Am I a lodger or a tenant?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Am I a lodger or a tenant?

    Hello, I have a question about my legal status in private rented accommodation.

    I live in a private rented house. The entire house is rented from the landlord by one individual (let's call her Sara). Sara has a bedroom in the house and a lot of stuff in the cupboards all around the house. She receives bills at the house and pays for most of the utilities (except for heating oil, which we share) and the council tax. She also receives a lot of mail here, such as bank statements, mostly addressed to the business that she owns and uses our address for.

    Sara rents out the two other bedrooms in the house separately to me and another individual. When I first came to view the house, Sara showed me around. She said that she would be away from the house a lot because she travels for business, and that she keeps the house as her 'UK base', and to avoid renting other premises for her business. I signed a 1-year 'licence agreement' when I moved in in September 2019. The agreement says that it permits me to occupy 'first floor bedroom' and that I am entitled to use all communal areas. It also says that my notice period is 1 month. I have now been at the property for two years and the document has not been renewed.

    Sara came to stay at the house for four days in late 2019. She said she planned to come back soon, but she returned to her city of Athens, where she lives with her partner, and had a baby there in early 2020. Then the pandemic hit. She has said several times that she is thinking to come back to the house soon, but so far this hadn't happened. To my knowledge, when I first moved in, Sara was living a very itinerant lifestyle for her business, but had her main base in Athens. Since the Pandemic, that is where she has been living, with her partner and child.

    I am now running into some issues because the latest occupant of the other room (who moved in 6 months ago) doesn't get along with me and Sara has suggested that if we can't get along then we will both have to give our "1-month notice" and leave. It occurred to me that as I lodger, my rights in regard to being evicted are considerably less that if I were a tenant, so I would like to know there I stand legally, given that Sara is not really living here.

    If it's relevant, I don't have a lock on my bedroom door. However, the other rented out room does have a lock with key, and my current housemate locks her room when she leaves the house.

    If I were to be legally deemed a tenant, presumably this would also have ramifications for our deposit protection (or lack of). And possibly Sara's right of entry?

    Thanks

    #2
    Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? She's not kicked you out. If you don't like your housemate, move, surely?

    I wouldn't be laying the law down to Sarah, as I suspect you may still be a lodger.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      I can see it is a complicated arrangement but as JKO says, this is your home, if you are not happy where you are then move, why try and go down the route of conflict when all it will end up with is your eventual eviction, which i am sure will come not of your choosing and as sods law often dictates at the very worse time.

      One of the biggest advantages of renting a property (lodger or tenant does not matter) is that you can move, take advantage of this real benefit and look for something more suitable.

      Comment


        #4
        There doesn't seem any way that Sara can claim to be living in that property.
        Which would probably mean that, at some point, you have become a tenant (and the person in the other room is almost certainly a tenant because they have never lived in the property with Sara).
        It would be unreasonable that the other person would be a tenant and you not.

        As you would in theory have to give a minimum of a month's notice ending at the end of a rental period, I don't think it makes a huge amount of difference to the situation for your notice.

        And, as the previous responses have indicated, you might be better moving out.
        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


          #5
          I think OP was a tenant from the start anyway. If OP truly had only a licence to occupy, whether there's really a occupying landlord shouldn't change that. More relevant is the question whether OP has an assured shorthold teanncy.

          Without actually looking up any authorities, personally I don't see how Sara can argue that the dwelling-house is her "only or principal home". So yes, I think OP has an AST.

          Interestly, Sara is occupying for the purpose of council tax even without it being a council tax HMO.
          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


            #6
            I don’t understand why to create all these problems for Sara and yourself when it is obvious that you need to move.

            I am sure that tenants/lodgers who are unable to find the easiest solution to the problem but just create more will fail in all areas of their life.







            Comment


              #7
              I think I'd be nosey and look at the Land Registry to see who the owner of the house is. That's not your question I know Bertie. Agree with the others - what worked for you originally is not working now so maybe time to move on.



              Freedom at the point of zero............

              Comment


                #8
                Even if you are an AST "tenant", you are tenant of Sarah, not a tenant of Sarah's landlord. If Sarah ceases to be a tenant that does not make you a tenant of Sarah's landlord (nor does any deposit you paid to Sarah have anything to do with Sarah's landlord).

                Sarah's right of entry (which you seem to want to deny) has nothing whatever to do with whether you are her tenant given that you are renting a room (either as an AST tenant or as her lodger). I agree that you are probably an AST tenant renting a room.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi all, thanks for the replies.

                  I am aware that I have the option to move out, which I don't currently wish to do for personal reasons (one of which is that it would mean having to leave my village because there is very little rental property available). Also it is the new person who moved in 6 months ago who has the issues, not me. There was no problem with the previous sharers.

                  Anyway my question here was not about that, I just wanted to know my legal status in case that my landlady does try to evict me.

                  It seems from the advice here that I probably should have tenancy rights in relation to notice period etc.

                  Thanks

                  Comment


                    #10
                    IMHO you're a tenant. 'phone Shelter free helpline 0808 800 4444 and see what they say.
                    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


                      #11
                      I think the summary is:
                      We are probably all agreed that you a tenant (not a lodger) of Sarah
                      You are renting a room only
                      You cannot prevent Sarah from accessing
                      You cannot do much about the other tenant who is making your life miserable (your main current issue for your original post)
                      Sarah is however a tenant herself and if she is removed (or removes herself) as a tenant you have no very strong rights in terms of Sarah's landlord.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                        Sarah is however a tenant herself and if she is removed (or removes herself) as a tenant you have no very strong rights in terms of Sarah's landlord.
                        Depends on whether Sarah's landlord agreed to Sarah's letting out the rooms.
                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                          Sarah is however a tenant herself and if she is removed (or removes herself) as a tenant you have no very strong rights in terms of Sarah's landlord.
                          I'm not sure (genuinely) how that would work.

                          I don't think Sara can "remove herself" as landlord - the only way to do that would be to end the tenancy somehow.
                          You can't resign as landlord.
                          And I have no idea what happens when a landlord simply vanishes - because the landlord is typically a property owner, it can't arise that often.

                          If she is "removed", I'd have thought her immediate landlord would inherit the occupants as tenants (unless that's something specific to company lets).

                          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
                            I think these would be the general principles:

                            https://england.shelter.org.uk/profe...e_tenancy_ends

                            I don't think the subtenants would be inherited except in some circumstances (acceptance of rent directly, and so on).

                            If the main tenant gave notice, or there was a possession order, and the subtenants failed to leave the original tenant would remain liable for rent and the usual eviction procedures would apply.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The final part of that page is important.

                              "If the mesne tenant loses or gives up the tenancy, the subtenant becomes the tenant of the head landlord, so long as the subletting was lawful and the subtenant is an assured/assured shorthold tenant. The mesne tenant does not need to be an assured/assured shorthold tenant."
                              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

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              • Reply to S21 Abolition Query
                                by Sol_1969
                                Many thanks for taking the time to respond. I will follow your advice, let the tenancy become periodic and then serve a S13 notice with the rental increase. I will - out of politeness - give them notice beforehand so that the S13 does not come as a surprise....
                                17-05-2022, 07:21 AM
                              • S21 Abolition Query
                                by Sol_1969
                                Hi,

                                Now that it looks like that S21 will be abolished, can anyone hazard a guess what will happen to S21 notices that were issued before the abolition but have not yet been completed?

                                I have tenants who are 12 months through a 24-month contract. I would like to serve a S21...
                                16-05-2022, 10:32 AM
                              • Statutory declaration DPS
                                by Lash
                                Does anyone have experience with DPS stat declaration? When returning the statutory declaration from to DPS is it just literally the form I am returning? Or, do I also send additional information at that time too? Many thanks...
                                17-05-2022, 07:17 AM
                              • Reply to S21 Abolition Query
                                by DoricPixie
                                How will the tenants fight tooth and nail against a rent increase? Either the tenancy agreement says how and when the rent can be increased in the tenancy agreement or once the tenancy becomes periodic you can use a Section 13 notice. The former the tenants have already agreed to so there's nothing...
                                17-05-2022, 06:07 AM
                              • Reply to S21 Abolition Query
                                by Sol_1969
                                Thank you for your responses, a bit of explanation. I bought the house with the tenants in situ and it was part of the agreement on purchase that they get a 24-month contract. They are paying well below the market rate for the area. I want to put the rent up at the end of the 24-month period. But this...
                                17-05-2022, 05:45 AM
                              • Reply to Sleeping joint landlord?
                                by Mrs Mug
                                Who's name is on your tenancy agreement? That is your landlord....
                                17-05-2022, 05:42 AM
                              • Sleeping joint landlord?
                                by casual_reader
                                Person A and Person B, two siblings, are unmortgaged owners of a freehold property as tenants-in-common.

                                Person A has permission from Person B to let the property. The tenants sign an agreement with Person A, to whom they pay rent. Person A also addresses all maintenance issues. The contract...
                                16-05-2022, 06:34 AM
                              • Reply to Advice Needed
                                by Hudson01
                                I am very sorry to hear about the issue, i can add little more to what has already been said above, I am one of those lanldords spoken about in terms of about to sell up........ all that has been pointed out as to why we are all leaving is totally true, it has simply become too much hassle and with...
                                16-05-2022, 20:53 PM
                              • Advice Needed
                                by Confused2022
                                Hello!


                                I an trying to get as much information and advice for someone whom is very vulnerable and has many health problems.

                                The issue is they have lived at a property which they’ve rented now for 2 years just over, never missed a rental payment and never had any issues,...
                                15-05-2022, 15:45 PM
                              • Reply to Invoice for work - am I being unreasonable?
                                by Hudson01
                                I agree with one of the other posts, Company A should have sorted the whole job, it sounds like a 10 mins job with maybe a collar for the pipework being tightened up and then some basthroom sealant ...........you are right.......... just under a ' monkey'' (Arthur Daley speak) for what is a simple pipe...
                                16-05-2022, 18:46 PM
                              Working...
                              X