Does my contract make me a licencee or a tenant?

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    Does my contract make me a licencee or a tenant?

    Hi all. First time poster here since I finished what I believed to be a tenancy agreement between myself and my then landlord. Bottom line, my landlord did not return my full deposit and has since stopped corresponding with me. I've been through the rigmarole of searching for any information on the three deposit protection services websites, however they've all informed me that they have no info. I understand that I can claim compensation under such circumstances, provided I am under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). On further inspection my contract says, and I quote 'There is no intention on behalf of either the Landlord or the Sharer to create a fill tenancy and as such the agreement is regulated as a licence'. Can here provide further information? As I feel that this individual has essentially tried to fiddle the system to bypass the legal protections afforded to tenants. I would like to claim compensation, however I don't know whether I've been living at that property as a licencee or a tenant. I will post the first page of the agreement here, hope someone can help.

    This is a Residential House & Flat Sharing Agreement, for:.....Address

    This Agreement is made with the intention of creating a House & Flat Share Agreement. There is no intention on behalf of either the Landlord or the Sharer to create a full tenancy and as such the agreement is regulated as a licence.

    A separate Agreement should be used for each Sharer, and both the Landlord and the Sharer should retain a copy.

    Agreement is made between:.....The Landlord...name here..

    The Sharer....My name

    IT US AGREED that the Landlord agrees to let and the Sharer agrees to share the aforementioned premises.

    This Agreement shall commence on the ...Date... at a rent of £530 per calendar month, with the rent being due on the 1st day of each month. A deposit of £530 has been paid.

    #2
    What type of tenancy it was depends on the situation, not on the wording of the agreement.

    Did the landlord live in the property with you?
    Did you share with anyone else?
    What did you rent and what does the agreement say you rented?

    Did you agree to any deductions from the deposit?
    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


      #3
      Hi, thanks for the reply.

      - No, he didn't live in the property with us, he's a non-resident landlord.
      - I was sharing with three other people.
      - To be honest, that part of the contract is rather vague. It names the house address and titles me as a 'sharer', but there isn't any explicit statement as to what I'm renting, only that the landlord agrees to let the property.

      I've not agreed to these deductions, and informed him of this. Since this time, he's paid the deducted amount and has stopped responding to my emails.

      Comment


        #4
        Definitely doesn't seem to be a licence. The only question is whether it is actually an assured tenancy, in which case the deposit doesn't have to be secured, but you would have had a secure tenancy and rent control.

        Note that, although a secured deposit opens up the option of using the scheme's resolution procedure, you can still go to the small claims court over the disputed part of the deductions.

        Comment


          #5
          If the three of you had separate agreements and the landlord didn't live there (or in another flat in the same block), you had some kind of AST - regardless of what the agreement itself says.

          There are three possible routes.

          You can't claim compensation beyond the element of the deposit you haven't received back, because, beyond that, you haven't suffered any loss. There is a penalty a court can award for not protecting a deposit, but the process for claiming it is quite complex and may be tricky unless you know your way round the court system (or pay a solicitor).

          You can try a no win no fee company who may take on your case. But it's not as simple as they would prefer, so they may not bite your hand off.

          Or you can simply sue the landlord for the part of your deposit they've retained using Money Claim Online. If you do that, you can ask the judge to award the penalty as the case progresses. They're not meant to do that, but they do seem to.

          There's a decent template letter for a landlord who didn't protect a deposit on the Shelter Website which starts of the process. The landlord may decide it's not worth risking a penalty for non-compliance.
          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


            #6
            Thanks for the advice. That's the sort of consensus I got by asking around, but I wasn't sure. I am aware that I cannot claim beyond the element I did not receive back, I just want my full deposit back, as he made several spurious expense allegations regarding the condition of my room.

            I will try to get some free legal advice and see if anyone is willing to take it on as a no-win-no-fee before initiating any legal action. There's a window of 6 years after a tenancy has ended where you can claim compensation anyway, and I know full well that he didn't protect the deposit. I've seen the Shelter England website templates too, they're very good.

            Comment


              #7
              If you need practical help, I'd talk to shelter, their free helpline is usually good.

              If I can make a suggestion, have a look at the small claims process (Money Claim Online).
              It's cheap and you can do it quite easily.

              And, once you've used it once, it's a huge confidence booster if anyone else ever tries to rip you off.

              And you're right about the 6 years for the penalty (which probably runs from when the landlord should have protected the deposit)
              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
                6 years is hard limit. You can still be asked to justify any undue delays at less than that.
                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.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ask Deposit ADR to asses how much of your deposit you are entitled to?
                  In a T there is only one (lead) T paya and LL may have returned deposit (less deductions) to him/her. Therefore you would have to sue them for your pro rata share.

                  Non protected Deposit Penalty is payable for 6 years + 28 days after start of T, but you need consent of all joint Ts for such action.




                  Deposit Penalty is

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mariner View Post
                    In a T there is only one (lead) T paya and LL may have returned deposit (less deductions) to him/her. Therefore you would have to sue them for your pro rata share.
                    from original post, it does not appear to be a joint tenancy.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      https://www.landlordlaw.co.uk/occtyp...ntial-licenses gives a good account of licence vs tenancy.

                      To be a licence it appears to me that at least one of the following must apply:
                      1. LL lives in the property.
                      2. you share a room with someone who is not your partner.
                      3. LL has right to move you to another room
                      4. LL provides services to occupier that require access

                      Comment

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