My landlord thinks I’m a lodger – please help me

My landlord thinks I’m a lodger – please help me

13:43 PM, 2nd September 2013, About 8 years ago 21

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I moved into a room 2 years ago in a flat that has 3 other people renting out rooms. My landlord thinks I'm a lodger - please help me

The owners DO NOT live in the flat.

I recently lost my job and have become past due on my rent.

In a recent discussion with my landlord regarding the possibility of eviction he told me I’m a lodger and therefore have no rights and he can ask me to leave within seven days and can physically move me out.

My letter of agreement does say between owner and lodger but the owner has never lived in the flat.

Am I a tenant?

Am I entitled to at least 14 days notice even if my letter of agreement says 7 and won’t the owner need to get a court order to take possession?

Nikolas Tzanis



Comments

by David Sweeney

14:25 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nikolas Tzanis" at "03/09/2013 - 14:07":

As a tenant, you don't have a 'right' to change the lock on your room, but there isn't much your landlord can do if you do 😉

Don't change any locks that affect other tenants.

by Mark Alexander

14:31 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "03/09/2013 - 14:25":

ooo errr - we have a difference of opinion on that one Dave. I think Nikolas does have the right to change the lock on his room.
.

by Sally T

14:55 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

I believe he does have the right to change the lock, but you have to ask yourself 'Will this help my situation?'.
Right now if you can get benefit payments sorted you may still be able to work out a deal with your landlord and stay in the property. By changing the locks on your room you run the risk of upsetting your landlord further to a point that they'll want to get rid of you reguardless of the financial situation.
We've had tenants go 10 weeks in arrears before whilst their payments have been sorted. I wont lie after a while you do start to get a bit nervous, but in the past it's only ever backfired on us once.
I still think your best route is to try to sort things out to stay where you are.
Good Luck !

by Mark Alexander

15:12 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sally T" at "03/09/2013 - 14:55":

Well said Sally.

I'm not too clued up so far as benefits go but am I right in thinking that there is some sort of emergency fund which can be accessed by tenants in this situation? The figure of £1,000 in some form of interest free loan seems to spring to mind. I think it' has something to do with prevention of homelessness.

Where are Adam Zeeblebum and Ben Reeve Lewis when we need them?

BRAIN WAVE - I will Tweet them now 🙂
.

by Mark Alexander

15:15 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/09/2013 - 15:12":

And here's the Tweet ....

by Mary Latham

15:26 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Yes Mark LAs have a discretionary fund but that money is under a lot of pressure and a tenant needs to make a good case for them to pay out. Well worth a try even if they only some of the arrears at least the landlord can see that you are trying.

Yes you can change the lock on your bedroom door but not final exit doors that other tenants need to use - PLEASE avoid doing this it will only make a bad situation worse. When you apply for a discretionary payment go and see a Tenant Support Officer and ask that they contact the landlord and discuss the situation especially that they make him aware that he needs to serve the correct notice and obtain a court order to evict you. He may listen to them and give you time to catch up on the arrears - a better result for both of you

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

by Ian Ringrose

16:44 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Mark,

The statements of the law made so far seem to be correct and I can’t add anything to them.

However given that most landlords have many tenants to choose between, bad references however unjustified can make it very hard for you to find another home. If a landlord has the choose between two tenants one that has good references and another that his past landlord does not like what do you think the outcome will be?

by

12:45 PM, 7th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Thanks for everyone's advice. I wanted to give an update. I visited the housing authority after your advice and they agreed that I was a tenant and not a lodger. They said they would call the owner on my behalf if I was given a notice not in accordance with the rights of a tenant. I spoke to the owner after that and the owner acted confused but at the end of the day could not argue the point anymore. Owner is still taking the aggressive approach but agreed to my payment plan after all. I think the laws worked in this case. The point should be to keep people in there home and allow a reasonable amount of time for a financial solution. I agree some owners although not this one would be harmed with a repayment plan but rental income is a business and business comes with risks. The owner wont admit it but better to recoup my arrears with a payment plan then to replace me and lose 3 months of rent income. I don't think im the bad guy. Life happens and being an owner and a tenant comes with responsibilities but we are human and I would of just hoped my landlord would of been more sensitive to that. Oh well. Thanks for this site. It was a great help

by Mark Alexander

13:26 PM, 7th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nikolas " at "07/09/2013 - 12:45":

That's great news for you Nikolas and I hope you manage to keep up the repayment plan and re-build bridges with your landlord.

What your landlord should have done is to provide you with a proper AST and served a deposit protection certificate and prescribed information (assuming you paid a deposit) at the point when you moved in. He should then have served a Section 21 (1) b notice within the first 4 months of the tenancy. This would have given him the ability to have moved immediately towards applying to the Courts for a possession notice at the end of the fixed term tenancy if he had chosen not to accept your payment plan.

If your landlords takes professional advice now the following is probably what he will be told ...

1) If he took a deposit and failed to protect it, to ask you agree in writing to have this set off against any arrears and to protect his position by enter into a Deed of Compromise with you to document the arrangement in respect of any claims you may subsequently bring against him in respect of the deposit and associated deposit protection legislation
2) To serve you a section 21 (4) a notice so that if you do not stick to the repayment plan he can apply to the Courts for an eviction notice in not less than two months and not less that three months dependent upon the start date of your tenancy.

Please note that as you are three months in arrears your landlord still has the ability to serve you with a section 8 notice on the grounds of rent arrears. The notice period would be for two weeks, following which your landlord would be in a position to apply to the Courts for a possession notice and a money order against you for the rent arrears.

I am sharing this with you as forewarned is forearmed and so that you know that if/when you are served with these notices and/or asked to sign a Deed of Compromise you will understand why. From what you have said though I doubt very much that you landlord is intelligent enough to even consider taking professional advice!

The other reason I have posted this advice is to help any landlords reading this post who may be in a similar position with one of their tenants.

I wish you well and I am very pleased that the GOOD Landlords using this forum have been able to help you.

by

14:30 PM, 2nd November 2013, About 8 years ago

hey I just wanted to update everyone on how things have progressed and a new development....

after agreeing to a repayment plan and completing 25 percent of it I became ill and lost some wages from work. I realized this would put my next payment at risk so I talked to my landlord. He was very upset and to my surprise he tried to tell me I needed to leave in 15 days or else and he was shouting. I was surprised because we had already had conversations about the legal procedure and he had finally admitted in writing that I was a tenant and not a lodger. After some discussion I explained that I would try to leave by end of month to avoid more loss to him and that I would make payments going forward to make up past due monies even while im at new flat.

What surprised me is that he insists on not giving me a 14 notice in writing. Its as if he is afraid to let it go through courts. I even suggested that its in both our best interests to do it immediately so that he is protected and so that I am aswell. Its like he is agreeing to me having the time but doesn't want to protect himself. Im very wary of this and I think he has alternative motives.

Any thoughts on why he wouldn't want to give me a legal notice in writing? In theory couldn't I just keep staying here rent free until he does? Not that im intending to do that? Just the opposite in fact.

We talked about me changing my locks on my door and he tried to me that's illegal .

Any thoughts?


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