What is a Change of Tenancy procedure and why should I care? | Landlord Resources | #4

With first-time buyers prepared to save for more than five years to get on the housing ladder, opportunity knocks for landlords who make their properties available to home-sharers looking to reduce their living costs.

A study of 40,000 non-homeowners aged between 25 and 40 by mortgage lender Halifax reveals that they are prepared to save for an average of 5.35 years to put together a deposit on their first home.

And analysis of official data by home loan broker the Mortgage Advice Bureau that shows the average age of a first-time buyer is now 37 helps explain why the image of house-sharers is changing from that of students and recent graduates, who live off takeaway food and think vacuum cleaner is a dirty word.

In fact, house-sharing in London is growing in popularity among working professionals who are unable to afford to rent a property alone or even with a partner.

Landlords who target this market most commonly let their property assets on an assured shorthold tenancy because such agreements cover the whole property, not individual tenants, and reduce administration costs.

However, most landlords with experience of the house-share market will be familiar with the not uncommon event of one of the household wishing to move out of the property before the tenancy comes to an end.

With the age profile of house-sharers rising, this is likely to be an increasingly common event for landlords to deal with. But it shouldn’t be a problem for landlords on top of their tenancy management responsibilities. After all, the outgoing tenant is only released from their obligations under the tenancy agreement if they find another suitable tenant to take their place.

To ensure the replacement tenant has the same rights to live in the property as the outgoing house sharer, landlords need to follow the correct Change of Tenancy procedure.

Change of Tenant Procedure

When a tenant informs you that they wish to leave a shared house before the end of the assured shorthold tenancy, presenting them with a Change of Tenant procedure will make clear their rights and responsibilities.

The document covers finding replacement tenants, references and explains arrangements for paying a deposit for the room and how and when the rent should be paid.

All content on this form and other forms for landlords published by Property Division are provided “as is”, with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy or timeliness, and without representations, warranties or other contractual terms of any kind, express or implied. Property Division does not represent or warrant that this letter or other material supplied by Property Division will be accurate, current, uninterrupted, error-free or omission-free.

TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, PROPERTY DIVISION DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY TO YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE IN RESPECT OF THE CONTENT ON THIS SITE AND ALL SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH IT, WHETHER UNDER ANY THEORY OF TORT, CONTRACT, WARRANTY, STRICT LIABILITY OR NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER IN RESPECT OF DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE OR SIMILAR DAMAGES, EVEN IF PROPERTY DIVISION WAS ADVISED, KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

The information presented on this site should not be construed as legal or any other professional advice or service. You should consult with a professional adviser familiar with your particular factual situation for advice concerning specific legal or other matters before making any decision.

Deed of Assignment of Tenancy

After the outgoing tenant finds a replacement, landlords do not need to increase their administration costs by drafting a new tenancy agreement.

Instead, all parties can complete a deed of assignment. This legal document needs to be signed by the new tenant, the departing tenant, the remaining tenant(s) and the landlord because it confirms:

  • The outgoing tenant is leaving and is being released from the contract
  • The incoming tenant is moving in and wishes to be bound by the terms of the contract
  • The remaining tenants and you, the landlord, agree to this arrangement

All content on this form and other forms for landlords published by Property Division are provided “as is”, with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy or timeliness, and without representations, warranties or other contractual terms of any kind, express or implied. Property Division does not represent or warrant that this letter or other material supplied by Property Division will be accurate, current, uninterrupted, error-free or omission-free.

TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, PROPERTY DIVISION DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY TO YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE IN RESPECT OF THE CONTENT ON THIS SITE AND ALL SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH IT, WHETHER UNDER ANY THEORY OF TORT, CONTRACT, WARRANTY, STRICT LIABILITY OR NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER IN RESPECT OF DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE OR SIMILAR DAMAGES, EVEN IF PROPERTY DIVISION WAS ADVISED, KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

The information presented on this site should not be construed as legal or any other professional advice or service. You should consult with a professional adviser familiar with your particular factual situation for advice concerning specific legal or other matters before making any decision.

Over the next few weeks we will be sending you additional documents that cover:

  • Deed of Assignment of Tenancy
  • Shorthold Tenancy Agreement Form
  • Company Let Agreement Document
  • Holiday Letting Agreement Form
  • Tenant Inventory Form
  • Letter to Local Authority (Council Tax)
  • Letter to Utility Supplier

About the author:

I have been dealing with Properties in London since 2005 and i never stop being fascinated by it! Amazingly, London seems to be on a sphere of its own when it comes to properties like no other city in the world. Property investment, development and technology are things that have always intrigued me and whenever get a chance to share my thoughts, i do!
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