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My girlfriend is a university student in Northern Ireland and has been living in a shared house since September 2017. After a period of time, her 2 housemates invited a guy around a few times and he became friends with them. The new friend then started staying over in the last available room in the property without notifying the landlord or the estate agents. That is, he was squatting. He contributed nothing to the rent, heating, electricity or internet bills and on a number of occasions stole food items from my girlfriend’s cupboard.

Two months passed of this guy living in the house and paying nothing, all the while he invited his friends around, who my girlfriend did not know nor did she give him permission to invite them round, resulting in a general degradation of the property. This has been caused by this group of people throwing parties nearly every night and smoking in the ground floor bathroom. Eventually both my girlfriend and I had had enough and she informed her landlord and estate agent.

The landlord took no action against the gentleman and instead allowed him to sign a tenancy agreement and legally move into the property which has resulted in him basically believing he can do whatever he wants in the house because, as he put it to my girlfriend, “I pay rent here now.”

I have asked this guy to refrain from smoking in the house and my girlfriend has also asked him numerous times, to no avail. I have also informed him that it is no longer a matter of politely asking that I am now telling him to stop smoking in the property as it is illegal to do so under the National Smoke Free Legislation for the UK. He has continued to smoke in the property and party.

So my question is what can my girlfriend do, as a tenant of the property who has been there longer and without incident, to sort this problem out? Are there any other laws that I have missed, are there any options that she could possibly pursue should the landlord/estate agents do nothing? She is going to speak to the estate agents tomorrow (Friday 9th February 2018) about this but I want to make sure they don’t just fob her off and do nothing about it.

  • Do UK smoking laws ban smoking in private residences? I thought the laws only applied to public spaces. – Michael Seifert Jul 19 at 18:14

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