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Relationship Breakup and Tenancy Responsibility

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Hi folks,


I'm in a bit of a sticky situation and could do with some advice. I don't want to go into too much detail, but will paint a quick background. My girlfriend started a business, which I mostly funded. Due to the pressures of the business she suffered badly from depression, so had to give it up. Throughout the time she was running the business and while she was recovering, I paid for absolutely everything in our life, as well as giving her whatever she needed for stock. When she finally pulled out of depression with the help of counselling, she found a new job, which involved a long drive everyday. We were living in a city flat, which I own, but she really wanted to live in a house and wanted to be closer to work, so with her best interests in mind, I agreed to move and subsequently found a really nice property for us to rent. As the closure of the business impacted her personal financial status, I took the lease in my sole name, but she agreed to pay a set amount each month to help towards the rent.


A month after we moved in she decided that the relationship wasn't working and that we should split up. She moved into the spare room, but continued to pay rent on a weekly basis for a period of 2 months, agreeing to do so until the first 6 months of the lease were up and we could move on. However, one weekend, when I was away, she moved out and has now stopped paying her share of the rent. We were selling off all of her old stock in an effort to clear debts and repay the money I had given her, but she has also taken that with her and is refusing to pay either. It's an unpleasant situation, made worse by the fact that her father, based in the US, is essentially controlling her and telling her not to speak to me or pay me the money I am owed.


So, my issue is that I am now stuck in the property until the lease runs out and have to find the money to pay rent every month. Without her contribution I can't afford it. Although she did not sign the lease, she did pay rent until she moved and we did have an agreement that she would continue to pay rent until we could get out of the lease. I have this in an email from her. Can anyone advise of the legal situation here? Can I take her to the Small Claims Court to recover the money that she is refusing to pay?


Sorry this was so long, but thanks in advance for any advice you can give.



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