Lodger ending agreement early

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    Lodger ending agreement early

    Good morning,

    I am a live in landlord. I have a lodger who moved in beginning of May and has now told me that they would like to move out to live closer to their workplace. We made a verbal agreement; lodger is going to stay for 6 monts minimum, collected 200 deposit and lodger pays 200 rent fortnightly. My question is, am I legally allowed to keep the lodger's deposit as the lodger is still in the fixed period and thus legally still liable to pay rent? Is it similar to a case when an AST tenant leaves during the fixed term?


    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)? - England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? - verbal lodger agreement

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? - May 2020

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)? verbally agreed on 6 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? lodger is paying fortnightly

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? 200 deposit May 2020

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy). 31/05/2020

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant? yes

    #2
    Verbal agreement is not worth the paper it's written on.

    Min 6 months ? Next time written lodger agreement, 28 max notice either side & cover immediate eviction for unacceptable behaviour
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Legally, possibly.

      But why do that - lodger agreements are fairly informal and it would be unreasonable to try and hold someone to a verbal agreement that was probably not an actual commitment?
      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


        #4
        I agree with the above no written agreement, you have no proof to keep the deposit . If they sue you and go to court the judge will ask for the contract. You will say we have verbal they will deny it (assuming anyone remembers the agreement ) the judge will say you have no proof return the deposit. Plus lodger legal fees

        As above next time written agreement etc

        Comment


          #5
          If you have no written agreement then you have not told the lodger the conditions under which he would lose his deposit. I think you would be on shaky ground trying to keep it without their agreement.

          Comment


            #6
            For 10 years I've been working away from home during the week. I've lodged in other people's houses maybe 7 years of that on and off. 10 places, 2 really HMOs with a written lodgers agreement and not an AST, 3 written lodgers agreements out of the rest and the others very informal.
            Due to my work, I can be given or give one weeks notice.
            I have left one place after 4 weeks because the landlord had OCD or I didn't respect his home. You decide.
            The others, I stayed from 3 months to 12 months, and they were happy with 1 or 2 weeks notice.
            I left the room tidy and spotless, and deposits were returned with no fuss.
            The 3 month one, we got on really well, but my contract was cut short and I offered to pay til the end of the agreement, but his sense of fairness was such that he'd rather just put it back on spareroom and stay friends.
            Just return the deposit and move on.

            as an aside, my own lender requires me to ask for written permission to take a lodger, and needed to see the proposed lodgers agreement, with details of who the person was before giving that permission, so check your mortgage T&Cs if you haven't already.


            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Logical.Lean View Post
              as an aside, my own lender requires me to ask for written permission to take a lodger, and needed to see the proposed lodgers agreement, with details of who the person was before giving that permission, so check your mortgage T&Cs if you haven't already.
              That seems quite extreme. Do you mind sharing who the lender is, possibly a small building society? I've always had a lodger with a resi mortgage that has seen most of the mainstream lenders. Only a couple wanted me to ask permission (or let them know), none denied perimission or wanted to know anything more.

              Comment


                #8
                Virgin Money.
                they also got confused and referred to my lodgers aagreement as a tenancy agreement. I put them right on that one.
                the thing is the guy had moved in a week before I got their agreement in writting.

                Comment


                  #9
                  As you are a live in landlord. I don't think it is a good idea to commit tenants to a long term contracts or long notice periods. Keep it to a week's notice period. Someone can be a nightmare in your home and you may want them out of your home. You don't have any place to go or have problems. May be they had a problem in your home, but may be they are being polite to say they need to move closer to work. It can be anything. If you bind tenant to hard conditions, when they don't want to live there, they can cause problems and damage the property. Return the deposit. May be carry our a exit survey, ask them if there is anything you can improve in the property and see if they shed any light.


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just let them go and keep things nice and friendly, given it's your personal home it could backfire on you by trying to keep the deposit by way of them not returning your house keys etc etc.

                    Just my personal view

                    All the best

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you all for the advice, much appreciated. Lodger has since moved out, all went well and deposit refunded

                      Comment

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