Subletting & Eviction: Lodger Hasn't Made An Effort To Move Out.

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    Subletting & Eviction: Lodger Hasn't Made An Effort To Move Out.

    Please let me know if I've posted this in the wrong forum

    I am a mesne tenant (I have an AST with the property owner) subletting three bedrooms in a large privately rented house. I've lived in the house for a number of years and the rent is considerably cheaper than market. I look after the place and perform moderate DIY tasks when needed. The landlord trusts me in that respect, hence why I'm treated favourably. The rent for each lodger is also relatively cheap.

    Please note that I'm currently claiming Universal Credit. I have permission from the Head Landlord and the DWP are also aware of this.

    Historically, I've provided a lodgers agreement to everyone. However, last year I became increasingly concerned that the house wasn't a registered HMO and penalties (up to £30k) that could be levied. Moreover, I'm over sharing a living space with individuals who have vastly different expectations concerning cleanliness and that regularly break rules which they agreed with on when moving in.

    I've communicated to everyone in the house the situation and that the landlord would highly likely get a family in after I leave, which would not be subject to the rules, costs and 'headache' of operating a HMO. They've known this for a few months and that I would be moving on in the near future.

    Last month, I gave everyone a calendars month notice (verbally and in writing) to vacate the house as I'll be terminating my tenancy. I'll be staying on for an additional week to empty the property. I'm leaving the area and will be off Universal Credit.

    Now, one week before everyone has to move out, one lodger (a friend I've known for 15 years) wants me to create a lodgers agreement for him so he can claim Universal Credit.

    My friend moved into the house last year. Due to the HMO risk, I wasn't actively looking to fill this room. Initially, I provided him with a 3 month agreement, as he'd hoped that his wife would take him back. Invariably, this wasn't the case. He has asked me twice for an 'updated' lodgers agreement or to put him on one of the utility bills, which I previously declined based on the potential unlicensed HMO risk to me and my landlord.

    Recently, I discovered that he was claiming the full entitlement for his previous residence where his wife and children currently live. He didn't inform the DWP of his change in address and wants me to say he's lived here for 3 months vs the actual 15 months.

    Builders are due to come to the house 5 days after the eviction date to start major refurbishment works. He hasn't lifted a finger or tried to look for somewhere to live, as far as I'm aware. Since I've given notice, he spends his evenings drinking in his room with the door shut.

    Where do my landlord and I stand with respect to evicting him and him vacating the property in 5 days time?
    If he asks me for an updated tenancy agreement, would I be breaking the law if I created an updated agreement commencing 3 months prior with the termination date equal to the current move out date?

    Please note that I'm now willing to disclose to the DWP that he currently resides at this address. However, I will not lie if they've asked me how long he's lived here.

    Thanks

    #2
    Your agreement with the lodger is exactly that, he is a lodger, you have given him notice to vacate, if he doesn't all you do is change the locks and put his belongings outside.

    Concerning the fraud, of swindling the DWP and all tax payers, do the right thing, that way you don't have to worry. The reason you and others get assisted help is for a reason, those abuse it, will not in the future - including yourself if you ever need the assistance again - think about it.

    Comment


      #3
      Does he ever leave his room/the property at all ? I would be looking to change the locks when he is out. He will not be going anywhere by the sounds of what you say, does the property owner know any of what you have described ? If he has to put off the builders there could be considerable costs depending on what arrangement he has signed etc.

      Comment


        #4
        You are declaring ALL the rent you are receiving from lodgers to both HMRC & the various benefits authorities impacted, please?

        Artful: In receipt of 6 benefits.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by ash72 View Post
          Your agreement with the lodger is exactly that, he is a lodger, you have given him notice to vacate, if he doesn't all you do is change the locks and put his belongings outside.

          Concerning the fraud, of swindling the DWP and all taxpayers, do the right thing, that way you don't have to worry. The reason you and others get assisted help is for a reason, those abuse it, will not in the future - including yourself if you ever need the assistance again - think about it.
          Er... As much as I (or we including the landlord) would've preferred if it didn't come down to this. Nevertheless. knowing this is an option has put me at ease. Thanks

          My friend (read: frenemy) has displayed contempt for me, while he's lived here. I knocked £60 off the rent and £270 off of the deposit, he commented that the price was comparable to rooms in the area. When I announced that I was handing the house back to the landlord, he questioned my authority, whether I had the right to do it and questioned the notice period. The other lodgers leapt to my defence and said the time frame was reasonable. This is the same individual who called the landlord (twice in the last month...naturally he got shut down) and still wants me to provide him with an 'updated' Lodgers Agreement. Go figure..

          With regards to the DWP, coincidentally I had a one hour telephone interview with them last week. This included the rules concerning savings, income and the consequences of not disclosing any material changes in my circumstances. I passed and wasn't concerned, as I've been transparent with them since the start of my initial claim.

          I have no intention of being partner to a fraud that he wants (or currently is due to non disclosure of his address) to perpetuate.



          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
            Does he ever leave his room/the property at all ? I would be looking to change the locks when he is out. He will not be going anywhere by the sounds of what you say, does the property owner know any of what you have described ? If he has to put off the builders there could be considerable costs depending on what arrangement he has signed etc.
            He works 24 hours a week for a friend of ours who is a company owner.
            I was at home this afternoon and his door was permanently shut, bar a couple of trips to bathroom and kitchen. This wasn't the case, until I announced I was vacating the house

            Yes, the property owner is fully in the loop, Actually, I spoke to him this morning and gave him an update on the current situation.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              You are declaring ALL the rent you are receiving from lodgers to both HMRC & the various benefits authorities impacted, please?

              Artful: In receipt of 6 benefits.
              Admittedly, I haven't informed the HMRC. Thankfully, I have a separate bank account solely for house rent and expenses. I've also kept a spreadsheet. This will be taken care of in the coming weeks. I don't want this hanging over my head

              Comment


                #8
                Whilst you can probably change the locks whilst he is out after his notice expires, you should be aware that he could make your life difficult. He could shop you to HMRC. You ard his landlord and the HMO manager and the Council could come after you for breach of licensing if he shops you to them. Did you provide your lodgers with gas safety certs? Is there an EICR on the property?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  You are declaring ALL the rent you are receiving from lodgers to both HMRC & the various benefits authorities impacted, please?
                  Interestingly; for people receiving Universal Credit any rent that they get from a lodger or sub-tenant is not treated as income.

                  It is counted as income in 'legacy' Income Related benefits such as Housing Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance but for some reason not in UC.
                  https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/un...it-sub-tenants
                  That may simply be an oversight in the UC legislation which specifically lists what counts as 'Unearned Income', if it isn't on the list then the DWP can't count it as unearned income.
                  Although if it is an oversight they don't seem too bothered about correcting the legislation.

                  Admittedly, I haven't informed the HMRC.
                  HMRC will treat it as undeclared income and you may owe them some tax.
                  It's best to come clean with HMRC now before they find out from elsewhere.
                  Maybe when your friend gets peed of at being kicked out and reports you?
                  Or maybe when the DWP inform them, they do talk to each other especially about UC. (And if you have just had a compliance interview they will be talking to HMRC about any income you have).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by MindRevolutionary1776 View Post
                    I was at home this afternoon and his door was permanently shut, bar a couple of trips to bathroom and kitchen. This wasn't the case, until I announced I was vacating the house
                    This sounds dodgy, he clearly is aware of what you can do if he goes out for the day, i think you will need to consider a forceful removal..... but that is an area i am unfamilar with (from a civil point of view anyway). I would be looking at separate legal advice on how you can remove him if he never leaves his room/house...... a savvy cookie.

                    Comment

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