Question

Deposit deduction for rent arrears with tenant swap

by | 19 Oct 2016

Hi there,
Please could you help with a rent arrears situation that we have at present.
We had a joint tenancy with 4 tenants which started in July 2015. Each tenant paid equal shares for the deposit, and were due to pay equal shares of the rent. One of the tenants was unable to pay their share of rent and was replaced by a 5th person after 4 months.
The deposit for the non-payer was used towards the rent arrears leaving £300+ still unpaid. The shares of deposit for the remaining 3 tenants were transferred to the newer tenancy and registered as a new deposit with the 5th person now in the Joint tenancy.
Now that the latest tenancy has ended, are we able to propose the £300+ rent arrears shortfall from the initial tenancy to the 3 initial co-tenants?
There is an AST in place and deposits registered with TDS.
Thanks in advance, Stuart

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    In all honesty, I don’t know how the court would view that!

    Firstly, you could certainly propose to the 3 tenants about the deduction and see what reaction you get.

    I accept entirely they did owe the money when the first joint tenancy was in place as it was joint and several.

    However, I wonder if the new tenancy has changed the arrangement and you have impliedly agreed that you would now only pursue the actual person who left owing the £300?

    I think from a legal point, the 3 do still owe the money technically but I can imagine it being a very hard and complex case if they said that they thought the new agreement was effectively wiping the slate clean and starting again – they would possibly have a point.

    I think if you can chase the one person that would be easier and that method would be certain of success.

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