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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a difficult situation.... I have had a "tenant" installed

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I have a difficult situation....
I have had a "tenant" installed in my home [I have marital rights, right to occupy, spouse long moved out etc] by my wife who I am in the process of divorcing.
My solicitor has advised me that as I had nothing to do with this "tenancy" it cannot be valid therefore this person is a trespasser.
The police however are not going to support me as the house is in my wife's name.. but of course while this is may be the case I have the occupation rights. I suppose this means I am a tenant.
My question is .... how can I remove this person and not be arrested for breach of the peace as they have said now on 3 occasions. I have been told I cannot change locks. Any attempt is harassment. I don't want to get arrested tho one police officer told me it is unlikely I would get prosecuted but I cant risk it due to my job.
Where does the law stand on creating a tenancy agreement when one is [ my right to occupy] in place.
The person given the "tenancy" is in receipt of housing benefit, paid to my wife.
This is an urgent matter, I cannot see my solicitor until Monday at the earliest but need to access my property. The person is aggressive but passive aggressive, goading and that sort of behaviour...
Cheers, Steve.
Thank you for your question - I believe we have discussed it on another thread.
bearing in mind that since you are not a Legal Owner of the property and therefore cannot exclude someone there at the invitation of the owner your options are:-
1. Apply for an Occupation Order on the basis that she is safely housed elsewhere and you too are entitled to quiet enjoyment of your home
At the same time
2. make the applictaion to the court for the Financial issues to be dealt with so that pressure is put on your ex to deal with the financial disposition of the property.
In the mean time fix locks on the bedroom doors to protect your belongings and do not give this person the satisfaction of letting him provoke you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hmmmm that's not what the solicitors I have spoken to have said re the presence of this person.

They have told me I do not have to tolerate anyone in the home who is not welcome, whether I am the owner or not. Tenancy or not.

As the furniture in the room he is occupying is mine and bought after the wife left then I guess I can remove some of it to make his life as uncomfortable as possible.. Or alternatively just fill the room with so much stuff he cant get in.

We have locked some rooms up.

Occupation order is a road we are seriously considering. Would this get him out as well?

Is the creation of a tenancy in this way an offence? With h/b it might be but in law what is the position?

I am still concerned that I might get arrested should he confront me. It was suggested by a friendly policeman that I get an appointment to speak with police inspector rather than a pc or sgt


I am sorry but I disagree - if you were a joint owner then there would be no problem - but this is a grey area.
If you change the locks your ex is entitled to a key and the circle will start again.
An occupation Order will solve the problem as it will specifically state that your ex must allow you to live in the property without any disturbance
You can certainly remove your furniture from the room.
The tenancy issue is a red herring - do not allow yourself to get hung up on that - and yes speaking to an Inspector would be better
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks for that, I cant do anything until Monday so will lie low until then.

I will ask my new solicitor to sort the occupancy order .. shouldnt hopefully be an issue as she is a foster carer living in a big house etc... I certainly wont let on I am planning this as she will most likely move herself back in and claim homelessness... cheers Steve.

Excellent planning!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Morning. .. went home yesterday and found a letter from her solicitor telling me to vacate the property by 28 days. ... There was also a load of stuff about me being abusive and such like but that's easily disproved by some nice friendly texts and emails from shortly after she left me and mutual friends and family. She also claims I never contributed to mortgage which is also nonsense.

I do have a few concerns tho; the financial stuff she is going to try and get a better settlement so will press this however we had a normal family life and both contributed to things. I have also had a house full of lodgers and she has has all the money from them for 4 years. ..

The main concern is the lack of support from the local police and their support for any thing she choses to do.. I am a bit worried that she will turn up in 28 days and have their full support in evicting me.

The 2 who have shown up to deal with disturbances involving this "tenant" have given her and him full rights to do as they wish.

The local police station are just as bad. I'm under threat of arrest should I make any complaints about his behaviour.

I can't see my solicitor till Monday but at least it is unlikely that my wife will do anything in the meantime. I'm at g/f's so can't get into trouble :-)

The other thing was she is claiming my g/f is living at my place. ..which is not only not true but can easily be disproved particularly as she lives and works 50 miles away!

All very upsetting but hopefully bluster. Possibly more ammo for harassment or occupancy order. Cheers Steve.

This is a good trigger for your issuing an Occupation Order.
Write back to her solicitors pointing out that you are entitled to live in the Matrimonial Home and that since their client does not do so there is no reason for evicting you.
Then make the immediate application for both the Occupation order and the Financial Claims
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is it best to leave it to my solicitor to deal with order or can I do it myself?

I don't want to mess it up. Monday can't come soon enough.

Very frustrating. .. I think I may try and talk to a senior police officer about the marital rights as it is clearly so biased to the owner regardless of a spousal right. It's not just me that is going to go through this nonsense and some people can't afford a solicitor.

Cheers Steve.

I suggest that you leave the police out of it for now.
You can return to the matter once your personal position has been resolved - and then you can show them how the law should work
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think you are quite right. ... I am often getting involved in rights issues. dad was the same. He possibly didn't get so many backs up as me though.. He did resign as union rep for his fire station after finding out so much money was being spent on union jollies rather than into worker's rights..

I will carry on keeping a low profile and avoid annoying anyone, at least for now :-)

thanks. . Steve

Oh once you are safe please do go for it!
Clare and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, an update...

I now have a new solicitor, they have people who are dealing with domestic nonsense rather than straightforward divorces! They also have a tenancy expert..

All helps me feel more secure and that things are in my favour to a greater degree than the previous ones.

A letter has gone out to my wife asking for a copy of this tenancy agreement and proof of my payment of the mortgage.

Also a request to get on with the settlement asap. I wouldn't want to receive this letter........

Now I feel a bit less upset I can concentrate on getting back to work. I went home yesterday with my daughter, this unpleasant chap was there and he was obviously extremely agitated by my presence and we could hear him ranting to my wife on the phone.

I have contacted the police and requested an interview with a senior officer to discuss the situation and try and explain that I actually do have the right to live in my home without interference.

I guess I will have to take the various bits of legislation relating to this and hope the officer I speak to is not a Vogon like some of the constables seem to be....

It is very frustrating that people can act outside the law or the spirit of it and get away with it. ***** ***** summed it up very well with this sketch... using thick people to get your way... very clever....

Cheers, Steve.

I am afraid that at this stage there is nothing that the police ca do to assist you - this other man is currently entitled to be in the property - just not to harass you
Good news about the solicitor
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi, so my right to occupy without exclusion or eviction can be removed by a dodgy tenancy agreement and ignorant police men?

I would imagine my home occupancy rights amount to a tenancy and as such this person is a trespasser.

The agreement he signed is worthless legally, a housing officer and tenancy lawyer both were of this opinion.

Sorry to be argumentative.. its a failing I'm afraid


I am afraid that you are not correct - they do not amount to a tenancy and the owner of property (your wife) is entitled to authorise his entry into the house.
I have never said that the "tenancy" was valid - indeed if you recall I did mention that you should not focus on that. However the man has the right to be in the property as the guest of the owner UNLESS and until you obtain an occupation Order
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so is he a tenant or some just put in to cause trouble? anyway. . If I try and get a occ order I can discuss it myself and it is a simple process?

I would imagine she put him in to cause you grief - but that is just a guess.You can make the applictaion yourself if you wish - but since it is so important you may wish to use a solicitor to ensure the correct resultClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

none of the solicitors I have spoken to aren't interested tbh. just say get on with divorce. can't be bothered. might have to do it myself anyway. off out coaching cyclists now so can't reply... cheers Steve

That is odd as it is a simple application for a solicitor
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That's what I thought having looked at the form. ... One said it wouldn't be worth the while but didn't explain why clearly.

If it's not a difficult process and I have good reasons to apply to the court then I ought to go for it.

What are the pitfalls and is her installing dodgy people in my front room then giving me 28 days notice good enough grounds or might I need more?

cheers Steve.

Just to check - remind me of the timetable for the finances now
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just about to start dealing with financial stuff but she will drag her feet.. my soľ has written and told her we want it dealt with asap. she doesn't want to have to sell house etc.

so expecting a bit of an expensive battle.

We were doing mediation until this blew up. .

If mediation has failed issue the financial applictaion and get locked into the court timetableAt the same time apply for the Occupation Order on the basis that she does not live at the propertybut is deliberately attempting to create a position where you cannot do so eitherThat and the Notice should suffice
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi Clare. .. thats great... I might actually drive him out with my terrible piano playing beforehand :-D

Cheers Steve

HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhich part of the Uk are you in?Clare
Ok that is odd that shouldnt be there - sorry Steveand as I used to tell my daughter - more practise
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I will be doing a lot of practice in the next few days. .... night night


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, up date :-)

went home yesterday, the bloke was still there and being unpleasant to us as usual..

Spoke to my solicitor today and the reason they wont try and get a occupation order is that as she is not living at the address they doubt if it would make a difference.. however if I wanted to do it then expect to have to pay a ridiculous amount of cash...

My argument that it would stop her interfering in my home life fell on deaf ears... ie providing support to someone who is making my life impossible....

So.... your opinion on this would be of interest. Might have to do it myself..

However, been looking at strategy, I spoke to a very informed police sgt today who appeared to have a reasonable grasp of tenancy laws and the upshot according to him is that as I am married to the landlady I am the landlord and can serve him with notice to quit.

There are several difficulties.... he cant be a tenant as I live in the house and he may well have a tenancy agreement that is invalid, that I have been an unwitting party to...

He would only have the rights of a lodger but until we get a copy of the tenancy agreement we wont know what the wording is.

I might visit housing benefit and ask for a copy of our agreement. haha.. could be a bit of an interesting argument there..

That is that aspect but I have decided to ask my wife directly [via recorded delivery letter] to remove the tenant/lodger.

The officer I spoke to alluded to domestic abuse; controlling and coercive behaviour. There is also an element of financial abuse in that it is a strain on my finances supporting her by having people staying free in my home plus various accounts have been frozen.

If she refuses to remove him after she has been informed of his behaviour then she may possibly be considered to be acting in an abusive way.

The threat of possible [ though the way the police actually deal with it is to be seen,,, the sgt I spoke to says he can see there has been previous complaints made by me over the last 4 years, and she was spoken to, advised to behave.. ] prosecution for domestic abuse may make a difference as she is a foster parent employed by an agency.

If she has been told then she cannot claim to be unaware of what has been going on.

Should she not make any effort to sort it out I would obviously have to approach the police, possibly with the help of the local domestic abuse organisation. I have had some communication with victim support, I will tell them I am going to ask her to stop the tenant abusing me.

I am keeping a diary of incidents..

Looking forward to resuming piano practise soon :-)

Cheers, Steve.

I disagree with both the solicitor and the Police man.
As I said to you the tenancy aspect is a Red herring - and I am afraid being married to the Landlord does not make you a Landlord as well
However an Occupation Order allowing you to remain in the property without harassment is a perfectly sensible thing to ask for
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ahaa.... I think I will have to go it alone on this then... I don't suppose things could get worse than they are by applying for an occupation order....

I think if it goes in front of a reasonable judge it would be quite clear what is going on here.

I have no other reason to apply for an order other than to have a peaceful life, be able to get back to work and be able to get on with the divorce. I can just about put up with her ranting via text....

My solicitor said I cant use an occ ord to get him out but if she is excluded from coming round and harassing me I have a better chance I suppose,..

Just downloaded the form... doesn't look too daunting..

How do I get it into court and how should I convince them its urgent?


Will go for a walk in the sunshine before filling it in...

I really appreciate your help Clare, I have not had much joy elsewhere.

Cheers, Steve.

There is no reason why the applictaion should not be issued on notice - so simply fill the forms in take them to the court in triplicate and ask them to issue the applictaion.
Your point is that whilst she is not there in person she is offering accommodation to people to disturb you and this has to stop
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have appointment at 11 am on Monday... took a few calls to find out where to go with it.. Very helpful folks there though.

My daughter has just phoned to say the bloke has pinched some of her food again.... If he'd done that to my step son he would have been given a pasting.... cheeky blighter.

Cheers, Steve.

Good luck
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, I'm doing this form,... I don't know whether you will get this message before I am in court tomorrow but give me a shout if you are so I can run the thing past you if are ok with that... I assume that one writes a separate statement and attaches it.

Cheers, Steve.

I am here - and yes you need a supporting statement
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Supporting statement ... the gory details.. hope this isn't ruining your Sunday evening .. I think I owe you a beer or two...

My application for an occupation order and non molestation order.

The basic facts of my current relationship with my wife and situation are;

My wife left me in early September 2011 after a 9 year marriage to live with another man a few days after my father had died and my daughter was having cancer treatment.

Since then she has lived with her new partner in his home in Leigh Sinton.

I am living in the marital home with my daughter plus my wife's “lodgers” or “tenants”.

Since we split up she has regularly told me I should move out of the family home so she can either live in it or rent it out.

This was at a time when my daughter was very ill and due to the situation at home we became estranged as she was unable to come home, I was was also grieving for my father. This led to a long period of debilitating depression and I was unable to work and was in no condition to move out of the family home. I was told to pay as much to her as I could afford. This was around £25pw to live in the property.

When she left my wife assured me I had no entitlement to live in or have a share of the property as the mortgage was in her name, so when from early in 2012 she insisted that there are lodgers or tenants in the family home to help pay for her lifestyle or towards the mortgage on her partners house I believed I had no choice.

I have generally been responsible for finding lodgers and I am obliged to hand all the money over to her. I was allowed £10pw towards bills, I pay all the household bills and for washing powder, toilet rolls etc for these lodgers. The mortgage is £40pm, she was taking £160 pm. She is now claiming that I have not paid a penny towards the mortgage as she has the account in her name.

If I object to any of her plans as to who occupies the home I have been subject to some unpleasant behaviour, usually with items being thrown around or verbal assaults or threats of eviction.

Earlier this year I decided to file for divorce and have found that I am due some entitlement to a financial settlement that exceeds the £2000 she had offered me to leave.

I am currently under threat of eviction, she wrote to me three weeks ago via her solicitors telling me to vacate the property within 28 days. I am concerned that she will come to the house and with the support of the police go through with her threat. I have asked the police whether they will support my right to live in the property but they have yet to respond. I have no confidence that they will give me this support after previous visits due to her tenant's behaviour and her support for his actions.

This application has come about due to the above threat and recent serious harassment via a third party ; Mr Lee who has been given a tenancy to occupy part of my home by my wife, without my knowledge and without my agreement.

He has been an occasional house guest as he is the ex boyfriend of my step daughter, staying a night or two a week. This was on a casual basis until an argument with his mother was resolved.

I found out he had been given an tenancy agreement when I found he had started removing my belongings from the room he was occasionally sleeping in, I confronted him and he assaulted me. I told him he better leave the house, for this and the reason he was often stealing items of my daughter's and leaving the house insecure on a regular basis.

The police were called and he produced a tenancy agreement. The police called my wife and she said it was a legitimate tenancy and even though the officer explained what had happened she was in full support of Mr Lee occupying the home and removing my property from a room upstairs.

An incident occurred 3 days later involving him locking or attempting to lock me out of a room that again involved the police turning up. Again my wife told them he was within his rights to occupy and lock rooms should he wish to do so. The police have threatened me with arrest should any more incidents occur as I was accused of harassing him. A police sergeant has advised me that as I am married to the landlady I am the landlord of this person and have a responsibility towards him.

This has left me feeling very vulnerable, I have to stay away from the property unless my daughter or my girlfriend is with me as Mr Lee is goading and confrontational.

I cannot access my belongings in some of the home and feel frightened to be in the same room as him due to the fact that he tries to get a reaction from me. I cannot afford to get a conviction for harassment due to my need for a CRB DBS as I am a sports coach.

I have consulted a tenancy lawyer who has advised me that the tenancy agreement cannot be legitimate as I have the right to occupy my home unhindered, this was also the opinion of a housing officer but the police disagree and my wife is fully supporting her tenant. I have not yet been able to see this tenancy agreement.

I am currently off sick and am unable to live in my home as I had been doing until 3 weeks ago. I am travelling 45 miles to and from home. I can stay at my girlfriends a few nights but she cannot support me.

My daughter is still living at home but is quite intimidated by Mr Lee and also when my wife visits the property my daughter hides in her room.

I am gardener and am unable to go to work for my customers, I am losing a lot of work due to the actions of my wife.

I'm also coach for a couple of local cycling clubs and have had to cancel coaching sessions as I am unable to get to Malvern or access my equipment as they are at my home.

I have recently had 3 bank accounts frozen by my wife. One was a joint account I used to pay her the money to cover the mortgage, one was used to pay my earnings into and another was a savings account.

My main concern is that even if I can get Mr Lee out of my home my wife will continue to move people in as her guests, this includes giving them keys to the house and giving them rights to occupy rooms in the house. She also gives them permission to use my belongings or remove them from rooms they wish to occupy. The police are of the opinion she can have anyone move into the property as it is in her name and I will have to put up with it.

There are currently 4 individuals living in my home, 2 of them are guests or tenants of my wife. There are 3 bedrooms, my daughter and I are confined to the smallest rooms. I have no access to one room, limited access to another and have to share the house with people I don't really want to share it with but have been given no choice.

The second lodger known as Steve is a reasonable and quiet person. I am hoping he will move out soon so I can have a bit of space to try and lead a normal life. I do however fear that my wife will just move someone else in as soon as he departs.

We were going to mediation when the incidents with Mr Lee happened and I found it impossible to continue with it as my wife was so obviously supporting the situation and his behaviour, the letter that followed threatened me with eviction and made claims that I was abusive, had my girlfriend living with me [ she lives 45 miles away and works 4 days a week in Sutton Coldfield as a veterinary nurse from 9am until 7pm, so we see each other at weekends and sometimes on Wednesdays] as well as saying that I do not contribute financially to the mortgage.

My wife's situation as far as I understand it;

She is living with her partner in a stable relationship in his home. They are foster carers, taking in children from the local authority.

If I get an order to allow me to occupy my home I wish it to be known that it would not be my intention to exclude my step children.

I have been advised by a solicitor that I may have to pay £3000 to remove Mr Lee if he has a legitimate tenancy agreement, I cannot afford this but I hope that an occupation and non molestation order may mean that my wife cannot force me out of my home either by filling it with more tenants with the support of the police or her threat to evict me leading to a confrontation that I have been warned may result in my arrest and possible exclusion from the property.

I have nowhere else to live and could find myself and my daughter homeless at short notice.

I hope that I am able to live peacefully in my own home until the divorce and settlement are finalised in the near future.

Stephen Charles Price

will post the application doc when I can find a way of attaching it...

cheers, Steve.

That will do fine!Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This might be viewable.... thanks Steve.

It should stand very wellConcentrate on the fact that you want quiet enjoyment of your home while the financial negotiations are concluded.Do not be disappointed if they decide it needs to be on notice - I expect it to be!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you ..... I'll let you know how it goes, night night... Steve.

Good luck
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning... well .. as you said its on notice,,, be in front of a judge on Monday...

My g/f spoke to a tenancy lawyer yesterday and he is convinced there is no way we can stop my wife moving people in as her guest. I do hope he was talking foolishness...

Anyway the form and statement were accepted without having to be changed and all was in order.

I know it means not a lot in the scheme of things but the thought of her being served with a summons on the doorstep by a big ugly bailiff does amuse me somewhat :-)

Cheers, Steve.

An occupation Order will prevent this
And we get our smiles wherever we can!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, just an update on things really... applied for order , they messed up serving papers so am waiting for them to do it again...

Met the judge .. seemed sympathetic..... cheers, Steve.

Bu...... a word I don't think the site would approve of. Lets hope the rest goes well
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, hope you are well and all that :-)


In front of the judge today.... good result, wife has made a written undertaking that she will not harass me or fill house with lodgers, not threaten me with eviction until settlement and divorce dealt with plus the lodger is to move out by the 28th of this month.

I have agreed to to harass her etc and keep house in good order. signed in front of a judge.

The judge was a bit sniffy that she was contesting it as I had, in his words, right to reside without harassment anyway..... mild rebuke to her solicitor I felt as she [ solicitor ] was possibly taking rather too much control of the hearing.

The agreement is until mid April, but I suppose it can be renewed.

That hopefully is that... just the settlement to deal with now... hope her solicitor can rein her in a bit and save us both a load of grief and money.. not holding my breath. Ha ha.....

Cheers, Steve.

Well done you