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Sharing and renting together but someone wants to leave

Problems may occur if one or more tenants wish to move out while the others wish to stay.

Legally, all the tenants named on the tenancy agreement will be jointly and severally liable for all of the rent until either the tenancy is ended, unless a new tenancy agreement is signed with the remaining tenants. If one of the tenants wishes to leave it is in the interest of those remaining to ensure that a new tenancy agreement. In this way the outgoing tenant is not liable for rent for a property he is no longer using and the remaining tenants are not liable for rent for someone who has left.

If you are replacing a tenant the same thing applies really, try and get a new tenancy agreement from the landlord. If the landlord refuses to sign a new tenancy agreement with the replacement tenant, it may be possible for the new tenant to live in the property as a lodger of the remaining tenant. However this is less satisfactory

We would suggest the following. Firstly, speak to the landlord and explain the situation. Normally the landlord will agree so long as his costs (e.g. of taking references and doing a credit check) are met.Normally that means you or the incoming tenant. Sometimes the landlord, or letting agency will agree to find the replacement tenant. However if the outgoing tenant can find a replacement himself this will save time and cost. The new tenant will need to be acceptable to the landlord/agents and also to the remaining tenants. A new tenancy agreement will be signed once the referencing procedure has been completed satisfactorily. The term of this new agreement does not have to be another six months, it can be for the remainder of the original fixed term if desired.

If a deposit has been paid, it is usually convenient for the replacement tenant to pay the outgoing tenant his share of the deposit, so the incoming tenant will then be entitled to the outgoing tenants share at the end of the tenancy. Many landlords will require the property to be re-inspected before allowing the new tenant to take over, so any deposit problems can be properly addressed