Friend moved in and deposit taken by tenant without my knowledge?

by Readers Question

2 years ago

Friend moved in and deposit taken by tenant without my knowledge?

Make Text Bigger
Friend moved in and deposit taken by tenant without my knowledge?

One of our flats was let via an agent on AST to 2 singles. One left and a new sharer was found referenced etc and added. friend

They too subsequently left and tenant decided to allow a friend of a friend to move in without advising us or the agency. A deposit was taken and a rent plus bill share agreed.

Three months down the road the friend is not paying and will only agree to leave on repayment in full of the deposit although all of it is owed in rent.

1) Is this person a tenant or a lodger.
2) What are their rights?
3) Should the tenant have protected the “friends” deposit?
4) What is the best way to proceed?

I have suggested giving him back his deposit and get rid, but they can’t afford it

In all respects other than this ill advised let our tenant is excellent.

Many thanks for any advice



Hi Mike

A few questions here: I take it the 'friend' moved in without you giving any consent at all, even after they moved in? Did you, for example, accept any rent from the friend? If so you probably inadvertently gave them a periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy and can only kick them out using the section 21 or section 8 notice procedure including issuing a County Court Possession Claim. If the friend has never paid rent to you, and you never provided even retrospective consent to their occupation, they are a trespasser. That is supposed to be a crime now, and you might be able to enlist the help of the police if you can show that there is no tenancy agreement in the friend's name. You will, however, be committing a crime if you attempt forcibly to evict the friend without a court order and a bailiff's warrant, so be careful (I have to say my direct experience of the police in these cases is that they are unfortunately very ignorant when it comes to Landlord and Tenant matters, so they may side with you anyway). Alternatively there is a relatively speedy procedure under Part 55 of the Civil Procedure Rules for removing trespassers through the County Court, although it does of course involve expense and stress. Special rules apply if you are intending to move into the property yourself. Feel free to contact us at Cotswold Barristers for a free no obligation consultation if you can't get them out peacefully. Good luck!


Mike McDonagh

2 years ago

Hi and many thanks for the reply.
Since the previous tenant sharer left the remaining tenant has always paid the rent in full and on time. I knew a new sharer was being sought and that they should go through the letting agent for referencing and adding to the tenancy.
I have only been made aware of this friend because there is a problem.


2 years ago

If you had two tenants, presumably each paid half of a deposit. If the new tenant paid a deposit, would it not have been paid to the outgoing tenant, so you still have the deposit you need? I am not sure but paying a deposit to the other tenant is not really a deposit otherwise because the first tenant is not the landlord. So if it were to be repaid it would be up to you to pay it not the first tenant.

This would seem to be borne out by the fact the first tenant no longer has it.

With regard to non payment you should go through the eviction process, the later tenant is not entitled to their deposit until they leave so they cannot stay "until they get it".

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?



First BTL lenders want proof of MEES min E rating