If so, do you rent to them on a joint and several basis (ie do they all sign the same tenancy agreement)?
That is all well and good if they stay there happily until the end of the term, but what is the law if one of them wants to leave early?
You would think it would be fairly straightforward and simple. But as you are dealing with a legal interest in land – it’s not.
- It’s not a good idea to just cross the outgoing tenant’s name out in the tenancy agreement and write in the new tenant. That won’t be legally effective in law
- Assignment is unnecessarily complex, can’t be used just to transfer one tenant’s interest to another, and (if you use it correctly) may prevent you claiming money due before the assignment took place
- Allowing tenants to sort it out themselves is a recipe for disaster (particularly as breach of the right to rent rules now carries a custodial sentence)
There are several alternative courses of action and what you need is a clear and straightforward guide on the law setting out the pros and cons of each.
This is what I have done with my new ‘Dealing with Changing Tenants’ Legal Kit.
The Dealing with Changing Tenants Kit
What you get
You get a section on the background law and how it works. You don’t have to read this but it is always a good idea to understand the system.
There is then a ‘step by step’ guide setting out the options available to you, the ‘plus points’ and the ‘negative points’ of each and a list of what you need to do. Where appropriate I have given you some draft letters you can use.
It’s all nice and clear so you know exactly what to do.
The site is mobile responsive so you will be able to read it on your smartphone or tablet as well as your computer, and it’s clearly set out with coloured bullets and boxes to make it easy to use.
If you still have questions after reading it, complete our feedback form and your question may be added to the site as an answer to a ‘readers question’ (if it’s not there already).
You will find the answers to readers questions at the bottom of the kit pages.
The Pro Version
For a modest extra cost there is also a pro version which contains useful documents:
- Two of my tenancy agreements (a standard AST and an AST for a room in a shared house)
- Two useful right to rent forms and
- My New Lodger Kit (with lodger agreement, lodger right to rent forms, checklists, reference letters and more).
The lodger kit and right to rent forms are provided as pdfs and the tenancy agreements are available on the website page for you to copy and paste (this makes it easier for me to keep it up to date).
Here are a few things that users have said about the kit:
Tessa has once again provided a very down to earth, easy to understand and practical kit. Patricia Wormald, Landlord
Clear step by step instructions for each option make this not only a comprehensive training tool for “first timers” but also a useful reference and “aide-memoir” for more seasoned landlords. Julie Wentworth, Letting Agent
Written in plain English, the kit is thoughtfully arranged as an easy to follow step by step guide for landlords and anyone who manages tenancies. In addition, it provides the legal basis for a potentially contentious issue along with real practical solutions. Gerry Henry, Property Manager
Once again, Tessa has supplied a succinct yet detailed kit which gets to the heart of the issues and offers best practice solution. Tracy Fisher FARLA, Countrywide Estate Management
The information in this kit is very clear and easy to understand. It has given me far more confidence about dealing with these issues with my tenants. Janet Lacey, Landlord