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Good morning, thank you for contacting Justanswer. I am a solicitor in England and Wales and happy to guide you today. If they have a joint Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement the notice should be from both tenants. Notice from one and not the other too will not end the tenancy agreement. You ought therefore to respond to say that whereas you acknowledge of the notice you are not able to accept is a valid notice to terminate because it is not from both. You will therefore wait for a valid notice and if the tenant leaves they should be aware that they remain jointly and severally liable for rent payments with the one remaining and you will pursue both in case of breach of the contract. Advise them to seek independent advice or to contact the CAB or Shelter England. If I can clarify further please do not hesitate to send your follow up questions I am happy to guide you. All the best.
Hi, I am there but I have to read all your attachments and then manually type the response. thank you for your patience. I am typing your response now.
Hi, I have now read the documents that you attached. You did not have to accept the notice from one tenant but you have and as such you will not be able to pursue the remaining tenant for Steve's share from 30 October to March 2021.
Now the break clause can be exercised anytime after month 4 by giving 2 months notice according to your agreement. The break clause period therefore has not ended, they could give 2 months notice now to leave in December. Your express term states:
Mutual Break Clause 12.5. Any time after 4 months from the start of the Tenancy Agreement either party can exercise the break clause by giving two months notice in writing to the other party. This means that the earliest time that the tenancy can be ended by this clause is after the expiry of 6 months from the commencement of the Term
You have accepted his notice so hopefully he will leave. If he does not leave you will be stuck with the one thing all landlords are not happy about at the moment, serving the section 21 Notice and being after 29 August and in line with the Covid regulations notice is now 6 months. You should have just given him his section 21 notice in sept to terminate March 2021 just in case he did not honour his notice to terminate in terms of the break clause.
In a joint tenancy you are best advised to have requested the other tenant to also give notice, return their deposit at the end of the notice and then reissue new AST to the one remaining when Steve is gone.
I hope this helps.
So if Elliot is agreeing to leave on 30 oct and you have Steve's written note that he is leaving on 30 October then for evidence purposes you should write a simple to the point email to say thank you both for your notice that you will be leaving the property on 30 October. the same is accepted. Then give them a date for when you will come to do the inventory. Do not use this email to raise your concerns with Steve because that may not get you the result you are after.
As said above, where the tenants leave as per their notice that is perfect and the ideal situation. However if they over stay and do not leave the property you cannot just change locks because that would amount to unlawful eviction and you will be fined. You will have to follow the possession order route and for this you ought to have given the tenants a section 21 and/or section 8 notice (the latter if there is at least 2 months rent arrears). Landlords are strongly advised to give the section 21 notice even with your most compliant tenants because tenants can be unpredictable and you can't just get rid of them without following the correct procedure.