Call of the Week: Change in tenant and joint tenancy agreements
A landlord gave our team a call this week with a question about the administration around replacing a tenant in a house share-where the tenants are currently on a joint tenancy agreement.
The landlord has a small HMO with three tenants, and one tenant is due to leave the property at the end of the month as they have to relocate for work reasons.
The tenancy agreement is a joint tenancy agreement, and the other two tenants have found a replacement tenant. The AST is periodic.
The landlord gave our team to call to ask about what paperwork they needed to carry out in light of the change in tenant, and whether a new inventory would need to be conducted.
We advised our member that the best thing to do in their situation would be to issue a brand new tenancy agreement for all the tenants to sign, when the time comes.
This is because if a new, written tenancy agreement is not signed, then once the rent has been accepted by the remaining tenants and the new tenant this will automatically create a verbal tenancy -but without any terms and conditions.
As well as this, all of the ‘start of tenancy’ documents should be served to the tenants BEFORE the new tenancy begins, for example a copy of the latest version of the How to Rent guide, the EPC certificate etc.
Members can read everything they need to serve in our start of tenancy checklist.
When it comes to the inventory, because two tenants will remain in the property our adviser suggested to our member they contact the deposit scheme directly to see if the original inventory can be relied on, or whether a brand new inventory should be issued to the tenants for the new tenancy.
Also a consideration is the new electrical safety requirements which came into force from 1st June 2020. The landlord must make sure the property has a valid electrical inspection condition report (EICR) and that the tenants are provided with a copy of this certificate before this new tenancy begins.
The member thanked our adviser for their thorough response.