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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3694
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My wife and I have been separated years. She wants me

Customer Question

My wife and I have been separated for 4 years. She wants me to sign a form saying that she is my tenant so that she can get a discount because she is on income support. The house is in my name but we were together when we bought it. Can I legally sign the form?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
If you are providing the Department of Work and Pensions or local council with deliberately false or misleading information this could be construed as fraud. I would not put your name to something that you know to be untrue.
Even if you agreed to this, presumably you dont even have a tenancy agreement that you could use as evidence to back this up?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is there a tenancy agreement from a legal perspective however which can exist without being written? I assume that this is a common position in relation to a separation?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Is she actually your tenant? Does she actually pay you rent?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We have a separation agreement in which we agreed the amount of money that I would provide and that an element of that would be used to pay her half of the mortgage and then on sale of the house we would split any profit 50:50.

I am assuming that if necassary we could structure the agreement so that we have a tenancy agreement but am worried that one of us would be out at a legal disadvantage when it came to selling the house.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Just to be clear does she live in the property?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, together with our 4 children and one grandchild. However, only the youngest child is biologically mine and the youngest two are in full time education.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
That is different, potentially she could be considered your tenant for half the property.
Would you be prepared to disclose the settlement agreement to the Council? Each Council is different, to be honest with you, to give yourself piece of mind that you are not some how defrauding the council, I would just call the council and confirm whether it is ok to make this declaration. Explain that you have a settlement agreement that proves you do not reside at the property.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Just to clarify when I say tenant - I mean in the sense that she may some how in her settlement agreement account for the fact that she occupies part of your share of the property. This would not be a landlord and tenant in the strict legal sense as this is a matrimonial home.
As explained above the only way to be certain is to contact the council and ask whether the settlement agreement will support the application she is making.
If I can assist any further please do not hesitate to contact me,
Thank you for your kind feedback.
Kind regards
AJ