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Question

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) (England) | Tenant Wants to Leave (England) | Types of Tenancies (England)

HMO Individual Tenancies for Each Room – moving from one to another room

22 Nov 2017 | 2 comments

I have a 5 Bed house with individual tenancies for each room. Gradually we are regaining possession of the house (for reasons already explained in an email) and we now have 2 vacant rooms. One of the tenants still in the property has a further 4 1/2 months remaining of a 6 months fixed term (new ASP commenced 3 October 17). She would like to move to one of the other rooms which is a bit better than hers and we are happy with this as her room needs decorating. Our contractor is not able to redecorate her room until early Feb about the time when we will be issuing her with a Section 21. The tenant is aware of all this and is happy to move into the other room on a ‘temporary’ basis if necessary until her room is decorated and then move back for the remaining notice period.

However, we would be quite happy for her to remain in the new room for the remainder of her tenancy if it doesn’t affect our ability to serve her notice on 4 Feb. My concern is – would we be starting a new 6 month AST if we move her to another room on anything other than a temporary basis?

Would it be possible to just re-number the rooms as her tenancy refers to Room no.4 – can we call the new room no 4 and leave her in there until the end of her notice period in April, or is this likely to leave us vulnerable to challenge if things ever turn nasty (we don’t predict this but equally have learned to be cautious).

Answer

2 Comments

  1. guildy

    Unfortunatley this is going to be difficult (if not impossible).

    Firstly, if they move rooms that will be a new tenancy and as such a new one should be drawn up.

    There’s nothing wrong legally in doing a shorter tenancy (say 3 months) but the problem is that since October 2015, a section 21 cannot be served until at least 4 months plus 1 day from when they move in. The move will trigger a re-start of the 4 month rule.

  2. 1350

    Ok thanks. So she’s going to have to put up with being in her current room then, she won’t be happy but at least I’ve tried. I did tell her I thought we could do something temporary but I will have to tell her I’ve made a mistake.

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