My Lodger is not Leaving - Please help with legal advice.

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    My Lodger is not Leaving - Please help with legal advice.

    Hi

    I have rented my mother’s house out to 2 x lodgers on my mother’s behalf as she has been hospitalised due to mental medical condition. A lodger agreement was given to them as she was expected to return back in few weeks’ time. However situation had changed and she had to live out for over 1 year. Her belongings were in the house for couple of weeks after the Lodger moved however her majority of belongings had to be moved back in to her temporary accommodation as she was expected to stay there for a longer period. Except her furniture. One of the lodgers has left however the other lodger refusing to leave and refusing to pay the rent now for nearly 4 months. Notice to quite with 28 days issued to the Lodger on 10-12-2020. But the Lodger given no respond neither she vacated the premises. Section 8 notice was issued to her on 08-03-2020 but still refusing to leave. She has been living since Jan 2019. She shares the house with two other individual lodgers and my mother now.

    Key points I would like to clarify please

    She has a lodger agreement. However my mother (landlord) hasn’t been living at the house since the beginning although my mother has now moved back in on 06-03-20. (Three weeks ago)

    - Lodger is challenging that the lodger agreement is invalid as the landlord was not living at the house.
    - Lodger hasn’t paid rent for 4 months now
    - She has damaged the bedroom door, destroyed the bed and mattress – no explanations were given or money was given to repair even after I issued her notice to pay for the damages or repair the damages that she caused.
    - Since then my mother moved back in couple of weeks ago, will this be an issue if I take her to the court ?
    - My mother had a couple of arguments with the Lodger (as my mother still go through mental breakdowns and my mother has lost her patience) which the Lodger has recorded on her phone (favourably to her claims) and called the police couple of occasions as harassments.
    - She claims that Landlord is not allowed to live at the house and should give her 24 hour notice to before coming to the house – is this applicable?
    - Since my mother moved back in the Lodger is bullying her calling her names and swearing at her - can any actions be taken for this ?
    - The Lodger has sub let the driveway to someone to park their van and I requested the explanations from Lodger no answers given
    - The Lodger is smoking in the house, even that it says on the agreement no smoking in the house, and sometimes she even smokes illegal substance. I put a notice not to smoke in the house but this has been ignored
    - The Lodger is bringing visitors to the house, even that it says on the agreement no visitors allowed Notice issued not to bring visitors and its been ignored. My mum is worried for her life as she has severe anxiety.

    - How to evict her legally ? Can the section 8 notice will be ignored by court/judge as the tenancy is not Assured tenancy agreement.

    - I have issued section 8 on the 08-03-2020 - See below grounds
    Below are the exact grounds I have issued her.
    • GROUND 8
    Under the agreement dated 12 January 2019 the rent is due on Wednesday of each week and has not been paid for over 8 weeks rent and remains outstanding.
    • GROUND 10
    Under the agreement dated 12 January 2019 the rent is due on Wednesday of each week and has not been paid for over 8 weeks rent and remains outstanding.
    • GROUND 11
    Under the agreement dated 12 January 2019 the rent is due on Wednesday of each week and has not been paid for over 8 weeks rent. And the rent has persistently delayed in paying rent which has become lawfully due.
    • GROUND 13
    Under agreement dated 12 January 2019 the Lodger was responsible for keeping the room and property in good condition and for making good any damages or breakages and notify the landlord. The property has been damaged and the Lodger has not complied with a notice by the landlord requiring the Lodger to repair the damage or pay for the reasonable charges for the damages caused.

    - On section 8 can I put the – “Your landlord/licensor intends to apply to the court for an order requiring you to give up possession of:” section
    the full address or should it identify the room number that the Lodger live at as per the agreement ?

    - Assuming section 8 is valid to evict her I have filled the possession claim application online I am not sure I have filled in correctly, would anyone be able to help me with reviewing if I have filed the application correctly please ? As this is the first time I am doing this.

    I am really stressed with this matter and I am worried if my mother’s mental condition will deteriorate because of all this issues. Any advice will be much appreciated.


    Regards,

    #2
    I think if your mother spent the past year in a medical facility, there's an argument that the property in question was still her primary residence even when she was away for a year. Presumably it's where her post arrived, where she was registered on the electoral roll and paying council tax. This would make it much easier to remove the troublesome lodger. The ban on evictions due to the coronavirus crisis would not apply. You could get the police to attend if you believed there was a risk of breach of the peace.

    However I'm just a random person on a message board giving my thoughts, I have no legal expertise. So hopefully someone better-informed will be along soon.

    Comment


      #3
      I assume this is your mothers property (ie no one else owns it), but whose name was on the lodger agreement as the landlord? If it was your mother, then I agree with Hamilton that your occupier is a lodger. That is an exceedingly simple eviction - see www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk

      Comment


        #4
        It would probably need a court to decide this and you may have shot yourself in the foot with that s8 notice, which could be seen as an acknowledgement that they have a tenancy not a licence. However, if you are worried about your mothers mental health with this person in residence, I think I would just change the locks when they're out and exclude them and suggest they seek legal advice. Be prepared to be sued, but you may be able to then counter claim for the unpaid rent.

        Comment


          #5
          I would involve a solicitor, because you're making a bad situation worse.

          The other occupant is almost certainly a lodger, so the s8 notice isn't valid.
          If the other occupant is actually a tenant (which, thankfully, I don't think they are), your mother has committed a criminal offence by moving back in.

          You need to take proper legal advice to resolve both the original problem and to unwind the additional problems you are causing in trying to fix things.

          This is not normal times and the solutions are made more complex.
          Locking someone out when there's a general need for people to stay at home is a problem all of its own.
          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
            As noted, issuing section 8 undermines your argument that this is not an AST.

            I think this is test case material, but it seems to me that it violates the assumptions on the nature of lodgers, so this is more about whether or not the mother is an excluded landlord.

            Comment


              #7
              DPT57,

              Although I admit that the relevant cases are not directly linked to this, the courts have made decisions that a property can still be someones'only or principal home' whilst they are in hospital, even for a long time.

              The cases that come to mind are where landlords have claimed a tenant is no longer using as only or principal as part of eviction proceedings. Brickfield Properties Ltd v Hughes (1987) 20 HLR 108

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, I think there is a good chance that a judge would agree with that. The slight doubt is the fact that the OP mentions temporary accommodation for over a year and moving the majority of her possessions to this accommodation, and doesn't say that this was directly linked to her medical condition. If it were a respite centre or some kind of supported living linked to her recovery I might feel a little more confident.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you very much for all for your advice. Glad to know that there are nice people out there that would take time to help with advice.

                  My mum and I both struggle to get professional legal advice due to current financial difficulty and that lodger hasn't been paying for over 4 months now. And my mother and I having to pay for all her utility bills and council tax.

                  I have few further questions to confirm -

                  1. What is the correct legal process to evict her through court process ?

                  2. Also if the section 8 notice not valid as she has a lodger agreement will the court accept our case ? The lodger hasn't been issued with Section 47/48 notice to set terms of an AST which only then validate the section 8 ?

                  3. If this is likely to be thrown out in the court what possession Court order we can take with 28 days’ notice to quite ?


                  I do not want the lodger suing my mother for damages so I like to evict her somehow through only court order.


                  Thanks All.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If this person is a lodger, then you don't need any court process to evict them! You just need to change the locks. And perhaps get a policeman in attendance if you fear there might be a breach of the peace. It's up to you how much notice you give. Generally it's recommended to be equal to the payment period (e.g. if the lodger pays weekly, then give a week's notice). But where you can argue that your mother faces an immediate threat to her safety, you can pretty much just kick them out straight away.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Have a read of this:

                      http://www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk/2010...r-who-wont-go/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi

                        If a lodger who hasn't been paid rent and the lodger and landlord mutually agreed to reduce the current rent to what the lodger is able to now pay with her current benefit….
                        1. Can the landlord issue her new lodger agreement ?
                        1. Will the previous lodger agreement come to any effect (Legally) if the landlord would like to evict the tenant from the house in the future ?
                        1. Can the lodger still legally challenge that her first moved in date to the house and she is a tenant and has the rights of a tenant still with conjunction of the first lodger agreement ?
                          1. Specially if the landlord hasn’t been living at the house from the date that lodger moved in to the room and the lodger is challenging that she is not excluded occupier as the landlord wasn’t living at the house.

                        PS - Landlord is now moved back in to the house full-time.


                        Comment


                          #13
                          Unless any new agreement refers back to a previous agreement, the new one should entirely replace the old one.

                          So, the old one shouldn't affect any eviction (although if the occupant makes claims about the period - such as an unprotected deposit, the agreement may constitute evidence).

                          Yes, the tenant can make a claim even if there's a subsequent new agreement - for up to six years.

                          The landlord has to be resident. That isn't the same as physically present at the point where the tenant moved in. If they were, for example, on holiday, they would still be resident.
                          If however, the landlord was actually living somewhere else, and wasn't resident in the property, the occupant couldn't have been a lodger and may have been a tenant.

                          If the occupant was a tenant and the landlord has moved in, the landlord has probably committed a criminal offence.
                          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


                            #14
                            You state that the landlord has now moved back into the house full time, can you clarify:
                            • Did the original agreement specify what room the lodger occupied?
                            • When, and for how long, did the landlord not use it as his/her primary residence

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                              You state that the landlord has now moved back into the house full time, can you clarify:
                              • Did the original agreement specify what room the lodger occupied?
                              • When, and for how long, did the landlord not use it as his/her primary residence


                              Hi

                              The Lodger agreement specify the room as a room number 2. And since then she actually have moved to room number 3 as the landlord has disability issue and wanted to stay in the ground floor the lodger agreed to move to upper floor room.

                              With regards to the landlord -

                              The landlord wast living a the house as she was hospitalised due to long term mental health condition.

                              Since the commencement of the lodger agreement - February 19 and the landlord moved back in 1st of March 2020.

                              All her bills ie council tax bills utility bills were coming to the house. Its a three room house all three rooms were at one point were all occupied by three different lodgers. Although only the one in question now still remain in the house.

                              Comment

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