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Changing Tenancy Agreement


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Hi all

I've been lurking on this forum for years, but never posted. I am currently renting a room in the house of a very nice family, and I am in the middle of a six month tenancy agreement (excluded tenancy).

I signed the tenancy agreement with the wife - the agreement has only her name and mine on it, and it says that the rent should be paid to her. This was a matter of convenience at the time, not something that was specifically requested by either of us. I pay by cheque made out to her.

She has now asked me to write the cheque out to her husband instead. (She's just started her own business and she says she doesn't want the rent coming into her business bank account. I have no reason to disbelieve this.)

Is there any problem with doing this, as long as we change this in writing? A friend of mine says that a contract is between two parties exchanging considerations, and it might nullify the contract if a third party started receiving the consideration instead.

I looked around on the web a bit, and there seems to be something called a "third party beneficiary", so I suspect my friend is wrong. Is he?

Further to this, I think it would be a good idea to simply agree a change to the contract with the wife, rather than end the contract with her and start a contract with him - not least because I'd like the tenancy to go to a statuatory periodic tenancy at the end of my first six months - I don't want to re-start the clock there.

Or could I just ask her for a signed letter requesting the change?


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