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I have a property that is currently rented to a single tenant under a standard AST. The tenant has found someone to share the property and was wondering what is the best way to form agreements with both tenants - joint AST for whole property or single AST for both tenants room only with shared facilities?
My concerns are what happens if they don't pay the utility bills, council tax, etc - will I be liable. Also, it will leave the rent short if one of them leaves and cannot find another sharer.
Any advice would be helpful.

If it were me, I would probably create a new tenancy agreement naming the new tenant on it. If you have a good relationship with the existing tenant, I don't see why they wouldn't be agreeable to this. You could take the opportunity to enter in to a new 12 month tenancy (assuming that is the length of the existing contract). If they are not agreeable, then you will probably be within your rights to not allow the new tenant in (but that depends on what the existing tenancy agreement stipulates). Basically, if the new tenant is not included in the tenancy agreement then you will not be able to pursue them for unpaid rent or utility bills. But, you will still be able to pursue the original tenant. If the original tenant is someone you trust then that may not be a problem.

Andrew

p.s. It may be worth calling the NLA helpline on this though.

I could see a situation where, if a new tenant was not a party to the Agreement and had been there for a reasonable amount of time (whatever that may be) whilst you could terminate the agreement for the existing tenant and he would leave, the new tenant might hold his ground and refuse to leave.,

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