Live-in landlord advice?

Live-in landlord advice?

9:43 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago 13

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Hi All, I recently purchased my first property and decided to rent a few rooms out to help cover the cost of running the place. I’m a live-in landlord and registered to vote there, this is in the Portsmouth area. But do spend most of my time at my partners as its considerably closer to work.

The first lodger I got in was on a 2 month agreement. They were a foreign student and actually ended up leaving the UK after 6 weeks. I got a second lodger in a few weeks after the first and all is fine with this one.

My problem is I had a third person who was very keen to move in. As the initial lodger had already been in for a month and would be leaving I said they could move in. There is an overlap of 3 weeks where I have 3 lodgers in. So the first lodger has moved out now and there are currently just the 2 lodgers in and have been for around 3 weeks.

The final lodger paid a months rent upfront and half the deposit. The remaining half the deposit was due on his next pay check. This I now realise was a massive mistake and will never let anyone move in without a full deposit again. He missed paying the remainder of his deposit.

Then he missed the paying of his second months rent, giving multiple excuses. The rent is now 2 weeks overdue and second half of deposit would be 5 weeks.

I’ve since asked him to move out, giving him 7 days notice like is mentioned in the lodger agreement which I had found online. He called up the council for advice and seems to think he is entitled to a 1 month notice as what I have done is illegal. I am also concerned that as I had an overlap with 3 lodgers the council may get involved.

What are any possible implications here and am I still easily able to remove the lodger?

Thank you.


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10:11 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

Firstly you have not done anything illegal and secondly, lodgers do not have any tenancy-like protections, they are lodgers only. The Council do not have any right to state the amount of time you should give a lodger to vacate the home. Usually, it is left to the goodwill of the Landlord. As the lodger has clearly broken the lodger contract and very early on, he does not need to be treated compassionately at all.
In my location it is as follows:
If the property is occupied by yourself (albeit on a part time basis) plus 3 others you will not require a HMO licence, although it would be classed as a non-licensable HMO. A licence is only required where there are 5 or more people living in a property.
This may differ from Council to Council.

David Judd

10:21 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

What do the terms of any rental agreement state? Did you register the deposit? tread carefully


10:25 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

I let 3 bedrooms to close friends who needed to be close to work in London. It enabled me to comfortably fund a much bigger house after my divorce. 25 years later, I plan to do something similar with 2 rooms (for touring theatre performers), and will spend some time at my partner's home, and her at mine. They will have access to my kitchen, bathroom, and a sitting room, so they will be classed as 'excluded' occupiers. As such, only 'reasonable' verbal notice needs to be given (best in writing/email/text, though), typically their rent payment period; 1 week in my case.

In your case, the council is technically correct if they pay monthly. But, if they are 'excluded' occupiers, you can legally change the lock on their bedroom door (but keep their belongings safe). Personally, I would put a new cylinder in the front door lock.


10:30 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Walker at 02/11/2022 - 10:11
Landlords who let a room to a Licensee are not required to protect any security deposit. That only needs to be done if letting a property or room under an AST which the majority of Landlords do not do.
Please take a good read at Spareroom for any further detailed advice.

Ian Narbeth

11:12 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

I am afraid you have inadvertently created a house in multiple occupation.
You may need planning consent for HMO use. A search on Google reveals:
"An Article 4 Direction relating to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) came into force in Portsmouth on 1 November 2011.
The Direction means that planning permission is now required in order to change the use of a Class C3 dwelling house to a Class C4 HMO where between three and six unrelated people share a kitchen and/or a bathroom."
That means you could be fined for not getting planning permission!
If you spend most of the time at your partner's place then it may be that you are not a "live-in" landlord as the house is not your principal residence. That would means your lodgers were not lodgers but tenants.

You also need to notify your buildings insurers if you are operating an HMO and it may affect your mortgage.
Instead of trying to do everything without paying for advice (free lodger agreements online may be worth what you pay for them!) I suggest you take professional advice urgently.


11:24 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 02/11/2022 - 10:25
Lots of sound advice here. Just lock them out!

Ian Narbeth

11:30 AM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Rerktyne at 02/11/2022 - 11:24Yeah, "Just lock them out!" and Adam can expect the Council to handle his planning breach with kid gloves when the tenants complain.


12:41 PM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

You've done the right thing by asking for advice here. Cos you are actually on shaky ground.
For educational purposes, an "excluded tenancy" only ever applies, if you are the owner of the property. And you don't have to protect the deposit either.
Some people in the past, have fallen foul of this. Thinking the lodger status, is always if you are "living-in" with them.
I had a friend, who owned a house up in Hartlepool, and had lodgers living in. Family, and work circumstances then lead her to living in Liverpool a LOT. She went "home" rarely.
She used the rules set down in law, for excluded occupancy, to the letter, and evicted a tenant. Long story short, tenant got shelter involved, police ordered her to let tenant back in, and she was taken to court 9 months later. She won. But she had all her costs, and distress. Tenant had all costs paid, and lived rent free, for those months. Till she could then legally evict him.
So I would seek the professional advice of Chris, the possession friend here, if I were you, and tread carefully.

Ian Narbeth

12:59 PM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

Yes, tread carefully. Fiona's story is salutary and you don't want to fall foul of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
S3A (2) says:
A tenancy or licence is excluded if—
(a) under its terms the occupier shares any accommodation with the landlord or licensor; and
(b) immediately before the tenancy or licence was granted and also at the time it comes to an end, the landlord or licensor occupied as his only or principal home (emphasis mine) premises of which the whole or part of the shared accommodation formed part.
That will be a question of fact and you will have to prove it which could take months.


14:59 PM, 2nd November 2022, About A year ago

I contacted the council today without going into specifics to ask for advice. I hadn’t realised renting out the 2 rooms to lodgers in Portsmouth meant it needed to be a C4 HMO. As it is 3 unrelated people I should have got planning permission. Does this now also change the rights of the lodgers to tenants? I have no interest in running it as an HMO and so will need to just drop down to 1 lodger but not sure how easy this will be.

I have been advised to take legal action for the breach in planning incase the council get involved. Can anyone recommend someone to speak too? Not sure if they need to be specialised in the Portsmouth area.

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