Helpful Tips Tenancy Management

Wedding season: Your questions about letting to married couples answered

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The bunting is up and people have started to line the streets.

It’s only a matter of days until Prince Harry ties the knot with Meghan Markle, and with the wedding season just around the corner, we’re taking a look at some of the common questions around married couples that have appeared on our Forum.

My tenants have just got married, do I need to issue the tenant a new AST agreement, with her married name and her husbands name?

Answer: No. A new tenancy means new paperwork, check-in report, inventory, return old deposit, etc. The advantage of leaving old tenancy is easier, quicker, eviction if problems and, frankly, more incentive for tenant to behave, pay rent in full-on time. It might be a good idea to offer a new tenancy in 6-12 months. Read original post here

My married tenants are separating . One of them wishes to remain in the property, but they are in arrears. What should I do?

A landlord posted in our Forum a few years ago, faced with a problem with married couple. The husband and wife are joint tenants, however the wife had given notice to quite due to the marriage sadly breaking down.

The husband was keen to stay in the property for a short while until he got sorted, but the couple have over £2,000 worth of rent arrears. For this reason, the landlord would prefer the husband to leave the property at the same time as the wife.

The landlord wanted to learn where he stood legally. Could the husband stay in the property, or could the tenancy be ended at the same time as the wife’s tenancy?

Also, the landlord wanted to know whether both the husband and the wife would be jointly responsible for paying the rent, if the husband did decided to stay in the property and refused to leave. Neither of the couple are responding to the landlords messages and he wanted to learn what to do next.

The response

Our advisor was able to answer the several components to the landlord’s question. He began by stating that both of the tenants are liable for all of the rent, until the end of the fixed term. Then, after the end of the fixed term either the wife or the husband is able to leave by giving notice. After this, they have no additional obligation. As it is a joint contract, whoever stays in the property will have to pay full rent.

If this person continues to not pay the rent, then an option for this landlord would be to evict the person who stays, for example through serving a Section 21 notice and gaining back possession of the property. Read the Forum post here.

Find out more

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.


  • I don’t think all the above information is correct. It states that notice has to be given to end a contractual tenancy. Isn’t the tenant entitled to leave without notice at the end of a con. tenancy?

    • Hi Anita, thanks for your comment. An advisor in our landlord advice team has confirmed that the tenant must give notice if they are on a contractual periodic tenancy, in line with the rent payments, so for example if they pay monthly they will need to give one months notice to leave on the last day of a fixed term, or there after. With statutory periodic AST’s, the tenant can leave on the last day of the fixed term, but outside this they must give notice in line with the rent periods also.

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