Can I alter the terms of my tenancy?
If you have a fixed term or contractual periodic tenancy, you can only make changes with the tenant’s consent. It is best to put any alterations in writing.
Once the fixed term has ended, the agreement reverts to a statutory periodic tenancy and will continue on the same basis, unless either party proposes a change.
You or your tenant may suggest alterations to your agreement within a year of the tenancy starting. If you cannot see eye to eye, you both have the right to apply for a decision to be made by an independent panel of experts, called a first tier tribunal.
How do I go about making changes?
You must set out new terms and any consequent change to the rent on a form called a ‘Notice proposing different terms for a statutory periodic tenancy.’
If your tenant accepts the changes, they can then be included in your agreement, but if there is a dispute, you should complete another form entitled an ‘Application referring a notice proposing differing terms for a statutory periodic tenancy to a tribunal.’ This must be done within three months of the changes being outlined.
How does the first tier tribunal decide the terms?
The tribunal judges whether the changes are reasonable or if other terms would be more appropriate. Once a decision is made, the new terms and if necessary, the new rent, will apply from the date given.If the first tier tribunal sets new terms, can I propose further changes?
You can only make additional changes if the tenant agrees. You can, of course, propose a new fixed term or contractual periodic tenancy at any time.
Can more than one tenant hold an assured or shorthold lease?
Joint agreements can be made with two or more people. Each tenant is responsible for meeting the terms in full, which includes paying the rent.
If a joint tenant leaves before the end of the agreement and the landlord cannot recover the rent, the remaining occupants will be held responsible.
Can a person living in a house rented by someone else succeed the current tenant?
If someone who is part of a joint agreement dies, the remaining tenants have an automatic right to stay in the property.
Succession of a sole tenancy will depend on the situation, for example, if someone dies during a fixed term, the lease will pass to the tenant’s beneficiary. Under a contractual or statutory periodic agreement, a spouse or partner who has lived with the tenant as husband and wife has an automatic right to succeed, unless the deceased was already a successor to the tenancy.
If someone is living in the house that does not have permission, you can seek possession under the Housing Act 1988, provided proceedings are started within a year of the tenant’s death.
Can the tenant sub-let the lease to someone else?
A fixed term tenant must seek the landlord’s permission before sub-letting the property. If you do not want this to happen, you should say so in your agreement. However, if a premium has been paid i.e. a sum that is additional to the rent or deposit, the property can be passed to someone else, unless it is prohibited by the tenancy.