Ultimately, my landlord has doctored a joint tenancy agreement with the signatures of the people that I live with on it. I have not signed this document and nobody in the house ackowledges its existence or ever signing it. Even when you look at it, it’s an obvious forgery; cut out the signatures from someone from another document, place on new document, scan it in.
This joint tenancy agreement reads that everyone living in this house (4 people including myself) are all jointly liable for the rent as a whole and if someone leaves the property then it is our responsibilty to cover the loss in rent and to find someone to replace them. This is not what we signed up for. We all signed seperate tenancy agreements, we were all under the impression that if someone left then it didn’t matter because our rent is for our room only. He has doctored this joint tenancy agreement to avoid the Council Tax bills being changed into his name because we had an HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) inspector visit the property and the house I live in is such an obvious HMO that it would made my landland liable for paying the Council Tax.
The thing is, he has made it nigh on impossible for us to all get copies of our seperate tenancy agreements. I have asked for months with no response. One person was given only the side that he’d signed (not the side with the terms on), another was emailed a blank template when requesting a copy of their tenancy agreement. The 4th person is the only one who had their contract, the original copy, intact and now the Council have that as evidence.
Ultimately, I have no idea what to do now. What turned into a minor dispute of Council Tax liability now has fraud involved and I need to know where to take this. The Council aren’t interested in helping me or pursueing him, they just want their money. Last time I saw Citizens Advice (before this doctored contract came into existance) they reffered me to a group who then reffered me back to the council and I don’t want a repeat of that. I would also have to wait weeks to talk with one of the in-house solititors at Shelter. But I am feeling like I do need legal advice on this, this is fraud, it’s illegal and I can’t let him get away with this.
If anyone can suggest anything new, any new avenue for me to pursue, any sort of legal body then I’d be really greatful.