Can Mrs T change locks?

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  • Can Mrs T change locks?

    Mr and Mrs T are splitting up. Mrs T is looking for a new place before giving notice to LL. Mrs T is going to give notice to LL then move immediately to new place. Mr T has mental health issues and verbally intimidates and bullies Mrs T so she needs to get out before he can start on her.

    As it is a joint tenancy, the notice given by Mrs T is notice for both Mr and Mrs T.

    Mr T will find it difficult imo, to get a new place as he only works part time. This might mean that he won't move out before the end of the notice and therefore both will be liable for paying double the rent. Mrs T will find it impossible to pay two or three lots of rent.

    If Mr T doesn't move out, can Mrs T change the locks at the end of the notice period, so he can't get in and live there, and give the new keys to the landlord to end the tenancy?

    What do you think is the best way for Mrs T to end the tenancy?

  • #2
    Feel like advising that Mr T should be drugged and put on a plane but don't know feasible that would be.
    "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

    What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

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    • #3
      She CAN as in I can drive down M4 @ 107mph - but may not.

      Any hint, sniff, suggestion, mention on an internet forum that you might be involved in the illegal eviction of Mr T might be expensive, with possible **free** holiday at her maj's expense....

      IMHO Mrs T should rapidly give valid notice when she is 100% certain of moving out, in writing, confirmed back by you to both, in writing.

      The difficulty of course is after her (valid) notice expires the tenancy ends. So (in theory) no more s21, s8. But in your shoes I would TODAY serve s21 & s8 (and valid grounds) on "the tenant" (both) and after she's gone, if he's still there, an NTQ on "the tenant" (both).

      Hopefully it all gets sorted amicably: Poor Mrs T, nobody needs this from anyone, any gender.

      We trust Mr T don't look like his similarly named....
      Mr-t.jpg
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wannadonnadoodah View Post
        Feel like advising that Mr T should be drugged and put on a plane but don't know feasible that would be.
        I'd not thought of that! It's actually an excellent idea.

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        • #5
          Artful - It's not that's going to be changing the locks - It's Mrs T.

          I'm not the landlord in this instance. Sorry, I should have made that clear.

          Mrs T is concerned that if Mr T remains in the property after the notice period ends she will be responsible for all the ££££ that this will cost, so if Mrs T changes the locks can this bee seen as ending the tenancy (even if Mr T has possessions in there)?

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          • #6
            Dunno, apologies, good for you helping. Think she should 'phone Shelter 0808 800 4444, open today
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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            • #7
              Tenancies don't change just because someone (usually LL) changes the locks.
              Mrs T needs specialist advice, as does LL if Mrs T explains her dilemma to him.

              LL could offer Mr T a sole Tenancy after expiry of Mrs T's Notice.

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              • #8
                If one joint tenant changes the locks and excludes the other, that's nothing to do with the landlord and the tenancy doesn't end or change in any way.
                Until the tenancy ends, both of the tenants are liable for everything the tenancy agreement says that they are.

                The tenants need to sort themselves out, and you can then do the paperwork to support whatever it is they have decided.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                • #9
                  The tenants are jointly and severally liable. I would arrange a meeting with both tenants at the property. It would be much better for you to get the tenants out amicably.

                  Changing locks etc makes no difference.

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                  • #10
                    Mrs and Mrs T aren't my tenants. Mrs T wants to end the tenancy but Mr T can't afford to take on the tenancy on his own. Mrs T doesn't want to pay the rent if he doesn't leave and she doesn't think he's going to leave.

                    If Mrs T changes the locks so Mr T can't get in, then gives the keys to the LL does this end the tenancy? A bit sneaky, I know.

                    Any other suggestions?

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                    • #11
                      If the tenant gives notice, the tenancy ends when it expires.
                      If Mrs T changes the locks she'll also need to remove all of Mr T's belongings to give vacant possession.
                      And there's little to prevent Mr T from gaining access by force or stealth (locks are only so effective, but people think of them as magic barriers).

                      The tenant can do things the landlord can't, but if the landlord works with Mrs T to exclude Mr T, they're flirting with illegal eviction.

                      It would be more sensible (for the landlord anyway) to let Mrs T change the locks now, to exclude Mr T while the tenancy continues.
                      The landlord just has to make it clear that that would be OK, not encourage the behaviour in any way.

                      That makes getting rid of Mr T the tenant's problem, not the landlord's.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                      • #12
                        When did the Tenant (both joint) last sign an AST and for what fixed term?
                        If now SPT, as LL I would issue s21 and legally evict all occupants, asking Court to order T to pay total cost for eviction.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks jp. If Mrs T changed the locks now and excluded Mr T he'd throw a wobbler and would probably be howling at the front door all night. I don;'t think there's an easy way out of this. Easy and cheap, I should say.

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                          • #14
                            mariner: It's now a periodic tenancy. The LL doesn't know what's afoot. Mrs T will give notice when she's found somewhere. If Mr T finds out he'll pester her non-stop, saying he'll behave etc.

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                            • #15
                              If a valid notice to quit is served then there is no point relying on s.21.

                              It's not clear how peacefully evicting an ex-tenant after the expiry of the notice to quit would be illegal, but it would certainly be fraught with complications.

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