Joint tenant refusing to leave

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  • Joint tenant refusing to leave

    Hi there - I hope someone can help.
    My daughter took on a fixed term tenancy with a male friend (not a partner) in February this year. During the tenancy they fell out in a big way and are now not speaking. The ex friend was planning to move out at the end of the tenancy and daughter planned to take on a new tenancy with her boyfriend. The landlord was fine with this. The fixed term rental ended in August but the ex friend hasn't made any moves to leave the property and the landlord won't grant my daughter a new agreement until he does. The rental agreement has now rolled over into a periodic tenancy and daughter's name and that of the ex friend are still on it but he is refusing to pay a penny of the rent or bills, saying it is nothing to do with him, leaving my daughter to pay the lot. Her boyfriend moved in with her and is helping her with the expenses but I need to know the best way forward as this can't be allowed to continue. The landlord has advised her to throw the ex friend out and change the locks but I can't see how that is legal and I don't want her to end up in trouble. She really likes the house and wanted to stay but is the only way out of the situation for her to give notice and leave herself? Any advice very much appreciated.

  • #2
    It won't be legal to change the locks and deny the tenant access to their property - they are a tenant with a statutory period tenancy and can only be evicted by court order. The landlord is wrong to suggest this, but perhaps is hoping that your daughter takes on the job of evicting the ex-friend so they don't have to!

    I'd suggest that the landlord should issue a notice of intention to seek possession.

    There is nothing to stop the landlord, having obtained possession, immediately re-letting the place to your daughter and her boyfriend.

    Did your daughter and the friend pay a deposit?

    While your daughter continues to pay the rent and bills, this deposit (and your daugther credit history) is safe and the deposit can be returned to your daughter and the ex-friend (less any deductions for damage) at the end of the possession proceedings.

    How they split the deposit is up to them, but if they paid half each, the worst that should happen is that your daughter should get back her half of deposit, which doesn't reimburse her for the ex-fiends unpaid rent, but he's not going to pay anyway so why worry. Your daugther is liable for all the rent while she stays in the house anyway, so it may be best to move the boyfriend in (with the landlord's agreement) and have him help out with the rent - which he'll have to do anyway if he is going to be a tenant.

    Good luck to your daughter - I'd be interested to hear what happens.


    • #3
      Many thanks for your reply - I'm really stressed about this and so is she! When they moved in together, ex friend didn't have any money so my daughter paid the entire deposit herself. The boyfriend has moved in and is helping her pay the rent or she couldn't afford it. If the landlord does issue a notice to seek possession does she actually have to leave the property (along with all her possessions, furniture, etc) and then have to move in again? I can't see ex friend leaving without a fight. He barely leaves his room, from what I've heard. Sorry if these questions have been covered before - husband and I know absolutely nothing about renting as we've never done it!


      • #4
        A notice seeking possession - if it follows it's full course - wil take aound 5 months from issue to bailiffs. It will also cost the landlord at least £285. As a landlord, I would not be happy to spend that to sort out someone elses problems.

        The easier solution, now that the tenancy is an SPT is for your daughter to give notice and find somewhere else to live with her boyfriend. It may seem like iving in, but...

        Daughter will be released from financial liability much sooner,
        D & BF can choose somewhere together - stops BF feeling he's living in 'her' flat,
        No need to worry about what happens to ex-friend.

        To give notice, daughter must write to the landlord giving at least 1 months notice and with that notice expiring on the same day of the month as the fixed term ended, so it will be mid October now. This will bring the tenancy between "D&F with LL" to an end. What F & LL choose to do beyond there is up to them.
        D should ensure that a checkouut is completed on the final day and the deposit returned to the appropriate person. Again what F & LL want to do about a deposit after that is up to them.


        • #5
          If the tenant ex-friend won't leave without a fight, it may be necessary for a court possession order to get to as far as court baliffs (and the police) to remove both tenants. Your daughter will have to leave the property (having first let the baliffs in ), but her belongings can stay there (and are the responsiblity of the landlord while they do so).

          Once the baliffs have acquired possession of the property and changed the locks and passed the keys to the landlord, the landlord can sign a new tenancy agreement and pass the keys to your daughter and boyfiend.

          However, this is likely of take a significant amount of time (as Snorkerz has indicated); to give notice, apply to the court for possession, be granted possession and appoint bailifs and arrange for police to attend. I apprecaite how distressing this must be for your daughter, but she will find she can cope if she puts her mind to it. She has made a mistake with her choice of frience and in being so generous as to supply the whole deposit, but its not the end of the world, we all make mistakes - it was a generous act on her part and it is a shame her friend is behaving so poorly. Perhaps if she does not sink to his level, he may come around to an amicable date when he will leave.

          If he barely leaves his room, she may find she can co-exist with him, in spite of her feelings, until the landlord can evict him.

          Snorkerz advice is also good advice - she could cut her losses and leave.

          I would suggest that if your daughter wants to stay in the house, she needs a conversation with the landlord to see if he will agree to act and follow this all the way through, and some agreement to cover his costs. Hence Snorkerz advice is good advice as it will avoid any larger than expected bill if the landlord runs up unexpected costs.


          • #6
            Thank you everybody for your advice. I've already started looking around at suitable properties!! I was more worried about daughter getting her deposit back. Ex friend seemed okay at first but now his true colours have really come through and I wouldn't be surprised if this is all about getting himself evicted so that he can get a council flat. Daughter admits she was naive but still it will be a valuable lesson for the future eh? I'll let you know how it goes!


            • #7
              Good luck to you and your daughter.

              Ex-friend is unlikely to get a council flat even if he is evicted - as a single young male with no family responsibilities he will be WAY down the list for help.


              • #8
                Has current LL got another suitable property for dau+bf?
                Then she gives Notice on current flat thus terminating joint T, moves to new place and LL can go straight to bailiffs?


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