Owner but still liable for rent

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    I have a very complex case. Sorry for the long explanation…

    Claimant has been living in property since 21.12.09. Initially, she was renting from her “great aunty once removed”! She was going through a divorce and awaiting settlement from her ex-husband.

    Upon review of the claim in March 2011 the claimant declared that the divorce had gone through and she was awarded £70k from ex-husband to be paid directly to the landlord without going to the claimant. This was to provide a home for the claimant and her two children. The landlord is still owed £8k at this point (ex-husband hasn’t paid yet).

    It emerged that the property was owned 60% by a Housing Association and the claimant had taken on responsibility/liability from the landlord to pay the HA direct.

    In the meantime, Land Registry records were updated to show that from 24.01.11 the claimant became the registered proprietor. So we amended the claim to pay the HA rent and CTB from that date.

    The claimant now says she is still liable to pay the original landlord (great aunt once removed) £400pcm because she still owes her £8k due to ex-husband not keeping to the divorce agreement.
    The claimant states that the landlord has a charge on the property. She wants us to cover all the rent – the HA element and the private element. I don’t think we can because although there is a charge on the property she still has the right to sell and would just have to give the landlord her money once she did sell.

    Can anyone tell me if I am correct here? I am sure this claimant will appeal so I want to make sure I have covered everything when I respond.

    Kevin D

    Based on the info given, I can’t see how there can be any enforceable liability on the “private side”. If the monies aren’t paid, it *appears* the private “landlord” has no right to affect the clmt’s right to occupy the premises. If that is correct, the arrangement is between the clmt and her “private landlord” is simply a matter of a civil debt. Even if the “private LL” has a charge on the property, that doesn’t give any basis for him to charge the clmt for rent, use and occupation or any other variation.

    In short, based on the info so far, the “private LL” is no longer a LL at all.

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