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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70517
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, we are renting a property. Its assured tenancy agreement. Weve

Customer Question

Hello,
we are renting a property. Its assured tenancy agreement.
We've got one family who live with us. They are not in the contract and we haven't signed anything with them. They are not paying us money towards rent or bills as well.
We don't want them to live with us any more and we've already gave them written notice to move out after 20 days. They are still saying that they will not move out. They are family of 4/ their daughters are age 18 and 20/
What can we do to make them move out?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you entitled to sublet ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No.


It says that I cant sublet.


The family came to stay in house while we were away and they never moved out.


The agency has been informed on the current situation and the landlord already gave us notice to vacate the house.


But even though the family have no written agreement nor with us or the agency and they've already been given 3 notices to leave/ one verbal, second via text and 3rd via letter/ they are still staying in the property

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Have they paid any rent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They have given me money but only in cash with no receipt

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Will your landlord act against you over this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No


He doesnt want to get involved.


He just want us all to vacate the property asap

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Giving notice is very easy. You just have to write to them giving them notice. You have already done that and the period of notice would seem to be reasonable although I would have suggested 30 days.

In any event, this is an unlawful sublet so they have no rights to be there anyway.

Getting them out is very easy at this stage. You can just wait until they go out and change the locks after them, making their property available for their collection at any time by appointment.

The difficulty will be that they may have a claim against you for anything they had paid in rent. The better claim against you is from the landlord anyway for subletting without consent and if he isn't pursuing it then so much the better.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo

Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have paid the rent to the landlord in full until the end of the month and we said that we will be vacating the property on the 31st of this month in a nice,clean condition with all bills paid.


Are we able to get our deposit back?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
From the point of view of your rental agreement you are.

They only claim he would have against you is in lost profits for the sublet but its not likely he would pursue that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The family have put today money in my account/ cash/


We can still change the locks after the notice period, can't we?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You can but you need to repay any rent overpayment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello,


we received a letter from the council saying that if we act against the family in some way then we would be fined £5000 and 6 months in prison.


Council are saying that according to the law we can't change lockers and we need to give them at least 2 months notice and to proceed a court order.


Is that true?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
well, not on the facts that you've given me but there must be more to this than that.

Is it possible that you can scan the letter and e-mail it to me at [email protected]

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, thank you!
You will have it in 5 min
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. It often does take a bit longer than that but there's no need to sit online. You will get an email when I respond.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you!
I've attached the letter plus I forwarded my reply to them.
Then I received a phone call from them saying that I need to get a court order otherwise I can get in jail. I've explained them that I've already asked an advise from a solicitor and they said that I can't do anything before I get a court order.
I've been advised from the council to move back to that property where the family live and to wait for the court order. I told them that I'm 25 weeks pregnant and I don't feel save there and they said that no matter what I can't call the police because this can count as a treath to the family and I can get fined or go to jail.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I think that they are referring to the protection from eviction legislation which is still good law but should not be applicable to the type of contact that you are describing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

\the council said that it doesn't matter that we haven't signed anything with them, we've agreed verbally to let them stay in the house which counts as a contract as well.


Shall we still change the lock?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, that might be right but it depends on the contract.

Do nothing until we have a look at the letter.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello,


did you receive my e-mail?


Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I havent' seen anything.

Do you want to try resending but include a link to this post so the mods know its for me?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I will do it immediately

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
OK. I've got it. They are not actually saying that the complaint is unlawful eviction per se but harassment which is a different point.

Can I just check this contract though? Do they live with you sharing amenities?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The council are saying that I can't asked them to move out. I can't use the police and I can't change locks otherwise I can go to jail.


The council are saying that I need to give them two months notice and then to seek court procedures.


I said that by that time I would be giving birth so I can't really do both.


The house is a 4 bedroom house, we share kitchen and bathroom, hallway and utility room.


That family are occupying 2 rooms

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, you cannot use the police as I said above. The complaint of the council is that you keep texting them and making unenforceable threats.

The Council clearly think they are tenants protected by the Housing Act rather than lodgers.

On the facts that you present here they appear to be lodgers and so you do not need to give two months notice or seek a court order but obviously I haven't had full vision of this case.

If you are sharing amenities with them then they are lodger rather than tenants but that is clearly not what they are saying.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Also, can I check you are still living there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, they are another 5 people living in the property.


Also we haven't texted or callled them apart from the one call, one text and the written notice.


They gave untrue facts.


Instead they are calling us/ we have got a voicemail at 2am , the man is obviously really drunk cursing and swearing on us/... we received yesterday phone calls and text messages that we need to top up the gas and electricity??!!, we didn't reply to any of those

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
OK. So the council are acting on incorrect information.

Keep the messages. They may be useful.

If you are living there and sharing amenities then common law notice is all that is required and you can change the locks.

It would be a good idea to reply to the council refuting their claims though.

Obviously these are people willing to make a false allegation so you do face the risk of prosecution but if the facts are as you say then you should succeed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've asked a CSR to send to you the letter from the council.



I am sending my reply which was via e-mail:



" Hello,My name is Diana XXX . I just received a letter from you saying that Mr Hristo XXX and Mrs Maria XXX had made a allegations of harassment, in that we/ me and my partner/ keep threatening them to remove out of the property.
This is very concerning to us because:
- We/ me and my partner Ivan XXX / are renting the property ourselves. We do not own the property at XXX XXX XXX, XXX 2UD
- Mr Maria XXX and Mr Hristo XXX are not legal tenants in the above property. We haven't signed any sort of agreement with them, so they don't have the right to be there .
- we asked them to stay in the property we are renting while we are away. We are back long time ago and they don't want to leave the property.
- I am 6 months pregnant at the moment and I have to go and sleep with friends because of them.
- the landlord/ owner of the property/ already gave us a notice to leave. We agreed that the property willbe vacant on the 31st March 2014.
- I gave 3 notices so far to Mr Hristo XXX and Mrs Maria XXX to vacate the property. First one by phone saying that I am forced to ask the police to help me with this matter, second one by text and the third one is by written letter / notice of eviction/ . I have been consulting with solicitors all through that time and I believe I am acting according to the law. The first notice is dated 22nd February saying that they must leave the property by 27th March 2014 which gives them more than 30 days to vacate.
As my solicitors have advised me I have the right to change the lockers on the 28th march 2014 if they haven't left by them. That is what I am planning to do.
I need a place myself to live and raise my child. Because of Mr Hristo XXX and Mrs Maria XXX I can't live in the property I am paying for. And they don't have any legal rights to classify themselves as tenants .
I really hope you could help me with this matter!
I tried to call you as well.
I am looking forward to speaking to you soon.
Regards
Diana "

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
1 They do have a right to be there. Whether you have signed an agreement or not there is a verbal agreement.

2 Whether you are pregant or not is immaterial. They will perceive this as you tryng to use it as an excuse.

3 Your soliciotrs have not advised you of this. This site is not legal advice. it is information for general purposes. You have to bear in mind that I haven't had full vision of this case and cannot therefore give reliable advice specific to your circumstances.

4 Again, your child is a non issue.

5 You need to make clear that you have not been texting them. In fact, quite the reverse.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Also can I just check that you are living there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are staying with friends now, but we do live there. Also there is another couple who live there, plus one lady and one student. Total of 10 people

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. That changes everything.

How long have you been staying elsewhere?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For quite a while to be honest... The other people were living there the whole time though

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. That changes things.

Then there is an argument that they are periodic tenants and you have to serve a s21 notice upon them and seek a possession order at court.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you


If we move back to our house will that change their tenancy status?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, you could argue that but given that you have been away and eviction unlawfully is a criminal offence it is easier and safer just to serve the S21 notice.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately for us, we will be responsible for the rent until we get a court decision. That's why it is not much of an option for us.


Can I ask is it ok to tell them that we are raising the rent?


They've already told the council that they are paying £300. They keep paying those money as well. Is it ok to tell them that the rent is increasing?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I understand but the problem is that you are not living there so they are not your lodgers.

You can tell them that the rent is increasing but you need to give no less than one months' notice from the rent date so that they can moved out if they choose.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you


Can I still say that we do live in the property though.


Our things are in the property

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Our housemates can confirm that we are living there

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Except that would be untrue as you are not.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

:-)


Do you think if I go back today that would mean that it is true?


At the end of the day I am just not sleeping there

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
To be wholly honest, I think if you've been living elsewhere for some time then moving back in will not turn them into lodgers.

What 'living' elsewhere means is for the court but if you are sleeping elsewhere then thats a problem.

In future, serve a S21 notice on everybody every year. You don't have to enforce it but if you do need to then its done.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It's me and my partner who are living in that house.


He and the other housemates can confirm that he has been living and sleeping there. Does that this help?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The notice of eviction is on behalf of two of us. We are both renting the property and are both paying all the bills.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It would be irresponsible of me to tell you that you can change the locks in these circumstances without bracing yourself for intervention from the housing team.