Convoluted landlord issues (tenant)

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    Convoluted landlord issues (tenant)

    Good morning everybody, hope you are all enjoying the bank holiday.

    Sorry that this will likely be a very long post, I would like to put all the details on the table.

    To start I moved into my current house share last year in August. Prior to moving in the advertisement has clearly stated this house share was for mature students and thus provided an AST. Shortly after my viewing of the house I rushed through my agreement to move in and pay the deposit as I was informed the landlord had a few other parties also interested but I had first reserve. It is at this point things start to get strange.

    Following the deposit being paid I get little more than radio silence, no tenancy agreement to sign no nothing. At this point I had signed the holding deposit form but nothing else but not knowing much about the process I dd not think much of it and assume it would be sorted on the day. Fast forward to the day of the move I contact the letting agency inform them I am moving in that day to which I find out they had forgot about it, bloody typically huh. I am asked to sign the tenancy agreement, before I get the keys, completely understandable. I sign that and as soon as I have informed the letting agency I get a message back from them saying that the the person who will help me move in will be my co-tenant, the landlord's brother and part owner of the house. I continue to bring up this point about it being a house for other mature students because at no point was I given any indication that my other housemates would be the landlords brother until immediately after signing the contract meaning I signed on that pretence. I later find out the landlord’s brother has only moved in one or two days prior, so this did not readily affect the only other tenant already there.

    At this point alarm bells are ringing because at this point I am a bit worried regarding the validity of my AST but knowing that because I have already signed it and sent it back before they told me this I cannot back down without significant costs. As such I move in.

    Following this no inventory is provided, me deposit is not protected, subsequently no receipt of my deposit is provided, and I am not provided with the address of the landlord. In the months following I am on edge in the house quite often as we have some major issues with the landlord’s brother with one incident causing my fellow tenant to leave out of anger and fear, his AST term came to an end, so he simply moved out a few days after the incidence.

    Following this the landlords brother briefly moves out for one month while he is out of the country and the house I think was put onto the market again, I cannot quite recall, but i d remember that we had at least one viewing during this time. In the end he did move back in and it still here. In the subsequent months things have calmed down but I have still arranged other housing elsewhere starting on the 1st of July despite my agreement here ending mid-august, I do plan to pay the rest of the rent because it is not that much and I would the peace of mind of being out of the house and living with one of my friends.

    I was wondering at this stage what are the requirements of me and hat are my options, I understand that because I think I might still be classed as a lodger my deposits does not require protecting but I wonder how I am to dispute any deductions from my deposit in this case if I need to, especially because I did not sign a inventory. Further to this I was wondering am i still a lodger, the room the landlords brother was staying in was put on the market while he was away but I am not sure how to prove this or if this means anything Further more I was wondering if there was anything I could do regarding the lack of a protected deposit, i have an email from the landlord saying that I would have received a receipt from DPS within a month of moving in but after checked none of the three deposit schemes have any record of my deposit being made.

    Thank you for your time, apologies about the long post and poor English at points I have unfortunately always been horrific at languages.




    #2
    Unless the brother is named on the tenancy agreement as landlord (or joint landlord), his residence in the property won't change anything relating to the AST.

    Whether you have an AST depends on what you rent. So, if you rent a room in a house with exclusive access - and have access to common areas, it's probably an AST. Which means the deposit should be protected.

    It's possible the landlord thinks his brother being there makes you a lodger, but that's nothing to do with who owns the property, it relates to where your landlord lives.

    It's probably in your interest to move out as you plan to and then raise the issue about the deposit and your concerns it isn't protected. That should encourage the landlord to return it in full and quite quickly,

    There's information on the shelter england website about what to do if a deposit wasn't protected and the landlord doesn't return it with a helpful template letter to start the process.
    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).

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      #3
      Who is listed as landlord in the tenancy agreement?

      If the person you are living with is not listed, then the fact that he is a brother of the landlord is irrelevant and you are a tenant assuming you're not in some converted flat and the landlord live elsewhere in the same building or similar.

      If you were in fact an (assured shorthold) tenant, then the deposit should had been protected, and you can sue for a penalty plus its return.

      The lack of an inventory should work to your benefit since it'll be hard for the landlord to proof that the condition of the property you are returning is not as when you moved in saved reasonable wear and tear.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

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