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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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Customer Question

My landlady is trying to end our tenancy two weeks early. I am a subtenant for the whole upstairs of a property. she is now saying in 3 days she has permission fronm the owner ( the school that she is deputy headmistress at) to put a lock on one of my 3 rooms and wants it emptied by then and that i will now have to share my bathroom from the 22nd of this month till the 5th of May when I vacate. She is making my life hell.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What can I do? This woman is torturing me. I moved in last August having a sub tenancy agreement for sole use of the upstairs 3 bedrooms and a bathroom with her having the occasional bath. We had a monthly rolling contract that was we agreed verbally for a year. When 2 months in she decided she couldn't afford it she informed me we would have to leave on the 5th May 2013 when her one year tenancy contract was up instead of continuing and I get to stay till Aug which would be a year for me. She then tried to make it uncomfortable for me to stay as she really wanted out. The school that she works at as deputy head owns it. Last month she gave me 6 weeks notice to leave on the 20th April. It was a very official looking letter on school paper. I informed her as we had a verbal agreement till the 5th May then I would continue with my arrangements to move out then. She agreed we had a verbal agreement for that but said the school wants it on the 20th so "tough" and told me she would put my stuff out in the street if she had to. I spoke to one of your "experts" who told me she could not do this as it would be a criminal offence to do so without a court order and the verbal agreement was binding. I felt safe then and informed her I had sought legal advice and would be leaving as arranged on the 5th May. All was then quiet and we were not speaking till the night before last when she tells me there is a family moving into the downstairs of our house which is our shared area. Late last night she sent an email informing me that the family would be using my bathroom upstairs and she was taking one of my rooms and giving me 3 days notice to emptying my things then she was putting a lock on that door and she would be living in it from the 22nd till I move out on the 5th. She also makes accusations of me abusing her which is what she is calling my verbal responce to her threatening to throw my stuff on the street and me saying I never want to speak to her again as I find her reprehensible after the way she has treated me. I have never so much as left a cup in the sink, been noisy or in any way rude. The perfect tenant. when I checked the police told me that the previous advice I was given here was completely untrue and it is a civil offence and she can do what she likes and my only way of dealing with it is throught the civil courts. She is also quoting the schools lawyers. She is bullying and harrassing me in any way she can to get me to move oiut now or on the 22nd. I now have anxiety for the first time in my life. I really am at my wits end.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

I'm not altogether certain who gave you the advice.

I need to know what kind of tenancy agreement you have.

Please explain "two weeks early".

Does the landlady live in same property?

Please explain why you are having to share a bathroom.

Why is she ending the tenancy early?

If she gave notice 6 weeks ago, why havent you moved out or why are you not preparing to?

I need the full background please

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is a sublease agreement.

she lives in an annexe down stairs and she has her own shower and toilet. We share the lounge and kitchen and I agreed she can use the bath occasionally which she has only done twice.

she is ending it early as the school have offered it to a student that is coming from overseas. This is a new development as in Feb. it was the school secretary and her family was moving in in May when we were moving out. She really has been awful since November when she decided she didn't want to live here as the first heating bill had come in.

I haven't moved out as we had a verbal agreement for the 5th May from last year. I also feel that it's not right that she can just bully me into leaving early.

The school is private and there is an element of an outragous sense of entitlement. She thinks if she wants to be rude, moody, lie etc she can do so and I have to just agree with her and the school no matter what. When I moved in it was to be till the 5th Aug and it was changed to 5th May which I agreed to.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

On these facts, you have been advised incorrectly.

You cannot have an assured short hold tenancy because the landlady lives in
the same property. You therefore occupy on a licence and a licence can be
terminated on reasonable notice.

You can rely on the original verbal agreement to stay until May but she
will deny that there was such an agreement.

Reasonable notice would be between one week and two months depending on how
long you had been in occupation and as you had six weeks, I think that is

However, based upon the fact that you have given me, she is indeed entitled
when the notice expires, the lock you out of the property and put your
belongings outside.

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