"Lodger" with live-out landlord

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    "Lodger" with live-out landlord

    Hello folks!
    Firstly I am sorry if this is in the wrong section.

    I have signed a Lodger Agreement with my landlord who certainly does NOT live here (but does store stuff here) but I am very suspicious.
    Truth be told, I am new to all this renting stuff and I have not been the smartest about it...

    I signed the contract but only scanned over it.
    I only realised a few days later that I have a "Lodger Agreement" and not a tenancy contract, and as far as I can see, I have no rights and if the washing machine breaks for example, I have to pay for a fix/new one myself... which is the opposite of what I thought I was getting. Even my deposit isn't legally protected as a lodger and this is very concerning since they now seem shady.

    I paid £500 as a deposit and £500 upfront for 1 months rent, but the thing is, my landlord is insisting on cash, even when I expressed that this was bothersome.
    As I was in a tight spot, with nowhere to live in 3 days, I let it go.
    She is giving a receipt but while it has my name, date, and amount on it clearly, their signature is scribbles.
    Is this even legitimate? (I have attached a picture of it to this thread)

    I want to rent a place as a tenant... simple as that!
    I am afraid that if I pull my landlord on this, they will just tell me to leave.
    (The lodgers agreement says: EARLY TERMINATION - any party may at anytime end this agreement earlier than the end of the term by giving to the other written notice of 1 month)... if this is not a lodgers agreement since she does not live here, is this still valid? I'm worried because 1 month is not enough time for me to find a new place and accumulate another deposit in the event she doesn't give me this one back in full.

    Can someone please help me?
    I would be very grateful!

    As I said, they do not live here.
    It's a 2 bed apartment with me staying in one room, and currently a guy who is moving out in a few days in another.
    There is another person moving in the day he moves out, so both rooms are being rented by people who are not the landlord.

    I have an app on my phone that records my calls (I turn it off for friends and family), so I have all of our phone conversations recorded.
    I'll need to go through them to know exactly what I have her saying, but I know a few of them are her talking about me moving in... me bringing the months rent when I pick up the key... about the guy moving out of the other room and the new person moving into it. So considering it's a 2 bed apartment, she cannot successfully claim that she lives here.

    She is storing some stuff here though and I wonder if this is a way around the requirement of her living here? Does this have any significance?

    I also have her on recording saying that there is no bed in my room yet, but will be one in a few days. I asked her about this bed when I collected the key and she acted as if she never said it. But I certainly have her recorded as saying it.

    The lodgers contract also says that it's for a room in a furnished house... but my room isnt furnished and neither is the living room (apart from an oven, a washing machine/dryer and a fridge.
    There's no cutlery, cups, couches, microwave, or table and chairs...
    There is a office chair and a desk in the living room though, but since I just moved in today and my temporary house mate is away, I dont know if this is his or the landlords...

    I took a video recording of my room and other parts of the house, including marks on the wall and a small burn in the living room carpet. Hopefully this stands up if she tries to be sneaky and say I did it.

    In sum,
    - Am I a lodger or a tenant since she does not live here?
    - Should my deposit be protected?
    - Can she kick me out if I pull her up on all this? Or is it a matter of 1 months notice or 6 months as per the stated term length?
    - Should there be more furnishings?
    - Are her receipts legit?
    - If I take a picture of the receipts and upload them to cloud storage for safe keeping, are they still legit?


    As I said, I needed to take this place as I was in a tight spot.
    Ideally I would just like to make everything legit here and be a tenant with rights...

    Thanks in advance for your help and if you need any other info, then if I have it, I will provide it.

    PS: The term on the contract is 6 months.
    Attached Files

    #2
    I'm no expert but to me that receipt is next to useless, the year is unreadable and it doesn't say what the money is for.
    All the signs of a crook/tax avoider.
    Someone will be along shortly to advise on the other points soon I'm sure.

    Comment


      #3
      If you are paying rent by cash then legally you should have a rent book.

      Eventhough you have a lodger agreement on paper it would seem that actually have a tenancy by way of the landlord not living there. Who is paying council tax on the property? Go to the local council and ask explaining your arrangement.

      If this is a tenancy then she should have protected your deposit.



      Freedom at the point of zero............

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
        If you are paying rent by cash then legally you should have a rent book.
        I though rent book was only required for weekly rent payments (but I could be wrong; I often am and then I learn when corrected).

        Comment


          #5
          Whether you are a lodger or a tenant depends on the facts of the situation and not on what the agreement says.

          The facts as presented suggest that you have a tenancy, which would mean LL cannot legally evict you in the first 6 months regardless of what the agreement says. It also means that the deposit would need protecting or you can claim a penalty, and lots of other stuff needs to be done.

          I would talk to Citizens' Advice for confirmation and not mention it to LL until you need to (eg she tries to evict you without following proper practice).


          The receipt given appears almost worthless as there is no indication of what the money is for and the date appears to be a year ago.

          LL cannot make you pay to fix appliances. If the agreement is for a fully furnished accommodation, then I believe that the LL is responsible for maintaining the appliances or replacing if they are not repairable (excluding tenant damage); for an unfurnished accommodation the LL can provide appliances on the basis that LL will not repair/replace in the event of breakdown.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you all for the help!
            I really appreciate it.

            I have emailed citizens advice, so when they get around to it i wi run everything by them and let you all know.
            In the meantime...

            In regards to the reciept:
            I need her to put what the deposit is for. Then it's fine? Provided the correct date is on it haha. I missed that.

            In regards to the type of contract:
            I'm definitely a tenant?
            Neither the other renter nor I pay the council tax. I assume that's her doing that. Though, she said the energy bill will go into my name and I have to get half the rent off the other renter.

            I want to ask her to take her stored stuff out of the house, but I cant say anything until I'm sure where I stand legally. I don't want to end up on the street, or with a month to find a new place and accumulate a new deposit amount. Also,if I have to purchase a microwave, kettle, kitchen table and chairs etc.. it makes moving more difficult.

            I have asked her for an inventory list, which she said she will provide Wednesday. Along with confirming the previous defects are not my doing. Do I need a witness for all of this?

            I am going to wait till after 30 days to ask for proof the deposit is protected. At least then, if it's not, she cannot rush to do it to avoid penalty. I am considering using this as bargaining the rent cost down. Or maybe even twisting her arm to provide other crucial furnishings...

            Any thoughts?

            Comment


              #7
              If there are two unconnected people in the property, the landlord has to pay the council tax.

              You're probably a tenant (only a court can say definitively), but with no landlord living there you probably can't be a lodger.
              If the other person pays you rent, you'll be their landlord, so you probably want to make it clear you're only collecting rent to pass it on to the landlord.

              The risk in this isn't about what's legal, it's about what happens in reality.
              If the landlord decides to evict you and locks you out, you have all sorts of rights, but you're still out in the rain.
              I'd find out where your council housing team is based for a start - in case you need them in an emergency.
              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).

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry, that was a typo.
                I will be collecting the other renters part of the energy cost, as the bill will be in my name. I am not collecting rent. My landlady will be collecting the rent in cash from both of us at the property.

                I will locate my local council housing team asap. Thanks for that suggestion.
                If she evicted me then I am screwed. I moved over from Ireland, so the only people I have here is my sister who's house is already full.

                All I want to do is work, pay my bills and make my life better. Nobody should have to feel at risk of being homeless at any moment. Not when they pay bills/taxes and work as hard as I do.

                Comment


                  #9
                  PS:
                  If this did go to court, how long might each step take? And would it cost me a fortune?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If she wanted to evict you through the courts it would take about 4 or 5 months (unless you'd stopped paying rent).
                    Because of the "informal" way your landlord has done things it might take several goes.

                    When they won, it would cost you a bit more than £300 in legal costs and then less than £100 if they used bailiffs.
                    The landlord would be out of pocket by the £300 each time they lost.

                    Which is why the landlord is always tempted to short cut things if they can.

                    What I'd look to do is sort yourself out, then find somewhere else to live that's more organised and move there.
                    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).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Cheers for the info.
                      I will start looking for a new place soon. I want to settle in somewhere for the medium to long term, but I cant commit to buying cumbersome things when I could be kicked out any time.

                      If she was to change the locks suddenly or gave me 1 months notice to move out, this would be in breach of my what seems to be a tenancy (not lodger) contract. In light of thid, how long might it take for the courts to intervene, as well as make a decision?

                      Or does this answer vary quite a bit?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Piece of string.
                        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).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thought as much.

                          One last question for now.
                          Any suggestions of cautions for me for when I give my LL my months notice that I'm leaving?

                          I have to give it in writing, but what I did for my last temp LL was email it and ask for an email back to state reciept of it. In that email I state as much as I thought of such as deposit amount, move in date, move out date, rent was up to date etc...

                          My current LL probably won't do this via email, so how do I do this via paper? If I write up 2 of them (one for me and one for her) and we both sign each copy. Will that work? Does there need to be a witness?

                          I just want to ensure I get my deposit back in full.
                          Though, hopefully waiting the 30 days she has to protect my deposit should ensure that, provided she hasn't actually protected it. Or... now that i think of it, if she has protected it then she can say she doesnt have it. And acknowleging that any damage that's current wasnt my doing, she has no reason to withhold it.

                          Thoughts?
                          Sorry for pestering you with all these questions

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thoughts:

                            Check here, it should reassure you that you are probably a tenant and not a lodger, regardless of what the LL or any paperwork says.
                            https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...rights_checker

                            So you are very likely an 'Occupier with basic protection' (Tenant).
                            More about the legal side of that, deposits, ending the tenancy, illegal eviction, etc.
                            http://england.shelter.org.uk/housin...sic_protection

                            Remember that as a tenant you will also have legal obligations about giving notice, it's not one sided.

                            Take photographs of everything now, with a datestamp on them if you camera/phone can do that.
                            They will show what the property is like now, making it harder for LL to claim later that any damage was caused by you.

                            Wait and see what happens with the deposit.
                            A lodgers deposit doesn't have to be protected, so if she does then it is an indication that she knows it is a tenancy.
                            If she doesn't or doesn't do it correctly then she's liable for penalties for not protection a tenants deposit correctly.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I’m pretty confident you have a lease (tenancy) and not a licence.

                              Rent charged - check
                              Defined period of time - check
                              Exclusive possession - check

                              But I agree with others that your best bet is to move out and move on.

                              If there’s any conflict over notice, move out date or returning your deposit then you can point the landlord in this direction and threaten to sue for a deposit penalty and/or report her to HMRC (almost certainly a tax dodge).

                              Comment

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