In September I moved into a house in Middlesbrough with another two people to attend University.
One person was jointly on the lease with me and the other person wasn't but we were all paying the same amount of rent.
In January of this year I moved out of the house and back home to Scotland because I was being threatened, verbally abused, stolen from and one one point assaulted by the flatmate I shared the lease with. I went to the police and they arrested him. Unfortunately, due to lack of evidence he was not charged.
However, I packed my stuff that day when he was in the station and left to go back home as it was not safe for me to stay there anymore. Before I left the policeman said if the letting agent couldn't help me get out of the lease then they could so something. I spoke to the letting agent and explained the situation and told her that the other flatmate who was not on the lease would be able to take my position on it.
After a couple of months we eventually agreed that this flatmate would take my name on the lease but he would have to pay me my original share of the deposit back after I had paid for damages to my room so that he would get my original share back at the end of the lease as this is what the letting agent had asked of us.
After I had paid for the damages to be fixed I was then only waiting for by share of the deposit to be returned to me but this never came.
I have now received an email from the flatmate who was arrested saying that the other flatmate is now not going to be signing the lease in my place and that I am responsible for the months that I haven't paid since I left and he has threatened legal proceedings. I have not been paying the rent since I left as we agreed that I would pay up until February and then the flatmate taking my place would pay it after that.
Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance
1 Answer from Attorneys
I need to know whether :
a) the joint lease with the landlord / landlady was entered between you and the colleague who was charged & arrested, or was it with the other third colleague ?
b) you are the first named joint lessee of the apartment ?
c) whether the landlord / landlady had agreed to the change replacement of your name with that of the third colleague, and whether you had immediately requested and got the change of name done, or else what was the reason behind the delay in getting the name change done ?
d) alternatively, had you already intimated in writing to the landlord / landlady and got confirmation of the change replacement ?
Legally, the two flatmates who were sharing the apartment, are liable to share and collectively pay the total lease charges of the apartment to the landlord / landlady post 31st January till date through, if your name happens to be on the joint lease deed.
Ascertain what is their reason for not paying up the full share when they both together were occupying the entire apartment space;
Immediately terminate the lease with the landlord / landlady if you are the first named joint owner, and if you are going to permit the landlord / landlady to adjust the outstanding rent from your share of deposit, ensure that you obtain the rent receipt of the outstanding rent in your sole name, to enable you to legally recover the share of the other two occupants;
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