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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 17292
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I’m a student who has moved home for medical reasons and had

Customer Question

I’m a student who has moved home for medical reasons and had a joint tenancy with 7 other people at a house in bournemouth. I told them in august. They didn’t tell me the intentions that I would have to still pay, they made out they had sorted it, then expected the money from me. I can’t afford to pay the rent- what are my rights as with regards ***** ***** the tenancy? Is there anyway out?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have a copy of my contract, I’m going to write a letter to the landlord when I know more of my rights
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: Not yet
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thank you!
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

what did these other tenants say that made you think you were not liable for your share of rent?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
They told me ‘they will sort it’ and took my name off the bills. That they were ‘understanding’ and decent people. They moved in at the start of September and didn’t tell me until the end of that month that it was my responsibility to still pay. I’m aware they need another tenant; but when I spoke to the landlord in august she told me usually in this situation the tenants keep it as a spare room and divide the rent, as there’s 7 of them do the cost isn’t as bad. No one told me any different. I simply can’t pay for it
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

Thank you for the extra information.

If it was that easy to ended tenancy agreement, there would be no point in having the tenancy agreement in the first place because it would mean that neither the tenants nor the landlord had any certainty.

There are 2 ways that how shares can work

Firstly, each occupant has their own tenancy agreement in the same house. Not so common. However what that does is give each of you your own liability for your own part of the rent.

Secondly, each occupant is named on one tenancy agreement and each of you is jointly and severally liable for all the rent. This is what you have.

If one of you moves out before the end of the rental period then the others have to pay the rent between them because the landlord will usually look to the other seven remaining people rather than looking to you, particularly if you have moved somewhere else. They are entitled to pursue you for rent until the end of the tenancy. Or until there is another tenant although both they and you can find a replacement tenant if you are able.

I am sorry to say that the fact that you are moving for medical reasons or because you cannot pay the rent are not relevant.

It may be that the remaining 7 people don’t mind dividing the extra cost between them and they may like the extra space but that’s up to them. It’s nothing to do with the landlord who will only be bothered about whether he gets his full amount of rent or not.

Appreciate that’s what the landlord told you but it’s not the landlord’s decision as to whether the tenants absorb it and chase you.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

You don’t need to do it on this thread, just a new thread. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.

FES