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A tenant change up? A tenant’s perspective on Tenancy Swaps

One flatmate wants to move out but you want to stay….?

We understand that people’s circumstances change all the time and there are lots of reasons why someone might want, or need, to move out.  We would love to try and make that possible for you however there is a bit of work involved and we would to generate a new lease without the outgoing tenant named on it. Oh, and we would need the landlord’s permission.

Firstly, you will be on a Scottish Tenancy which will be a Joint and Several tenancy and so we will need the instructions of both tenants to terminate/change the lease.  All tenants (and guarantors if any are named on the lease) are equally liable for the property in terms of the tenancy agreement (importantly including payment of rent). 

Lease end dates 
If we are to agree to carrying out a Tenant SWAP any new lease must start on the same day of the month that your current tenancy has started on (to save asking for pro rata’d rent etc). 

If you wish to proceed the following steps would then be: 

Landlord Permission 
We would need to seek permission from the landlord to change the tenant make up and grant a new tenancy to a new tenant and one remaining tenant 
Rental Amount 
As we will be generating a new tenancy agreement we would need to confirm the new rental amount in case a rent increase is requested by the landlord. 
Ending current tenancy 
We would need to mutually end the old tenancy at the same time as setting up a brand new tenancy. 
We would be looking to carry out the Tenant Changeover Process via Safe Deposits Scotland.  We can use this function if one or more joint tenant(s) have moved out, and one or more tenant(s) are remaining in the property. They will pay the outgoing tenant(s) part of the deposit directly to them and move the remaining tenant(s)’ part of the deposit to a new deposit account within SafeDeposits. A new tenancy record will be created and all parties will be issued with a new DAN (Deposit Account Number) certificate. The tenancy start date will remain as the same date as the first tenancy agreement and this will align with the inventory that was carried out.

We will then tell the Deposit Scheme the name and contact details of the new tenant and top up the new deposit account. The Deposit Scheme will write to the new and remaining tenants to explain that they have a new DAN (Deposit Account Number) and that their deposit remains protected by SafeDeposits.

As your agent we would need to point out that we would top up the deposit account.  We will do this within 30 working days of the new tenancy starting as required by law, however the Tenancy start date on your protected deposit will be the same date as the original lease and inventory.
Application for new tenancy 
New tenant and remaining tenant to fill out a new application form and credit and reference checks to meet with our approval.  
Inventory Adoption and Deposits

The outgoing tenant would receive their share of the deposit back in full therefore it is really important to note that the new and remaining tenant will need to discuss this carefully with the outgoing tenant. This means that when we do our future check out inspection you will not be able to blame any issues we may find on the outgoing tenant as their share of the deposit will have been returned and by adopting the inventory you will be agreeing to take on this future liability.  Therefore, we strongly advise you to come to an agreement between yourselves (new, remaining and outgoing tenants) if you feel the outgoing tenant may need to compensate privately the incoming and remaining tenant in any way.

The new and remaining tenant would need to adopt the inventory that the original tenants signed as an accurate reflection of the condition, contents, cleanliness and smell of the property.

So to reiterate:

If the new tenant isn’t happy with the inventory they are signing up to you will need to discuss this with them and it will be up to you to decide if the outgoing tenant should compensate the new tenant in any way. Please note we will rely on this inventory whenever this new tenancy is terminated as a true reflection of the move in condition, contents, cleanliness and smell. We naturally take into account the length of tenancy and note that the level of wear and tear will start from the date of the inventory not the new tenancy. I.e, if the inventory was set up 3 years before this new tenancy we will assume an additional 3 years wear and tear on top of the new tenancy duration. 

Should you wish to proceed – 
Should you wish to proceed on the above please do let us know and we can start this process and contact the tenant. 

Should you wish to just end the tenancy – 
However should you both wish to terminate the tenancy please give us your joint notice. Please remember that under a PRT you need to give us at least 28 days notice of your intention to end the tenancy and you must allow us an additional 48 hours to receive this notice. Failure to do so will result in you potentially having to continue paying for the tenancy for longer that you would like. 

We know this is a complicated process so we are more than happy to chat through this with you. 

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