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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10354
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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My wife and I live and were married in Greece but are now

Resolved Question:

My wife and I live and were married in Greece but are now separating. I have a house currently on the market in the UK which is in my name. (inheritance from my father before we married.). I will take the propperty off the market and let her live there rent free but I want to retain ownership and not let her become a "squater" for sake of a better term.
How should I go about it?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

Thanks for your enquiry.

I confirm that your question/issue falls under UK law.

The safest thing for you to do is to create a Tenancy Agreement. This not only sets out in black and white the terms on which your wife will be able to live in the property, it also allows you to gain possession of the property at the end of the tenancy agreement, or if your wife breaches her obligations under it. Without any such agreement in writing, there may be problems at a later date in you attempting to evict her.

The normal and trusted tenancy agreement in the UK is called an "Assured Shorthold Tenancy" (AST). It is normally for a term of 6 months or 12 months, and you would have to charge her rent- I appreciate you wanted her to live there rent free, but an AST is valid is valid provided the yearly rent is more than £250 (outside London) and more than £1,000 (if the property is in London). Therefore, if the property is outside London, you would need to charge her a monthly rent of at least £20.84!

Once the AST has expired 9ie after the 6 or 12 month period), the tenancy continues on a month to month basis until either party gives the other party notice to end the agreement. If you were wishing her to vacate and she didn't, you would have to issue Court proceedings to evict her, but provided it is an AST, the Court will always grant the required Order. (If there is no tenancy agreement in place and you have a mere oral agreement, it may take you 6-12 months to evict her).

A local Solicitor or Letting Agent will be able to prepare an AST for you, without much trouble.

I hope this assists you and answers your question.

If I have helped, please would you rate my answer.

Kind Regards

Al

Once the

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Hi, can I assist you any further? If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer. Kind Regards Al

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Al.
I live here in Greece on a permanent basis and would have problems in getting back to the UK due to animals and smallholding to attend to.
Can I use an online form for the AST and what should I be careful of when filling it in. Thanks for your advice so far. Richard
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Hi Richard, thanks for your reply. You should be able to find an AST agreement without too much trouble online. The are in standard format, so all you would need to complete are the address details/names of the parties/the monthly rent and the term of the agreement. An AST also caters for the provision of a Deposit payable by the Tenant, but I take it that you won't be asking for any deposit. It is then a case of both of you signing and having your signatures witnessed and dating the AST. I hope tis clarifies things. Please don't forget to rate my answer, if I have helped. Kind Regards Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Hi, please don't forget to rate my answer if I have helped. Thanks Al

Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10354
Experience: Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
Aston Lawyer and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Al. What if she refuses to sign the AST???
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can I prevent her moving in. The house is my sole name.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Hi Richard, well I suggest that you tell her that she can only have the keys if she signs the AST! As the property is in your sole name you do indeed have the right to refuse her consent to live there, full stop.

If she moves in without signing and does not pay any rent, she may acquire squatter rights and you will find it a lot harder to evict her if the need arose.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks for your answer Al.Can you clarify squatters rights and how I can prevent that happening. Can I change the locks? Does it become a police matter if she just moves in??
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

The only way t guarantee potential squatter rights occurring is by getting a Tenancy Agreement signed up. The County Courts, not the Police, deal with evicting squatters.

I hope I have answered your original question, and if you do need further questions answering, please post as a fresh question.

Kind Regards

Al

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