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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8537
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am a landlord and rented my house to my granddaughter and

Customer Question

I am a landlord and rented my house to my granddaughter and partner at a discount rent of £300/month that he agreed to pay.Over the last 12 months he missed 3 months rent before walking out. They also had a joint account in which they had taken out and deposited £3OOO bank loans(2) loans.He arranged his salary to be paid in his single bank account and then tried to disolve the joint account leaving my granddaughter to pay the loans, the bank told him they would not disolve the joint account whilst in debit and the bank also held both accountable for the debt.
During a period of 4 weeks in which Emma was unemployed and no income 4 loans were taken out allthough the bank took back 2 x £1000 after complaint (now subject to the Financial Ombusman) He also subjected her to violence and kicking down a bedroom door.
To end the the situation I transfered £3000 pound into Emma single bank account and this then used to pay of the debts and close the joint account.
My Question
I'm taking him to the small claims court for the rent arrears and door damages, can I aloso claim back £1500 his half of the debt loan or will Emma have to submit a claim also or can we submit a joint claim.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

The situation with the bank is quite normal. They can assign half of the debt to each person by mutual agreement but it’s not in their favour because the normal situation is that both of them are jointly and severally liable for the full debt.

If the loans were taken out in his name, then he is responsible for paying them. If they were in joint names, they are both responsible for the whole debt although if your granddaughter pays the whole lot off, which he has done, she is entitled to recover 50% from him.

You can recover the rent arrears and door damage from him but remember that he may allege that 50% of the rental debt if your granddaughters. Hence, you may only recover 50% of the actual arrears. The door damage is all down to him because he was the one that committed the criminal damage. You might want to refer that the police to see whether they would be interested in pursuing a criminal damage prosecution.

However with regard to the money which is now owed by him, to your granddaughter in respect of his half of the loans, you would need to if you Small Claims Court proceedings her self. There is no reason why you cannot complete the paper for her but she must sign them and deal with any court hearing.

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Best wishes.

FES.

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