Am I liable for the rent one month in?

by Readers Question

9:57 AM, 7th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Am I liable for the rent one month in?

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Am I liable for the rent one month in?

Hi, I have left an abusive relationship one month into my joint tenancy with my ex partner. Since then, he has stayed in the property and not paid any rent. I was very honest with the landlord about my situation and that I had to move out for my safety.

I also explained I want to surrender my tenancy and told them I will not be paying my half of the rent. They did not seem too fussed at the time and I had to do most of the chasing to get updates whether the rent had been paid and if they were going to re-reference him so I could get off the tenancy agreement.

All they kept telling me was that I am jointly liable for the rent.

With all my chasing, they have finally told me months down the line that they have issued him with a Section 8 notice. He has refused to leave the property.

Once they get a court order to properly evict him, will I still be liable to pay any rent arrears?

User925



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:03 AM, 7th June 2019
About 3 months ago

I am very sorry to hear of your circumstances and your tenancy has obviously not gone well for the landlord either.

Technically the AST is joint and several responsibility so unfortunately the short answer to your question is that until you are taken off the agreement which would seem unlikely in these circumstance you would still be liable for the rental payments.

User925

11:17 AM, 7th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 07/06/2019 - 10:03
Many thanks for your response Neil. Would you know how they will go about seeking payment. If he is unemployed and I am in work would I be asked to cover the full rent arrears and do you know if it is common to set up a payment plan?

Mark Alexander

12:54 PM, 7th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by User925 at 07/06/2019 - 11:17
Neil has asked me to respond to your question.

If your landlord seeks professional advice, the outcome of that is likely to be that he should sue the person who is in the best position to be able to pay off the rental arrears and any costs associated with recovery of the debt - which is you.

If you seek professional advice, it is likely that you will be advised to serve proper notice to end the tenancy as soon as possible. Either of you serving notice binds the other, so the joint and several liability works in your favour in this regard.

My recommendation is that you communicate with your landlord, explain what has happened and how you propose to resolve matters, i.e. with a payment plan. Any reasonable landlord will consider a sensible offer if it avoids the Court system, because that can be extremely frustrating and expensive to all parties.

If your ex is still living in the property, and refuses to move, unfortunately the cost of his eviction and any further unpaid rent in the meantime could also fall to you.

David Price

13:05 PM, 7th June 2019
About 3 months ago

This case highlights the fact that a tenancy is a legally binding contract on both parties (landlord and Tenant), although generally only enforced against landlords. I now require that my prospective tenants take legal advice (from CAB or similar) before signing a tenancy agreement.

User925

11:44 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Thanks for all your responses. I have informed my landlord that I wish to surrender the tenancy but all they could do was re-reference him which was to no success as he did not pay the £50 fee. They have informed me weeks a go that their solicitors will be calling me, but I have not heard anything. I feel like I am stuck and CAB could not give me much advice due to the complexity of the case as I had to leave the flat for my own safety. Is it common for action to be taken by getting and order to obtain information and get my account frozen to recover the rent arrears?


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