I rent a house in East London with friends but I want to move out. What should I do?
Renting a house with friends is a great idea, particularly in London where rents can be higher than in the rest of the country. It can be a good way of making your income go further, helping you save money for a deposit once you’re ready to buy a house.
But, as you know if you’re asking this question, our lives don’t always follow the pattern that tenancy agreements would like them to. You might have found a better job and need to move nearer work, or you might have fallen madly in love and want the privacy of a self-contained flat. If you’re in a house share, you can’t all move out just because one of you has been offered a fantastic job in Liverpool, or finally met Mr or Ms Right.
So what do you do?
Talk to your housemates
Most importantly, everyone in the house needs to understand that the rent has to be paid. Say, for example, it’s £2000 per month and four of you are paying £500 each at the moment. When you move out, the remaining three will have to either cover your rent themselves (£666 each) or find a new housemate.
Check your tenancy agreement
It’s also important to be aware that you can’t move out before your tenancy agreement says you can, even if the others remain in the house. Most tenancy agreements run for one year, and some have a break clause allowing you to get out after six months. After the first year, you can usually give one month’s notice whenever you need to.
Get a new tenancy agreement when one tenant moves out
Whether you move out and a new person moves in, or your housemates agree to shoulder your rent (and enjoy having a bit more space!), it’s important that a new tenancy agreement is drawn up to reflect the change in responsibility. Having the wrong names on the tenancy agreement can cause problems later. I’m sure your housemates are lovely, but if they default on the rent and your name’s still on the tenancy agreement after you’ve moved out, you will find you are still responsible.
If you need to move out before your housemates do, do the right thing and talk to them first – no one likes an unexpected rent hike! Talk to your estate agent or landlord too and get the right paperwork in place to ensure that you and your housemates are all protected against tenancy problems in the future.
To find out more about renting, and how Dockleys looks after its tenants, give me, Adam Dockley, a call today on 020 3633 4440.