Is this legal? Lodger

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    Is this legal? Lodger

    I signed a six months minimum term tenancy agreement (no AST) on the first week of December of 2018.

    ​​​​​​At that time the house was shared between the landlord, one lodger and another lodger, me. Location was quite convenient for me and it is a modern house, so I didn't mind paying what I considered slightly over market value.

    Two months into the term the other lodger decided to leave and gave one month notice, the landlord decided to bring his girlfriend instead of finding a new lodger, he didn't ask for my opinion about this, considering that I just signed the contract I feel cheated about all of this as living with a couple is a situation I've been trying to avoid.

    Since then, a week or so, they have basically took control of all the house and communal areas, kitchen and TV room is one single space and they spend all day watching TV, literally, it makes me feel uncomfortable every time I go to the kitchen to cook as they seem to be annoyed that I make noise while they watch TV.

    I've been also hearing comments from the LL GF complaining that I spend too much time at home despite being most of that time in my room or that I spend too much time in the kitchen (less than one hour a day but since all they do is watch TV I guess she is bothered about it) , I work weekdays and study a master degree online mainly during the weekend, so I don't have much time to hang out.

    I can already foresee that this is not going to work out and it is starting to piss me off, I would prefer to leave as soon as possible, I am pretty sure than raising my concerns would be pointless.

    ​​​Is there any protection for the lodger against things like this other than moving out? This situation makes me feel uncomfortable at home, specially hearing those comments when I didn't sign to live with her or in these circumstances.

    ​​​Is there any way to terminate the contract earlier than six months without any penalty? There is a covenant in the contract that states I should give 1.5 months notice if leaving on month 4 or pay a sum of rent equal to 1.5 months rent and give vacant posession, it doesn't say anything about leaving in the previous months, it also mentions that once the fixed term expires it becomes a periodic tenancy with 1.5 months notice period.

    It is my understanding that if I give 1.5 months notice on month 4.5 I would fulfill my obligations and should be able to leave without problems, is this correct? Right now I am almost 3.5 months into my contract.

    My deposit is protected by DPS and I have the certificates, I asked the LL to do protect it despite being a lodger.


    IMO quite legal. You appear to be a Lodger, living with LL.
    Just be grateful he protected your Deposit and set required Notice at 1.5mo.


      Your landlord does not have any obligation to consult you about new tenants, a sensible landlord does so if he wishes to keep the tenant. He could have moved in a tenant who would annoy you in far worse ways than a few comments,

      What does your tenancy agreement say about access to communal areas and in particular use of the kitchen? Consider if there is a particular programme that your cooking clashes with and maybe ask your landlord if there is a time when it is more convenient for you to use the kitchen. Could you make less noise when cooking - you dont have to bang pans down, you can at least start in ad breaks.

      Your remedy is to move out. If your landlord agrees then you can go early without penalty, otherwise not.


        Thank you for your responses, I was pretty sure I couldn't do anything about it other than moving out. I've lived as a tenant in two different professional homes and so far this is one is the one I feel most uncomfortable with.

        I plan to leave mid June and give notice by the end of April, my contract states the following, in the Term section:

        8. The term of the tenancy is a periodic tenancy commencing at 12:00 noon on 3rd December 2018 and continuing on a month-to-month basis (minimum of 6 months) until the Landlord or the Tenant terminates the tenancy (the "Term").

        9. Should the tenancy be terminated by the tenant in month 4, then six weeks notice will be required. The tenant can choose whether to stay in the property for the six weeks or give vacant possession paying six weeks rent. Thereafter the agreement will remain in place on a rolling basis, requiring six weeks notice of termination.

        However, there is another convenant, the one below, in the Additional Provisions section:

        41. Notice to Quit: 30 days required from Tenant to Landlord and 30 days required from Landlord to Tenant; during either full rent will be payable.

        This raises two questions for me:

        1. According to covenant 9 and covenant 8, I can give 1.5 months notice on month 4.5 without breaching the contract, and 1.5 months notice thereafter without breaching the contract? Is this correct?
        2. Covenant 9 seems to contradict covenant 41? If not, what is the difference between notice to quit and notice of termination?


          Those two clauses seem contradictory but I guess if you give 1.5 months notice it covers it.

          I would be inclined to start looking for somewhere else and to be making my presence felt in the property so that they are more likely to agree a speedy exit



            Have a word with the LL, if the GF is not happy with you being there then he'll probably agree to you leaving at any time.

            As long as you both agree (preferably in writing) then that will override any previously agreed/signed terms.
            You can agree with the LL to move out at any time, on any terms.

            It seems that he has used an AST tenancy agreement for what is not an AST.
            (And got things wrong about what happens legally after the fixed term ends).

            Whilst it's a slightly odd thing to do then as you agreed it will still apply for the fixed term (unless you both agree differently).

            After the fixed term the agreement will lapse and you will just be a lodger (an 'excluded occupier') the same as any other..
            At which time there is no set notice period, but it is usual for 7 days, or one full rental period if longer, to apply for notice by either the LL or lodger.
            ie. if you pay weekly one weeks notice, if you pay monthly one months notice.


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