Here is a question to the blog clinic from Angela (not her real name) who is a tenant.
Three of us were in a joint Assured Shorthold Tenancy. two of us wished to leave and vacated the property on the last day of the contract, 1 tenant stayed on.
We were informed by the landlord that as 1 tenant remains in the property the tenancy continues as a statutory periodic tenancy.
I then served my Notice to Quit (NTQ) in writing to the landlord and agency giving them the required one month notice to end the contract. The landlord and agency have confirmed receipt of the NTQ. The date on the notice to quit has expired which I believe legally ends the tenancy.
However, one of the previous joint tenants continues to live at the property, is not paying rent, and refuses to vacate the property. The landlord and agency have said that until vacant possession is given we are still in a contract and they are continuing to bill all three of us.
It is not possible for me to give vacant possession when the other person refuses to leave, and I also don’t think we are still in a joint contract as the NTQ has expired. And if we are still in a contract how can we ever get out of it if the NTQ doesn’t do this?
You’ll be pleased to know that you shouldn’t have to pay rent. You are right that after serving a NTQ and after the correct notice period, the tenancy will have expired.
Any tenant can serve a valid notice to quit, even without the consent of the other tenants in the joint tenancy. Therefore, when you served the notice to quit assuming it had the valid notice period, the tenancy and your contractual relationship with the landlord ended after the notice period ended and you now no longer have to pay rent, even if another tenant is continuing to live in the property.
The only issue that might cause you to still have a contractual agreement with the landlord is if the Notice to Quit was incorrect in some way. The rules require a notice of one full ‘period’ of the tenancy ending on the last day of the period.
So if your fixed term ended on 20 February and you paid rent monthly – the period of the tenancy will be monthly running from the 21st day in the month to the 20th. So a tenants notice in this case would need to give a notice ending on the next 20th day of the month after one month from the date of service. Another way of looking at this is to say that the notice period is between one and two months, depending on when you serve it.
Assuming your notice was correct, you can write to the agents pointing out that the tenancy has now ended due to your Notice to Quit and that you are no longer bound by the tenancy.