Rights against other tenants? | The Tenants' Voice
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Rights against other tenants?

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717 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 July 2015


What rights, if any, do I have against the other tenant if they are making our shared house unpleaseant to live in?

I am sharing with someone (we both work in the same office and agreed to share a house) in a joint tenancy.

Due to my role I am out of the house quite a bit, and sometimes when I’m back I sleep at my girlfirends house so I’m not actually at my house all that much. The other tenant has mentioned previously that he feels lonely (I explained this would be the situation to him to begin with) and he has dropped hints to me that maybe I should consider moving in with my grilfriend and that could free up the house for him and another friend that he’d like to move in.

My girlfriend’s place is too small for me and her to live together and I explained to the other tenant when I moved in that I wouldn’t be in the house that much, but needed to keep a place as my home in the town. I have now found out through mutual firends that he is actively looking for other people to move in and telling them that I would be leaving soon.

There has been a few occasions where he has asked if a friend could stay over, once sleeping in my bed. I reluctantly agreed, not wanting to cause an issue, but since then he has asked if friends can stay on their own when both of us are out. I have said no but I suspect he is going to let them anyway behind my back. 

I have once agreed for him to have some friends around for a party whislt I was away, but have since found out from a friend who lives over the road that he has had another party with people around without asking me. After the first party I returned to find ciggarette stubs in a flower pot in the back garden and I warned him that we are in a non-smoking house and to be smoking would break our tenancy agreements, he claimed he is only a social smoker and most of it was from his firends. A few times I have come back to the house to hear a flurry of activity at the back doors and a faint wiff of smoke around the door and I suspect he has been smoking in the house / in the doorway.

I have no insurance on my contents in the property as all the insurers I spoke to would not insure one person in a shared house without individual locks on doors (does anyone know of someone who will) and he does not want to get joint insurance as he “doesn’t belive in insurance”!!!

I’m now left in a situation where I don’t trust my housemate not to be doing things behind my back and letting unknown people into the house (I don’t suspect, nor do I have reason to, that there is any sub-letting occuring…..yet) and that my property is not safe (he regularly leaves windows open when not in).

I do not want to leave the property as I really like the house, and we are being given it at a very reasonable price. I have also put a lot of effort and money into restoring the garden (volunterily – as I enjoy gardening / having a nice garden) completly on my own.

Do I have any rights in order to get him to move out, or get the landlord to evict him? I understand as a joint tenancy the landlord would technically evict us both and then re-rent to me. I suspect that the landlord is likely to want to avoid any unessesary fuss and if we start squabling to him he’ll just wait until the end of the tenancy and evict us both. I’m now in a situation where it’s more plesant for me not to be in my house and being put into situations where he’s asking me to be more reasonable about letting strange people stay in the house on their own!

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Unfortunately this is quite common – it’s difficult to live with people you’re involved with sometimes, let alone those you’re not. You don’t have any ‘rights’ against the tenant as such, other than those you’d have against any other person (i.e. the right not to be attacked, stolen from etc). Your tenancy agreement only gives you rights as against the landlord.

The only thing I can think of is to tell the landlord your housemate has been smoking in the property and then get them to serve a section 21 on you both and re-sign a contract with you. If you’re a good tenant they will want to keep you. The downside of this is what the other tenant will do if they find out you’ve essentially had them evicted – it doesn’t sound like they have much regard for anything other than their own interests.

One other thing you could do is just wait the tenancy out. When it comes up to renewal then mention the issue to the landlord and let them serve notice at a time when the other housemate is less likely to suspect you’re doing it to get rid of them. You could also just talk to them or try and find somewhere new yourself, despite the degree to which you’re invested in this place – the subterfuge can sometimes end badly and it’s often easier just to extricate yourself.

In terms of insurance, maybe try a student insurer like Endsleigh or something like Protect My Bubble, which insures things rather than locations?


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