Lodger or tenant?

Lodger or tenant?

9:12 AM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago 23

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Hello all, I have ended up in court with the lodger as they refuse to leave after the notice to quit expired.  In court on the 16th May the judge accepted my arguments on the facts that they were lodgers.

However, the lodgers rejected this claim and were given until July 10th, to present evidence supporting their argument, as they were not prepared at the time.

I have a few questions: How could they prove the claim that they are not lodgers?, What happens if the judge agrees with them?, What will my options be?

To provide more context: there were initially three lodgers, but one left last August. The remaining two refuse to move and have not been paying rent. They stay in their rooms with other people, have changed the locks, and one of them recently gave birth. She is now living in the room with her baby and boyfriend.

Thanks for any advice,

Flore


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Hitesh

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9:48 AM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Need more details on arrangements if any…
Contracts, paper work etc…
Sounds crazy but I can’t figure out what’s happened.
Sorry

SteveFowkes

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9:53 AM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

If they're in your house they're Lodgers
Simple

DPT

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9:56 AM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

1. Do you live in the same property?
2. Do you share any living space?
3. If no to 1, do you live in the same converted building?
4. Have you lived there continuously since their occupation began with no gaps?

With 3 lodgers your property would have been an HMO and may have been licensable in your area. Failure to licence is not a barrier to evicting a lodger but they could claim a Rent Repayment Order.

Michael Freer

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10:02 AM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

You have an interesting case in that based on what others far more knowledgeable have said before on this forum, you potentially have an HMO (unintentional or otherwise), and if you don't have a license where one is necessary, you could end up in quite a pickle beyond the one you are currently faced with.
As others have said, without knowing what paperwork, if any, is in place that forms the agreement between you and those in the house, it is difficult for anyone to give clear guidance.

Graham Bowcock

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13:29 PM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Wow!

That sounds strange.

If it's your house (the one you actually live in), then they're lodgers. Presumably you can prove you live there, in which case you should have a solid case.

I'm worried that you may not be fully resident in the house, in which case things start to fall apart for you. I'm not sure why the "lodgers" would want to stay with you in shared space if your aim is to remove them.

More detail required (as ever!).

Flore-anne Nevry

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14:59 PM, 3rd July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Thank you all for your response
I first leave with my first 2 tenants and a year after they came living in my house withme I had an opposite of a job in another country so I will come and go
They were therefore time where I was not in the property but will manage to have a friend staying in my room(non paying)
There is unfortunately no written agreement.
They are hoping to be rehouse by the local authority
We are back in court on the 21.08 as the judge has ask them to prove that they are not lodgers.how can they do that
I have all prove that I live in the property and that this is my main and only property:driving licence, electoral vote,bills,council tax,new car bought last year,car assurance,personal assurance,GP.......

DPT

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10:32 AM, 4th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

The tenants will probably try to claim that when you left to live abroad their licences became Assured Shorthold Tenancies. You will need to counter this with evidence that it remained your only home throughout your periods abroad and for the whole time the lodgers were at the property and they still therefore have lodger licences. Look for information online about what evidence is required or seek legal advice.

Flore-anne Nevry

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17:35 PM, 4th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Freer at 03/07/2024 - 10:02
Regarding the HMO licence I was fine until January this month as in greenwich it was up to 5 for a need of licence,as from January I ll need an additional license since I don t want to licence my house an rather wishes to move back in I have apply for a Temporary exemption notice so I am fine for now
Thanks

Jonathan Willis

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20:43 PM, 4th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Because you started to work and live abroad. It's not a cut and dry answer.

Ultimately you'll both provide your statements and the judge will decide on the day. If they are tenants, you'll need to use either section 8 or section 21 notice to evict, but it's a long long process and you'll incur costs. If they do become tenants, they only gain tenancy over what the lodger was given, which is likely the room, as such they can't stop you coming to the house as they were never given the full house, the other areas were just communal.

Whilst the occupants need to prove that they are a tenants, you need to prove they are lodgers. In effect, you are battling over the same question, do you live at the property!

The sort of questions you both need to answer are as follows...

Do you return regularly during the time the persons remain resident in your property?

Do you remain registered on the electoral register at this address?

Do you remove your possessions from the address?

Do you spend most of your time living another address?

Do you intent not to return to live at the address permanently?

The key one really is for you, where do you spend most of your time. Are you only popping back at a weekend, 1 week a month etc. I've seen others post about lodges trying to claim tenant rights with the landlord goes on a 14 night holiday, and that's easily defended. Without knowing more, this could go either way.

Jonathan Willis

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20:45 PM, 4th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Also, if they become tenants, check your mortgage, if you have one, you'll likely need convert it to a BTL mortgage. Otherwise you run the risk of the mortgage lender requesting the mortgage is repaid in full for breach of terms.

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