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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32980
Experience:  Over 25 years experience in law
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I am having a problem with my flat; I have been allowing

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Hi I am having a problem with my flat; I have been allowing a friend (a now ex-girlfriend) to stay in my housing association place for a while now, and she is threatening to assert rights as a subtenant if I do not put her as a shared tenant. She says that I promised I would but I never did, I said if it was possible and things worked out I would try; my landlord's rules do not allow this though. The relationship has since completely broken down and she is in fact denying me access to my place for over a year now (she hasnt changed the locks but she is hostile and basically wont allow me to stay there) and also I travel a lot for work, so Ive avoided a confrontation over this. But now she is being really nasty and trying to take over my place. She does pay a share of the rent to me as is only fair to my mind, and her share of the bills but as far as I was concerned I was doing her a favour and letting her stay while I wasn't around. I have made no profit from this. The bills, tenancy and council tax are all in my name, but she is saying she has bank statements showing that she has been paying me. Finally, if she does assert that she is a subtenant to my housing association, it is unlawful for me to sublet and they can evict me. I have asked her to leave, given her plenty of time (30 days) to do so. I want my flat back, my work situation has changed and I want her out. What rights do I have? I want to change the locks and remove her property; can I do this? Failing that I have don't seem to have many choices; to either stop paying the rent, resulting in a liablity for arrears and a notice to quit, or to hand the property back voluntarily and petition the management committee to reinstate me once they have possession, both ways I will lose my flat.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
OK. The fact is that the tenancy is in your name. She has been there as your girlfriend/now ex - she is a visitor and as such you are entitled to give her notice and then change the locks. There is of course a risk that she will contact the council and make them aware of what has been happening and you will be in breach - but you should be able to explain to them the problems with the relationship breaking down - there are of course no guarantees. But as she has merely been your visitor you are entitled to change the locks. I hope that this helps. Please rate positive
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok I have a couple of more questions. She is asserting that she has been paying me rent and is threatening to produce bank statements to my landlord as evidence (a housing co-operative, not the council). This would result in me facing a disciplinary hearing with a subcommittee and potentially losing my tenancy if they find that I have been subletting, which is strictly prohibited in my tenancy. She has been paying her way (not fully, I subsidise the rent, and she pays no council tax, is not electoral roll etc) although the informal arrangement we had was that I have total access to my place when I'm around, of course (I travel a lot for work) In the past year, maybe 18 months the relationship has deteriorated to the extent that she has been denying me to stay there, and Ive been avoiding a confrontation, as I've been trying to resolve this is in an amicable way.

I am totally prepared to change the locks at the end of the notice period and remove her property, and to face any hearings the co-operative should deem necessary if she does take action. My main concern is that I am not acting ILLEGALLY by doing this if she calls the police. My experiences in the past have led me to understand that the police would view this as a civil matter and not take action, especially if I can produce the tenancy and have full possession ie the keys. Please clarify this point.