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What a mess - any housing law experts on here?

I'll try to keep this brief but just trying to clarify what my daughter's responsibilities are (if any) towards this situation.

My sister had to leave her flat, and asked my daughter if she wanted to rent a house with her. Daughter said yes (she had been in unstable accommodation), they found a nice house and moved in on Sunday. By Tuesday they have fallen out irreconcilably. 

So far there has been no tenancy agreement signed (landlord was going to sort this week), my daughter has put money into my sister's account to pay for her share of the rent/deposit and bills.

Daughter now at home on my sofa, however has been told that she will still be liable for paying the rent for 6 months as there is an implied tenancy because she has paid rent (although the money put into sister's account could technically be for anything).

She is a bit delicate mental health wise and I'm trying to find out where she stands legally. Returning to the house isn't an option.

Any advice gratefully received, thank you for reading!

Comments

  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,853
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    I think it might depend on whether the landlord vetted both of them on the basis that they were going to issue a tenancy agreement to them jointly. If they did, then your daughter has a tenancy with the landlord that she is party to, even though she hasn't signed anything, she did move into the property. The landlord could sue your daughter and your sister, and evict your sister from her home if your sister can't afford to pay all the rent that is due. 

    If the tenancy was to be in your sister's name and the landlord only vetted your sister, then it's more of a family matter in terms of being fair to your sister. Your daughter made a commited to her, and should not just be allowed to walk out of this just because they have fallen out. She really needs to continue to pay rent for six months, even if she is not legally obliged to do so. Equally, your sister should be trying to find someone else she is prepared to share with, to get your daughter off the hook so that your daughter can rent somewhere else. You might be able to help with finding someone. If you daughter could only pay the rent because she was receiving benefits, and that help with the rent has stopped, she needs to consider the impact on your sister if she doesn't pay anything and doesn't move back in with her.  


    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • _Penny_Dreadful
    _Penny_Dreadful Posts: 981
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    edited 17 November 2023 at 4:09PM
    I'll try to keep this brief but just trying to clarify what my daughter's responsibilities are (if any) towards this situation.

    My sister had to leave her flat, and asked my daughter if she wanted to rent a house with her. Daughter said yes (she had been in unstable accommodation), they found a nice house and moved in on Sunday. By Tuesday they have fallen out irreconcilably. 

    So far there has been no tenancy agreement signed (landlord was going to sort this week), my daughter has put money into my sister's account to pay for her share of the rent/deposit and bills.

    Daughter now at home on my sofa, however has been told that she will still be liable for paying the rent for 6 months as there is an implied tenancy because she has paid rent (although the money put into sister's account could technically be for anything).

    She is a bit delicate mental health wise and I'm trying to find out where she stands legally. Returning to the house isn't an option.

    Any advice gratefully received, thank you for reading!
    Housing and tenancy law varies between the different countries that make up the UK so could you please confirm where the rental property is located? What was the intended arrangement? Were they to be joint tenants or was your sister going to be the sole tenant with your daughter as her lodger? 
  • With nothing in writing (or emails or txts..) proving what was agreed is nigh on impossible.

    However (is this England?) in England a tenancy does not have to be in writing, not signed etc etc.. (bonkers I know - other countries handle this better) so there was an agreement. 

     A tactic (I'm not recommending nor not recommending) - send her off to CaB: Having done that send her to "present as homeless" at local council.  A quick way to get educated in renting property.

    Hope things work out: Best wishes to all.
  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,334
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    I'll try to keep this brief but just trying to clarify what my daughter's responsibilities are (if any) towards this situation.

    My sister had to leave her flat, and asked my daughter if she wanted to rent a house with her. Daughter said yes (she had been in unstable accommodation), they found a nice house and moved in on Sunday. By Tuesday they have fallen out irreconcilably. 

    So far there has been no tenancy agreement signed (landlord was going to sort this week), my daughter has put money into my sister's account to pay for her share of the rent/deposit and bills.

    Daughter now at home on my sofa, however has been told that she will still be liable for paying the rent for 6 months as there is an implied tenancy because she has paid rent (although the money put into sister's account could technically be for anything).

    She is a bit delicate mental health wise and I'm trying to find out where she stands legally. Returning to the house isn't an option.

    Any advice gratefully received, thank you for reading!
    Oh dear! As you say, what a mess!

    I agree with @tacpot12 your daughter has an obligation not to leave your sister in the lurch. Equally, your sister can't expect your daughter to pay the rent indefinitely.

    Even if the LL would agree to cancel the tenancy, wouldn't that create a problem for your sister, as she'll be homeless? So, sister needs to find someone else to share with her ASAP, which hopefully solves the problem.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,334
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    This has nothing to with housing law, just family relations!
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • I agree it is a big time complicated family relations issue here! It is actually my sister who has made the situation impossible - without going into details she has behaved very unreasonably about an issue which would not normally be a problem to most people. Tried today to mediate with a 3rd party present but sister walked out after 5 minutes. If daughter is to return there it would really be under duress. It's a shame as it was meant to be an exciting new start for daughter, but here we are. 

    As far as I know it was only my sister who met the landlord to view the house, and daughter hasn't paid any monies directly to the landlord. I'm unsure whether it was intended to be a joint tenancy or a tenant and lodger arrangement.
  • It's in England BTW.
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,209
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    edited 17 November 2023 at 11:36PM
    .....here we are. 

    As far as I know it was only my sister who met the landlord to view the house, and daughter hasn't paid any monies directly to the landlord. I'm unsure whether it was intended to be a joint tenancy or a tenant and lodger arrangement.
    You need to establish the intention?
    1) for there to be a joint tenancy? or
    2) for the tenancy to be in sister's name, with daughter being sister's lodger (in which case sister is daughter's landlady)?

    You cannot expect legal answers to your question here (from housing law experts!) without providing this important detail.

    If 1) then the owner/landlord would have vetted both parties; reviewed both incomes, checked credit histories, taken up references of both
    If 2) owner /landlord would have concentrated on sister only

    But if 2) also it would be necessary what agreement/contract was to be between sister/landlord and daughter/lodger: a fixed term agreement (perhaps in line with sister's tenancy)? a rolling agreement? With what agreed notice period?

    In a lodger arrangement (a licence /Excluded Occupier), where no notice period has bee agreed, then 'reasonable' notice is required. There is no definitive definition, and reasonableness can be influenced by circumstances, but a starting point is usually that where rent is paid weekly a week's notice is reasonable, where rent is paid monthly a month's notice is reasonable.






  • As far as I know it was only my sister who met the landlord to view the house, and daughter hasn't paid any monies directly to the landlord. I'm unsure whether it was intended to be a joint tenancy or a tenant and lodger arrangement.
    I can't believe a landlord would be silly enough to allow people to move into a property before signing a tenancy agreement but there are a lot of very silly landlords out there.

    Your sister viewed the property.  Was she the only one to be referenced and credit checked (although I wouldn't be surprised if this landlord didn't bother to carry out referencing or credit checks either) or was your daughter subject to referencing and credit checks too?  If only your sister was vetted by the landlord then I think it would be fair to assume your daughter was intended to be your sister's lodger in which case she only needs to give your sister reasonable notice to end the contract.  However, if both were vetted by the landlord then that would imply that they were to be joint tenants.

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