Staying put after tenancy ends

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Staying put after tenancy ends

    Hi, new member, so please be gentle with me lol

    Okay, so last year (2019) in January my wife moved out of our 3 bed HA property and took the 3 kids (2 of mine and 1 from a previous of hers) with her. After a few months she terminated the tenancy without telling me. The LL also failed to tell me the tenancy had been terminated and the first I knew was when a friend told me my house was on the homeseekers website. A call to the LL and they confirmed it had.

    At the time I was taking action through the courts for a child arrangement order.

    Over the space of 3 months, I had multiple messages left, phone calls, letters etc from the LL all threatening me and giving me 4 days to move out etc etc etc but I stood my ground.

    The tenancy was in my opinion invalid as only 3 weeks and 6 days notice was given. I informed the LL of this and informed them that I wanted to take the place on myself as I was trying for full access to my children, and even if this was not granted, I would still need to make provisions for them when in my care at the weekends and odd days during the week.

    Eventually, the LL took me to court in October for possession, and I won. The court told the LL that they should have known better about the notice period and that they had also used the incorrect method of eviction (they tried to evict a traveller from a plot of land lol).
    I put in a claim for occupation but was told by the court that I would also need my ex wife to be on the claim as she is named on the tenancy, surprise, she refused to be a part of it as she now has her own tenancy with the same LL elsewhere. So the original tenancy is still valid in both mine and my ex's names.

    So move forward to this year. I'm with someone new and we have a child together (yeah I know, it wasn't planned).

    I wrote to the LL back in January 2020 and told them that my partner was pregnant with a downs baby and would be moving in from the 1st Feb and that I wanted my ex's name removed and my partner put on instead. I also asked for a breakdown on rent arrears if any as I thought there could be some from when my ex moved out.

    I received a letter several weeks later basically saying that they are sorry for the delay, and in light of the recent court hearing, they are unsure how to proceed.

    All this time the rent has been paid on time and in full.

    As things have calmed down with my ex, and we are being amicable, I've now discovered that my ex was made to sign a new termination of tenancy literally the day after the court hearing last october. From what she said, the housing coach rang her what would have been 20 minutes after the court hearing and she arranged to go around the following day to get my ex to sign it.

    This is the first I've heard about it, nothing from the LL, and they are taking the rent quite happily.

    We have a baby girl who has down syndrome, I have 2 other kids (1 boy, 1 girl) with my ex who stay with us regularly, and my partner has a son who also stays with us from time to time.
    The LL has taken rent each month and have failed to inform me that the tenancy was ended 9 months ago! I have been a tenant here for 10 years.

    So the question is, if the LL does suddenly decide to go for a possession order, what are our chances of staying here? Is the court likely to side with the LL, or will they take into account our circumstances.

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    It seems that your ex is still on the tenancy agreement and will be jointly liable for any arrears, court fees, bailiffs, solicitors fees etc. Just because she has another tenancy doesn't mean she isn't responsible for your joint tenancy.

    Your landlord will eventually get possession of the property if they really want it back. The court will grant you extra time to find somewhere else. This could be as long as 6 weeks ie 42 days. However, the eviction process is taking forever at the moment so even getting to court is going to take a good few months at least.

    Your landlord probably thought, not unreasonably, that your ex had ended the tenancy for both of you.

    If your rent is up to date and there are no other issues, I'd guess your landlord would keep you on as a tenant.

    Changing the tenancy agreement from joint to single (or joint with your new partner) involves a lot of work for your landlord and will involve credit and work references etc., so if you're likely to fail these I wouldn't press for a new tenancy agreement.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Win2Kuser View Post
      So the question is, if the LL does suddenly decide to go for a possession order, what are our chances of staying here? Is the court likely to side with the LL, or will they take into account our circumstances.
      There are two possibilities:
      The document that your ex signed was valid and ended the tenancy - in which case you have created a new tenancy by living there and paying rent. OR
      The document that your ex signed wasn't valid and the original tenancy is still ongoing.

      If the original tenancy is ongoing, the landlord could either persuade your ex to serve valid notice, which would end the tenancy for you as well, or serve notice themselves and retake possession legally. That second option is available to them whichever of the two options exist.

      If there's a new tenancy, the landlord would have to end it by serving notice (and going to court if you didn't move out).

      I received a letter several weeks later basically saying that they are sorry for the delay, and in light of the recent court hearing, they are unsure how to proceed.
      I'd ask them what they want to do.
      It's probably in everyone (including the landlords) interest to get things on a sensible basis.

      I think the key thing is why the landlord was trying to remove you last year.
      If they genuinely believed that the tenancy was ended and were worried that you would stop paying rent, that's one thing.
      If they wanted the property back (say to sell it) that's another.

      If they're happy to keep letting to you, a standard tenancy agreement could be signed which would end the uncertainly for everyone.
      There's a good template that the government has created that is pretty fair to everyone and has lots of sensible notes about how to complete it. Or you could use a copy of the existing agreement with the names changed.
      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).

      Comment


        #4
        Does the advice in the above posts still apply if the landlord is a housing association?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Mrs Mug View Post
          Does the advice in the above posts still apply if the landlord is a housing association?
          I am not really sure - I think that essentially the same rules generally apply, but there could easily be exceptions I don't know about.
          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).

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks everyone for your comments.

            In answer to a few points raised;

            I have had it confirmed from my ex that she definitely signed a notice to quit back in October.
            She said that she was phoned by the housing coach what would have been 20 minutes after my court hearing. The housing coach then went around to my ex's the following afternoon and told her that she needed to sign the agreement. My ex apparently said that she was under no obligation to do so as she had already done one, but she was told that she had no choice. She was handed a letter already filled in by the housing association, and all she had to do was sign and date it.

            My ex was made to sign a notice to quit back in April 2019, she was told that if she wanted rehousing, she would have to terminate the previous tenancy. Once this was done, the housing association didn't bother telling me until I approached them. They then sent out a letter saying that they are sorry to see me go as a customer and told me when I was due to move out. They went on to say that someone would be around to fit a keylock which never happened.
            I knew from the outset that the dates they had given were not a full month nor 4 weeks as stated on their tenancy agreement. I wrote to them and asked if I could take the place on myself as I would need to have provisions for my children when they visited etc. They refused by saying that I would be "massively under-occupying the property" and they had a duty to allocate housing where ir is needed. They said that they would take me to court for possession, they also said that any rent I paid would not be classed as rent but only for the occupation of this property.

            I sent another letter pointing out that the notice to quit was invalid and that I would defend my right to continue living here, and I reported the housing coach as I said I felt harassed by her because she kept pestering me with constant phone calls and messages and banging on the door (which I never answered as I don't like confrontation). One afternoon, I was stood by the kitchen door at the back of the house smoking with a mate of mine, and the housing coach and another lady walked up the back path and then tried to walk into the house, I had to stand in there way and tell them that I felt harassed, didn't want confrontation and politely told them to go away! This then comes across as some kind of personal vendetta perhaps, although proving that would be almost impossible.

            I did employ the services of a housing specialist solicitor for the court hearing, and she literally wiped the floor with them over not only the incorrect ntq dates, but the way they had tried to evict me; she then got all the fees back, so it cost the housing association around two grand, an expensive mistake that I'm sure they won't want a repeat of!

            This time though, I heard literally nothing from the housing association, considering the ntq was signed by my ex in October. Nothing to say that they are sorry to see me go as a customer, nothing to say that any rent paid would not be classed as rent etc. I've literally only had that one response in January.

            Surely, if I have not received a letter telling me that any rent paid would not be rent, as I am paying rent, does that not create a tenancy?

            We want to decorate this place and make it ours, but my partner is reluctant as she doesn't want the housing association to suddenly kick us out after we've paid out on it all. At the same time, I don't want to rock the boat so to speak as surely, the longer we live here paying rent, the harder it would be for them to take us to court, even if the ntq in October is valid? Covid and the last 3 months aside, it's along time to hear nothing.

            It's not just me anymore, we are a family with a special needs baby (downs syndrome), we also both have other children that need to sleep somewhere when they stay, and we are paying rent in full every month. Hardly massively under-occupying. Also, being a housing association and not a council, from, a business point of view, as long as they get their rent does it really matter how many live here.

            Your comments are most appreciated

            Comment


              #7
              It's also worth pointing out that earlier this year I had a rent increase letter from the housing association addressed to myself and my ex, I've also had a letter from a local heating company addressed the same to do a gas safety check.

              Thanks, as always

              Comment

              Latest Activity

              Collapse

              Working...
              X