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  • FIRST POST
    • SF53
    • By SF53 9th Feb 18, 11:20 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    SF53
    housemates not paying bills/rent
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:20 AM
    housemates not paying bills/rent 9th Feb 18 at 11:20 AM
    Hi,

    I am looking for some advice as am afraid to go to my Landlord. We rent privately through an estate agents.
    I live with my sister and her partner (who has a child also living with us).
    Myself and the partner are the main names on the contract for the house (for rent).

    My sister and her partner split up and my sister has now moved out. She is refusing to contribute to rent/bills and her partner cannot pay for her bills/rent as she has now lost her job.
    So as it stands the only money being paid is my 1/3 of the rent and y 1/3 of the bills.

    Our contract ends in May but I cannot afford to foot the rent/bills for the other two. I literally have no idea what to do or where to turn, please could someone offer some advice?

    Thank you
Page 1
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 9th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    • 11,669 Posts
    • 16,422 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #2
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    Hi,

    I am looking for some advice as am afraid to go to my Landlord. We rent privately through an estate agents.
    I live with my sister and her partner (who has a child also living with us).
    Myself and the partner are the main names on the contract for the house (for rent).

    My sister and her partner split up and my sister has now moved out. She is refusing to contribute to rent/bills and her partner cannot pay for her bills/rent as she has now lost her job.
    So as it stands the only money being paid is my 1/3 of the rent and y 1/3 of the bills.

    Our contract ends in May but I cannot afford to foot the rent/bills for the other two. I literally have no idea what to do or where to turn, please could someone offer some advice?

    Thank you
    Originally posted by SF53
    If you and your sister's partner are named on the tenancy agreement then you each have joint and several liability for the rent. In other words there's no such thing as your share because legally you are liable for the total rent. Your sister is not named on the tenancy agreement so has no legal liability to contribute towards the rent.

    Similarly the council tax in this situation is the joint and several liability of you and your sister's partner. As your sister no longer lives in the property she has no liability to pay it.

    The liability for the utility bills depends on whose name the bill(s) is in.

    Check your tenancy agreement to see if there is a break clause which would allow you to end the tenancy before May.
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 9th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 6,091 Thanks
    Penitent
    • #3
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    If you and the partner are the only ones named on the contract and are now the only ones living there, shouldn't you be splitting the bills 50/50? I wouldn't expect the sister to continue paying.

    Is the partner claiming Universal Credit (or JSA)/housing benefit/child benefit/child tax credits to pay their part?

    Alternatively, can you get a lodger?
    Last edited by Penitent; 09-02-2018 at 11:34 AM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 9th Feb 18, 11:36 AM
    • 61,583 Posts
    • 360,586 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:36 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Feb 18, 11:36 AM
    You really need to just stump up half the rent and half the bills and suck it up.

    Two of you live there now, so half the bills are yours. Indeed, you're "better off" as the bills will be less without your sister/child, so bills amount probably won't change in ££ terms.

    You should pay half the rent, just because, in the short-term, that's most sensible to do to stop it turning into a massive fight....

    It will suck, but it's the cleanest/easiest way of getting out of this without hating them forever.

    Top tip: Never share with people who outnumber you, or who are close to you, or whose lives might change in a way that affects you.

    Studio flatlets rock.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 9th Feb 18, 12:18 PM
    • 1,118 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #5
    • 9th Feb 18, 12:18 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Feb 18, 12:18 PM
    Is this understanding of the situation correct:
    a) you have a joint tenancy with you + partner as named tenants?
    b) three of you moved in together with a mutual agreement to pay 1/3 of the rent + bills?

    (a) means you and partner are each liable for the full rent; the LL can demand payment from either or bother of you, and would likely choose whoever is easier to chase / more likely to be able to pay. Highlight this to the partner, but if they refuse and you want to avoid a CCJ, you'll need to find the money.

    (b) Means you can chase sister + partner for their contributions under your agreement to pay 1/3 each. Would be easier if you had evidence of this agreement e.g. in texts, record of them paying 1/3 regularly.. However the LL isn't involved in this, its up to whoever ends up paying the LL to collect from the other housemates.

    Alternatives you may be able to try:
    1) Negotiate an early termination with the LL - they may want you to pay reletting costs, rent until a replacement tenant is found, or whatever but if the cost may be less than paying an extra 2/3 rent which you may / may not get back.

    2) Is there a spare bedroom that you can get a lodger in to contribute to the rent?
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 9th Feb 18, 2:15 PM
    • 5,123 Posts
    • 7,190 Thanks
    deannatrois
    • #6
    • 9th Feb 18, 2:15 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Feb 18, 2:15 PM
    Sister has moved out so there is only you there now. So there must be a spare room. What about renting out via AirBnB, or putting it somewhere as a short term lodger agreement?

    You would need a tenancy surrender signed by your sister though

    Ignore above. I misunderstood.

    You will have to get sisters ex to apply for housing benefit. Or ask LL to allow you to surrender tenancy early. But sister's ex may cause problems with this.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 09-02-2018 at 2:36 PM.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 9th Feb 18, 2:24 PM
    • 5,214 Posts
    • 10,688 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #7
    • 9th Feb 18, 2:24 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Feb 18, 2:24 PM
    Sister has moved out so there is only you there now. So there must be a spare room. What about renting out via AirBnB, or putting it somewhere as a short term lodger agreement?

    You would need a tenancy surrender signed by your sister though
    Originally posted by deannatrois
    She lives with her SISTER's partner (and her child...) SISTER isnt named on the tenancy at all (yes Its all a bit random, I get that)

    The sister has moved out, I can only assume the sister shared a room with her partner, who is still using that room.

    So unless they already had a spare room, I can't see another spare room.

    I am reading person A (OP) person B (sisters partner) and a child, so potentially people needing 2/3 rooms.
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 9th Feb 18, 3:13 PM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 6,091 Thanks
    Penitent
    • #8
    • 9th Feb 18, 3:13 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Feb 18, 3:13 PM
    She lives with her SISTER's partner (and her child...) SISTER isnt named on the tenancy at all (yes Its all a bit random, I get that)

    The sister has moved out, I can only assume the sister shared a room with her partner, who is still using that room.

    So unless they already had a spare room, I can't see another spare room.

    I am reading person A (OP) person B (sisters partner) and a child, so potentially people needing 2/3 rooms.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    When I suggested a lodger earlier, I was thinking of either the child sharing a room with the partner or using the living room as a bedroom. Neither are ideal, but if needs must...

    I still think the better option is the partner claiming benefits until they find a new job. The only problem with this is that if they're in a UC area there may be a delay.
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