How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I have a joint tenancy agreement together with my

Resolved Question:

Hi.
I have a joint tenancy agreement together with my ex-husband, it's a periodic tenancy on a monthly basis. My ex-husband hasn't been living in the property for months but this is still his official address and receives all his post there. I have no information about where he's been living. Until now, I was paying for all costs related to the property (rent, bills, etc). The letting agend addressed all invoices, etc to my name only.
We've been served a notice on the property by the landlord, which expires 20th January.
I have already moved to another rental property, and would like to hand the other property back on time as required (empty, professionally cleaned, etc). My husband has been insisting on getting an extension of the tenancy or the notice period and may sabotage the handover of the flat on 20th January.
The agency said they would apply for a possession order and continue to charge us rent until they regain possession - either of us as we are joint tenants and I may have to pay the rent even if it I already handed back my keys to them and it is my ex-husband's actions stopping them. I've already ended the standing order for the rent, and obviously don't want to pay in the future. (1 month of double rent and bills was enough.)
My Questions:
- Is it true what the agency said?
- Is there a way for me to be removed from the tenancy agreement and not to be liable for the flat after 20th January?
Or what would you suggest in such a situation?Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Have you given notice or just said you will leave?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I haven't given notice. We were served a Section 21 notice by the landlord in November, and the notice period expires on 20th January 2016.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Just to be clear, he doesnt live there?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He claims he's still living there and has keys but physically he hasn't been staying there since June 2015. He asked me to send his post to a POBox in December but he hasn't collected his post since then. Since I moved out in mid-December, the flat has been practically empty, and he hasn't been to the flat either.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Have you got his keys?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, he still has his keys.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Why wont he give up the keys?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would assume that he insist on having this address because this is what he has in his documents as his official address, especially in his residence card - he's a Tanzanian citizen, and has a residence card as my husband, and this was a joint tenancy/address. I can't think of any other reasons why he wouldn't give it up since he had already removed all his personal belongings from the flat in October.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you had given notice you would be ok as either tenant can. But sadly if he doesnt leave you are both jointly liable for any remaining rent.
I am sorry its not better news but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And is it OK to ask the letting agent to try to collect any payment from him first, and from me only if he doesn't pay? Until now, they always addressed all invoices and payment requests to me only. I'd assume that from now on, they could do the same with him.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes indeed you can do that. But sadly he is also liable.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it does. And what can the landlord do if ie I refuse to pay? What could be the legal consequences?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Landlord could get Judgment and enforce it, by sending in bailiffs etc.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I see. So, if I understood correctly, practically all I can do is hope that he will accept the notice, or in case he doesn't want to leave the property, request the agency to invoice him first and hope that he will pay it?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sadly yes.
Alex
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information.
Judit