As young people want to leave home early, often a small group will move into a house together. Over time things will change and there will be an occasion when one wants to move on. So what does this mean to the landlord and the people staying in the house – especially when it is not at a time when the tenancy is being renewed?
Is it a Reasonable Request?
As long as there has not been a problem and they are moving out for reasons such as university or moving in with a partner then it should be easy to sort the issue out. Sometimes the group will sort out the issue themselves and either split the extra rent between them or bring in another person to take up the place.
It may seem that things are falling apart and the initial response will be that the contract cannot be altered, but on occasions this will be unreasonable and could cause a lot of hard feeling that won’t stop when all the tenants leave. If you have good tenants, they are worth looking after and you don’t want to lose them for a silly reason. If there is no sign of another tenant right away, and the others cannot make up the shortfall, it may be an idea to ask for a set amount of rent to be paid by the absent tenant until someone else moves in.
What Could Happen?
If this is an ongoing problem, then it will be possible to sue the leaving tenant for the rent due until the end of the contract. While it will be hoped that it would not get to this stage, all tenants would be named in court if the full rent is not received.
If there is a new person ready to move in, then there is a different path to be followed. At this stage, there will be a new tenancy agreement set up including the new person and before this happens they have to pay for all the costs incurred as a result. The payment would need to cover:
- Reference Checking
- Drawing up of the new agreement
- Undertaking a new inventory.
- Additional needs a new tenant may have
As an alternative there could be a lodger moved in. They will cover the missing rent and become part of the tenancy agreement at renewal. Whichever path is chosen it is important that the landlord is not left out of pocket but also important that they act within the law and treat the remaining tenants fairly.