How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Type Your UK Property Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If we agreed for someone to stay in our empty house that we

This answer was rated:

If we agreed for someone to stay in our empty house that we are selling whilst it is empty and vulnerable, we agreed verbally that they could stop in the property, because they had nowhere to live (they were between houses, and they only had their mums to stay which was not big enough for them) so we agreed for them to stay in the house - rent free, pay us nothing for it, the only thing they had to do was register with the council and pay the council tax and utilities as they would if they were renting. Has this person got rights as they would as a normal tenant? even if it is a verbal agreement and they pay NO rent?
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.

Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Did you agree a length of time that they were able to stay there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just until the house stays or they find somewhere more permanent

Thanks. Has this been agreed or is there a problem? I don't know if it is a problem or you are anticipating.

Are you also in the house?

I need full background please


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No we are not living there, she is living there on her own with her kids.

A problem has arisen and it was a disagreement between her and her ex boyfriend, who we did not know was stopping there on odd occasions. He drove into the house and caused damage to a few external bricks and an hairline crack is showing inside the home, she agreed to pay for the damage back in July and nothing has been done so far, the police advised her that she needs to take him to court, as it is her he had the disagreement with. She took him to court and last week apparently he admitted to this. The problem now is that her solicitor or a solicitor has told her/advised her that we should be paying for the damage under our insurance. The solicitor has right to do this? She is living there rent free and could pay for this with that spare money until she gets paid out from court? I don't know if she is claiming that she pays rent to us to certain persons but this is so wrong now and I need advise

She pays no rent and therefore there is no tenancy agreement.

You are entitled to give her reasonable notice to leave (one week
would be reasonable in the circumstances) and after one week simply lock her
out along with all her belongings.

Expect a letter from the solicitor saying that this is an illegal
eviction but then again he would say that. At this stage, she is no more than a
guest in your house and from the facts you have given, she has no right to stay
there once you have given her notice and the notice has expired.

There is no onus on you whatsoever to repair problems that she has
caused or one of her scummy friends has caused and there is no onus on you to
put it through your insurance company.

She is liable for the damage and if she wants to sue the scummy
friend, that is her problem.

To be honest, if this is malicious damage that happened during a
disagreement, it is criminal damage and it is a police matter and the police
should be treating it as such although usually, (or rather, often) they take
the line of least resistance and simply say that it is a civil matter. Whilst it
may be a civil matter, from these facts, it is criminal damage.

I would want the money from her (or from him, it doesn't matter
who pays) for the cost of the repair

Does that answer the question? Can I assist further or answer any
specific queries?

If you have not done already, please don't forget to positively rate
my answer service even if it was not what you wanted to hear. You should now
see a series of buttons which enable you to rate my answer service formally.

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating.

It doesn't give me, "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask.

The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questions after rating
my answer service.

Rating doesn't close the enquiry at
all even though the site may give that impression. It remains open for you to
read and ask for further clarification.


PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and
weekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.

PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I only
type with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does not
hear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to but
sometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't make
sense. It is me losing it, not you. Just ask if anything is not clear please.

Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related UK Property Law Questions