Is tenant liable for previous tenant's rent arrears?

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  • Is tenant liable for previous tenant's rent arrears?

    I thought I would share this question I found on the Landlord law site.. I nearly choked on my lunch when I read it!

    "Question: I moved in to a property taking on a Shorthold tenancy Agreement in June 2006. the landlady is now telling me that I am responsible for rent arrears of the previous tenant who did not make all his payments. I have gone through my contract and no where does it state that I am liable for any previous tenants costs. She is now threatening me with legal costs. Can she make me pay for a previous tenants missing monies that I have nothing to do with? Anon, London"

    Some Landlords will try anything to get their money!
    GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

    Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

  • #2
    and some tenants will do anything they can to avoid paying rent that is legally due.

    As in every business, trade or whatever, there are good guys* and bad guys*

    (* Disclaimer.. in order not to fall foul of the sex discrimination act, the masculine gender will include the feminine gender and I have to state that I find neither sex worse or better than the other in terms of them being a tenant!)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
      and some tenants will do anything they can to avoid paying rent that is legally due.

      As in every business, trade or whatever, there are good guys* and bad guys*

      (* Disclaimer.. in order not to fall foul of the sex discrimination act, the masculine gender will include the feminine gender and I have to state that I find neither sex worse or better than the other in terms of them being a tenant!)
      Couldn't agree with you more but in this particular case the landlord is trying to cut her losses by placing the loss on a new tenant which would most certainly be thrown out of court if it got there and it is also unfair.
      Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
        I thought I would share this question I found on the Landlord law site.. I nearly choked on my lunch when I read it!

        "Question: I moved in to a property taking on a Shorthold tenancy Agreement in June 2006. the landlady is now telling me that I am responsible for rent arrears of the previous tenant who did not make all his payments. I have gone through my contract and no where does it state that I am liable for any previous tenants costs. She is now threatening me with legal costs. Can she make me pay for a previous tenants missing monies that I have nothing to do with? Anon, London"

        Some Landlords will try anything to get their money!
        well of course you have to pay previous tenants arrears, just as your obliged to pay for the shopping of the person in front of you at the supermarket.
        Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pms View Post
          the landlord is trying to cut her losses by placing the loss on a new tenant which would most certainly be thrown out of court if it got there and it is also unfair.
          If I was the tenant I think I'd feel it almost worthwhile letting her take me to court, just to get the satisfaction of seeing her having to pay the court costs!

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          • #6
            I'd be inclined to do the same although agree with a previous post that the LL may well try and withold the deposit, if there is one! In which case I'd have to buy two little black numbers for 2 days in court - would I be able to claim the cost of these from the the LL ???? A thought as ridiculous as the LL's claim in this instance, I know .....

            Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
            If I was the tenant I think I'd feel it almost worthwhile letting her take me to court, just to get the satisfaction of seeing her having to pay the court costs!
            Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wickerman
              Just a quick one though - did you sign or be shown an inventory when you moved in? I get the feeling if the LL will try to get you to pay for previous rent arrears they will try and withhold the deposit when you move out.
              Its not a question I am asking, its a question on another site! I can post up the answer from Tessa Shepperdson if you like! I found it quite amusing that a LL was soo stupid to think they can sue a current tenant for the previous ones debt.. its like another poster has said... would you pay for the persons shopping who has just done a runner out the door without paying??
              GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

              Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

              Comment


              • #8
                It takes all sorts doesn't it !! Its when I hear stories like this I really think there ought to be some sort of IQ test that everyone ought to sit before they're allowed to become a LL or Agent .. and in the case of tenants who have to even ask the question, a test for them as well!!

                Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
                Its not a question I am asking, its a question on another site! I can post up the answer from Tessa Shepperdson if you like! I found it quite amusing that a LL was soo stupid to think they can sue a current tenant for the previous ones debt.. its like another poster has said... would you pay for the persons shopping who has just done a runner out the door without paying??
                Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                Comment


                • #9
                  I recently came across this rather ancient thread (pre-dating my membership). I think that I can understand L's attitude (even though it has no legal basis in reality).
                  If T1 is in fact a lessee who transfers a leasehold interest to T2, liability (under the lease) for ground rent/service charge/covenant compliance travels - with the lease - to T2 who becomes liable to L. That is why T1 requires an indemnity covenant from T2 in the Transfer (in case L sues T1) and why T2 needs to ensure that T1 produces a clear receipt from L (so T2 knows that there are no arrears brought forward).
                  In the thread, L was "trying it on" with T. The 'lease' argument is irrelevant here, because T2 has a new letting rather than a transfer of T1's old letting.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                  • #10
                    I think there is something in commercial leases about being sold on and then not paying the rent the freeholder can then go back the first one and get him to pay.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnboy View Post
                      I think there is something in commercial leases about being sold on and then not paying the rent the freeholder can then go back the first one and get him to pay.
                      Not that simple- see Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment

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