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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My boyfriend is a joint tenant in a fixed term tenancy. We

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My boyfriend is a joint tenant in a fixed term tenancy. We have just bought a house and are due to move out this week but his current flatmate is blocking the move. He is refusing to release him from the tenancy, saying that he must stay liable for the property, even though we won't be living there. He has also refused to let us organise a tenant swap so someone else can help him out with the rent.
What is our next step? Are we stuck paying rent for a flat that we don't live in?
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 boyfriends tenancy is still in its initial contractual fixed term or whether it is running as a month to month tenancy following the expiry of the fixed term?If still in its fixed term, do you know when the fixed term expires?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm afraid it's a fixed term - apparently their estate agent doesn't do rolling contracts. It's very annoying.

The fixed term expires in November

Thank you. the legal position is that as your boyfriend will know, unless there is a break clause allowing an individual tenant to leave the tenancy early which would be extraordinarily unusual, he is liable to the landlord for rent under the tenancy on a joint and several basis with his flatmate until the end of the tenancy fixed period. That does not help here because there it is very unlikely to be a break clause allowing him to leave unilaterally and of course he wishes to move out long before the end of the fixed period.It is possible for him to vacate early but only if a) his co tenant agrees to take over the tenancy on his own which I assume from what you say he will not or b) your boyfriend is able to find a replacement tenant to replace him on the tenancy. Providing that replacement tenant needs the landlords reasonable financial criteria for referencing, and is ready and willing to move them, the landlord must accept a replacement tenant under common law rules. If the landlord is willing but the co tenant is making things awkward - he cannot prevent the replacement legally but of course you can put off prospective tenants by being unpleaseant or difficult - then your boyfriend may have a claim against the co-tenant for his share of the rent which he would not have to pay but for the co-tenants position. In order to bring such claim, you would need to have evidence that he had a ready and willing tenant to replace him which satisfied the landlords referencing criteria and that his co-tenant behaved in such a way so as to put off the replacement tenant - i.e. a statement from the replacement tenant stating why he decided not to move in. Video evidence or written correspondence can assist in this respect. Your boyfriend may therefore wish to contact his cotenant and ask his cooperation in is finding a replacement tenant assuring him that he will take his cotenants views into account in respect of potential candidates but also advise that if he makes it difficult or impossible for him to install a replacement tenant due to unreasonable behaviour, he reserves his position in terms of making a claim for a half share of the rent that he would otherwise not have to pay but for his cotenants behaviour. If he can show the above evidence, he could consider making a claim against his cotenant using the courts online issuing service: I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks so much Joshua - I thought this was the case but it's good to have it in black and white.

I'm very grateful for the quick service!

Best regards


A pleasure. I hope his cotenant becomes more reasonable once he understands the potential consequences of unreasonable behaviour. Good luck with your purchase.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So do I! It's all very childish; it's a shame it has come to this.

Thanks again!


Best wishes