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Questionnaire: Can You Force Your Flatmate Out?

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Flatmate Property Agreement Tenancy

Your new flatmate might be your best friend when you first move in together, but over time you may find you are getting on each other’s nerves and the only solution is for one of you to move out.

This is the point where arguments often erupt as both parties lay claim to the property. There is however a number of legal guidelines in place which should help you decide who should be the one to pack their bags and move leave.

These few questions should help you decide whether or not you have a case for asking your flatmate to leave.

1, The Tenancy Agreement

A) Both your names are on the tenancy agreement
B) My name is on as I agreed to act as the sole tenant when we moved in
C) Your name is on the tenancy and there is no contract with the tenant

2, Reason For The Disagreement

A ) You are annoyed they asked you to do the dishes
B) You just don’t like them anymore
C) They have broken their tenancy agreement

3, Who Owns The Property

A) My friend owns the property and I am renting from her
B) We both own the property
C) I own the property outright and they are letting from me

4, How Many Of You Live In The Property

A) There is a group of us who all have a joint tenancy agreement
B) Three of us have our names on the agreement
C) There is just the two of us

5, How Long You Have Lived There

A)I have just moved in with my flatmate who has lived there for a year before me
B)We have lived together more than a year
C)We are just in the first three months of our tenancy and have not signed a contract yet

If You Answered Mostly As

If you answered mostly A unfortunately you do not have much power to force your flatmate to leave it seems. You may want to look at alternatives such as dividing your time between the house or breaking the tenancy agreement altogether. If you do decide to break a tenancy agreement that both your names are on then you will both be able to move in and start afresh. If both of your names are on the tenancy agreement you will also need a substantial reason to ask them to leave, it is not enough that you just get on each other’s nerves.

Also if your flatmate owns the property or has been there a lot longer than you will find it hard to convince any letting agent to force them to move out.

If You Answered Mostly Bs

If you answered mostly B it could be that you have some rights involving asking your flatmate to move out. It may be worthwhile speaking to your letting agent or landlord to see if they will support you in asking your flatmate to leave. If you can prove in some way that they are damaging the property or that they have not been paying their rent on time, the estate agent might be sympathetic to your cause.

The same applies if there are more people in the flat that feel the same way as you. If you have lived together for more than a year it might also be that your contract has ended and you will not need to give much notice to end one of the tenancy agreements. If you explain to your flatmate the situation they may even want to leave. It gets tricky when you both own the property though and it is unlikely you will be able to force them out.

If You Answered Mostly Cs

If you answered mostly Cs it looks like you have a good case for being able to force your flatmate out. If their name is not on the tenancy agreement you will be able to ask them to leave, as long as you give them notice. The notice period you need to give will generally be in their contract. If they have broken their tenancy agreement in any way and the contract is with you and not a letting agent you will be able to ask them to leave as they have not stuck by the original contract.

Falling out with flatmates can be a tricky situation and in many cases the sooner they leave the better. If after answering the questions you don’t think you will be able to force your flatmates out then you should seek legal advice or sit down with your flatmate and hopefully come to an agreement. If you can’t stand living with them, the chances are they can’t stand living with you as well.

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