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My daughter,s partner arranged for them to rent a cottage. It was a six month tenancy. My daughter has been paying the rent and everything else for the last 3 months, plus she paid the deposit. He went home and left her to clear up the mess. The first time she saw the agreement was this week when she was clearing out her stuff. She was the sole tenant on the form and it was signed but I she never signed anything and I believe he forged it. There is three months left on the tenancy what can we do? She suffered a massive stroke 5 years ago and she would not have been able to read the agreement let alone understand it. He has taken her for all he could get and left her to get on with it. What advice can you give regarding the rent and how we approach the landlords? This was all arranged without our prior knowledge - she is a not stupid but he took advantage of her disabilities to get what he wanted then left her high and dry.
Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this.
Did she give permission for anyone to sign on her behalf? Did she move in thinking she was the tenant or that he was or that they both were? Did she verbally agree to be the tenant with the landlord/agent?
If the first she knew about being a tenant was when she came across the agreement (eg if she thought it was her b/f's tenancy and he was looking after her) and she has not signed anything then she is not bound by it. Presumably you think her boyfriend forged her signature. If yes, then he may well have committed a crime but as far your daughter is concerned she can legitimately say to the landlord/agent that she is not a party the agreement and owes them nothing.
The landlord could pursue her for rent would but her defence to that would be that she did not know of the agreement and did not sign it. His procedures around the signing would then be open to scrutiny.