Unusual situation, possibly illegal and I need to move but wont get reference!

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    Unusual situation, possibly illegal and I need to move but wont get reference!

    Dear all,

    I need advice, I am living in a property where by i thought I was a tenant as the landladies do not live here, however in a rush to find somewhere I ended up taking the room, suddenly they explained that I was a lodger after I had agreed to take the room (even though they do not live in the property) and that my deposit wont be kept in a scheme like they said it would. Being young I was very confused and I have ended up renting a room from these crazy women who have been taken to court before as they do not give deposits back and they use intimidating tactics to rent rooms and they constantly lie to us about the situation.

    I feel very stupid and want to move (it has been 6 months but it is near my university which is soon to finish) however I am worried that if I rent with an agency they will want to do a reference check from my last property. These women never answer their phones and I doubt they would even give me a reference.. will this stop me being able to rent (finally legally and safely) through an agency property? I have lived in previous flats a year or so ago where I am sure the Landlords and agency could give me a reference. But it would not be my previous property and is from over a year ago.

    Not sure how a new Landlord or agency would respond to my explanation. I don't wish to take them to court as I do not have the money or the time!

    #2
    What they 'explained' does not matter: Whether you are a lodger or not depends on the circumstances.

    Would you say the place you rent is your landladies principal residence? If not, then you are a tenant, not a lodger, whatever they claim.

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      #3
      We do often advise to ask previous landlords to give references, they are more likely to be accurate. Often a current landlord will give a glowing reference to just see the back of a bad tenant.

      Do you have statements showing you are consistent paying your rent?
      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for your responses,

        Well I have heard from previous tenants for starters that the landladies refused to answer any phone calls from estate agents or landlords so they never gave references, in fact they never answer the phone to us tenants who still live in their property! Had so many incidents such as the fridge breaking, washing machine is still not quite working properly, there was a huge leak from the flat upstairs at one time, they just ignore us.

        Rent is paid by cheque or cash, only told that when I moved in as well! I have my check stubs and my bank statements showing the same amount which is the rent coming out of my account regularly each month.

        I need to get out of this place, I know we are obviously tenants not lodgers and the landladies do not live in the property.

        I just wondered if I can't get a reference it is probably going to stop me being able to leave and is a vicious circle!

        Comment


          #5
          Landlords are under no legal obligation to give you a reference, and agencies know that so should be willing to identify others who can give appropriate references.

          Please ensure you give valid notice to your landladies to ensure that they have no claim against your deposit, you must give at least a months notice and it must end on the last day of a tenancy period.

          After you leave, you may need to take legal action to recover your deposit, but it needn't be expensive. Technically, a claim for non-protection of an AST deposit should be expensive and complex, but if you are going to claim anyway, I'd include a request for the penalty under section 214 of the 2004 Housing Act.

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