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a100
30-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Hi,

I have a joint tenancy agreement with my flatmate. I have a standing order from my bank account to pay the full rent each month. She is supposed to pay me her half each month but has got later and later with the payments and is now 3 months behind (owing me nearly £2500!). She keeps saying she will pay once her salary is in and/or she gets another cheque from her parents...etc etc. It's not that she's stopped paying altogether (the last payment came in about 2 weeks ago), she's just incredibly inconsistent.

At the rate it's going I doubt she will ever catch up fully

Can I stop paying the rent altogether and put the liability on her side to start paying the full amount, or maybe just start paying my half? Or should I say I'll leave and then proceed to recover the money from her through the small claims court?

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks

jeffrey
30-03-2009, 12:13 PM
Is it a joint letting, i.e. by L to both of you?

a100
30-03-2009, 12:48 PM
Yes it is a joint letting.

Thanks for the quick reply!

jeffrey
30-03-2009, 14:18 PM
Yes it is a joint letting.
1. OK. So far as L is concerned, you and X are jointly and severally liable. This means that:
a. you and X are together liable for 100% (= the total rent);
b. you are liable for 100% (= the total rent); and
c. X is liable for 100% (= the total rent).

2. L can demand all of it from both of you or from either one of you.

3. If you alone have to pay 100%, you can sue X for her 50%- just as L could (but you cannot pay 50% and demand that L sues X for hers).

a100
30-03-2009, 14:30 PM
ok, but if I can no longer afford to pay all the 100% I have no choice but to pay 50%. If the total rent then falls into arrears the landlord would then probably want us out. If that happens, the landlord takes us both to court, but surely I can then just simply turn round and say "look I've paid my half, leave me out of it and just go after her" ?

jeffrey
30-03-2009, 14:35 PM
ok, but if I can no longer afford to pay all the 100% I have no choice but to pay 50%. If the total rent then falls into arrears the landlord would then probably want us out. If that happens, the landlord takes us both to court, but surely I can then just simply turn round and say "look I've paid my half, leave me out of it and just go after her" ?
No, you can't. You and she are each individually liable for 100% (although L cannot recover more than 100%), as I thought I'd explained.

a100
30-03-2009, 14:43 PM
Thanks Jeffrey, I do understand you and appreciate your advice. What I'm sensing is that you would advise me to keep paying the 100%, then if it gets bad move out and recover the money from my flatmate?

jeffrey
30-03-2009, 15:04 PM
Thanks Jeffrey, I do understand you and appreciate your advice. What I'm sensing is that you would advise me to keep paying the 100%, then if it gets bad move out and recover the money from my flatmate?
If you fail to pay, L has a choice of whom to sue.Whose idea was it that the 100% rent should come from your Bank Account to L?

a100
30-03-2009, 15:13 PM
It's set up to be paid to the agent not the landlord. Having the whole amount paid from one account I thought was standard practice for joint tenancys, it just happens to be me. Do you think it should be 50/50 ?

Poppy
30-03-2009, 15:17 PM
I think you should seriously consider suing your fellow joint tenant. Don't wait too much longer, it'll only get worse.

Perhaps try convincing your fellow joint tenant that the tenancy is terminated at the end of the fixed term. When is the end of the fixed term?

a100
30-03-2009, 16:31 PM
Hi Poppy, we have already passed the 6 month break clause in the contract so we can give 2 months notice I think.

jeffrey
30-03-2009, 16:37 PM
Hi Poppy, we have already passed the 6 month break clause in the contract so we can give 2 months notice I think.
Not during fixed term, unless the Agreement says so. What two-month Notice procedure did you have in mind?

a100
30-03-2009, 19:03 PM
Update.

Flatmate can't afford to live here anymore (no, really!). She's moving out so looks like I'm going to have to go to court to get the money back.