Joint tenancy is very common because it is a cost effective way for two people to rent a property. Couples, friends or work colleagues get together to rent a flat or house and sign a joint tenancy agreement. Both names are legal tenants. But what if one leaves?
Consider this: you are a tenant with a joint tenancy agreement and for whatever reason, your colleague, partner, friend leaves. The landlord still has a joint tenancy agreement with you. So if you decide to stay in the property as the only tenant, the current tenancy in place needs to be altered and renewed.
As the only tenant, yours should be the only name in the agreement. You will then be legally responsible for your tenancy. Rent payments continue, as stipulated in the new tenancy and any other responsibilities set out by the agreement. The council also needs to know that you’re the only tenant in the property, so you could be eligible for single occupancy council tax reduction.
When you were a joint tenant, you were responsible for 50% of the rent. But if you stay in the property, you could be responsible for 100% of the rent. Your landlord might agree to reduce the rent for single occupancy, but it’s likely that you will have to be solely responsible for the rent in full. Even if you are happy to pay 100% of the rent, you still should have your tenancy agreement wording changed so that only your name shows in the contract.
If you are a tenant or landlord and need advice regarding your rights and to change and renew a joint tenancy agreement, please give us a call. SG
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