved, the agent could rather than a deed just simply ask the new tenant to sign a new agreement along with the remaining tenant - there is no need to change the dates of the tenancy. This is not good practice but the courts could clearly infer what has happened in the event of any dispute. This is broadly what the agents propose to do though they the requirements that they extend the tenancy and recharge all the admin fess is unreasonable.

Since your daughter and the other tenants do not require any changes to be made, in many ways this is not their problem other than the fact that the landlord can pursue any tenant for the outgoing tenants rent if she doesn't pay and in that sense it could become their problem if the outgoing tenant simply stops paying rent, though the remaining tenants have a claim against the outgoing tenant if she does not pay what she is required to to pay under the tenancy. This notwithstanding, the remaining tenants can simply take a position that this is not their concern and that they will not agree to any extension of the tenanc beyond its current length and wll not pay any further referencing checks to the agent and leave it to the outgoing tenant to negotiate better terms and pay and administration costs associated with her request to substitute a tenant. If the agent refuses to cooperate the remaining tenants can simply refuse to sign anything to alter the tenancy and advise the outgoing tenant that she must continue to pay the rent in the meantime and that they will make a claim for any unpaid rent from her if they are forced to pay such rent on her behalf because the landlord chooses not to pursue her personally.

If the agents to not agree to waive suplicate admin fees and the requirement that the tenancy is extended, neither of which there is any legal basis for, then the outgoing tenant can make a complaint to the agent and then refer that complaint to the Property Ombudsman service which the agent is required to be a member of free of charge and claim compensation for any loss she can show she has suffered because of the agents unlawful position but this would be an issue for the outgoing tenant rather than for the remaining tenants.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Joshua,
Thanks for your reply, I agree with your answer and was of the same option. However, I will feel more confident if you could have a look at the whole contact, to see if I have not missed anything or misinterpreted the clauses. They are students, with limited funds and we also don't have the means to just step in and cover any shortfalls, or pay for additional costs demanded by the agents. If you could please let me know. Rensche
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 months ago.

I'm glad the above was helpful. I would be very happy to have a look over the agreement. I would recommend against posting it on this thread as this is not secure and may not be private. You can email it to me if you would like. Communication by email is treated as a premium service by this site but I can specify the minimum price which is about £3 so as not to significantly increase the cost. Would you like me to proceed?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
please
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 months ago.

Offer should be with you now. I look forward to hearing from you.

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 months ago.

Many thanks. My email address should appear above. If you can kindly forward the agreement over. With your permission I will review this tomorrow owing to the time.