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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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My ex wife left our housing association home over ten years

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My ex wife left our housing association home over ten years ago. Her name is ***** ***** the rent book although there has been no contact in all that time. I have no way of contacting her but want to get her name removed so that my new partner's name can be registered instead. What can I do?
HI I will try and help. What type of tenancy do you have with the Housing association? Is it an Assured Shorthold tenancy or something else, and is this a fixed term tenancy or is it month by month?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It is assured periodic tenancy, month by month and we have lived in the property for over ten years.
have you discussed this with the Housing association? and if so what did they say?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They said to discuss it with a solicitor!!
right, fair enough!
the reason i asked that is that what I have in mind sort of requires their consent and involvement to a degree.
Essentially what you have at present is a contract between you, your ex-wife and the HA. In order to "change" that contract you have to end this one. There are a few ways to do this, one requires either you or the HA giving notice to the other to end the term. You can give the usual one months notice. Obviously the danger here is that you end the Tenant and the HA decide not to give you a new one. What you may wish to do is approach them this proposal and see if they will agree to a new tenancy before you give the notice in. Alternatively you could approach them and see if they will offer you a new fixed term tenancy in you and your new partners name. This new tenancy will have the effect of ending the previous tenancy in you an your ex-wifes name.
I am presuming that the divorce etc has all gone through, and and financial issues have been tied up? is this right?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, divorce is all settled, ( no children or complications) but if we end the tenancy would it not affect the price if we later want to buy the property which is something we are thinking about.
are you thinking about the right to buy scheme?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
well obviously there is lots in the news from the various competing parties about right to buy schemes, so I am not sure what the state of the schemes post election will look like. However at the moment my understanding is that you just have to have been a tenant for over 5 years, which of course you have been. It is something you will have to check with the HA before you give your notice in however
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, but we still need them to agree to remove her from the tenancy and we can't contact her.
it is true, as I have said above, that the HA will need to be complicit in any arrangement. So yes, if their position is that they wont give you a new tenancy unless your ex-wife in involved then you are going to have a problem. The suggestions mentioned above are predicted on the notion that the HA accept that you have had no contact for over 10 years, and that this is a practical solution (i have no idea what the internal reasoning the HA may have for not agreeing to this as this is a matter for them). Ultimately if the HA cannot agree to this, and you cannot find your wife then your only option is to consider an application to the Court for a variation of the tenancy.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I think that is what the H A was implying when they said consult a solicitor.
If we had to do that what would it involve and what would it cost to apply to a court?
if it was the court route then it wouldn't be to long a process however it is fairly technical. It is difficult to estimate the legal costs as it depends on the solicitor and the time the court takes to deal with the matter. To give you an idea of the court costs to set the ball rolling would be £280 for the issue fee. It would be worth getting you solicitor to write to the HA in the first instance with a without prejudice proposal of the end of one tenancy and beginning of a new one as this would be the cheapest and simplest route.
I hope this has helped. If so please leave positive feedback so i can be pad for my time. The question wont close and if you think of further questions down the line you can always re-post.
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience: I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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HiThere are in fact a couple of options available to you via the courts.You can manage both applications yourself and the costs need not be high.The first option is to make an application within the divorce proceedings - this would be complex but it is possible.A better option would be to use the Family Law ActThe form is here will have to show the court that you have taken all possible steps to trace your exPlease ask if you need further detailsClare