Rent Arrears Help

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    Rent Arrears Help


    Found this forum looking for help for my Brother in Law

    Hope you guys can shed some light onto this

    Brother in law and Girlfriend have been renting a house together for a few years. Both are named on the rental contract.

    They re signed a one year contract in March 2019.

    They have now spilt up and the the girlfriend has left the property and moved in with a friend

    Brother in law cannot afford the rent and to run the house solo - doesn't want to get a house mate or anything as he has his son staying over every other weekend

    He has just paid Augusts rent but only paid 1/2 - he hoped his ex girlfriend would stump up the other half but that's not going to happen

    Ex Girlfriend is trying to demand the letting agent & landlord remove her form the tenancy agreement but at the moment she remains on it

    Letting agent has called him today with a generous offer form the Land lord - if he can leave by the end of the month and surrender the tenancy the landlord will not chase for any further rent / costs providing the house is good to be rented straight away

    Sadly he has no where to go and no deposit for another house to rent.

    What are the likely steps if he declines the offer ?

    Current rent is £450 a month - does he need to be in arrears of £900 ( two months rent) before the landlord can take action or is it just two months of not paying the rent in full ?

    If it did go to a possession what further costs are likely to be added - court costs, possibly land lord costs for a solicitor ?

    he will not defend a possession order as the letting agent and landlord have been really good to him

    any advise would be great


    IMO his best course of action is to take the landlord's offer. If he declines the offer he will be liable for the whole of the rest of the contract's rent (unless there is a break clause), and the costs of eviction.

    If he gets evicted through rent arrears the council might consider him intentionally homeless and not house him. He will probably end up with a ccj for rent arrears making it unlikely that a private landlord would consider him.

    However, his gf is still responsible for paying the rent too so the same consequences will befall her.


      In addition to the above if he forces the landlord to evict him for not paying rent it will be a massive blemish on his record and he will not find anywhere decent to stay for a long time at any sort of price.

      The landlord can take court action for the arrears after one day - there is no reason for them to wait two months - that only has to do with eviction via a particular route -- it is not a licence not to pay what is owed.

      He has to get a housemate to help pay the rent otherwise if landlord agrees -- having the kid stay over is a totally irrelevant excuse and shows that he is not being serious or realistic about the mess he is in.


        He should accept the landlord's offer.

        In a joint tenancy there is technically only one tenant, who is made up of the people named as joint tenants.
        Both your brother in law and the girlfriend are liable for all of the rent (there's no half each).

        The girlfriend can't come off the tenancy until the end of the fixed term.
        She can't avoid liability for the rent - and will be sued for it as part of any repossession along with the brother in law.

        If the Brother in Law can't afford all of the rent, he needs to move out as a matter of urgency.
        He'll end up in debt and with a ccj (which will kill anything that needs a credit check in future) as will, probably the girlfriend.

        To answer the question, if he declines the offer, he (along with the girlfriend) will be served notice and, then taken to court and evicted.
        That will cost them a few hundred pounds and they will possibly be ordered to pay the rent they owe (although the landlord can separate the two issues).

        The landlord can take action for £1 of rent owed. The two month's thing means that the court has to evict, otherwise it's an option.
        For the mandatory ground, it's two months rent owed (not in arrears), so the moment the rent is due, it's owed.

        The landlord is being generous (particularly to the girlfriend, as it happens) and he should bite their hand off.
        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).


          If the brother in law accepts the offer without having found a new home, he will definitely be intentionally homeless.

          If he can genuinely demonstrate that he has paid as much of the rent as he can afford (not just 50%), he should not be treated as intentionally homeless.

          Depending on age, council emergency accommodation may be a hostel of some form, even if not intentionally homeless.

          I'd suggest:

          1) Look for alternative accommodation;

          2) Reconsider taking a lodger;

          3) Get debt counselling to work out a budget and determine how much he is likely to be judged to be able to afford for rent and pay that;

          4) Remind the ex that she can be sued for any shortfall.


            Can he not afford any accommodation at all? The LL has made him a great offer and he should do everything he can to accept it. I don't know what his LA area is but as a single male he has virtually no chance of getting a LA property.


              Usually tenants are liable 'jointly & severally' so if the girlfriend won't pay the LL is justified in trying to get it all from the tenant still in the property - plus he knows where he is!

              Take the offer & find somewhere else.

              Good luck


                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                If the brother in law accepts the offer without having found a new home, he will definitely be intentionally homeless.
                That's assuming that he can afford to pay the rent and chooses not to.
                Not being able to afford rent due to a change of circumstances is not a deliberate act.
                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).


                  But surely JP, councils routinely force tenants to steal from landlords under conditions where they cannot (or will not) pay rent. Their failure to take up that opportunity (to increase a debt they know they will not repay within protection of the law) is what they routinely use to declare the act as deliberate (for example if the tenant simply leaves on receipt of S8).

                  So yes they do regard it as a deliberate act (not the non-being-able-to-afford part - but the refusal of a tenant to decline to further increase their debt under those circumstances). It is a bit like saying "we are not going to help feed you because we know that the police turn a blind eye to shoplifting under £500"


                    Thank you all for your replies.

                    Have passed on all the points to my Brother in law.


                      Hi everyone

                      Just to update the post.

                      Brother in law and ex girlfriend have had a chat without all the emotion

                      Girlfriend has taken advice and understands she is jointly and severally responsible for the contract and whilst she doesn't live at the address she is going to provide 1/2 of the rent until the end of the contract in March. At that point Brother in law will move out

                      I didn't realise she worked in the financial sector and a CCJ would not go well for her.

                      hopefully they can keep their acts together until then

                      Thanks again


                        If rent is not paid I would sharpen their minds by issuing a letter before action and then 7 days later a court claim (MCOL).


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