Council Eviction – What Tenancy do I have?

Council Eviction – What Tenancy do I have?

19:01 PM, 25th July 2013, About 8 years ago 25

Text Size

My Question is for a friend of mine…

He is in Council rented accomodation, he has been there for 16 years, but the tenancy was originally made in his wife’s name only, he moved in, expecting his wife and son to follow shortly, but she never did when the fell out and eventually got divorced.

He has never had any tenancy paperwork in his name but has always paid the rent, does he have an assured tenancy as a matter of default since he has been there for so long and he has always paid, and the council have always accepted the rent from him.
I thought if someone was living in a property from years ago, even without a written tenancy aggr. they automatically had an assured tenacy, similar to the automatic AST one would automatically get nowadays.

I ask, because there are moves to evict him, but only him, from the block of flats.

He is very quiet, keeps himself to himself, so is no trouble to anyone, but has had trouble/harrassment from this same councillor before, who is trying to get him out this time.

His flat was assessed for a new kitchen and bathroom about 6 years ago, and both got condemned, but nothing ever got done about it. Recently he was advised to take it up with ‘decent homes’ in the council, but this enquiry seems to have triggered off this action from this councillor for his area. (this councillor is the housing officer I believe)

He is in a two bed flat, and it’s felt they are doing this to try to get it off him for a single child/young children family.

My friend has had mental health issues in the past and is still not fully recovered and is very stessed by the whole situation.

Thanks Council Eviction - What Tenancy do I have?


by Industry Observer

11:02 AM, 29th July 2013, About 8 years ago

Ben - Burton and Taylor. Well if I'm the pretty one that makes you the alcoholic!!

Mary - my interest was in the original tenancy and whether it actually ever existed. That was what I was quoting - Ben is of course quite right and the inferred tenancy, by habit and accepting payments, would give Colin's friend hope.

by Ben Reeve-Lewis

13:30 PM, 29th July 2013, About 8 years ago

I dont know what you look like I/O but I'm certainly holding up my part of the partnership haha

I meant to add to my earlier remarks that in the Case of Ayinde the tenants surrendered their accommodation whereas in Basson they terminated. Which does make a legal difference begging a further question from Colin (Althoguh I'm sure he wished he hadnt started) did your friend's ex terminate or surrender?

The former would be by formal deed but the latter could have merely come about by her handing the keys back or just walking out

by Jeremy Smith

17:45 PM, 29th July 2013, About 8 years ago

It must be the latter then, she would've left the keys with my friend, not returned them to the council.
...But was her tenancy ever terminated or surrendered, since the rent statements still have her name on them ?

I was wondering if I hadn't started, ...then .....!
No, it's been very interesting that to a simple layperson it seemed an open or shut case, however, it is all, but.

by Ben Reeve-Lewis

18:45 PM, 29th July 2013, About 8 years ago

There are three ways that a tenant can end their occupancy
-Implied surrender...this comes about through things like abandonment. Its a thorny legal problem in itself because it can be difficult to determine whether or not a person has actually abandoned a property and as you would expect, has some pretty specific delineators.
-Surrender by operation of law, usually a tenant saying "Here's the keys" and a landlord saying "Ta very much". Put legally there must be what is called an 'Unequivocal act of surrender AND just as importantly, an 'Unequivocal act of acceptance of surrender'. If a tenant chucks the keys back through the landlord's door but the landlord doesnt do anything to accept them, then it wont be a surrender.
-Termination....where the tenant hands in a formal deed ending the tenancy....quite rare in my experience.

Now here's the rub. If surrender by operation of law takes place and there is another person in the property but the landlord didnt know about them it can be possible, particularly with the Ayinde case, to argue that the person remaining becomes the new tenant, if the landlords refer to them as such and accept rent instead of use and occupation charges.....a point I have been banging on about for some time in this thread.

If, as in the Basson case, the original tenants terminated, then any other occupiers wouldnt transfer over-because they didnt have contractual rights in the first place. If the actual tenants dont leave on the stated date then under the truly mad Distress for Rent Act 1737, the landlord can charge the tenant double; the rent for each day they stay there after the termination date, without having to accept the 'Left behind occupier' as the lawful tenant, although they would still have to get a possession order before evicting.

Now I know that this all seems a bit arcane but in actual fact, it is the world that landlords inhabit but most of the time they dont realise it.

If you tell a tenant to go and they go, thats the end of it. I recently spoke to a lovely landlord who told me he had rented properties for 20 years and never had a problem. This legal stuff, that is my world, doenst become an issue until the Merde hits the fan, then I start talking about these issues and often get either accused of living in cloud cuckoo land or being obstructive.

All P118 reader live in legal land but you so rarely realise it until things go Pete Tong.

I'm well aware that my comments here sound a bit mad, even to me, but unfortunately this is landlord land

by Jeremy Smith

12:33 PM, 12th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Thank you to everyone who has made positive comments and suggestions here,
they are very much appreciated.

In due course my friend will be seeing his housing officer, so I will let you know the outcome when I know.

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?