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Thieving flatmate

By annus_horribilis - 25 January 2014 31

A friend of mine shares a flat with a girl who keeps going through her stuff, taking things and taking money from her wallet.

They each have a lease so I assume she cannot evict her.

Do you have any ideas what she can do.

Calling the police is not going to make for good flatmate relaions.

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Thieving flatmate
annus_horribilis 6:47 pm 25 Jan 14

They are definitely co tenants. Currently she has no actual evidence, money from wallet and makeup items etc, which after weeks of suspicion were found in the flatmates room in plain sight. She had not entered the room in spite of it all until it became too much. She has communicated via a note left in her own room that she knows has been seem, flatmate has now made herself scarce for the last few days. You are right she may now choose to leave and would be ideal.
Further evidence via nanny cam could be gathered from know.
As stated he really does not want to leave, although in the long run may be the only solution. Although lets be honest, petty thievery is hard to prove and therefore breaking the lease would be extremely expensive, as it is a new lease in the city.
Also eviction is hard to do, and impossible to do quickly and she does have to live with this girl during the process, i can see that getting very nasty.
So a locking doorknob seems to be the only feasible answer, with a nanny can for evidence gathering. Then at least if she does decide enough is enough and has to move out she has good reasons why.

c_c™ 3:10 pm 25 Jan 14

Darkfalz said :

Hidden camera her own room (“nanny-cam” teddy bear cams or such, you can probably find them on eBay). Catch her, charge her. I’m pretty sure ACAT would terminate her part of the lease.

I would advise caution pursuing this course of action. It’s definitely something I would consider, but be aware that covert recording can be a criminal offence and if the housemate discovers it before it discovers their actions, you could instead find yourself facing charges.

I would advise checking the lease agreement to see if there’s any clauses about repudiation on the ground of criminal conduct. If there is such a clause, it just provides an extra assurance for your friend going forward. If not, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other avenues to pursue.

I would lodge a report with Police too. If the thefts aren’t on record, it weakens your friends position should they desire to take later action.

Darkfalz 1:05 pm 25 Jan 14

Hidden camera her own room (“nanny-cam” teddy bear cams or such, you can probably find them on eBay). Catch her, charge her. I’m pretty sure ACAT would terminate her part of the lease.

el 12:10 pm 25 Jan 14

Move out ASAP (as in today). Notify the landlord that they’ve vacated the premises and detail exactly the reasons why, and apologise for terminating the lease at such short notice.

To be blunt the other housemate’s thieving sounds a lot like the actions of an addict, so no point wasting time with locks on every door and living in such an awful environment, just GTFO as soon as possible (ideally: today).

Inforequest 12:03 pm 25 Jan 14

So if I understand you correctly…

your friend had the lease, presumably in her name, then advertised to share creating a sub let or share agreement.
Even if that is not the case and its a joint or co tenancy then she has a case to evict or cancel her portion.
Best to suck it up and remove herself as quickly as possible, life is to short to deal with people like that.

1 does she have this share or sublet agreement in her lease, or has been given permission by the owner. if not it is a breach and she should be able to terminate the share agreement as the owner has not granted permission.
2 you still have a case to take to the tribunal and seek to have the thief evicted if your friend is on the main lease.

either way the option of evicting the thief is frought with risk and liability for your friend. No liability if she leaves under permission from the tribunal.
I would be investigating that first. … who is the lessee and who if anyone is a ‘share’ or ‘sublet’.

That could be your friends easy exit strategy.

DrKoresh 12:01 pm 25 Jan 14

Might I suggest resolving the situation with extreme violence? Hard to steal stuff if all of your fingers are broken. But seriously, have you confronted stickyfingers about being a thieving PoS? She might stop, you never know.

Queen_of_the_Bun 11:29 am 25 Jan 14

annus_horribilis said :

We are in the process of putting a lock on the door, but still have valuables like kitchen appliances and dvds etc, in the living room.
They are co tenants and it is a new lease. Also it was her flat (her dream location) and she advertised for someone to share, so she does not want to be the one to leave.
Seems like you are all saying what we thought.

Has she confronted the flatmate? It’s difficult I know, but the flatmate may be so offended or embarrassed that she moves out. Problem solved. And if she moves out with the TV etc, then call the police.

A friend of mine had this happen to her in Sydney recently. Unfortunately the flatmate left still owing her $700 in rent and with her outdoor setting. A big cost at first but in the end much cheaper than living with someone who makes your life a misery.

annus_horribilis 11:04 am 25 Jan 14

We are in the process of putting a lock on the door, but still have valuables like kitchen appliances and dvds etc, in the living room.
They are co tenants and it is a new lease. Also it was her flat (her dream location) and she advertised for someone to share, so she does not want to be the one to leave.
Seems like you are all saying what we thought.

Queen_of_the_Bun 10:49 am 25 Jan 14

Inforequest said :

A few Q’s that need to be clarified like any issue before you know what you can do.

Are they co tenants, sub lease or sub let? Is the lease expired and on month to month, if not how long until it is?

Quick solution, get permission from the landlord to put a deadbolt on ALL the bedroom doors, this removes any implication or suggestion that flatmate is a thief, as all rooms have it under a new ‘policy’ from the landlord.
This immediately solves the issue of things in her own private space.
I would suggest paying for her lock to ‘soften the financial cost’ for the landlord, this may make it a lot easier to get it done as not all the burden in on the owner.
No landlord wants issues and a lease broken.

If they won’t pay up DO IT YOUR SELF with the owners permission. You can always find a nice door handle with a lock or a slimline dead lock that looks good. Generally owners will be good about their tenants concerns.

If that fails and there is a long time left on lease, go the the tribunal and talk to the police about things that are stolen if that is actually happening. With police reports, evidence etc you would have a good case to get off the lease in my opinion.

Rights of co-tenants

When more than one person signs the lease, all those who sign are called co-tenants. Each co-tenant has a legal contract with the owner of the property and shares full responsibility for the tenancy.

The new laws recognise the rights of co-tenants for the first time.

Co-tenant disputes can be taken to the Tribunal
If there is a dispute, a co-tenant can apply to the Tribunal for an order to terminate their own tenancy, the tenancy of another co-tenant, or the tenancy as a whole, which would bring the agreement with the landlord to an end.

Great advice.

Inforequest 10:39 am 25 Jan 14

A few Q’s that need to be clarified like any issue before you know what you can do.

Are they co tenants, sub lease or sub let? Is the lease expired and on month to month, if not how long until it is?

Quick solution, get permission from the landlord to put a deadbolt on ALL the bedroom doors, this removes any implication or suggestion that flatmate is a thief, as all rooms have it under a new ‘policy’ from the landlord.
This immediately solves the issue of things in her own private space.
I would suggest paying for her lock to ‘soften the financial cost’ for the landlord, this may make it a lot easier to get it done as not all the burden in on the owner.
No landlord wants issues and a lease broken.

If they won’t pay up DO IT YOUR SELF with the owners permission. You can always find a nice door handle with a lock or a slimline dead lock that looks good. Generally owners will be good about their tenants concerns.

If that fails and there is a long time left on lease, go the the tribunal and talk to the police about things that are stolen if that is actually happening. With police reports, evidence etc you would have a good case to get off the lease in my opinion.

Rights of co-tenants

When more than one person signs the lease, all those who sign are called co-tenants. Each co-tenant has a legal contract with the owner of the property and shares full responsibility for the tenancy.

The new laws recognise the rights of co-tenants for the first time.

Co-tenant disputes can be taken to the Tribunal
If there is a dispute, a co-tenant can apply to the Tribunal for an order to terminate their own tenancy, the tenancy of another co-tenant, or the tenancy as a whole, which would bring the agreement with the landlord to an end.

TheBusDriver 10:29 am 25 Jan 14

Confrint her abouit it. Or, yes, call the police. Who wants a relationship with a thief anyway? Most leases reuire the premises to be used for legal purposes. Your friend’s thief isn’t using it for legal purposes are they? Failing that, look for another place to live.

tommy 10:22 am 25 Jan 14

May have to get a lock on the bedroom door and keep all the stuff there. Seen plenty of group houses which have that arrangement.

But really – call the police.

cantanga 10:15 am 25 Jan 14

Booby trap. Perhaps something high voltage.

Genie 10:08 am 25 Jan 14

Police can’t do anything. When we had a friend housesit for 2 weeks ALOT of stuff was missing on our return. Called the police for advice but because they had a key to the property and we willingly let them stay. Tough titties.

Tell your friend to find a new place. Breaking the lease is probably less than what she will have stolen off her by staying.

Queen_of_the_Bun 10:08 am 25 Jan 14

Put a lock on the bedroom door, keep all valuables inside, and move out as soon as possible.
Or call the police. Being thieved from is hardly good flatmate relations.

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