I had a group of tenants move in together, and one now wants to move out. I need to remove her from the tenancy agreement and repay her part of the deposit. What do I do?
AnswerThis is an increasingly common issue as living with flat mates is becoming more and more frequent.
Whilst it can seem daunting, it is a fairly simple procedure, you just have to make sure that everyone is in full understanding of their rights and requirements at the start of the tenancy.
- In an ideal situation, it would be best to bring the tenancy to an end for all tenants – the one who is leaving, and their remaining housemates. You can do this at any stage of the tenancy using a Deed of Surrender, which formally ends a tenancy.
- You can then carry out a check out procedure, checking that you are happy to return the deposit in full, or if there are claims to be made. Ask all tenants, exiting and remaining, to sign the inventory and check out document to confirm that they are happy with your decision.
- If you choose to return the entire deposit, this will be returned to the original payee account. If the tenants all paid separately, this will be returned to them all, but if one paid, it will be repaid in one lump sum to them.
- If you have any disputes to raise, you will need to go through the dispute process with your deposit provider. However, do be aware that this may hold up your remaining tenants from repaying a deposit.
- The tenants that are staying would then need to sign a new agreement – without the ex-housemate. Do note that by drawing up a new tenancy, security of tenure is created for another six months.
- Their new deposits will need to be protected with your deposit scheme with the new tenants listed, and they will need to be issued with new prescribed information. If you have any new tenants moving in to take the place of the old one, make sure they are included in this procedure.
- You should also carry out new Right to Rent checks.
- Carry out a new inventory, stating the condition of the property upon the signing of the new agreement. You could use the check out report as the basis for this. If possible, get your new tenants to sign the inventory in recognition of acceptance.
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