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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69356
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Good afternoon, I have been renting a house. My friend has

Customer Question

Good afternoon,

I have been renting a house. My friend has moved in and was a second person on the contract. I have moved out with my boyfriend to a different property. The person that has moved in my rented propert has not payed last month rent and bills. Is there anything I can do to make her pay the rent arears and outstanding bills, please. your help would be greatly apprecietated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank your for your question. I will try to help with this.

What type of contract is this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 that was a rental agency agreement

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Yes, what type?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 Not sure about the type, Assured shorhold tenancy if that is what you are looking for...

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
OK. Thats what I needed to know.

Did the landlord agree that you could move out?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well actually the landlord did not know about it

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Ok. Thats a problem I'm afraid.

I am sorry but you cannot do this. Come what may, you were on an AST. You had no lawful right to leave and you certainly did not have a right to replace yourself with another tenant. I am sorry but thats called unlawfully subletting and the landlord has a claim against you.

if she agreed to pay these bills then you do have a claim against her in breach of contract but then the fact of the unlawful subletting would be scrutinised which is a problem I'm afraid.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


We both discontinued the contract in November which we had to leave the propert by 30 December. I do appreciate this is my reponsibility. She was to pay the last months rent. Would I be able to ask the agency to at least split the outstanding payments as we both were on the contract?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
No.

If you involve the agency you will alert them to the unlawful sublet and they have a claim against you for doing so.

You could sue her in the small claims court but given the subletting I couldn't guarantee that a court would find in your favour.

I'm very sorry.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

IFOR JOMO1972 I could get her sign a personal agreement to make all payments, would I be able to get her to pay the bills? i believe I could try to talk to er again but I do not want any spoken promises. what should I state in the agreement if so?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
It won't make any difference for the reasons above.

You are not allowed to sublet.
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69356
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972I did not sublet as her name was down on the contract when she has moved in. She has signed a copy at the agency.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
you said above that the landlord didn't know?

Delighted to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 the landlord did not know that I have moved out but they knew about the second person as she has signed the same agrreement adding her name on it

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Sorry, that makes no sense. How did she replace you on the agreement without the landlord knowing?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972. I have rented a house via letting agency - who I have signed the contract with on behalf of the landlord. If you wish I can call the agency - landlord. They knew about the second person as she has signed the same agreement as me.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
No, do nothing till we get to the bottom of this.

So she agreed to be on the AST originally but did not live there or she did?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes she did live there

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
So this is basically a flat share from which you moved out?

But she was always there and paying up until you moved out?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.

If thats right then that changes everything.

Then you are not subletting and there is nothing to fear from the agents.

Was the original agreement that you would pay everything divided equally?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not sure. I just used to collect half of the value of the due bills from her and transfer the money online to the authorities. I should ask for a copy of an agreement from the agent tomorrow, the one that she has signed as well as it looks like I do not have it, As far as I am aware she has not even given back the house keys to the agent after moving out. As she has left the propert the last, there was some rubbish left which is affecting my bond.


 


If she has signed the agreement as I did I believe we have not only equal rights on the property but responsabilities as well. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.

If she has signed the AST then you are right effectively but its a little more complicated than that.

If this is an AST then you both have joint and separate liability. That means the landlord could claim from either one of you the full amount under the contract.

However, you have a separate agreement with her that the rent and other bills will be divided between you. I realise you might not have actually negotiated it but it is clearly there because that was what you were doing.

If she has just stopped paying and you are asked to pay probably because you are the lead tenant then you do have a claim against her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


As i do not want any trouble and I am keen on paying the outstanding rent etc.but I need to be sure I can claim from her.


 


She was the only person in the property for the last month of the contract.


 


And this will be a good lesson to learn not to trust anyone in situations like this.


 


what would I have to do to claim?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I suppose thats right!

Whether she was the last person in the property or not makes no difference to your actual liability here. You are both liable in full under the AST.

You have a separate agreement with her - it would seem - to pay half and you can still rely on that.

I'm not sure whether you are saying that you agreed with her to pay the last month in full. You might struggle to enforce that particular term.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Well she has even asked me if I could wait for the last payment as it was just before Christmas time, but when she has texted me that I replyed that the agent will not wait and she has to make the payment. I did not find out about the payment not been made until today. So in summmarry I would be able to claim at least half of the debt?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Yes, exactly.

You are both on the AST and you had an agreement that she would pay something.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Well many thanks for your time and information. I think I will gather all documentation prior to making any action.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

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