my lodger is taking legal action against me. What to do?

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    my lodger is taking legal action against me. What to do?

    P - lodger (NOT tenant)

    Moved in 09.02.2020

    L- second lodger.

    AJ - landlord living in with my partner C. Renting out the spare rooms in their own home to get some extra income. Sharing facilities - kitchen, bathroom, living room, garden, bathroom.

    A mutual verbal agreement between P and AJ -renting a room for £375 per month, deposit £150.

    First-month rent was paid in cash and second month and deposit paid in bank. Deposit and full second month returned to P on the day he moved out.

    Long story short I and my partner decided to quarantine the home as COVID 19 started to spread and as P could not do it, we made him understand that it is a risk for our health being for him to be in our home, as my partner has a preexisting condition of having collapsed lung in the past.

    Lots of arguing in between all of us… moving forward.

    He asked how long notice I give him and I said as soon as he finds something he should move but while he is here we will feel unsafe. He found somewhere to stay 2 days after, he asked full month money back, deposit, and payment for wardrobe he bought and moved out with arranging with me that he will pick his stuff whenever he finds a permanent place. It was fine by me, I paid him all that day and he left but kept the house keys. which I told him was not appropriate anymore because he does not live here anymore. But he said he needs the keys to later get his belongings.

    Few weeks in, he wanted to come in our home to collect his belongings, but I told him that we are in quarantine and I will pick his belongings and leave outside.

    He was pressuring me so much that he has the right to enter the property and if I will not let him he will call the police. I refused to let him in and I asked him which part of ‘stay home’ he does not understand, does he thinks he can enter other people’s homes?

    Moving forward I received the letter from his solicitors

    The Summary of a letter sent from his solicitors in accordance with the PDPAC contained with civil procedures rules CPR.

    Legal position

    They claim he had exclusive possession of his room of fixed-term agreement for 12month - street v Mountford 1985

    Claims that I did not provide notice according to housing act 1988 schedule 2 sections 8, by giving 28 days notice.

    Claims that he is entitled of protection from eviction Act 1997

    Claims that we breached of protection from harassment act 1997 by telling him that we do not feel safe while he is here and sending him numerous links about coronavirus.

    Breach of tenancy deposit protection, he wants a 3month deposit, total 450 pounds.

    Loss and damage

    Damages for breach section 27 of the housing act 1988

    Compensation for the distress caused by illegally evicting him what caused him to be homeless.

    I have illegally evicted him during the government introduced emergency COVID 19 legislation, therefore, Client would reserve the rights to claim for aggravated damages

    He’s losses is estimated between 5-7k plus costs.

    Action required

    To confirm that I accept the liabilities.

    Response by 20.04.2020 with the offer in respect of compensation.

    If not they will seek the following orders against you
    1. An injunction requiring to let him back in property and to prevent you from harassing him
    2. A banning order for breaching Protection from eviction act 1997
    3. A rent repayment order pursuant to section 40 of the housing and planning act 2016
    4. An order for general and special damages in respect of your action and to compensate him his losses and distressed caused at this unpreceded time
    5. A full report of the above incidents will also be provided to police and local council

    Tell them you'll look forward to their court submissions, police report and council referral.

    If he returns, call the police.


      Get your locks changed.


        I have changed my locks. But should I ignore the letter from his solicitors and wait for court?


          You should probably reply. If only to point out how bad some of their points are. I would suggest getting a lawyer to do so if you are able to do so during these times.

          a) There was no illegal eviction as he left after you reached an agreement including paying his Feb rent back etc.
          b) Whether he had exclusive possession, which you dispute, as a lodger the occupation cannot be an assured (shorthold) tenancy so deposit protection doesn't apply.
          c) As a household with someone at increased risk from coronavirus, the course of conduct was entirely reasonable.
          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.


            I have made an inquiry to couple of legal services, and hopefully, I will get some response after bank holidays.
            Thank you, everyone, for the advice, it does make me feel better that I do have my rights.


              Yes, point out that he was a lodger, not a tenant, so they are barking up the wrong tree. Also refer them to the noted case of Arkell and Pressdram (1971).


                Hi the only way this would backfire on you in my view is if you actually were living at your partners and you decided to return to the house with your partner to isolate. I'm not suggesting this was the case but if it is then you need to deal with this in a different manner as he might have a claim as a tenant not a lodger.

                If you were indeed living there full time and your partner does not have another house that someone can argue you were living at then you seem to be on safe ground. In future it definately makes sense to have a lodger agreement (formal) not verbal as I doubt the solictor would have written you that letter if the tenant had shown the solictor the lodger agreement. You might also find depending on the age and experience of the lodger they do not actually realise the difference between being a tenant and a lodger. If you and your partner are both registered to vote at the address and on the council tax bill / car insurance / banks accounts etc this will help defend your story to a solictor that has just heard the tenants possibly confused view.

                They might have been explaining the story to someone, who suggested you had broken the law and then found a no-win no-fee type solictor. So the tenant might not be acting with malice he just might just be really annoyed at the situation and not understand the legal side of things...

                I think it's fair to expect the lodger would be upset with the situation as I don't expect anyone was expecting this to happen coupled with your partners previous health condition so try and take this into account.

                Has the lodger now got his things back, if not I would try and arrange to put them in a shed or such but I would not let them back them in case the new lodgings were not working out and they decide to stay. Equally if there are items of a personal or sentimental or expensive nature the lodger may not want you touching them so try and assure them that you will carefully remove and wrap / protect the items. No one will want their goods left out on a step (I'm not suggesting that is the case) so try and be accomodating where you can be given he has just lost his home and may be on someone's couch now who really does not want him there (and equally pushing this legal action). Try and remember it sounds like this all happend in the space of a few days and was not the lodgers fault and they did do the right thing and move out to respect the health issues of your partner.

                As others mention point out to the solictor that this is your 'only' and main residence and he was a lodger not a tenant,,, if it is a no-win no-fee it will probably disappear when they understand they will not be getting a % of the win fee.

                I have no legal training so please take advice before acting on anything I say.

                All the best Stew..


                  OPs posting are somewhat ambiguous as to whether OP was continuously living there.
                  If OP was not living there we need a lot more details to make sense of it. Did the person have exclusive access to their room? Was there a lock on their door?

                  That said I would not reply to the lawyer other than to state as briefly as possible -- you risk digging a hole otherwise -- "No aspect of your client's case has any merit. I am not intending to expend further time on this frivolous correspondence until and if I receive a statement of claim with supporting evidence.


                    I am live in landlord and it’s my home since 2018. There are no locks on the doors. There was no verbal agreement that the room will be exclusive. I can access room anytime.
                    I have given him all his belongings back last week.
                    In the solicitors letter he is providing evidence of WhatsApp massages that we have sent him numerous links about covid 19.
                    Also there was massages that he demanded me back the full month pay and deposit, however he have deleted that since.


                      Save a record yourself of the convo, with it clear that he had deleted messages.

                      How recent was the deletion, do you still have backup of your chat history from before that? Save that somewhere so you can get a copy of the messages pre-deletion if he does get it to court. If you do write back more than how Andrew suggest, you can point out the convenient deletion which you will make sure to draw to the court's attention if he does bring a claim.
                      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.


                        I cannot see when it was deleted, I just noticed recently when I wanted to save the massages. I saved the rest of the chat though.


                          Originally posted by Agne View Post
                          Claims that I did not provide notice according to housing act 1988 schedule 2 sections 8, by giving 28 days notice.
                          Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 doesn't have a section 8 relating to notice periods.
                          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).


                            I think OP means message rather than masssge.
                            Was the OPs occupant a bone fide lodger under prevailing Law?


                              I don’t think he can be classed as occupant a bone fide lodger under prevailing Law? But I am not entirely sure. He was in our home only 6 weeks.


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