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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 800
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I have been renting a property from my sister for the last

Resolved Question:

I have been renting a property from my sister for the last two months. there was no written contract or tenancy agreement. I am up to date on all bills and rent payments etc but a family argument has occurred and my sister has told me to leave the house. I have agreed to leave immediately and found alternative accomodation but she is now demanding that I pay for another months rent to cover her until another tenant moves in and is threatening to take legal action if I dont pay.
I understand that if i had terminated the verbal contract then I would be liable for the rent etc but I dont see why I should have to pay extra rent when it is her terminating the verbal agreement and I havent done anything to breach any tenancy conditions (even though there werent any in the first place).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience I will try and help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Did she demand that you leave immediately?

Customer:

she simply sent a text that said " I WANT YOU OUT OF MY HOUSE". I simply replied that was fine ( to avoid any further arguments) and found some alternative accomodation the following day.

LondonlawyerJ :

OK, so you were renting a room in her home or a separate flat that she owns?

Customer:

It is a two bed house that she owns.

LondonlawyerJ :

That she lives in?

Customer:

no she doesnt live there.

LondonlawyerJ :

I think you can chose to treat is as instant termination and that you simply acted on her demand. This will be strengthened if she told you verbally to leave immediately. If you paid your rent monthly and there is nothing in writing at all except this text then she may have a good argument that she is entitled to a month's rent from you. However, she can only enforce this by going to the small clams court and bringing an action against you. She would have some difficulty winning the case, the text doesn't purport to give a month's notice it just demands that you leave. Which you did. It is quite a lot of effort to bring a case in the small claims court and she can only claim the money and her expenses of bringing the claim (ie no lawyer's fees).

LondonlawyerJ :

In other words she might be able to claim the money from you but it is unclear who would win in court. You could, if you wanted, call her bluff and see what she does and if she actually does issue proceedings then maybe reconsider your position.

Customer:

to be honest i think that is what shes doing because as soon as i said I would leave with no problems etc she then started backtracking and saying she wouldnt kick me out because of my son, so I think she wanted me to beg her to let me stay and enter some contract if i did stay, which i refused. all my bills and rent are paid for this month (september) and i am moving out before the next rent date is due.

LondonlawyerJ :

That should be fine then.

Customer:

what do you suggest regarding the property keys? i am aware that if i post the keys through the door it is abandonment but if i keep the keys then is that giving the impression that i am still in control of the property? can i post the keys through her home address front door? i have texts to prove that i have agreed to meet her and hand the keys over or use a third party etc and proof that she has refused both.

Customer:

hi, sorry for leaving I had to swap computers.

LondonlawyerJ :

Put them through her letterbox with a letter stating you are returning her keys following her demand that you leave.

Customer:

thankyou

LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 800
Experience: Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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