Should I take a tenant reference for new lodger?

by Readers Question

7:38 AM, 31st July 2015
About 5 years ago

Should I take a tenant reference for new lodger?

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Should I take a tenant reference for new lodger?

I would like some advice regarding taking in a live in lodger. I was wondering if it would be necessary or advisable to obtain a tenant reference for a live in lodger prior to them moving in as it is for a tenant renting a property on an AST.lodger

Any advice would be most helpful.

Tony



Comments

david manifold

13:36 PM, 1st August 2015
About 5 years ago

I see no evidence or cases to suggest a landlord has broken any laws by asking a lodger to leave within a reasonable amount of time if the relationship has broken down. There is no chance it's going to be 1 month. 'perhaps' is not an answer. I agree to wait until lodger leaves and change locks. No forcing out and ensure protecting lodgers belongings and return them immediately on request but as far as anything else is concerned its at the discretion of the house owner. Examples where this has not applied please. No person in there right mind would try and apply AST rules to their own house. On both my occasions in 20 years the police also backed up what I said agreed the timescales and even offered to remove them if there were problems as it was my home. It's common sense and any challenge to this would be fairly seen by a judge.

Mandy Thomson

15:44 PM, 1st August 2015
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "david manifold" at "01/08/2015 - 13:36":

Please read the comments posted here: http://www.property118.com/noisy-landlady-night-keeps-teacher-awake/71534/#comments by Ian Narbeth a solicitor who has represented several lodgers in claims against their landlords.

Do you ever go on holiday and prebook holiday accommodation? Supposing you were to turn up to check in, but the hotel manager/guest house owner/apartment owner told you, "Sorry, but I've changed my mind. I've decided I don't want you staying here after all." Would you just shrug, write off any deposit you'd paid, and walk away? You would be within your rights to claim back your deposit, your travel expenses, and compensation for inconvenience.

The same laws of contract that apply in any business transaction apply to lodgers, even if they aren't always aware or don't always exercise them.

I once had a builder who did some shoddy work on one of my properties. For various reasons, I decided not to prosecute (mostly as he came from abroad and I was unable to trace him). Does that therefore mean I have no right to prosecute and that the builder is in the right?

david manifold

9:19 AM, 2nd August 2015
About 5 years ago

Your talking about builders and I am talking about liodgers living in my house. Totally different things. Hotels are not my house either. It's my personal space who I let someone in for a small amount of moneyy. in return I expect respect and security. And honesty. If neither of these are adhered to they will be leaving. within a reasonable amount of time. Which will not be 1 week never mind 1 month because they broke their contract with my rules.. Not the other way around. This is Common sense.

Mandy Thomson

11:42 AM, 3rd August 2015
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "david manifold" at "02/08/2015 - 09:19":

So you're saying that if a lodger has done absolutely nothing wrong, you're just not compatible (for example they have minor habits you just find irritating) that lodger will be out on their ear in less than a week, with no return of any rent they might have paid in advance to stay there? Isn't the onus on you to ensure you let to someone compatible with you who fits into your household in the first place?

Once the lodger is there, their part of the contract is to pay their rent and respect your home and household, and adhere to house rules, but in return for this they have the right to reasonable use of the living accommodation they've paid for, and to the notice period in the agreement unless they've done something very wrong. There has to be give and take on both sides, and anyone who isn't prepared to honour their part of the contract should not enter into it in the first place.

david manifold

18:43 PM, 3rd August 2015
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "03/08/2015 - 11:42":

No I am not saying that. Read my posts again. I would expect to return any rent paid on account as I already stated as I am not a thief. I said if tenant violated my house rules, threatened me or stole from me they would be out within a reasonable amount of time which would not be a week. I have AST tenants too and believe me - if they break my rules they will be out too, but within the normal section 8/21 guidelines.

david manifold

19:00 PM, 3rd August 2015
About 5 years ago

And another thing. As far as honouring contracts. - I have been letting to lodgers since 1995. One stayed from 1995 - 2000. Another stayed a year from 2001-2002 an another stayed from 2004 until now where I have just given him 4 weeks as he's been fair and reasonable (even with his bad habits which I won't go into). So to imply I don't know how to honour a contract is not acceptable. If I have someone violating the above house rules then they are out pronto. It's not rocket science.

Tony Church

21:54 PM, 3rd August 2015
About 5 years ago

Well said David I quire agree with you and know exactly what you mean.

Connie Cheuk

8:33 AM, 7th August 2015
About 5 years ago

I only started letting out my spare loft room earlier this year and was lucky to find a lodger who is respectful. He travels back most weekends to his wife and family in Ireland. Had email ref from his previous landlady and took photo of passport. To date, he's very good.
Let second spare room to lodger, asked for reference and he gave me vicar's email - ref was v positive. Said he had a few personal problems, but is a lovely person.
There was a stealthy smell the moment he was in. He said maybe his trainers as they're v old. I gave him a new pair boyfriend had no use of - his size too. He moved in, all microwave meals and takeaway, never wrapped anything up so second night fridge was stinking of curry. Strange smell remained. My boyfriend visited, said it was stale alcohol, but I thought it was more stale BO (guy had slept in his musty van and B&Bs previously).
In the end, I had to ask him to leave - gave him 24 hours as smell was driving me mad. Lodger and I have never heard him use the shower once.
Found 10 empty beer cans under his bed (he was here 1 week). Took me 3 weeks to air the room.
Now there is a 24 year old "man". His boss from work accompanied him on the viewing so in a way gave him a reference. He's respectful of rules (no smoking in the house) and my other lodger cooks for him as the young guy does not cook. All ok - helped him stop his debit card as his mother uses his money to play candy crush (he can't remember how long that's been going on) but he was too shy to go to the bank himself.
The only downside is that he goes out drinking all his money away with his mates and comes back drunk. Last Friday he entered my bedroom at 1am saying he needed to "take a piss", thinking my room was the bathroom down the hall.
Another time, he brought his mate round, both drunk at 1:30am. His mate's feet stank and his trainers stank out the hallway downstairs (no shoes allowed upstairs on carpet). I had a shout, he and his mate left at 2am.

Later in the week, he told me they continued drinking on a park bench until he threw up.
Irish lodger thinks this is normal 24 year old behaviour. My boyfriend was 23/24 when I met him and he was not like this! My neighbour's son started his lorry recovery business at 24.
Am I too harsh? I don't want to be urinated on for a start. This man acts like a 15 year old, runs out of money by week 3 because his mates leech off him. Then he's Mr Popular close to his payday. He moans he has no savings to speak of, needs to stop drinking, get a better job (though he makes enough).
Other lodger says I should be more lenient. I do feel it's my own home and I shouldn't have to put up with drunken shenanigans. Sorry for long post.

Connie Cheuk

8:47 AM, 7th August 2015
About 5 years ago

Perhaps David Manifold could advise, or Mandy Thomson. Are these "little habits" that "irritate" but should be put up with? It's almost the weekend and I dread to think what I'll be subjected to next.
Irish lodger has been lodging in all sorts - sharing a large room in large HMO. He said guys got drunk all the time, wetting the bed, peeing in wardrobes, bringing women back (one also wet the bed she was so drunk). Apparently, people do these things!
I remember doing the drinking and clubbing until all hours in my 20s and 30s in London, but I had my own flat, lived alone and didn't impinge on anyone else's life.
As a live in landlady, am I expected to put up with this type of behaviour? Irish lodger thinks condemning the "lad" and throwing him out would be hypocritical of me.

david manifold

9:00 AM, 7th August 2015
About 5 years ago

No your not expected to put up with this behaviour in your own home. Entering your room at the early hours is a big no no. I would personally give the guy one chance. Reiterate the house rules and if you don't see an immediate change (or back tracking) tell him to go. If you feel threatened in your own home do as I did and accelerate the notice to 24 hours. Make sure you have a witness present if you wish to remain present while their notice expires. Don't force them out but do change the locks once they leave,

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