Lodger giving me grief

by Readers Question

20:06 PM, 16th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Lodger giving me grief

Make Text Bigger
Lodger giving me grief

My lodger asked me if her Mum could stay here for 2 weeks when she comes to visit from South Africa. I said no as I rent the room out to her and nobody else….the room is not big enough for 2 people … and when she and myself go to work her Mum would be in my house all day (a total stranger to me)…so she said oh well I will have to move out as I cant afford to rent here and another place for my mum…. (she is a Mon-to Fri lodger). Lodger giving me grief

She gave me 2 weeks notice which we had agreed..since then she is banging doors….. I have bought her 2 heaters for her room but both have broken … she is telling me she is cold. I have my central heating on 24/7.. today I have got home from work to find she went to work without locking my front door. I know she is trying to wind me up as I think she wants to move out sooner and for me to refund the rent she has paid. Due to financial problems I’m not in a position to refund her the rent she has paid until the end of the month and I also don’t think I should.. its her choice to go.. but I feel she is out to annoy me so I evict her…. please help!

Julie



Comments

Mandy Thomson

10:16 AM, 17th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Julie

I believe you might have posted on here before about the same lodger? http://www.property118.com/weekday-lodger-left-clothes-kept-key/71347/

While I think she needs to go ASAP, I'm not sure that banging doors and one incident of the front door being left unlocked would be enough to justify her leaving before the 2 weeks are up, and as I've said before, if you are terminating a lodger agreement early for unreasonable behaviour, you would be advised to have evidence just in case the lodger makes a claim against you for the rent.

However, again assuming you're the same Julie who had the problem midweek lodger from South Africa, based on this lady's previous behaviour, I wouldn't be surprised if she did another "disappearing act", this time permanently, depending on how readily available midweek rooms are in your area.

Do you have a friendly reliable person (a neighbour, friend or relative) you could give a key to and ask to keep an eye on the house while you're at work? It seems to me your lodger is spiteful and untrustworthy, so while she doesn't sound like someone who would wreck the place, she might "forget" to lock the door behind her again (and you'd have evidence, if she tried to claim the rent back)

julie davies

17:20 PM, 17th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi yes she is the same lodger.....as i am a kind caring person i decided to give her another chance when she turned up at my door at 11pm..stating she had not received the texts i sent her.....(she is using the same phone to send me messages calling me a liar)....she is threatening me with a solicitor again..as she did last time...she wont let me speak to her as when i have knocked on her bedroom door she holds the phone to her ear stating she is on the phone......she has paid until the 28th of this month...gave me notice and she moves out on the 25th...she is saying i owe her 3 days rent?????.....but she has been staying at weekends ..and her rent is for mon-fri..also i have bought her 2 heaters for her room as well as the central heating i keep on.....and it was a new carpet and i have noticed it has got stains on......i definatley wont be ever giving her any more chances..she is rude and arrogant....and quite threatening.....

Mandy Thomson

18:05 PM, 17th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Would she really go to the trouble and expense of setting up a claim just for 3 days rent - unless it's a very high spec property in a very expensive area, she would get her court fee back at best! As for getting a solicitor (which you don't get for a small claim)...

If her agreement with you is until the 28th, you are entitled for the rent up till then - it's her decision to move out earlier. You can counter her threats to make a small claim with one of your own. Unfortunately, if you were happy for her to stay extra days rent free in the past, you can't now turn around and say you now want rent for that, but what you CAN claim for is the stained carpet and broken heaters, provided you have proof of purchase (take a photo of the carpet with a newspaper with the current date showing on it).

You may also be able to claim for your bills, if they are significantly higher than before she moved in. I suspect all of this would come to a lot more than her 3 days rent, even if she was entitled to claim for it, which she isn't if the agreement doesn't expire until 28th.

As I said, you do need evidence, but for a civil matter such as a small claim, it doesn't have to be beyond all reasonable doubt, as in the criminal courts, just simply very likely. However, unless YOU decide to take HER to court, I suspect this will all come to nothing.

When I was a lodger, I always paid my full rent on time although I stayed away more than half the time, and was told I couldn't have an overnight guest (who was neither a stranger nor someone ill mannered or untrustworthy) even for one single night when my landlord was away, in a spacious 3 bed house. Although I felt I wasn't being made very welcome, especially as the landlord was an old friend, I simply accepted her position and just tried to make my presence as unobtrusive as possible until I could move out - I most certainly didn't carry on like your lodger!

julie davies

18:16 PM, 17th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "17/03/2015 - 18:05":

Thank you for your reply....it is most helpful...I do only charge £60 for mon-fri....cheapest in my nice area...I will now wait and see what happens on the 25th when she moves out and take it from there...I know she is just threatening me.....if it comes to it I will just change my locks on the 26th...
Thanks Julie

Mandy Thomson

19:00 PM, 17th March 2015
About 4 years ago

You're welcome, Julie.

Given that the minimum MCOL court fee is £35, I was right in assuming your lodger would simply break even, even if she HAD been entitled to make that claim...

Next time she makes her threat, stay calm, remind her that she agreed to the notice period, and that she is choosing to move out on that date, then tell her that you've also sought advice and that you will be making a claim against her which will come to several times more.

Good luck - after having lodgers, as well as being one, in the past myself, I know it's a horrible thing to have to put up with in your own home when it goes wrong. I suspect your lodger is behaving like this because she feels powerless, though that is no excuse.

Mandy

julie davies

19:45 PM, 17th March 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "17/03/2015 - 19:00":

Thank you...I believe she is behaving like this as she wanted me to refund her money last week as she stated she would have to move out if her mum could not stay here....and she would be happy to go if I refunded her the rent she has paid until the 25th as she pays monthly..i replied that her 2 weeks notice to the 25th is ok with me...and she has started with the bad behaviour since then...
Julie


Leave Comments

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

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Calm before the storm?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More