Lodger's room stinks of cigarettes

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    Lodger's room stinks of cigarettes

    Hi, I'd really appreciate some advice.
    My current lodger has only lasted a month. He was so disrespectful and noisy at 2am/3am etc that when I asked him to try to be quiet he said he'd leave.
    I gave him an agreement to sign when he moved in - he took it but never gave it back. I have signed it. I tried to attach a copy but the file was too big.

    He has made a right mess in the process of moving out. He's put rotten food in the bin and it stinks - he filled it right to the top and didn't take the bin out, and now the whole kitchen stinks.

    The main issue is the bedroom. The advert on spareroom said the lodger must be a non smoker. His profile said he was a non smoker.
    I have seen him smoking at work (we work at the same building) and he said he's trying to quit.

    The room stinks of cigarettes - really badly. The mattress, curtains, rug and carpet all stink.

    Can I take money from his deposit for cleaning, and how should I go about this?

    Can I buy a steam cleaner and do it myself? or do I have to pay for cleaners?

    Also, the agreement I created gives his start date of the date he first paid rent and said he'd take the room (28th Sept) but he changed the moving in date a couple of times and is claiming it's 2nd Oct. He's now not moving out until today (but surely his last day should have been yesterday even if I agree that his first day was the 2nd, as rent would start again 2nd Nov and therefore his rent would run out on the 1st Nov???)

    So am I also ok to take out a days rent from the deposit or is that being picky?

    He has been a total nightmare to live with and been very disrespectful.

    Part of the Agreement is below:
    1. This agreement starts on the 28/09/2017 and will continue on a monthly basis.
    1. The rent is £600 per month and is to be paid monthly in advance by the housemate to the head tenant before the last working day of every month. This should be set up by the lodger as a standing order. Council tax and utilities are included in the monthly rent.
    1. A deposit of £400 is payable to the Head tenancy holder. This agreement acts as a receipt for the deposit, and confirms the deposit has been paid by the lodger. A list of deductions from the deposit will be attached where deductions have been made, notwithstanding fair wear and tear.
    1. The lodger can have visitors to stay overnight, but notice should be given. Visitors cannot stay for longer than 2 nights unless agreed with head tenant.
    1. If the head tenant receives notice from the landlord, the head tenant will give a copy of the notice to the lodger immediately.
    1. This agreement can be terminated by one months’ notice given by either party in writing (email accepted)
    1. The lodger shall not keep any pets on the premises without the head tenant’s permission.
    1. The lodger will be liable for any costs with regards to gas and electricity if used excessively. Excessive use will be determined by gas and electricity units being used significantly higher than the previous years (10%+)
    1. The lodger must not remove any furniture or fixtures from the premises that do not belong to the lodger.
    1. The lodger must keep their room in good condition and alert the head tenant to any damages that have occurred or repairs that may be required due to wear and tear. The room must be left in same condition it was in when the lodger first moved in (apart from standard wear and tear)
    1. The lodger will have the rights of an excluded occupier, if the rent is not paid as stated in this document, or if any of the agreements set out in this document are broken, the tenancy holder has the right to evict you with reasonable notice.
    2. At the end of this agreement, the head tenant will return the deposit to the lodger within 10 working days. The head tenant can deduct from the deposit any costs which are outstanding and are the responsibility of the lodger. This includes damage to the house and/or room and any unpaid bills or rent. Should the Lodger fail to pay the rent and the deposit does not cover the amount owed, the head tenant or landlord may serve upon them a notice for payment/removal or apply to court for payment/removal.

    Any help massively appreciated!

    Last edited by Benzanna; 02-11-2017, 10:41 AM. Reason: adding tags

    I'd evict immediately but suggest you give him 24 hrs notice (keep copy) then change locks. Don't let him back in - if he leaves stuff bag up (photograph) and get someone to hand them to him.

    In future, get lodgers to sign agreement & pay before letting in
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


      Any advice on what I can take from the deposit? He's going today and I'm at work so don't have time to go home and get rid of his stuff...


        What does you documentation say about the deposit?


          I've copied and pasted from the agreement in the bottom of my post (which includes details about deposit)


            You mustn't "get rid of" his stuff!. You are responsible for its safe keeping, and, if it eventually has to be disposed of, you need to give adequate notice, attempt to get proper value for it, and hand over any profit, after reasonable storage and disposal costs.

            Also, if this really wasn't a protected tenancy, why did it take so long to discover the smoking?


              I'm not going to get rid of his stuff - he said he'll collect it today. I understand the rules. He has kept very odd hours and so I never saw him at the house - apart from when he came home at midnight and woke me up and then again in the early hours. He told me he was quitting smoking when I questioned him at the beginning and swore he wouldn't smoke in the house.
              I didn't go in his room because I respected his privacy.


                Next time, better agreement, less notice, option to evict immediately if behaviour issues
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


                  If the room requires more fixing up than expected and fair wear and tear, the landlord is entitled to compensation for the additional loss.
                  Issues arising from smoking when the lodger said they'd given up is beyond fair wear and tear and the landlord is entitled to recover the cost of putting it right.

                  Whether they can take that sum from the deposit depends on what the lodger's contract says.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                    Having read that bit of your contract I would say yes, you can deduct. You may have to justify the deduction in court though if he sues. Keep it reasonable and explain your calculation.


                      FYI He's now moved his belongings out but has kept hold of the key, and says he will return it when he receives his deposit.

                      I'd really just appreciate responses from people on what I can do regarding taking money from deposit for compensation on cleaning costs - and where I stand regarding I've signed and given him the agreement, but he hasn't signed and returned it.


                        Get the locks changed and deduct it from his deposit.

                        It doesn't matter if the tenant hasn't signed or returned the agreement, the contract was made when you gave it to the lodger and they moved in and paid rent.

                        Offer to return the deposit less the cost of the locks and cleaning and see what they say.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                          Get the locks changed: TODAY!!!
                          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


                            Where do I stand if I've signed the lodger agreement and handed it over to the lodger (2 copies) but my lodger never gave it back, and is now moving out (he left today) and I'm going to need to deduct monies from the deposit due to the state of the room.

                            He's also said he's keeping the keys until he gets his deposit back.

                            He's only been there a month and used to come in at ridiculous hours so I never got the chance to see him to ask to for the contract back.

                            Help please!


                            • Wannadonnadoodah
                              Wannadonnadoodah commented
                              Editing a comment
                              You should keep to one thread instead of making new ones as this directly relates to your other thread.

                              Lodgers have very little rights, there is no independent arbitration that can be used as there is no requirement to protect a lodiets deposit. If it were me I'd make the deductions, change the locks (which is easy to do) then add the cost of new locks to the deductions and the lodger can keep the keys. If he's not happy he'd have to instigate court action to get anywhere.


                            Same T?
                            Please do not start new thread for same Tenancy.


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