Q. I am renting an apartment with a friend of mine and our joint tenancy expires at the end of next month and he wants to leave but I want to stay? I am trying to find a replacement for him but nothing yet? What is the best way forward, I really want to stay but can only afford my 50% share of the rent?
A. The joint contract that you signed originally makes you both jointly liable. The best way forward is to contact your agent and let him know that your flatmate wants to leave and you want to stay and intend to find a replacement. The agent will in turn then speak to your landlord to confirm they are happy to grant an extension as long as you can find another sharer. Meanwhile you will need to find a replacement as soon as possible as they will need to referenced just as you were prior to signing the tenancy. Once found and referenced and subject to satisfactory references the agents will then draw up a brand new contract to reflect you as well as the new sharer. To move in as well as his share of the first month’s rent the new sharer will also have to pay his 50% share of the deposit so that the agent can release the vacating tenants half of the deposit when the current agreement expires and he moves out. If you are unable to find another sharer prior to the agreement expiring, if you are willing to pay a 100% of the rent for a further month and the vacating tenant agrees for his deposit to be retained for a bit longer whilst you still search for another sharer as long as the tenancy is an AST (Assured shorthold tenancy agreement) the Landlord may agree for your existing contract to run onto a ‘periodic’ agreement which means it will run month to month under the same terms as the original agreement. If you are not able to foot 100% of the rent for one month then I’m afraid you will have no option but to move out when the current contract expires.