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Started by TheValkyrie on Apr 11, 2020 12:29:40 AM
Getting Evicted - Rights and Obligations

See first post.

TheValkyrie - 11 Apr 2020 00:29:45 (#1 of 41)

I currently live with my Mother and Brother. My Brother owns the Property.

I pay rent every month and there is a conditional agreement (verbal) that I must abide by. We share all the facilities.

That agreement requires certain lifestyle improvements on my part (healthy living etc). If violated I could be told to leave.

Beyond that no explicit termination clause was agreed.

The owner has decreed I have violated that agreement though I dispute that.

They initially wanted me out on the street tonight but have now said I will have a month, after the Coronavirus lockdown ends, to leave.

My understanding of the legal situation is that I'm classed as a lodger/"excluded occupier" and as a result the owner can evict me regardless of the agreement but has to give me a reasonable time period after formal notice is given. This is usually one rent period (IE a month in my case).

I'm not aware of any additional protections brought in due to the virus but I suppose reasonable could now mean waiting for the lockdowm to end since I can't find a place to rent during it.

I'm trying to grasp the legal situation so would welcome advice/guidance. Is my understanding correct? Have I missed anything out?

Please note the owner is a fellow user of this forum and will be aware of anything posted.

mingmong - 11 Apr 2020 00:35:35 (#2 of 41)

Valkers, from what I know of the situation, I can't help thinking it would be good for you to get your own space in the medium to long term.

But clearly nothing is going to happen now. No-one is moving anywhere. EvilBruv is going to have to restrain his (ab)use of power, as the capitalist-proprietor in this relationship. And all of you are going to have to do your best to get along.

Anchorman - 11 Apr 2020 00:39:21 (#3 of 41)

Is the inability to rent somewhere else simply the Covid thing or finances.

My (deceased)next door neighbour's house is for sale and the estate agent is doing remote viewings via video links.

Maybe an estate agent in your area is doing the same for rentals?

TheValkyrie - 11 Apr 2020 00:39:50 (#4 of 41)

Thanks Ming. Gerting my own place again was always part of the plan. I had hoped to save up for a mortgage.

TheValkyrie - 11 Apr 2020 00:40:49 (#5 of 41)

Oh good point Anchorman. The inability to move was corvid based.

Macpaddy - 11 Apr 2020 00:43:32 (#6 of 41)

The owner has decreed I have violated that agreement though I dispute that.

There is the stumbling block to any advice that may be forthcoming. Apart from the independent type of advice from Anchs.

Geribaldi - 11 Apr 2020 00:51:14 (#7 of 41)

I don't know English landlord-tenant law, but I know a lot about landlord-tenant law in my country. You would have several defenses (I think):

1) You did not violate the lease, which appears to be an oral contract, but it is still a lease. The burden is on the landlord (your brother?) to demonstrate your violation of the lease. You could simply refuse to leave, keep paying rent, and force him to take you to court and demonstrate your breach. That would take months at best and it is very difficult to enforce an oral contract which is why they are usually written.

2) Was there a termination notice? In many states in the US if it's a 30 day notice, it's 30 days PRIOR TO the beginning of the last term, which in your case, it sound like month-to-month so it gives you 60 days.

3) If he take you to court, sue him back.

4) Argue that you are in fact a tenant, not a "lodger". I don't know the difference but it sounds like the distinction between a hotel guest and a lessee. In any event, it sounds like you are a tenant, not a lodger.

Good luck, from the sounds of it you have a stronger case than the landlord.

I own several rental properties. In general, when I have had a problematic tenant, I pay them to leave. It is much cheaper and efficient than going through the court system.

Macpaddy - 11 Apr 2020 00:59:55 (#8 of 41)

I was trying to delicately find out what the violation, or lack thereof, was.

Post deleted by user
darkhorse - 11 Apr 2020 08:41:14 (#10 of 41)

Sorry to hear of these woes, Valkyrie.

IANAL but I think you're right in identifying yourself as a lodger/excluded occupier and this also seems to mean you aren't covered by the emergency legislation suspending evictions.

In a practical sense, that means your landlord is entitled to evict you "peacably" ie changing the locks.

So it looks like you've googled all the technical advice. The practical stuff I can think of is: get the eviction in writing so that if you can apply for emergency housing (although as a single male I assume you may be low on the list) you can show you aren't intentionally homeless. Phone Shelter and the council (if they answer) for any advice. Even perhaps talk to a few lettings agents to see if they are operating under the current situation (beware of sharks though). Best of luck.

xbod72 - 11 Apr 2020 09:51:31 (#11 of 41)

It's going to be quite a while, I think, before the lockdown ends. Maybe things will improve between you and your brother by then and the situation will change.

Sunfish - 11 Apr 2020 10:44:56 (#12 of 41)

Do you have a written tenancy agreement?

Sunfish - 11 Apr 2020 11:04:14 (#13 of 41)

Sorry V, you’ve said up thread that there isn’t a written agreement. Question would be, are you a licensee or a tenant? A licensee (i.e. a lodger) has few rights. Given that there is no exclusivity of possession, ie you share all the facilities, this is what you are likely to be, although the waters would get muddier if you are running a business from home.

Agreeing to leave a month after the Covid 19 lockdown ends does at least give you a chance to get your shit together and work out a plan, either renting a room / space somewhere else or getting yourself on the council’s housing list. Have a chat with a housing officer, check their requirements, but I suspect they will want to see a notice to quit before they will consider you for council housing. Since your brother seems to have agreed to let you stay on for a month after the lockdown has ended at least you’ve got a bit of time to make other arrangements.

For the sake of completeness, a tenant, eg under an assured shorthold tenancy, is harder to evict and the government has increased their rights during this Covid lockdown. See here:

If you are a tenant rather than a lodger, then breaching some sort of spurious oral morality clause is not grounds for eviction anyway.

All best wishes V.

TheValkyrie - 11 Apr 2020 15:42:10 (#14 of 41)

Thanks all. The situation has changed a few times now. The demand to leave has been revoked after prolonged arguments.

Hooefully that is the end of it. I'm still furious over the days events though.

xbod72 - 11 Apr 2020 15:42:38 (#15 of 41)

That's good :)

TheValkyrie - 11 Apr 2020 15:54:19 (#16 of 41)

To answer Macs query on the supposed violation...

During discussions on moving in my Brother made some demands about healthy living and other things.

Healthy living included 5 fruit and veg and the equivalent of 5 miles of exercise per day. This was rejected and replaced by an agreement to eat healthly and excercise without specific requirements.

Yesterday he insisted I had agreed to the initial demands and due to lack of excercise was in violation. I said I wasn't and that dissent set him off.

That's the boiled down version.

The initial demands included a ban on me posting on this forum. That was rejected but he actively monitors my posts and he kicked off over my post on the Overcoming Depression thread about the eviction.

I'm hoping this episode is over! Thanks again.

xbod72 - 11 Apr 2020 15:57:45 (#17 of 41)

Is he literally Big Brother?

xbod72 - 11 Apr 2020 15:58:17 (#18 of 41)

If he comes at you with a mask with a rat inside it, you'll know.

thisonehasalittlehat - 11 Apr 2020 16:03:12 (#19 of 41)

Slightly weirdly controlling conditions there.

I assumed the healthy living thing read "don't use drugs" or "don't drink" or "don't smoke" not eat your veg.

cozzer - 11 Apr 2020 16:11:02 (#20 of 41)

The demand to leave has been revoked after prolonged arguments.

Hooefully that is the end of it.

yeah, that sounds like it's sorted and there's absolutely no chance of it flaring up again.

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