View Full Version : Joint tenants and none paying girlfriend

Third wheel
01-12-2005, 00:07 AM
Hello all

Seeking advice please

Please forgive me if this has been covered, I have searched the forums to no avail.

I have a private joint tenancy with one other person and we have shared amicably for apporx 3 years.

approx 4 months ago my flatmate met a girl and since then a single night has not passed when she has not slept at the flat.

She cooks, eats, sleeps, showers, does laundry ect at the flat and in my opinion is plainly living with us.

She is even present if he is not. I might return from work and find her there, even though he is not home from work yet.

she does not pay towards the rent or bills in any way.

she does rent a room at another building where she keeps her belongings.

I find her constant presence an invasion of my home and my privacy and feel like my home has been stolen from me.

I have spoken to my flat mate on various occaisions and advised him that I am happy to have her socially visit and stay over as a guest but that she cannot move in and live there.

On each occaision he has agreed, but their behaviour does not change at all.

It states in our agreement that we may not sub-let.
Is it sub-letting if she is not charged?

Last month, in protest, i refused to pay anymore than a third of the bill expenses and my flatmate agreed that was fair and the other two thirds were covered by them. (dont know actually paid)

95% of all the furnature and household goods in the flat or mine.

The flat is very sort after and difficlut to get and neither of us want to give it up.

Can anyone please advise where we stand legally, and what my course of action should be.

Eg. Can i withdraw my consent for her to enter the flat?

Niether of us have presented the problem to the landlord.

Thank you in advance

01-12-2005, 00:19 AM
You have zero grounds whatsoever to get her out im afraid. She has not, does not, and will not pay rent, and so she is a guest, not a tenant or similar. You housemate is perfectly entitled to have a guest. So, you can try and persuade him, but other than that you have no legal basis to get her out whatsoever im afraid. I would keep the bills as you have just started paying them though - 1/3 to 2/3.

Third wheel
01-12-2005, 02:36 AM
Thanks for the reply MrShed

It however does not make sense to me??

I totally agree that he is entitled to have a guest, but surley there is a point where one stops being a guest and becomes 'domecile' in the property.

By definition should a guest not leave at some point? if they do not they are resident, surley?

If one can simply have people living in the property month after month as guests of a tenenat, does that not open the flood gates for everyone to let their 'mate' live for free in their rented property regardless of other paying tenants/landlords wishes? (maybe paying each other, underhand sub-letting)

Additionally as a joint tenant with equal rights and obligations in the flat, do I not have any say in such a dramatic change to the living situation, such as a third person moving in, paying or not?

I find it hard to accept that what they are doing is perfectly legal and acceptable.

01-12-2005, 09:14 AM
Well, whilst I do agree with you on certain points, that is the law.

01-12-2005, 11:54 AM
Have you read your AST? Ours state something along the lines 'sharers are not allowed except for occasional non paying guests' . It's something you should take up with the Landlord if your fellow tenant wont do anything. How long left to go on your present AST? Maybe its time to move on and leave them to it.

01-12-2005, 12:10 PM
We have expereinced the "guest" issue and it has gone to court. a tenant can have a "guest" to stay as long as they like, unfortunatly that is the law, while the tenant is in residence the building is their home for them to invite whoever they please.

Unfortuntly you share with this persona nd while he says to your face that he understands he is not being very good about your needs for privacy. Why not try calling a house meeting, all three of you and discuss the issues face to face, maybe in a local pub on neutral ground. As someone above has said maybe its time to move on, but then why should you move from a home you obvioulsy like very much.

01-12-2005, 12:23 PM
Have you read your AST? Ours state something along the lines 'sharers are not allowed except for occasional non paying guests' . It's something you should take up with the Landlord if your fellow tenant wont do anything. How long left to go on your present AST? Maybe its time to move on and leave them to it.

Just re read your post, the comment about the AST could be an unfair term... may not be able to uphold it in court!

01-12-2005, 14:41 PM
It would be JSA, as it would infringe upon their quiet enjoyment of the property. A lot of AST's have this term, or similar, but as part of your quiet enjoyment you are entitled to have a guest as often as you like.

01-12-2005, 16:50 PM
Hi MrShed,
I truly appreciate the time you took to offer your advice, i do have the intention to devote most of my time to property development and making it my main source of income, however i would like to see how my first uk venture pans out first, if it all goes in a positive direction i will be able to leave my job and be self employed in the property development business, again i want to say thanks for your advice.


tina v
01-12-2005, 17:11 PM
Third Wheel, it may be an unfair term to stipulate that you do not have a permanent house guest but, as a landlord, I have welcomed such information in the past because of the additional wear and tear such situations can create (there were three 'guests' staying on a permanent basis at our property), etc., etc.
Therefore, tactically, it may suit your purpose for the landlord to be made aware of the situation, especially if your tenancy is now a Statutory Periodic one, as if the landlord was equally unhappy with the situation he could (as we did) terminate the tenancy with due notice. You would then be free to apply for a new tenancy at the property subject to your landlord's agreement and start afresh. :)

Third wheel
02-12-2005, 02:23 AM
Many thanks to all those who have replied, much appreciated.

I am still surprised that his right to quietly enjoy his home can so infringe on mine and the law sees it as acceptable.

Tina, I like your idea, thank you, I dont think our landlord would be very happy about the situation at all.

A final idea, if I convince them that rent and bills should be split three ways, does that change the situation at all?

If she is paying a third of all costs, does she stop being a guest and become a lodger? And we will be sub-letting against the terms of our contract?

02-12-2005, 02:30 AM
I do not believe she would become a subletee in this situation, as she is merely helping to contibute towards the rent total. She has not been given any kind of tenancy. However, this to my mind is a bit of a grey area! However, regardless of this, there is nothing preventing her from merely becoming just a guest again, by not contributing at all. As to breaking the terms of your contract, without seeing it this is impossible to determine - you can be prevented in your contract from either subletting or assignment, but not both(according to the OFT). So it depends on the term, and the wording of the term.

Note that I am not belittiling(sp) your concerns at all, I totally see where you are coming from. I just personally believe that this is a bad side effect from generally a good rule that tenants can have guests regardless of the LL's opinion etc on them. This is a situation you are going to have to resolve "informally" and amicably, ie no fall back on legal protection. Yes if you make the LL aware of it he can evict(LL can of course evict with no reason given after the fixed term). But personally, I would expect the LL to evict both of you and merely find two new tenants. This may not happen of course, but it is what I would personally expect. So you need to weigh up the possibility of you losing you residence against pushing this matter that far.

tina v
02-12-2005, 12:37 PM
Hello again, in the situation that I previously described I did seek advice from this Forum and received some very useful advice from Paul F. As a result we originally tried to resolve the situation by formally including the 'guests' on an updated tenancy agreement. This of course gave them rights but also obligations towards the tenancy and enabled us to take up references which provided the necessary reassurance that the property remained in safe hands whoever was or wasn't present.
That situation came to an end when the original tenant became a fleeting visitor there due to a breakdown in the relationship between the two. As there was a prospect of the new tenant installing his new girlfriend (and that this would thereby effectively terminate the original tenant's occupation) we brought the whole situation to a conclusion by terminating the tenancy in the full knowledge that the original one wanted to remain there. Once we had confirmation that the tenancy had been vacated by the second tenant we issued a new tenancy agreement just in the original tenant's name. She has since taken in a lodger but that person has no security of tenure other than those bestowed on her by our tenant.
However I can see MrShed's concerns - only you know what your relationship with your landlord is but my guess is, if like our tenant, there have been no major problems in the past that your landlord would prefer to stay with you (or equally your co-tenant) than risk accepting a new but potentially bad tenant.
Ultimately though, as MrShed says, you could lose the tenancy and although a good rapport with the landlord may mitigate against this happening there are no guarantees.
It would be interesting to know what the final outcome is - good luck!

02-12-2005, 12:45 PM
tina you are of course correct....it is just a possibility I stated above. There is a fairly highish possibility however IMO, as it is simply easier to evict them both and find two new tenants and sign them both up together, than to evict them both(on paper), invite the poster to become a tenant again, set them up with a tenancy, then find another tenant as well. Of course if the poster has generally been a good tenant, paid rent on time etc, then it probably wouldn't come to this.

02-12-2005, 13:33 PM
Out of interest(this has arisen on another forum I visit).

If the "guest" clearly became resident, for example put on council tax bill, post delivered to the property, not sustaining another property - does this change the position of the landlord at all from the guest situation? i.e. does this give them any powers to get rid of them? Or enforce them to become a joint tenant? I am assuming not, but unsure!

05-12-2005, 09:16 AM
On the contract should be written that guests are not allowed to sleep overnight, and however when something similar to this case happens to me, i speak to the rest of the tenants. If a guest is not contributing towards the cost of the bills or the house in general, the landlord can and should welcome other tenant's complains
if he don't do it, who can then ?

05-12-2005, 21:59 PM
Congrats charger on neither reading all the above posts or knowing your unfair terms. Such a term is unfair.

06-12-2005, 11:55 AM
Mr Shed

Yes, I am okay with that, but please note that some tenants just don't like the fact that guests stay in the house all day long and nite too.
What shall i do about this ?
I wouldn't mind, it's just that i keep on receiving phone calls from complaining tenants in the house who would like to be more peaceful.

The first question i am asked when sb enquiries about the property is : How many people in the house ? Is it a party house, noisy..etc...