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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My family broke down. I left my rented house in December and

Customer Question

My family broke down. I left my rented house in December and I was the sole party in the contract. My wife stayed in the house with my 2 underage girls. I told the landlord at the beginning of January. I said i wanted to terminate my contract and let my wife remain as a tenant. Landlord disagreed . I gave the notice asked (2 months). My wife could afford to pay a full rent on her salary. I have been helping with the rent and the bills but have my own bills. At the end of notice the landlord gave me the deposit and I told him he should get the keys from my wife. I told him that it was the end of the contract with me and therefore he should talk to my wife and come to an arrangement about the rent . Mother and daughters have been living there for the last two months. I got a possession court order on the grounds that the rent was not paid in the last two months. (There is no communication between me and my wife). May be that she thought that I was paying the rent. Should I be the defendant?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. For the avoidance of doubt can I confirm I understand you correctly that you allowed your wife and daughters into the house as (permitted) occupiers please?
  2. Do you know if the landlord protected your deposit in a deposit protection scheme?
  3. Did you discuss your wife paying rent following the end of your agreement? If so what was her response?
  4. Finally do you have a matrimonial home elsewhere that you jointly own?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1 I left the house but I told her that she should leave by the notice date.

2 He did protect the deposit and gave me a bankers draft

3 I did not , I am not in speaking terms. I told the landlord my contractual time was over and therefore he should talk to my wife

4 We don't have, I believe she is doing it because the council did not answer her call for housing.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for the above. The position contractually speaking from what you say is that your wife was never a party to the tenancy agreement and therefore the landlord has no contractual relationship with her (unless he signed a new tenancy agreement with her after you left which is not the case from what you say).This being the case you have vacated but have left occupiers (albeit not deliberately). The landlord make them leave with force as this would be a criminal offence under the protection against eviction act. Because you have not returned vacant possession to the landlord, a tenancy still exists under the Housing Act on a statutory periodic basis (month to month). You have given notice to end the tenancy but until such time as the position is given to the landlord, a statutory periodic tenancy exists and rent is payable at the same rate as agreed in the original tenancy agreement.Recover possession, the landlords only option is to issue possession proceedings against you personally because you are the tenant. The landlord has no legal relationship with your wife and so cannot issue proceedings against her personally. you are the tenant, you could go to the property, and most retail use force to remove your wife, whilst she is out you could secure the property and if necessary change the locks so as to prevent re-entry and provide the keys to the landlord giving up your tenancy by returning vacant possession to him. This would bring to an end to the need for possession proceedings to go any further and the tenancy would end.If you have left the property and asked your wife to do likewise, although, as above, you will owe rent to the landlord until such time as vacant possession is given, you can consider counter claiming such rent against your wife as you have asked to leave the property and she has failed to do so and you are not obtaining any benefit from the property.The alternative if you prefer not to involve yourself directly with your life, is to allow possession proceedings to move forward and allow the landlord to obtain possession of courts though you will need to consider the rent will continue to accrue until such time as possession is obtained which is likely to be at least 6 to 8 weeks from the date he issued proceedings. You have a claim against your wife for rent for this period but it is not able to pay, you may not be able to recover monies easily and she may be able to defend the claim under the matrimonial causes act for the children's act.I hope the above is of assistance though I am sorry it is not likely to be what you hoped to hear though I have a duty to advise you honestly based upon the facts as you state them and would not wish to put a flase spin on the position to raise false hope. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your help!

1-Will I get a criminal record? Will it be really damaging?

2-Could I ask to pay the rent in installments?

Thank you very much

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I am glad the above was of some assistance. Gosh no there would be no criminal record or anything of that nature. This is a civil matter and there is no criminal element so you ned not worry for a moment in that respect.The worst that could happen is that the landlord will sue for the unpaid rent which, unfortunatley as above, until such time as the landlord regains possession either from you voluntarily whereby you secure the property and give him the keys or following an order from the court for possession, the rent falls to you vis a vis the landlord (though you could look to counterclaim against your wife for the rent subject as above). If the landlord does sue for rent which is likely ifyou cannot reach an agreement with him as regards ***** ***** any rent that is due, then the worst that could happen is that you do not pay the money ordered by any court order by the date specified (this will usually be around 28 days following the order) and do not appeal then you will have a CCJ entered on your credit file which will stay there fore 6 years and make credit more difficult to obtain for that period. This is not good but it is not a criminla record ot anything of that nature.There is no reason you cannot try to reach an agreement to pay any rent with the landlord by installment. If you can avoid a legal claim in the courts this would be ideal because a CCJ as above can make credit more difficult for up to 6 years which can make borrowing much more expensive if you need a credit card or loan as many of us do during that time. By trying to work with the landlord from an early stage should minimise the possibility of his suing for rent.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was actually very good. thank you

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your feedback. I hope you are able to come to an amicable settlement with the landlord.

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