Resident L let spare room; T has defaulted in rent

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

    * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

    You can search the forums here:


    • #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
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


      • #4

        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.



        Latest Activity


        • When do tenants' requests go too far?
          Tenants moved in at the beginning of the year and have issued a stream of requests/demands since then, the main ones being

          - After signing the contract but before moving in, requesting that I change the wallpaper in one room as they decided they didn't like the colour
          - Asking to...
          12-07-2017, 16:46 PM
        • Reply to When do tenants' requests go too far?
          If you trust the tenant I would allow them to decorate upon approval. To agreed specifications and at THEIR EXPENSE. This improves the property and keeps them happy. I have had this happen, new paint colour in lounge. More difficult in your case with a new tenant so I would have said wait and see....then...
          23-08-2017, 11:18 AM
        • Private letting advice
          My partner and I have recently moved into a private let with our 7 month old son.
          now the flat was in a right state when we moved in - bathroom hadn't been cleaned, kitchen was a mess, oven absolutely caked in grease from the previous tenant (it still is, I refuse to clean it so I'm just not...
          23-08-2017, 08:28 AM
        • Reply to Private letting advice
          Wannadonnadoodahl - a few of the issues were noticeable when we moved in, however the landlord reassured us they would be dealt with within a week or two, its now been 6 weeks

          JK0 - we aren't on any benefits, we both work and have been full rent of £150 a week, which feels like robbery...
          23-08-2017, 11:05 AM
        • Reply to Private letting advice
          Not sure if you have a gas cooker or not. Either way, please check that you have a valid Gas Safe certificate. You do not mention the boiler but given the other issues, I hope this is safe for you.
          You may wish to ask for a PAT on any electrical items.

          Not sure why you moved in given...
          23-08-2017, 11:02 AM
        • TT not leaving
          A friend of mine (LL) rents his property through an agent and has asked them to get the tenant out as he's coming back to live in it. The agent served a S21 notice which is due to expire soon (we'll check, but for the purposes of this post assume that everything has been served correctly and the notice...
          23-08-2017, 09:00 AM
        • Reply to TT not leaving
          Darth Wookie
          The tenant may be 'morally' in the wrong, but is legally in the right. They have no outright legal obligation to leave at the end of the tenancy agreement, which can only be truly ended by the court. In essence, the court are the 'adjudicators' of the contract and decide whether to enforce it or not....
          23-08-2017, 09:43 AM
        • Reply to TT not leaving
          The current tenancy continues until the landlord has recovered possession (or the tenant serves notice) so there's no danger of a new one coming into being accidentally .

          The tenant is awarded costs if they lose, which is pretty standard in legal cases. If the landlord loses the case, the...
          23-08-2017, 09:38 AM
        • Reply to TT not leaving
          Ok, thanks. This seems to imply that the tenant is in the wrong by not leaving then.

          The notice might as well say, "you don't have to leave when this notice expires, but you'll have a large legal bill if you don't."

          Thanks again.

          Is this...
          23-08-2017, 09:19 AM
        • Reply to TT not leaving
          The landlord can carry on accepting rent, which is due until the tenancy ends.

          The tenant has every right to stay, as the landlord's notice doesn't actually end the tenancy. To bring the tenancy to an end, the landlord will need to go to court. If the landlord is successful, the tenant...
          23-08-2017, 09:12 AM