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Question

During the Tenancy (England) | England | Nuisance and Anti-social Behaviour (England)

Broken front door, what to do?

20 Mar 2021 | 2 comments

One of my Let Only landlords has asked for advice on this please.

Joint tenancy, relationship break down. Late last night there was some kind of fracas, causing the female tenant to fear for her safety and leave the property. Police were then called over concerns for the male’s welfare and broke the door down. He is fine by all accounts and due to move out of the property today.

Female tenant wants to stay at the property on a new sole tenancy and has offered to pay for the door repair/replacement although she doesn’t have much money. I read another post from 10 years ago, suggesting the landlord can claim on his insurance for a new door and charge the tenant the excess so will advise him to do that. He’s a builder so shold be able to source a new door easily enough. If a new door or lock is needed though, as the male tenant is still on the tenancy, isn’t he entitled to a new key if he asks for one?

Also, I would happily do a new tenancy agreement for the female tenant today but the property doesn’t have an EICR yet! Given the circumstances, do I really have to wait before I can do a new agreement? Plus, and apologies if this sounds mercenary (but I’m not a charity) would the tenancy be classed as an amendment or novation as the female is already a tenant at the property?

Answer

2 Comments

  1. guildy

    An assured shorthold tenancy continues as long as at least one of joint tenants is occupying as main home.

    Therefore, there’s no rush to do a new tenancy because the existing one is still continuing without trouble.

    That being said, if the other tenant has no intention to return, it would be better to do a new tenancy if all parties are happy with that.

    Ideally, the outgoing tenant will give you notice which would bring the tenancy to an end and on or before expiry of that notice, the new one can be done. Because there’s a change in composition of tenants, this wouldn’t be an amendment but instead a full new tenancy.

    That should give you time to get the EICR done.

    It is possible to claim from the tenants the excess although it might also be possible to invoice the full amount if making a claim would affect premiums long term. From the sound of it, the excess could be most of the cost so not really worth claiming (depending on the excess amount of course).

  2. holborn1977

    Regarding the question of a key for the male tenant, as the female tenant has reason to fear for her safety from the other tenant, I would advise only giving new keys to the female tenant. It is then up to her if she wishes to give her former partner keys.

    On the question of the tenant being liable for fees to set up a new tenancy, this would only be the case if the joint tenancy was still within the fixed term.

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