Lodger claiming that I am harassing?

by Readers Question

10:16 AM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Lodger claiming that I am harassing?

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Lodger claiming that I am harassing?

I am recently having problems with my lodger whom I lived with two years and a quarter. I met with the person I will call “A” over one of room advertising website and after A moved in we gradually became good friends and had lots of family occasions together.

Time to time A had work problems and I supported with my best ability and even gave reference to help A find next job. The main reason that I wanted to rent my bedroom was not to be alone with my 5 year old child as I am a single person and living in one of the highest crime areas.

We had got on well and never had any issues and never needed an agreement as well neither any of us suggested. I was very happy with A present for my child as we were like a big family sometimes with A’s brother and their children around.

After two years when A was made redundant as workplace claimed that A had been aggressive towards staff and shouted at one and so many employees gave evidence against A I helped A apply for benefits as I have not seen any of that side of A and mostly listened to A’s side of story and gave a reference to find a new job which was successful.

To help A to apply benefits they asked an accommodation agreement and as I have never seen one before and had time to find one as I am working full time I asked A to bring one and I can sign it. I read the agreement which says “excluded tenancy” and most parts do not even apply and did not see any problems that might occur as everything was smooth.

Soon after signing the agreement in couple of occasions from very little reasons something A said and then claimed that A did not say it. A turned it around and made me look like I was lying. When I asked then A did not accept it and said that is not true and I have changed. A said that I have to be careful that I am doing illegal things and not to call police, but did not answer when I asked what are those things were. Then whenever I try to speak either A said I am saying illegal things or I am using my child as I said I want peace, because I have a child here. A’s whole attitude has changed like no speaking, banging doors, loudly switching lights. Then I write a letter to end her stay and gave A notice for a month. After I have spoken to a lawyer and they sent A official notice to end A’s stay.

Since A received the notices A has changed even more like starting to use blackout curtains and closing her doors at all time and there is no way of me knowing if A is home or not as no hello or bye which worries me a lot. We never had any doors closed or curtains before except night time and A did not even use the blackout ones? Now I am seeing A’s other side I am thinking that A can treat me or my child like did the others at work which I did not believe before.

Can such agreement be valid after two years and nothing on it applied before, but suddenly A started to use them because we have one? And it also worries me that there is a date of one year in the notice period and no break clause.

I made a last attempt to restore our communication by emailing/texting (blocked me from social media and WhatsApp) saying that in short “I need to know that if you don’t stay in the night for security reasons” as from the begging A always texted me if was not going to come home so I can be relax. But now not knowing who is going to try to open the door when A might not stay the night freaks me out. Also we are living in one of the most dangerous areas. Then A replied by saying to “stop keep harassing and as a tenant I don’t have to report to you, but for the sake of record I will be back in few days time.”

How on earth this is harassment? I am not asking A where or what she is doing I just want to know if  she is coming home that night for security reasons.

Sorry it is a very long post, but I don’t know what this person up to now. Main reason I had A was to have company and only reason I made this agreement was to help A apply for benefits. Now it has all changed and I need to know what I should be doing?

Many thanks

Kelly



Comments

Adam Withford

11:20 AM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Dear Kelly, you need to either get this person A out immediately or leave yourself. Everything you state above is on line with someone who has a personality disorder. I do not take stating this to you lightly! You have a child also, you need to inform the authorities that you feel uncomfortable and are worried for the behaviour of Person A and the safety of your child.

You write above -
Soon after signing the agreement in couple of occasions from very little reasons something A said and then claimed that A did not say it. A turned it around and made me look like I was lying. When I asked then A did not accept it and said that is not true and I have changed. A said that I have to be careful that I am doing illegal things and not to call police, but did not answer when I asked what are those things were. Then whenever I try to speak either A said I am saying illegal things or I am using my child as I said I want peace, because I have a child here. A’s whole attitude has changed like no speaking, banging doors, loudly switching lights.........

This behaviour is controlling and coercive, it is passive aggressive and manipulative. It is the behaviour of a personality disorder to to control with denials and lies, especially those with covert NPD. The outbursts are also a major red-flag. I am not a psychiatrist, but I have gone through much of this myself and have therefore had to learn a lot about it.

You need to be very careful about what you say, do not leave yourself open to them. The basic rule of thumb is to "grey-rock", which means, do not give them anything of yourself that they can use against you. You effectively need to become like a "grey rock", very boring and uninteresting. Do not communicate outside of basic necessity, do not ask them questions, do not answer their questions. This is absolutely necessary to avoid any further web within which you can be ensnared.

Also you need to be aware that they may be spreading lies about you to others so as to lock you into a compromised position. This "harassment" they are talking about is another big red flag. They could be telling lots of people, even the council, that you are harassing them. Do not confront them about it, just go to the authorities and state that you have concerns. Try and talk to their ex boss if you can, they will probably not talk to you, but you can tell them that they may be contacted in future by authorities.

Be very careful, about what you expose to them, and do not confront them. Get yourself rid of them as quietly and with as little drama as you can. Or leave yourself.

Again, you have said many things here that are too obvious to those who are familiar with the patterns to ignore. Go and educate yourself on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, both the overt and covert types. There are many Psychologists on Youtube who are very informative.

Do not tell them that you think this is what they are, do not say you are even researching it.

I am not saying you are in physical danger, but they can make your life absolute hell.

I am also not saying that they are for sure NPD or on the spectrum, but regardless, the symptoms of your experience you state are toxic, and regardless of whether they are or not, you need to get out. Do not give "second chances".

The switching from nice girl to bad girl is also a big red flag. They can behave normally for some time, and they will also pretend that things are ok so that you let your defences down. They will be gauging you to see what they can use or manage of you in the moment. Lieing is like breathing to them. Do not take . my word for it, go and educate yourself.

Do not let fear overtake you though, be as calm and rational and "grey rock" as you can be.

Sincerely and best wishes

Simon Williams

11:29 AM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

If A is living with you and and it is your only home and you are sharing all the facilities in the property with her, then A is a lodger and not a tenant. A lodger is sometimes known as an "excluded occupier" which is possibly why the agreement given to you has been labelled "excluded tenancy" although the word tenancy is not strictly appropriate. But whatever the agreement says or does not say, it does not make a lodger into a tenant if the reality is that they are actually living with you as a lodger - in other words, sharing the facilities in your own home.
You can evict a lodger WITHOUT the need for a court order. You normally give 28 days notice but it depends what is stated on the agreement. If the person refuses to leave, you can in theory use reasonable force to remove them at the end of the notice, but you ought to get the police involved if that became necessary and you can tell them you have a young child to worry about. Some lawyers advice you should get a court order even if the person is a lodger, but it is not legally necessary. You should take careful notes of any conversations and avoid threatening language and use gentle persuasion to make her realise that in the end, all this has to come to an end eventually, so may as well make it end as amicably as possible.
If your agreement allows the person a long period in your property before their agreement expires and doesn't allow you to serve 28 days notice without reason, then you may have to try to bring the agreement to end by arguing that there has been a breach of contract by A. The obvious argument to make is that A, by her anti-social behaviour, has fundamentally caused a break down in the trust and confidence between the parties and you can argue that you are therefore entitled to evict her for good reason. Check the terms of the agreement. Even if the agreement gives no written right to terminate for anti-social behaviour, such a clause could be reasonably implied under normal contract principles.
Note: This is just opinion honestly given. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. You must take your own legal advice. No liability is accepted.

terry sullivan

11:40 AM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

need to get rid asap

Marie

11:59 AM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Surely this crazy woman “A” is a lodger, therefore you give her 28 days’ written notice to leave, and take all of her possessions with her. However. Your home is your home. It is your personal space, and you have a 5 year old child there, plus the neighbourhood is dodgy. You can make whatever rules you like in your own home, and she has to comply, so long as they aren’t breaking any laws or violating A’s human rights. Informing you when she is and isn’t in the house, and treating you with respect, are very basic and reasonable expectations, and if she continues to behave as she is, just get the police and ask them to come and remove her. When you explain that A is putting you and your child at risk in your own home, they will help you to remove her. This other “agreement” she has, explain to the police that it is NOT legally binding because it’s your own house, and you were duped into signing it. We all make mistakes. Best of luck.

Michael Barnes

12:31 PM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

As it is your home and you live there, she is almost certainly a lodger not a tenant. She is possibly a tenant if she can and does lock her door; you would need a solicitor to advise in this case.

Assuming lodger:
If the notice given has expired, then when she goes out, change the locks (obviously buy them in advance).
Get a trusted friend to be with you at this time for when she returns.

Do not allow her back in to your property.
Either put her belongings in weather-proof packaging outside for her to collect (but you need to be aware of the possibility of theft) or get your friend to pass them to her through a window.

Even if not a lodger, the above approach may be desirable for your safety. You are extremely unlikely to be acting illegally in what you have done so far; possibly unlawfully, but that would require your lodger to take legal action, not the police.

There is a small chance that if she can lock her room, then the actions I suggest would constitute illegal eviction, so getting advice from Citizens' Advice or a solicitor would be advisable.

reader

14:48 PM, 24th December 2019
About 3 months ago

35 years ago our family nearly helped X with their lodger Z. Unfortunately, Z had an unknown history which all became clear at Z's murder trial of X. Sadly Z had completely hid their previous murder conviction. I would implore you to take a safety first route.

Mark Hulbert

11:08 AM, 28th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Dear Kelly,
Legally your lodger, by sharing living space and facilities in your home where you live, is an "excluded occupier" and has no tenancy rights. You have asked her to leave and, having failed to do so, she is now trespassing. Courts take ages, and their findings may muddy the water. You and your child are at risk now.
1. Read the government advice at: https://www.gov.uk/rent-room-in-your-home/your-lodgers-tenancy-type. This will give you confidence to act - peacefully but firmly. Do not confront your lodger further.
2. Call the police, and explain the situation including the risk to your safety. Show them the government advice under 1. They will ask the lodger to move out immediately. The advantage to using the police is that your lodger is less likely to resist or try in future to take revenge against you or your property.

Don't delay - have this person out of your house by this evening. She has a job, so she can find somewhere else to stay.

Possession Friend

17:35 PM, 28th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Notwithstanding some relevant advice above, my Possession company PossessionFriend.uk would want to have a detailed conversation AND see whatever agreement you have signed.
Unfortunately, many landlords we help with eviction - Possession issues ( amongst others ) have entered into renting without a sufficient understanding of the very many regulations, laws and requirements. ( such understanding that might well have prevented them getting into the problem, or at least have much alleviated it )
I would not recommend dealing with this matter on the strength of a few online comments. Wishing you the best outcome to this and a Happy New Year.

Marie

22:01 PM, 28th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Is A still there Kelly, or did you manage to get rid of her by now? I can’t imagine a Christmas with her in your house.


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