Escaping Unstable Landlady...Legally?

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    Escaping Unstable Landlady...Legally?

    I’m currently renting a room in a house, I suppose you could say unofficially..I don’t believe I’m documented as living there, and there was no written agreement when I moved in. I’m moving out very soon because of some issues that have come up, and I want to make sure I’m covered legally and this goes as well as I can. As there’s no tenancy agreement (there was a verbal agreement that my deposit would be used to cover the last week of rent) and I have never signed anything. I pay cash on a weekly basis, and paid a week’s rent as a deposit.

    I’ve lived there for a few months now, and it’s slowly getting worse. My landlady is an alcoholic, drinks a lot and has a bulldozer personality - she often coerces (I suppose that’s the best word) me into drinking with her, where she talks at me for hours and will not let me leave easily. She also takes and sells drugs. She has a lot of friends who tend to wander in without knocking, and once I forgot to lock the door when I was home alone, only to have a strange drunk man come wandering in looking for her. Obviously my fault for not locking the door, but it was a very scary experience for me as a 20-year-old woman. She tends to talk very violently, and has made specific threats towards her friend’s young daughter who is over a lot. She’s developed some kind of strange attachment to me. Most recently - I knew she goes into my room when I’m not there, but I woke up at around 4am to find her drunk and in my room. My boyfriend was staying over and still awake, and him asking what she was doing woke me up - I am a heavy sleeper, so she may well have done this before and I never realised. She’s had a tenant do a runner on her before, and none of her previous tenants have stayed long, according to her son.

    I really don’t feel safe there anymore. I’m in the process of moving my things over to my boyfriend’s and preparing to find a job in his town. I’m constantly scared, her alcoholism and drug use is only getting worse and things seem to be escalating. With the threats she makes and how unstable she is my boyfriend worries she might hurt me if I try to move out; I don’t know how likely that is, but it’s not out of the question she’ll kick off. I have my animals’ welfare to think about as well as my own, too. Hence why I’m moving my things out early, so I don’t have to leave any valuables and I know they’re safe beforehand. My plan at the minute once my living arrangements are sorted and everything is out is to leave an extra week’s rent in lieu of two week’s notice given the verbal agreement, leave a note explaining an emergency’s come up and I’ve had to leave - which isn’t a complete lie as my boyfriend is in the middle of a family crisis, and I will be supporting him. Will there be any legal repercussions to me if I do this? Is this a good idea? I’ll take any advice, as I don’t really know what to do, I just want to keep myself and my animals safe.

    I should also state that my landlady does live in the same property, I rent my room and have access to the kitchen and front garden. I live in England, and I don’t remember the date I moved in but it was in March.


      Moving everything out (including you), giving 2 weeks notice and paying 2 weeks rent seems reasonable to me for an undocumented lodging arrangement..
      You do not have to give a reason for leaving, and you do not have to lie.
      You do not have o give a forwarding address.

      What you do have to worry about is any mail that might be sent there.


        Thank you. I have had mail sent to the address, will that make it an issue at all? And I will make sure to update addresses for the doctor’s, bank, etc. once I’m out of there.


          two weeks? There is nothing enforceable here. Just move out. Don't pay a day longer than you have stayed.


            Get the boyfriend round with a van and move out all at once.
            Do it while she's not there if you are worried about trouble. (Call 999 if there is trouble).

            As a lodger you have no legal obligation to give any notice, apart from maybe one weeks rent and that's covered by your deposit.


              As said, your a lodger, just leave now.


                Originally posted by Dispholidus View Post
                Thank you. I have had mail sent to the address, will that make it an issue at all?
                Only if there might be important mail going there and you do not want her to know your new address, and you cannot complete a mail re-direct before you leave.


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