I am the tenant of a one-bedroom flat. I moved in almost two years ago. I have a one-year fixed term tenancy which was renewed about ten months ago.
My girlfriend who I have now broken up with moved in with me. She didn’t pay towards the rent and bills for almost a year due to not having an income. She then paid half the rent and bills for a year, before refusing to pay anything more when we broke up recently.
I would like to move out at the end of my tenancy but my girlfriend is refusing to move out. She has been to the council who have advised her that she cannot be evicted at short notice and that she should stay put until forced to move. She applied to take over the tenancy but her application was rejected as her stated income did not cover the rent.
The lettings agent who acts for my landlord tells me that I am liable for all costs if she refuses to leave the property at the end of the tenancy and that it may take six months for the agency to go to court and get her out.
I asked her to leave verbally two months before the end of the tenancy and the agency have emailed her a written request with about six weeks notice, saying that they require vacant possession at the end of the tenancy, and asking her to confirm she will leave the property by then. In their email to her they said she has no right of possesion as she is not the legal tenant. They have also said that they will take pre-emptive legal action if she does not confirm that she will leave the property.
1. Is she correct in thinking I can’t ask her to leave without a court order? She is not on the tenancy agreement, but is not obviously an excluded occupier either as I am not the landlord.
2. Is the lettings agent correct in saying that I would be liable for all the rent and court costs until she can be evicted?
3. The lettings agent says they would give permission for me to change the locks at the end of the tenancy if she refuses to move. Would that be an illegal eviction or is it an option open to me?
Changing the locks doesn’t appeal to me but nor does paying someone else’s rent for six months or a further six months of cohabitation, with the eviction notice being in my name.