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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can a AST be void if gained by knowingly fraudulant means

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Can a AST be void if gained by knowingly fraudulant means
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joe We had a tenant sign an agreement but didnt pay rent or deposit Unuasly the arrangement was for the keys to be collected from the owners sister . However she hookwinked the owner (a supposed friend ! ) into leaving or handing keys over telling her the rent etc and everything had been signed up. This wasnt the case and she acceessed the premises at 0545 on the day of the tenancy the owner having flown off abroad . At that point no agreement was in place she took the agreement from our offices snaffled up in her handbag whilst the office girl processed her card payment . Surprise surprise this was declined and was declined a number of times she said Ill draw cash out and pay in the morning. The owner came back from almost the other side of the world changed locks on the house OFF the record Police advise and re took possession . She was arrested (Tenant ) and charged under suspision of the fraud act 2006 section 2 . She was released on bail and returned to Police as I understand it was released as Police said a civil matter . The owner has been interviewed by the local council

So the fraud is that she tricked you into thinking she had paid when she had not?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She tricked the owner in telling her a pack of lies that money's had Beenpaid contracts signed etc which wasn't the case. She knowingly had keys unbeknownst to us and had no funds to pay

An AST can be voided on the basis that it was granted as a result of a fraudulent representation but I wouldn't suggest it here.
You can seek a possession order on that basis but if she is not paying rent then you can seek a possession order anyway and if she is more than two months in arrears then it is guaranteed.
If she is paying rent but you want her out then you will have to rely on that ground.
What you cannot do though is just go round and evict her. Even if she has behaved badly and defrauded everybody, she has to be evicted properly to avoid committing an offence yourself.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joe Thank you for your response she has been evicted on Police advice I understand the Local authority are housing her at the moment . She is a fraudster ............if matters finish up at civil court we will be citing huge number of false representation some in writing and contry to the fraud act of 2006 section 2 etc etc

I wouldn't waste your time on that. Just claim for the sums involved.
If she has been evicted already then just seek to reclaim on the basis of abandonment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry youve been great but I dont can anybody adandon if theyve been evicted ? If were re claiming for rent etc involved this suggests we are agreeing there was a tenancy ? On what grounds can an ast be void . My client has been interviewed under caution by the local authority who of course (despite supporting a known fraudster ! ) proceed to prosecute

Because the property has been abandoned. The police don't have power to evict anyway. They may well have bailed her to a different address but that doesn't void the AST.
There is a tenancy agreement. There is an AST. It might well be capable of escape on this basis but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand she could of gone back but didnt want to (owners sister lives next door ) and perhaps now lives at her bailed address. I dont think this fraudster has two pennies to rub together so chasing her for monies will be a wate of time. What were trying to do her is avoid a civil charge of illegal eviction under the 77 act based on in my opinion fraud on many counts was committed in actualy getting initaly access (when NO ast was signed ) and knowlingly knowing she had no ability to pay . Based on what appears bad Police advice which she acted on (they told her it could take 5/6 days ) to arrest this women under suspision of fraud she could change locks when she was out which she did OR change locks Police would tip her off when she was arrested . Do you think the LA will prosecute and if so will a judge have the powers to dismiss the case based on above etc, deeming the ast was gained by fraudalant means ?

If you evict her without basis then you would be at risk of that.
I am not sure what the LA would be prosecuting for? What is their interest in the matter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi in effect their interest is the landlord on perhaps poor advice has evicted the tenant by changing locks contry to the illegal eviction act of 1977 based on the fact there was an ast in place (albeit IMO gained through fraud )and the tenant entered the premises at 0545 am on the morning of the tenancy without any agreement being signed and monies paid which she was fully aware she had not funds to pay for. The arrangement was she signed at our office and collected keys from the owners sister ..............based on the pack of lies she had paid everything signed the owner CHANGED the arrangement believing her not checking with us and off she danced with the ast NOT in 22 years have I had someone sign an ast and not pay deposit and rent !

I see. That is unlawful eviction and the police should know that.
There is a risk of prosecution I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks not good. Police went down the route of FRAUD under section 2 of the 2006 act and the owner evicted her KNOWING this women was to be arrested and charged (as was thought ) I still believe if they proceed with procesution I really cant see how a judge could if they wish make the ast void and dismiss case. The landlord will cite Mensrea I think that is the term that because of the fraud she (as I do ) believed there is no ast and she had no lawful right because of this to be in occupation. ?

I am really sorry but that is not a defence.
There was an agreement in place and you cannot evict in this way.
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