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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My partner and I signed an assured joint tenancy agreement.

Customer Question

My partner and I signed an assured joint tenancy agreement. He knew I could not afford the rent by myself and told me he would move into the property with me after a few months. He has now changed his mind. I know that the landlords can pursue me for all of the rent, but can I make any claim against him as he had the intent to move in, his name is XXXXX XXXXX tenancy etc. Citizens Advice have mentioned breach of trust??
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What was the arrangement over rent payments? How much was he supposed to pay?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We were going to half the rent (full amount is £1300 per month) once he had moved in. He would have lived in the property for a minimum of 6 months. Along with him signing the tenancy agreement, I am sure I also have emails showing his intent

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
How much notice did he give you?

Also have you made efforts to find a replacement tenant?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He didn't give me any notice he had lied all along about leaving his wife! I cannot find a new tenant as I live with my 2 children and there aren't enough bedrooms

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

You do have a claim against him in principle. You had a contract with him that he would move in and pay half the rent.

Its a small claims court sum and you can issue here

In fairness though it would be irresponsible of me not to warn you of the risk that the Court might not be happy about making him pay half of a rent upon a flat in which he does not live especially as you are living there with your family alone.

It might be worth suing. However displeased the court is with your claim the worst that will happen is that they will reduce it. He won't get costs against you.

The landlord can sue him under the AST rather than you obviously but thats a different contract really and its a decision for the landlord to make.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So apart from the fees involved in issuing a small claim, the court would not seek any money from me? Are you saying that the worst they could do would be to say he does not owe me anything?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Well, the worst they could do is order actual costs against you and obviously you do expose yourself to a counter claim if you bring claims against people.

Thats not really a realistic risk though because there is a claim here. The court might not be happy to award you half rent but there is a claim. Its not right to say you pursued a claim with no prospect of success.

Obviously counterclaims can be brought but he would need grounds. If he hasn't got any then that shouldn't happen.