23 June 2021
I rent out my two-bed property to a couple who have recently split up. One has stopped living at the property-having moved out and taken their belongings with them.
The remaining tenant let me know that the rent would be slightly late because he was struggling to pay for both.
I do sympathise with the remaining tenant, but I have a mortgage on the property and need the full rent paid – is there anything I can do?
This can be a common enough situation.
When multiple tenants sign a tenancy, they are all jointly and severally liable under that agreement. The full rent must be paid, and all the tenants are bound by the terms that they have signed. Even though one tenant has left, the tenancy remains in place, and full rent is required. You may allow the tenancy to be terminated or you may be willing to allow an assignment.
Chasing up one tenant to pay the whole of the rent, which they may not be able to, whilst the other person is no longer at the property and they are dealing with a relationship breakdown, might not end well for anyone involved. The relationship between the landlord and their tenants may also quickly breakdown as well.
It may be the case that an assignment may be appropriate, and the departing tenant is replaced by a new tenant. Assignment can only take place with the consent of the landlord.
The new assignee will require 6 months of continuous occupation in the dwelling before qualifying for Part 4 tenancy rights.
If an assignment situation does not work and the remaining tenant cannot pay the rent some agreement may be reached on ending the tenancy.