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Q: Joint Tenancy Can I Claim Rent Paid Back From Partner Who Left Suddenly(England) ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Joint Tenancy Can I Claim Rent Paid Back From Partner Who Left Suddenly(England)
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: nathan_01403-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 06 Apr 2006 11:04 PDT
Expires: 06 May 2006 11:04 PDT
Question ID: 716184
I had a joint tenancy agreement in England, UK, which when my partner
suddenly left, i had to pay the rental in full, rather than paying
only my half of the rent.  i need to claim back the rent that my
partner is liable for, from my partner. i believe my partner could
have terminated the joint tenancy when my partner left but did not. a
few months later after attending counselling to cope with my partners
sudden departure, i terminated the joint tenancy, as i afford the
rent, had to move back to my family's home.  my question is: will my
claim for the rent i paid that my partner is liable for succeed? i
have not been able to find an example of this situation and the
Subject: Re: Joint Tenancy Can I Claim Rent Paid Back From Partner Who Left Suddenly(Engl
Answered By: endo-ga on 07 Apr 2006 11:46 PDT

Have you tried resolving the issue amicably? If your ex-partner is
reasonable he/she might agree to pay you the rent. If you calmly
explain the trauma you've been through and the financial difficulties,
it might be possible to resolve the situation. Try appealing to
his/her family (nicely and politely) and see if they can help you with
talking to her. The key is to remain calm and rational, otherwise they
might refuse to help you, or cut off contact.

On the other hand, you are responsible for the full amount to
landlord, whether your joint tenant was paying or not. Since it was
your decision to continue the joint tenancy alone, it's possible that
you are liable for the full amount.

See point 2 here:

Rent arrears - key steps

If you cannot resolve the issue directly with your ex-partner, try
going through a mediator, or someone who will advise you legally for
free on the best way to proceed. Try the following website please, and
let me know how it goes. They have details about where to get free
legal advice:

Finding help;jsessionid=a6iI_0R0Jcy8

ADRnow website

Please let me know how it goes, and if you need anymore help or information.


Search strategy

joint tenancy england

Request for Answer Clarification by nathan_01403-ga on 11 Apr 2006 03:21 PDT
I have tried to resolve the matter amicably with no success, hence my
need to make a small claim.

I have spoken with the Citizens Advice Bureaux and Her Majesty's
Courts Service, mediation is not appropriate, as unfortunately my
partner will not communicate.

My partner never told me or my landlady that he was leaving, he just
told me he needed some space and was going to stay with friends.  I
suddenly found myself with his share of the bills to pay, and unable
to contact him to find out what was happening.

I have already tried to contact him via a polite letter to his family,
to which a recieved a polite response that his parents would ask him
to contact me.  Unfortunately he did not for another 2 months, during
this time i paid his share of the bills. His property (bed, sofa, cd
collection, clothes, etc) were all left at our home.

When I finally received a response from my partner that he would not
be returning I made a decision regarding our home and terminated the
rental contract. Over a period of several months i tried calmly and
politely to contact my partner with no success, whilst suffering from
shock and depression, that the counselling helped me move forward
from.  We had agreed to pay half of the rent each and my partner
defaulted on that agreement. I would like to find out will my claim
for the rent i paid that my partner is liable for succeed?

The closest i have come to finding an answer to this question is:
"If you rent your home 
If you are joint tenants of a rented property and one of you leaves,
the other person can stay in it, but both of you will be liable
(responsible) for the whole rent." from the Community Legal Service
Direct website

The above quote gives me some confidence that my small claim will
succeed, but i would like to know if this situation has happened
previously and what the result was. will my claim for the rent i paid
that my partner is liable for succeed?

many thanks :)

Clarification of Answer by endo-ga on 13 Apr 2006 10:40 PDT

Thanks for your clarification, and sorry for my late reply.

I've had another look around, here's what I've come across. 

One site presents promising information:

"If your sister has signed a joint tenancy with this person, she's
jointly liable for his part of the rent. As far as the other bills are
concerned, she is liable for the whole payment for those that are in
her name. She could try to negotiate to pay just her half, but the
utility companies are under no obligation to accept this. But she may
be able to arrange to pay the bills herself through a payment plan to
keep herself out of hot water, and then take action through the small
claims court to try to get it back from the friend."

The other isn't as promising:

"You may want to share the responsibilities of your tenancy with
someone who lives with you. However, you should think carefully before
having a joint tenancy because each joint tenant is jointly
responsible for all of a tenant?s obligations under the Tenancy
Agreement. For example, joint tenants are jointly responsible for the
rent, and so if one tenant leaves, the remaining tenant will be
responsible for any outstanding rent."

Similarly, this one is pretty negative in term of your prospects:

"Renting a property together is easier in legal terms than buying one.
A tenancy agreement that names you both treats you equally. But this
does not mean in law that each of you has to pay only half the rent -
if one of you does not pay their share, the other person is legally
responsible for all the rent. This is called being 'jointly and
severally liable'. It applies not just to the rent, but to most types
of debt that you take on as a couple in your joint names."

There is some contradictory information out there, which seems to
depend on the actual tenancy. Try and have a look at your signed
tenancy and see if it says anything in there, such as: both tenants
are responsible for the rent, if one tenant leaves, the other must

If there is nothing there, or it's unclear, if I were you, I would
proceed as follows:

Call into a Citizens advice bureau and ask for some help writing a
polite but firm letter. In it, state clearly the facts. e.g. Person x
signed the tenancy agreement, left without notice on date y, did not
terminate tenancy, did not make payments. Then state the agreement you
signed and its conditions, or your common understanding.

Then say that you have taken legal advice from a solicitor, and that
you will file a case with the Small claims court <insert address of
your local court> if you don't hear anything from them within 2 weeks
and received payment in full within 4 weeks.

Type up the letter, print it out, including proper headings. Also
indicate that the letter has been copied to a solicitor and use the
name of the person or contact you have at the Citizens advice bureau.

Then send it by recorded or special delivery separately to your
ex-partner and once his parents.

I would be surprised that after that you don't hear anything. One of
the keys of negotiation is providing mutual benefit. If your
ex-partner believes that he will go through a lot more trouble (and
loose more money) if you have to fulfil your threats, then you have a
good chance of succeeding. Therefore your letter needs to be credible
in terms of its wording, presentation, your intentions and the outcome
(if you have to go to court). i.e. you must be convincing in the fact
that you have good advice and that he will loose should he not respond
to your request. However, you shouldn't be threatening or become
personal, because any personal attacks, will result in the other party
becoming protective and rejecting any reasonable agreement.

If you don't succeed, then I would proceed with getting legal advice
and asking a legal professional to look at your case, look at your
tenancy agreement, look at the circumstances and then advise you on a
personal level, whether or not your claim will succeed. I've included
contact details in the links below.

Please let me know if I can help you any further or anything is unclear.



Small Claims Court

Citizens advice bureau

Local advice finder

CLS Legal Adviser Directory
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