There is nothing wrong with getting someone to do work in lieu of paying rent. There is nothing wrong with paying people for doing work. You have done nothing provided you didn’t know that he was claiming benefits and not declaring any tax. If you did, you are potentially complicit with this fraud.
It is the person that receives the benefit that must declare it to the revenue and the benefits people.
You need to advise the benefits agency and the tax office. You can do that anonymously and tell them the circumstances and ask them to confirm that if you give the information about this person to them, but you will escape prosecution. They will do that. If they refuse, don’t give them the details.
Tell him what you are going to do. You can’t make the threat that you’re going to do it unless he moves because he may allege blackmail.
If he refuses to go, you are faced with making a court application for an order for possession and if, after getting that order he still refuses to go, you then make a further application to court for a warrant for possession for bailiffs to physically come and throw him out.
Can I clarify anything for you?
If you cut the padlock off, that’s criminal damage. You need to give him notice that unless he lets you into the barn by a particular date (I would give him seven days) you will arrange to have the lock cut off and you will charge him for a replacement. If you are cutting the lock off it’s as well to tell the police what you are going to do so that he cannot later alleged criminal damage. It only becomes criminal damage if you have a dishonest intention.
You can’t remove the horses obviously but you can lock the gate. In actual fact, you could give him notice under the Torts Interference with Goods Act that if he does not remove the horses within a reasonable period of time (say one month) you will arrange to have them sold and let him have the money they bring on sale less any disposal costs.
If you are doing that and selling them, there is a specific format that the letter needs to be in. For the purposes of the Act the horses are goods. Here is some reading on the act. http://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/client-resources/legal-updates/disposal-goods-tenancy-terminated-abandoned-property-8270.aspx
the letter would probably carry more weight coming from a solicitor.
You say the he is living in your property but then you say that you live on your own here. Does he share any facilities or living accommodation with you?
That is a shame. If you shared some facilities or living accommodation with him, you could simply have given him one months notice and then lock him out.
You are going to be faced with making an application to court to get him out.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
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It doesn’t cost you extra but helps me greatly.
No, I’m afraid it doesn’t. Sharing facilities would be kitchen or bathroom or some living accommodation.
What you are doing, sharing utilities, not facilities. Best wishes.