jfb

Tenant issue and legal position in HMO

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I have one HMO that I have had for a number of years. Never had any issues or ever had to consider any legal action but am in a situation where it would be good to know where I stand legally.

Bit complicated so I will try and explain as simply as I can.

Tenant in question (Tenant X from now on) living in house on a tenancy that ended 1st September 2020. Arranged a new tenancy with different people (signed only a couple weeks before 1st September) that runs from 1st September for a year. Due to the late signing of the contract they aren't moving in till 20th September (and are only paying for half September's rent).

Tenant X helped show the new tenants around the house when I was away and is in contact with them. He came to an arrangement with the new tenants about staying on at the house to help with his work situation before he heads back to his home country (in exchange for paying bills/ leaving furniture). I objected to this partly because tenant X arranged this with no communication with myself and as I want some time to work on the house a bit and hate having messy tenancy endings that overlap in any way. Ultimately I agreed as the new tenants appeared ok with it but I asked tenant X  that he move out by 16th Sept. Despite two reminders he never confirmed that he would do this.

Forward to the present and after I say I will be coming to check the house is left in a similar state to which I gave it to Tenant X and he informs me that due to exceptional circumstances he isn't leaving yet and has agreement with the new tenants that he can stay a bit longer (potentially a week into October but I really don't know). I spoke with the new tenants and they said they were ok with it partly on the understanding that I was happy with it (which is what Tenant X told them was the case). Clearly I am not happy with it and indeed I had made it clear to tenant X that I was not ok with the any overlap from the start.

 

Where do I stand legally?

If I want to force him to leave what should I do?

I've never had to resort to an eviction notice and don't know much about it but how does the fact that effectively he is out of contract but still there (on the agreement of the new tenants) affect this?

 

Clearly I shouldn't have let it get to this situation but I am a reasonable person and assume others are until I find out otherwise and have never felt the need to use anything other than dialogue with tenants to sort things out. I imagine this will get resolved diplomatically somehow but would greatly appreciate any advice. Ultimately I want to keep my relationship with my new tenants as good as possible and it seems that they are being pushed into a position that they shouldn't have to be in.

 

 

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There are too many potential complexities here for me to even try and answer -  never mind the COVID regs changes.

 

eg "His 12 month tenancy ended" depends on the tenancy type - if it is an AST (the default) then it would not have ended but evolved into a rolling Statutory Periodic Tenancy., unless it was brought to an end through normal process. 

 

But the only way the tenancy could end at present would be by mutual agreement, since COVID restricts notice you could give unless certain circs, and he did not (I assume) give notice ... that does not seem to be the case as he continues in occupation. Just him being there will count as a change of mind on anything he said before anyway iirc. 

 

If that is the case and the tenancy has ended, then you have to either enforce (which COVID stops you doing for now unless various exceptions) or accept rent (which will create a new tenancy with god-knows-what terms unless he signs something).  If you do nothing it could later be argued that you consented by letting it persist.

 

The pragmatic way might be an exchange of letters continuing the existing tenancy, and you would at least have a defined situation.


You need to decide what to do about him lying about your position to the other tenants. One way is to write to them when you know where you are telling them what the situation is. It may be important to communicate your non-consent to what he has done, either explicitly or by doind something else.

 

I would recommend going to a specialist LL forum, or even better joining an LL organisation and asking the helpline. NRLA currently have what I think is an offer of 12 months membership for £75.

https://www.nrla.org.uk/join

 

If you evict him without following the prescribed processes it could be criminal. I have no idea what liability you would have if the other tenants chucked him out.

 

HTH slightly.

 

@pocster may have things to add.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand
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1 hour ago, jfb said:

I have one HMO that I have had for a number of years. Never had any issues or ever had to consider any legal action but am in a situation where it would be good to know where I stand legally.

Bit complicated so I will try and explain as simply as I can.

Tenant in question (Tenant X from now on) living in house on a tenancy that ended 1st September 2020. Arranged a new tenancy with different people (signed only a couple weeks before 1st September) that runs from 1st September for a year. Due to the late signing of the contract they aren't moving in till 20th September (and are only paying for half September's rent).

Tenant X helped show the new tenants around the house when I was away and is in contact with them. He came to an arrangement with the new tenants about staying on at the house to help with his work situation before he heads back to his home country (in exchange for paying bills/ leaving furniture). I objected to this partly because tenant X arranged this with no communication with myself and as I want some time to work on the house a bit and hate having messy tenancy endings that overlap in any way. Ultimately I agreed as the new tenants appeared ok with it but I asked tenant X  that he move out by 16th Sept. Despite two reminders he never confirmed that he would do this.

Forward to the present and after I say I will be coming to check the house is left in a similar state to which I gave it to Tenant X and he informs me that due to exceptional circumstances he isn't leaving yet and has agreement with the new tenants that he can stay a bit longer (potentially a week into October but I really don't know). I spoke with the new tenants and they said they were ok with it partly on the understanding that I was happy with it (which is what Tenant X told them was the case). Clearly I am not happy with it and indeed I had made it clear to tenant X that I was not ok with the any overlap from the start.

 

Where do I stand legally?

If I want to force him to leave what should I do?

I've never had to resort to an eviction notice and don't know much about it but how does the fact that effectively he is out of contract but still there (on the agreement of the new tenants) affect this?

 

Clearly I shouldn't have let it get to this situation but I am a reasonable person and assume others are until I find out otherwise and have never felt the need to use anything other than dialogue with tenants to sort things out. I imagine this will get resolved diplomatically somehow but would greatly appreciate any advice. Ultimately I want to keep my relationship with my new tenants as good as possible and it seems that they are being pushed into a position that they shouldn't have to be in.

 

 

I have a bunch of rentals 

 

Quick answer is they cannot enter into any agreement without you being party to it 

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3 hours ago, jfb said:

I have one HMO that I have had for a number of years. Never had any issues or ever had to consider any legal action but am in a situation where it would be good to know where I stand legally.

Bit complicated so I will try and explain as simply as I can.

Tenant in question (Tenant X from now on) living in house on a tenancy that ended 1st September 2020. Arranged a new tenancy with different people (signed only a couple weeks before 1st September) that runs from 1st September for a year. Due to the late signing of the contract they aren't moving in till 20th September (and are only paying for half September's rent).

Tenant X helped show the new tenants around the house when I was away and is in contact with them. He came to an arrangement with the new tenants about staying on at the house to help with his work situation before he heads back to his home country (in exchange for paying bills/ leaving furniture). I objected to this partly because tenant X arranged this with no communication with myself and as I want some time to work on the house a bit and hate having messy tenancy endings that overlap in any way. Ultimately I agreed as the new tenants appeared ok with it but I asked tenant X  that he move out by 16th Sept. Despite two reminders he never confirmed that he would do this.

Forward to the present and after I say I will be coming to check the house is left in a similar state to which I gave it to Tenant X and he informs me that due to exceptional circumstances he isn't leaving yet and has agreement with the new tenants that he can stay a bit longer (potentially a week into October but I really don't know). I spoke with the new tenants and they said they were ok with it partly on the understanding that I was happy with it (which is what Tenant X told them was the case). Clearly I am not happy with it and indeed I had made it clear to tenant X that I was not ok with the any overlap from the start.

 

Where do I stand legally?

If I want to force him to leave what should I do?

I've never had to resort to an eviction notice and don't know much about it but how does the fact that effectively he is out of contract but still there (on the agreement of the new tenants) affect this?

 

Clearly I shouldn't have let it get to this situation but I am a reasonable person and assume others are until I find out otherwise and have never felt the need to use anything other than dialogue with tenants to sort things out. I imagine this will get resolved diplomatically somehow but would greatly appreciate any advice. Ultimately I want to keep my relationship with my new tenants as good as possible and it seems that they are being pushed into a position that they shouldn't have to be in.

 

 

Lots of issues here ...

As other’s mention Covid rules handicap you . Any ‘arrangement’ from one tenant to another is not binding - YOU are the landlord . Presumably the ‘problem’ tenants rent is up to date ? - that’s is ( was ) the easiest way to evict .

I don’t like how the tenant is manipulating around . You need him out NOW .

Easiest solution you get something in writing and you pay him to leave .

Other non landlords will scof at such a ploy . But when things get awkward you need to take control of the situation . Unfortunately for differing reasons I can end up squashed between a rock and a hard place - money motivates most people .

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If Tenant X is receiving monetary gain from the new tenant, aren't they in effect sub letting? That surely is is breach of their tenancy agreement?

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26 minutes ago, Onoff said:

If Tenant X is receiving monetary gain from the new tenant, aren't they in effect sub letting? That surely is is breach of their tenancy agreement?

Yes 

But eviction is pretty much impossible with the current Covid rules . Tenant is just ‘playing’ the landlord . Pay him off get him out 

Edited by pocster

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