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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10642
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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It’s not for me really, however my partner has split from

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Hi, it’s not for me really, however my partner has split from her ex, he is a guarantor for her flat. She has missed October’s rent payment as he has withheld a years worth of child benefit that was in a joint account, as she needs it to support her son, she has him 12 out of 14 days. So 1 months rent was to get the money she is owed. He is refusing to pay the arrears on the rent and she’s worried she’ll get evicted. He also says if it goes to court she’d be liable due to blackmail.
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: What is the legal implications for both parties?
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Customer: kent
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Customer: That’s pretty much it in a nutshell
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
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Hello for clarification it is only October's rent that hasnt been paid?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yeah, this remains in arrears, November has been paid by her
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I’ll text instead due to the cost
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. He needs to get better advice. This isn’t blackmail. Blackmail is unwarranted demands with menaces and this is simply “playing the game” as he is. So she has no need to worry about that.

However she does need to worry about being evicted because once she is in two months arrears, she can be served with a section 8 notice to quit and that doesn’t have a two-month wait.

If she is consistently late paying the rent, she can have a section 8 notice that and although being consistently late, possession is at the court’s discretion, if she is two months in arrears, there is no discretion although if she brings the arrears up to date immediately before the hearing, then a section 8 notice to quit on the grounds of two months arrears will fail.

I don’t know how he has withheld two years of child benefit because of its in a joint account, she will have access to it and child benefit is only payable to one parent, but there is no facility for it to be paid Jointly although it could be paid into a joint account. She needs to get that changed immediately to an acct in her sole name.

I’m assuming that he is paying child maintenance and if he isn’t, she needs to immediately contact the Child Maintenance Service. He really won’t like them on his back!

.Can I clarify anything else for you? I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Apologies, when they were together, it was paid to her, but she transferred to his account for savings. Not a joint account.She deliberately missed October, cause he refused to give her the benefit which rightfully is for her son as she is the main carer
He does pay maintenance no problem. She is 1 month in arrears and this will remain, so what are his obligations as a guarantor to pay the month of October? She had to do it this way as she is on benefits and she needed those funds for new clothes etc.She did stipulate in a text to his father, she’d have no choice but to miss a month in order for to receive the benefit in a different way, he has since (apparently) been advised its blackmail
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Just to add, he was advised a court would see her liable for costs as it was deliberate.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I’ve since found out, she paid the child benefit to her sons account, but the dad is the parent named, she doesn’t have any access, he has full access if this helps?

Thank you. That explains why he’s hanging onto it.

This money does not belong to him and if he simply refuses to give it to her, then take him to the Small Claims Court. It’s not quick but it’s simple.

If she is on benefits, she may not even have to pay the court fee.

She doesn’t need to worry about blackmail.

In the Small Claims Court, the courts do not routinely award costs against the losing party or against anyone else for that matter. They can do it one of the parties has been unreasonable but it needs to be grossly unreasonable and this isn’t even approaching that.

In respect of the money being paid into her son’s account, the money is for the benefit of her son, it is payable to her, and if he won’t release the money, then take him to court unless a court decide the issue.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** issue surrounding the missed October payment and his obligations as a guarantor, how does this work in the eyes of the law?
Also to clarify, she hasn’t done anything wrong in respect of acting in this way to get her money, also assuming that although she voluntarily paid it into her sons acc, it is rightfully hers as it was paid to her via the government?

In the eyes of the law, you are in arrears and the landlord can chase you for the arrears and/or the guarantor.

The money does belong to her because it’s paid to her as the resident parent, it’s just that for their own internal reasons it was put into her son’s bank account which for some reason, she has no control over.

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