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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34895
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Can my wife put out my lodgers from the flat I bought with

Customer Question

Can my wife put out my lodgers from the flat I bought with my own money just because we are still married and the divorce process is slow?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Where do you each live at present and what has actually happened?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I live in Hungary.
I lost my job in 2014 August and now I am unemployed.
My wife lives in the UK in my flat.
She is not contributing to the bills, (council tax, management fee, water bill, electricity)
I took in lodgers to help me to pay the bills and also survive while i am looking for a job.
I am also proceeding for divorce, but the process is slow.
I am now trying to get divorced for 2 years now, since she is trying to do everything, so that I can't by not giving me the marriage documents so that I could register it in Hungary.
I could put the electricity bill on her name which she ignored for almost a year. (the other bills I couldn't) She now received a notification from the company to pay (she says that this is the first time she received any notification, but I am sure that they sent a letter when the change was made). Now she threatens not only put my lodgers out but also not to pay.
She doesn't want to move out of the flat but also she doesn't want to pay the costs of living.
Looks like since we are married she has rights but no responsibilities.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How long did you live together and are there any children involved?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
we lived together for 1 year and she does not have any children. there are no children living with her. She lives alone, we are not living together.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
When were you married?
Why are you paying the bills - the Council Tax is her responsibility as are the Water rates etc
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We were married in 2011 December. Moved together in 2012 February. Living in the flat since 2012 May, when the purchase was completed. I separated in 2013 May, a year later and went for work abroad. I couldn't start the divorce then because she failed to give me important documents to register the marriage. Finally I managed to register it and filed for divorce in September 2014. We onky lived together little more than a year.
The bills are on my name. I could only change the electricity bill, but she questions it.
That's not the only cost though of having a flat.
The council refused to put her on the bill, because I am the owner of the flat. They don't care if I live in it or not.
When I asked her to contribute to costs she said it's not her problem, because the bills are not on her name and if my mother is inviting me for dinner she cannot charge money for it later.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You can notify the Council that your wife is living there and should be paying the Council Tax.
I am afraid that she is entitled to live in the matrimonial home, and to ask the lodgers to leave.
However she is not entitled to live there free and you can expect her to pay all the bills.
Your relationship has been very short so her financial claim on you under Uk law would be very limited but of course I cannot comment on Hungarian law.
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If she forces my lodgers out of the place, does she have to consider the lodging agreement and give them sufficient notice? If she doesn't observe the terms what can I do? What is the process for her to legally evict my lodgers?
If she forces my lodgers out and I am not living in the property, shouldn't she be responsible for all the costs of the flat
- council tax
- electricity bill
- management fee
- water bill
since I am not loving there and she is using the place exclusively? How can I get her to pay for all these expenses? What is the legal process?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
She can simply ask the lodgers to leave.
She does need to pay the bills- and that should be dealt with within the financial side of the divorce
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there no process outside the divorce which would allow me to claim financial compensation? What if the legal process is lengthy and takes let's say 5 years?
How is it possible that a company like Sky can claim £21 from me and go to court if I am not paying, but I am not able to recover my costs of the services someone else is using?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
The only option you have is to stop paying the bills so that the services are cut off.
however once she is no longer your wife she no longer has an automatic right to live there
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What if I tell my lodgers to stay? Do I not have any say in this matter?
Each room is locked with a key. She doesn't have a key to the lodger's room.
Do I not have right to give permission to people to stay in my rooms as long as they don't have access to her room?
Since I am not living there, how can I ensure that she does not rent out the rooms, if there is nobody to supervise?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You can tell them to stay - but you are in Hungary and they cannot force their way in.
It is the matrimonial home and she is entitled not to have lodgers in her home.
Your only option is to return to the UK to deal with this