Thanks - keep that email because without it technically the landlord could continue to demand rent even after you have moved out until the end of the term.
You will be aware, Landlord cannot require you to move out prior to the end of your minimum term but I recognise the issue you have with regards ***** ***** joint and several tenancies can get very complicated legally when tenants swap and change. Based on what you describe here, the legal position is that if the landlord never formally released the original tenant the left who jointly signed the tenancy agreement with you then that original tenant remains jointly liable with the rest of the original tenants rent. Accordingly, if the replacement tenant leaves, the landlord can demand rent from the rest of you but those of you that remain and pay the rent would have a claim against the original tenant that is left if they have not been formally released from tenancy as you will be effectively covering their share to which they are still Liable.
On a separate note, the new tenant George in paying rent to the landlord has created an implied tenancy for a minimum of six months Which is separate to joint agreement you signed and the landlord could similarly claim rent even if he leaves without the landlords permission however you are not able to enforce this agreement as you are not a party to it so this does not assist you.
In terms of your options, you could decide to stay if you believe you could collect the rent owed from the original tenant that left if you still have their contact details. As above, the landlord cannot insist that you leave before the end of your minimum term. Alternatively, you may feel the least complex option is to agree to leave the property despite not having to do so as you are currently doing and providing you have a clear email from the agents that you will not be liable for any more rent once you have moved out, you can do this safely.
Landlord is required to return the deposit less any deductions for damages and is either required to return the deposit to the lead tenant if this is provided for under the tenancy agreement who then subsequently distributes the deposit equally between the joint tenants. Alternatively, if the tenancy agreement does not provide for the above, the landlord must return the deposit to each person paid their share of the deposit individually. If part of the deposit belongs to George because he repaid the original tenant for their original contribution, then it follows that George will be entitled to a share of the deposit on the above basis.
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