Lodger refusing to pay rent for time spent away on holiday?

by Readers Question

11:17 AM, 13th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Lodger refusing to pay rent for time spent away on holiday?

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Lodger refusing to pay rent for time spent away on holiday?

I rent a flat with my boyfriend and we have rented out our spare bedroom with our landlord’s permission. refusing

When the girl living with us moved in I told her that I would have relatives staying with us for a week in a couple of months and that the flat would be more crowded than usual. She said she was fine with it.

Later when my parents came to visit she offered her room for them to stay saying that she could stay with friends (I have emails from her saying that she wanted me to enjoy my parents without having to worry about disturbing her). I told her that she could decide what would be best for her, and that if she decided to leave for two weeks she would not have to pay rent for two weeks.

She went to her friend’s house on the 30th August and my parents left the house on the 10th September. She could have come back on that day, but she decided to stay at her friend’s house for two more days until the 12th when she went on holiday for 10 days. She came back on the 23rd. On the 26th (Saturday), when I asked her for the rent for the last two weeks, she said she had little money, lots of things to pay for, and that she did not know when she would be able to pay me.

Two weeks later when I had my boyfriend speak to her, she screamed at him and said that she would not pay because she had given away her room so that my family could use it. Of course that was not the case because she was not charged for the period that she spent with friends, and I made it very clear in one of my emails that she would be charged for the other two weeks.

She has now decided not to pay rent anymore and I told her she has to leave the flat in one week. Since she is not paying rent I have blocked her access to the internet, and because of that she has disconnected the network cables (the router is plugged in her room).

If I take her to court for rent arrears after she moves out, what are my chances of winning the case?

Thank you!

AL



Comments

matchmade

14:35 PM, 13th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Al - you will probably win a court order for the 6-7 weeks of rent and her share of the bills, but is it worth it? The court fees are listed at https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees, and anyway, what if she refuses to pay? You can get an attachment of earnings order imposed by the court on her salary, but it will take a long time to be paid is she has a low income. You will also have to find her in the first place after she moves, which can cost £150 unless you do your own detective work.

May I suggest that you treat her nicely now that you've given her notice, and restore her internet connection? The nastier things get, the more likely she is to do something stupid and damage the property just before she leaves, which the landlord may hold you liable for because you took her in as a lodger.

White Collar

10:55 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi AL

Your chances of winning based on your description appear quite high.

A win however is described as obtaining a Judgment and does not necessarily guarantee getting your money.

You will then have to enforce the Judgment (numerous methods available) which will cost more money and enforcement is never guaranteed to work either (some methods are better than others)

I'm happy to give you all the options to you separately if you wish to contact me.

Phil

Graham Durkin

13:03 PM, 17th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Al, I think you have been very reasonable in your assessment of the situation by not charging here rent during your parents stay ,this also suited her by staying with her friends (POSSIBLY FREE).following the initial 2xweeks the liabilty returns to her and she should pay, you have not mentioned whether she has a TENANCY agreement for her stay with you and if that is the case notice has been given she should leave,For me the relationship is finished between landlord/tenant ,regarding court action I believe you will win but getting the money is another thing ,maybe cut your losses get her out immediately ,re-let charge a little more for the first 6 months to recoup your losses. good luck


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