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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70522
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have had (what were) friends (it started out as just

Resolved Question:


I have had (what were) friends (it started out as just Bryan without his wife and now son) staying at my house on the understanding it was temporary.However, despite my frequent asking to sort out a new place. (They keep saying " I'll do this I'll do that" but nothing ever happens), they have been here years.
Its a large house and basically they have been left to themselves with us generally granting them privacy although I have had, and used, access to all areas they occupy.
I eventually was forced to give them 2 months written notice stating that after that date they will no longer have access to our home.
Bryan signed the letter stating he understood the contents and agreed.
They have contributed to the services they use gas/ electric etc. But now (after a visit to the council) are claiming they have/are paying rent.
Can I eject them?
John
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
.
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Have they ever paid rent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No although they contribute to the services they use...he is now claiming they pay rent.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Does he pay you a certain amount each month or week?
Do you share amenities like a kitchen or bathroom?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No its a differing amount he may have paid one amount few weeks then we might have to ask ...we have had to ask as they were using so much fuel.

the house actually has 2 bathrooms and two kitchens but nothing has stopped them or us using either..there are no locks on doors etc.

as far as rent he kept calling his contribution rent and I kept telling him its not rent its paying energy

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
OK.
Do you share anything? Sitting room ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We don't no. When it was Bryan on his own he would come and sit with us. But after his wife came from India and never went home they chose to stay in the bedrooms I asume it was a choice its how it ended up

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
On your account, he is just a guest and you can ask him to leave at any time.
However, you are vulnerable to the allegation that they are tenants. They will say that they have a self contained property and that they are paying rent. I am not clear how they will explain that the sums they pay vary but people like that have been known to lie.
Therefore I would suggest that you treat them as tenants and serve a S21 notice upon them. You can end this agreement without giving a reason but you do need to serve proper notice. If you do that then you can seek a possession order against them.
If you are prepared to take risks then you could just ask them to leave upon reasonable notice and change the locks when they leave. If your account is accepted then you are free to do that because they are guests but I wouldn't suggest it as it is too dangerous because they might prefer their version of events.
Can I clarify anything ?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you

My instinct now is to "take the risk"

Especially as he signed the letter

I fail to see how they could verify any of their claims but the council are sufficiently interested as now it seems I will be getting an environmental health visit..surely if I am not a landlord I don't need to allow him in or until my "status" becomes one of landlord. Its just a normal house so an inspection is not a problem but I am now worried that if I let the guy in I am in some way admitting to something (this has made me very distrustful ).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They may not be able to verify their claims but that doesn't always stop officialdom from acting against people.
The attachment does not give them reasonable notice. Normally 14 days is the minimum but 28 days is better.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

that letter gives them 2 months??

written 23 November deadline 25 January (signed 28th Nov)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

last question

If I decide to eject them can I cut off the power etc to any areas of my house I choose? (even if this is before they physically leave our home?)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Not if their account is accepted.
If they argue that they are tenants then cutting off power would amount to unlawful eviction.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Who would decide if its "accepted"?

and even though I am paying all utility bills?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If they complain to the police that they are tenants then you could find yourself defending an allegation of unlawful eviction. I have to say that the police do not generally waste their time on that any more though.
The Council could act I'm afraid. Unfortunately there are some 'good' people within the Council with sympathise with the people in this world who are good at being victims.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

SIGH

thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. information, please start your question with ‘ C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/