Wrongly given lodger agreement instead of AST?

Wrongly given lodger agreement instead of AST?

13:39 PM, 1st February 2021, About 12 months ago 21

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Hi I mistakenly rented out a self-contained studio flat annexed to my house to a young lady. I have given her 28 days notice to leave the flat as I stated in the lodger agreement I didn’t want her to have any visitors, and she has a boyfriend over.

Also, I suspect there has been smoking at the premises, but I cannot prove it, and she strongly denies. She has claimed she was wrongfully given a lodger agreement instead of a tenancy as I advertised it as a studio flat with a separate entrance and is becoming quite difficult.

Although I did tell her if anyone asked she should say that we share the kitchen and say she is a lodger.

What am I liable for in this situation?

Pls honest help thanks!



by John Mac

10:55 AM, 2nd February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 02/02/2021 - 09:55

by David

14:19 PM, 2nd February 2021, About 12 months ago

If the annex is physically part of the same building as your own home then there is a possibility that this might be a common law tenancy, (occupier with basic protection). You wouldn't have to go to court to get possession and would not be bound by the current notice extensions. Its worth getting an expert opinion on this by describing the set up to a housing solicitor.

by CMG

11:26 AM, 6th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Ref the last comment, I have recently been told that if a converted, self-contained property is part of the same building as the landlord's own home (no shared facilities),is not in fact an AST, but rather it is a 'Non-Assured Tenancy Agreement (resident landlord) as defined in Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1988. The legal set up is not the same as an AST, eg I gather section 21 may not apply. I would be very interested to get more specific information, regarding the pros & cons, than I have been able to find online, as I have such a set up myself, that has been let, through agents, for years as an AST.

by Jessie Jones

11:28 AM, 6th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Hi, I am guessing that you are new to being a landlord.
Unfortunately, Landlording has become a very heavily regulated activity, and whether you refer to the agreement as a lodger agreement or an tenancy agreement doesn't really matter. What matters is how a Court would interpret your situation given all the facts. Issues that are relevant include whether or not the 'tenant' has any access to your part of the property, or is it truly self contained.
Insisting on 'no visitors' is clearly an unfair clause and if you feel the need to exercise this level of control over your annex, then landlording is not for you.
If you have taken a deposit from her and not deposited it in one of the approved schemes then you could have to give her all of her rent money back. If you don't have the necessary gas safe and electrical safety certificates you could be in for huge fines.
Are you in an area that requires a 'selective licence' as that will add a myriad of other problems.
Given that you might be in the doodoo for many thousands of pounds, it might be wise to seek the advice of a solicitor specialising in housing law, as handling this badly is likely to make the situation worse.
If you do decide to continue being a landlord, then please get some professional training as training costs can be small, especially online. Fines, and Rent Repayment Orders can be very expensive

by Paul Shears

11:35 AM, 6th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 06/02/2021 - 11:28
I completely agree with what Jessie Jones has said and I would add that you need to input information pretty regularly (Several times a week) in order to keep up with changing matters and not be caught out again. If this, quite understandably, is not your inclination then think about a change of direction.

by Jon D

15:28 PM, 7th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Change the locks.

Give her a few days notice, put her stuff on the lawn.

She has a mountain to climb in claiming this is a tenancy without AST, even in the socialist republic of the UK and with its centrist Conservative party.

Chances of that are close to zero. Let her join the covid court queues.

Be very firm from the outset and get rid.

If you were ever stood in a court, indicate you are following the lodger agreement in good faith. That will mitigate any penalty, which is unlikely anyway.

Take left leaning comments with a pinch of salt.

by David

11:27 AM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Don't follow Jon D's suggestions. Even if this is not an assured tenancy, by virtue of the landlord living in the same building (but not sharing living space), it would still be covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. You would need to serve reasonable notice, (at least a period of the tenancy). If the tenant did not move at the end you should probably get a court order to evict them, which is not in theory subject to the same hold-ups with assured tenancies. As I said earlier, you should call a firm of housing solicitors and run it by them first.

by Paul Maguire

12:31 PM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 08/02/2021 - 11:27
So much easier just to accept that you were wrong and apologise [perhaps mentioning that CV lockdowns were affecting your equilibrium]. If you can't accept that you acted in an over-controlling way then spend loads on professional eviction specialists [whilst being on dodgy ground] and lose your rental income.

by Jon D

19:36 PM, 8th February 2021, About 12 months ago

Sure, give her the notice in the lodger agreement.

Thereafter explain that this is private land and any attempt to re-enter will lead to her arrest.

(Put a TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED notice on the door. The implied right of access of [NAME] and associated parties has been revoked by the land owner etc.)

by Anthony Endsor

22:43 PM, 27th February 2021, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jon D at 08/02/2021 - 19:36
Jon D, do you think this ridiculous set of suggestions will work for all properties? Only, I've got tenants who I have been looking at getting rid of. Just thinking, I could save myself 12-18 months of hassle with the courts, not to mention a few grand, by just going into the property, changing the locks and throwing their stuff on the lawn. I think if you did this, YOU would end up being the trespasser, and therefore prosecuted.

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