Resident L let spare room; T has defaulted in rent

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  • Resident L let spare room; T has defaulted in rent

    Recently I let my spare room for 2 months to a friend of a friend. Because the tenant was known to someone I knew I never bothered getting a contract signed.
    I took a £200 deposit however the tenant turned out to be a bad fit. He moved out a few weeks ago but didn't give any notice and immediately started demanding the £200 back and has now started threatening legal action.
    There was a verbal agreement of a months notice which he broke and there also is some cleaning, damage and bills that need to be sorted. He is refusing to discuss this and is insisting I return all the cash.

    Basically where do I stand on this? As there is no written contract can I hold the money as unpaid rent and towards the damage etc. I really don't want to go to court and would pay the money to him but I just feel that he is bullying me into this.

  • #2
    The following only applies if you lived in the same house as him:

    If a months notice was agreed and you did nothing to make him go (he went completely of his own accord and not because you behaved unreasonably) I dont see that he has a leg to stand on. You are entitled to keep the money for one months notice and/or damage.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by paullondon View Post
      Recently I let my spare room for 2 months to a friend of a friend. Because the tenant was known to someone I knew I never bothered getting a contract signed.
      Note that he is/was not a tenant. As you were the resident L, the letting was entirely outside the Housing Act 1988 and might better be described as granted to a lodger. His only rights are whatever you agreed with him contractually, and nothing more.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
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      • #4
        Hi

        You probably need to give a little more information about the arrangement in order to get full advice.

        Look on the DTLR website for a leaflet called "lettings rooms in your own home". Once you have had a look at this, you will may have a better idea of what further information you might need.

        In a nutshell, your occupant was either a tenant or a licensee (lodger) but provided you are a resident landlord, then he sill not have been an assured shorthold tenant. This is an important point, because had he been an AST, you should have protected his deposit - so if you have any doubts then do ask about this.

        What you can use a deposit for depends upon what you agreed at the start of the letting. So, if it was agreed that you could use it to cover rent arrears and cleaning, then, provided you have the evidence to demonstrate that there are arrears and that additional cleaning was required, then you are perfectly entitled to deduct these amounts from the deposit.

        Subject to any further information you may share with us, it does indeed appear as though he may be attempting to pressure you, so think carefully before taking your next step.

        Preston

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