How do I remove a person who has no tenancy agreement?

How do I remove a person who has no tenancy agreement?

0:05 AM, 20th January 2023, About A year ago 55

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Hi, Can anyone please advise me on an ongoing situation? A close friend of the family brought a property to rent out some years ago, but instead let her son and his girlfriend move in as a favour.

The idea was for them to pay minimal rent, enough to cover her mortgage so they could save up to buy or rent their own place. No tenancy was ever issued to them and they remained staying on, never looking to move out.

Over the years the plan was forgotten (maybe they were to comfortable) and then kids came along. Her son and his girlfriend have now split, but her son came back to live with his mum to see if things would settle down and they would maybe get together again. This never happened, and she was asked to leave.

Months have now past and the ex has a new boyfriend in the property, and the rent has stopped. She says she’s applied to the council ages ago but they say they cannot help her. So she will not leave.

My friend now needs to sell as she cannot keep paying two mortgages.

What is the best way for her to get her property back?

Is the Ex and her new boyfriend squatters?

Would the police assist?

Any advice I can pass on would be appreciated.

Thank you,


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Tom Thumb

13:50 PM, 4th February 2023, About A year ago

Almost certainly a silly question, but why can't the son move back in, with as many friends as he wishes?

David Houghton

15:05 PM, 4th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Tom Thumb at 04/02/2023 - 13:50
Because you have created an ast by accepting rent. You may be prosecuted for Harassment or (attempted) illegal eviction. Serve S8 or s21 notice, with the current occupiers and the original occupiers name on. Follow the procedure to the letter and a possession order is a certainty.

Tom Thumb

9:47 AM, 5th February 2023, About A year ago

Thanks David. I do accept what you say, but wonder if it's a clear-cut as that?

This house belongs to the mum, and she gave her son and partner permission to live there for a nominal payment. And such an agreement really can become an AST under these circumstances? If so, there must be tensofthousands of 'unintentional ASTs' in place around this country which could be similarly taken advantage of by a devious friend or relative who's been given a favour by a well-meaning person.

If this is a "Yes, son, you can stay there for the time being provided you can cover my mortgage - ie so that I can actually AFFORD to have you stay there, but obviously if you cannot it at any time, then I'm afraid it's offski. And, of course, in the event I need the house back...", then does that 'really' imply - in a legal sense - an AST? In my head, it's 'surely not'. (But if you say 'Yes it does', then I bow to that.)

So, son moves back in, declares, "Our relationship has irretrievably broken down - 'cos of 'im (points to other fellow, awkward...), and mum understandably wants you out of her house/ the house back (whichever is more effective)", and gives her 2 weeks to do so. Really really really there are legal hazards with this?

The Forever Tenant

10:07 AM, 5th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Tom Thumb at 05/02/2023 - 09:47
It's a tough one, but all information provided points to, yes, there is an AST in place. So you are likely correct that there are thousands of "unintentional ASTs" out there.

Ultimately, money was paid each month for exclusive use of the property. That alone would indicate an AST.

Thinking on this more, I have a wonder how long the situation has been like it is. As what time had passed between the 3 main resident statuses might make a difference.

If it had only been a couple of months since the couple split, it could possibly be argued that the original AST with the Son and Daughter in Law is still in place and the Son could terminate the AST giving a months notice.

If it's been years since the split occurred then that argument falls apart.

A lot of this will also hang on any emails, letters or text messages sent between the Daughter in Law and landlord there are. Something simple as "Can I continue living in this property?" From the DIL could be, if replied to the affirmative, be seen as acceptance of a new AST. Even receiving rent from the DIL by herself could be enough.

Ultimately, trying to take any action that involves trying to move someone else into the property could be an illegal act. Specialist advice with full disclosure would be needed to get the answer to this.

David Houghton

10:26 AM, 5th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Tom Thumb at 05/02/2023 - 09:47
The alternative is it's a licence to occupy. There's an d case Street v mountford (I think). On licences Vs tenancies. Basically it says it looks like a duck.. With all the water under the bridge then I would treat this as an ast, follow the court process properly with n5, n119 and s21 or S8. If the occupier said no this isn't a tenancy it's a licence, I have no rights of they go. Job done. If not you get a bill. As to all the other occupiers up and down the country, let's not get into an undergraduate essay, let's just solve this problem


4:14 AM, 7th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by shaun carter at 20/01/2023 - 15:14
Ummm.... fraud, perjury?


4:31 AM, 7th February 2023, About A year ago

Two points not made already.
OP refers to "minimal rent". If rent below £250 pa or £1k pa in Greater London then it's not an assured tenancy and therefore not an AST. L can terminate on 1 months notice complying with Protection From Eviction Act. Followed by possession claim (not based on either s21 or s8, obviously).
Or, possibly original arrangement was periodic joint tenancy in which case it still is. In that case the "tame" joint tenant (son) can terminate by giving appropriate length of notice to quit to landlord (mother). After expiry of NTQ, possession claim as above.
NB in neither case is it a "possession claim against trespassers".


13:02 PM, 11th February 2023, About A year ago

If they are not paying rent, call the police and have them arrested for trespassing.


11:07 AM, 12th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Wa Jo at 11/02/2023 - 13:02
Err... no. Firstly, trespass is not a criminal offence other than in exceptional circumstances (which dint apply here); secondly, they're not trespassing on the facts stated by the OP.

Chris @ Possession Friend

16:34 PM, 12th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Wa Jo at 11/02/2023 - 13:02
Ah, only if - I wish 😉

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