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Nicola-mod
Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  Moderator
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Hello im in the middle of a massive ordeal with my old landlord,

Customer Question

Hello im in the middle of a massive ordeal with my old landlord, I rented a shared students property from him However all the rooms where rented individually and we shared living room bathroom and kitchen. There was three of us living there me and another girl where on a joint tenancy the other tenant had a separate one, I paid all of my rent but my house mate left owing him rent we each had to have a guarantor but the landlord cannot get in touch with this Tennant or her guarantor even though he has there address so he is chasing me for the rent it does say in the contract that I am jointly and severely liable but surely it should come from her or her guarantor is there anything i could do?I have received a letter saying he is taking us to court
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

How much is he taking you to court for?

Do you know where this individual is?

Does it say you are jointly and severally liable for the whole rental sum?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He is taking me to court for this isa rough estimate because i am currently not at home but the unpaid rent is around £968 but with court cost and other costs its just over £1300

 

And yes I think so but in the contract it had a box for a witness to sign but there wasn't one

 

Oh yeah and the other Tennant is living in Tamworth

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

Has the landlord issued court proceedings?

Was your signature witnessed?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yeah i have had a letter issued for court


 


And no it wasn't but there was a space for the witness to sign

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

You have the following options:
1. Just pay the landlord the rent. You can then sue your former flat mate for the money under the Civil Liabiltiy Act;
2. You can defend the proceedings. This will be on the basis that the document was not properly executed therefore you cannot be jointly and severally liable for your other flat mates debt on the basis of a lack of consideration.

When do you have to file a defence by? Normally you will have 28 days?

When were then proceedings served?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I have 28 days to respond


 


Do you think it is worth me defending this because if I go to court and lose I will get bad credit rating and as it is really someone else's debt i rather not receive the bad credit as I am planning to move house house in the near future

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

To be honest if you don't want the hassle I would just pay it. See if you can get away with only paying the rent owed. You can then always make a claim against the other tenant.

I would ask the landlord to stay the proceedings for a month to see of you can get the other tenant to pay up in the mean time.

You are right if you are buying a house it is not worth risking your credit rating on.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What do you think the chances of me winning are

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

That is very difficult to say. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is you agreed to the terms of this lease and being joint and severally liable. However to make such a provision enforceable it should have been executed as a deed. If it has not been witnessed then it has not been executed as a deed and therefore you could argue it is not enforceable. That said why take the risk of having this blighted on your credit file.

I would speak to the landlord and ask him to give you an opportunity to chase the other tenant. If he refuses you can always say that you will tell the university of his unscrupulous practice or report him to trading standards.

Does the lease say anywhere that he is obliged to chase the guarantors first?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the lease just says we have guarantors and are all liable

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

I would contact the landlord and ask him to give you a brief stay to find the other tenant. Are you still in contact?kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No we are not because she just left half way through the tenancy left me and the other Tennant with all the bills and changed her number

 

However the landlord has the address of her guarantor and I have been informed that's there she is living

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
HiThank you.As long as you know the last know residence of this person you can still sue them. You can also get in contact with guarantor and ask them to contribute.What I am suggesting is by law you have a defence but it is risky if you don't want your credit rating affected. Can I suggest you try and negotiate with the landlord. Why don't you say to him you can't afford the full sum and offer he a contribution say 25% to settle the proceedings and chase the defaulting tenants guarantor?Kind regardsAJ
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Just a quick reminder, there is an unrated answer waiting for you here from the Professional.

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Thank you,
Nicola

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