Vanishing lodger!

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    Vanishing lodger!

    Just wondering if anyone can shed some legal light on a situation for us?

    Our son bought a house, with our help and O.H's name on mortgage too.

    To make ends meet he had a lodger - which worked out perfectly. Eventually the lodger married and moved on, they are still in contact and best of friends. As son was looking now for a new lodger he told him of someone he vaguely knew who was looking for accommodation.

    As son needed a lodger to help out financially, this other person moved in. The rent was kept low, same as before, and includes all bills plus community charge. We didn't take ANY deposit etc - as we hadn't with the first lodger and all had been fine - him paying monthly and giving son a months notice when he was leaving.

    However.....first problem came when new lodger would NOT do Direct Debit for the rent and insisted on paying weekly. Then he would fall behind with his rent and son would have to leave notes reminding him.

    It soon became clear that he was spending less and less time there but seemed to think that he didn't have to pay rent. Eventually he said he was moving out..by which time he owed 5 weeks back rent. We realised that he had been moving out some of his stuff, as he works shifts.

    I phoned him last week and explained that he owed 5 weeks rent ...and then he could collect the rest of his stuff. He apologised..and said that he could only afford half the weekly sum but would put it through sons door each week for next 9 weeks - I said ok but as soon as he defaulted I would go to CAB and take legal action...and he said there would be no need for that. Needless to say....this is the first week..and no money has been left.

    Can anybody please tell me where I stand.
    Last edited by Awol; 28-03-2009, 18:17 PM. Reason: typo

    #2
    hi.
    with lodgers theres not normally a contract.
    was a contract signed? if there was and you know his new address the only option is to go via the courts.
    if theres no contract theres no proof there was an agreement for rent to be paid.
    tell your son to pack the guys stuff, give him 48 hours to collect it before its put out on the street.
    tell your son to change the locks.
    next time get a deposit and a contract drawn up

    Comment


      #3
      No..unfortunately there was no contract..something that we will DEFINITELY look into another time.

      I told him that I didn't WANT to have to go through his personal affects but until he paid I would have to and would be storing it as son needs to re rent the room. He said ok.

      So are you saying that by law we don't have a leg to stand on....just give him 48hours to collect his stuff and thats that and he gets away scott free? We are not allowed to sell any of his stuff to recoup rent?

      I'm sure he was 'showing' on the community charge bill that my son was paying..is that not enough evidence that he was living there?
      Last edited by Awol; 28-03-2009, 18:52 PM. Reason: adding extra

      Comment


        #4
        To some extent it depends how much mental energy (and money) you want to spend on this. Yes, he owes you money. How easy will it be to get it back unless he gives you it voluntarily? Not very. What would it involve to get it back otherwise ? A court hearing, which may rule in your favour (assuming you can prove he was living there as a lodger and he cannot prove he paid you the rent...all a bit complicated by the sound of it, in the absence of a contract), but if he has no money, he won't be paying you any back, will he?

        My advice would be to make a clean break - give him his stuff back or store it out of the house, supply him with the details for collection, change the locks after 48 hours. Then move on.

        Good luck.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


          #5
          Many thanks for your prompt replies.

          Comment


            #6
            thats the jist of it, its not nice but thats how it goes.
            lodgers and live in landlords have very little protection.
            you dont have to give the guy a set amount of time to collect his stuff, you could just bag it up and leave it outside, and if it should go walk about, say around to your house its not your problem.
            atleast then you could try to recoup some of the rent due.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by snakeeyes21 View Post
              thats the jist of it, its not nice but thats how it goes.
              lodgers and live in landlords have very little protection.
              you dont have to give the guy a set amount of time to collect his stuff, you could just bag it up and leave it outside, and if it should go walk about, say around to your house its not your problem. atleast then you could try to recoup some of the rent due.

              No, this is not true!. You cannot just dispose of other peoples' property. There are threads on this forum on the subject (what you can and cannot do with it, how long you have to wait before you can sell it/otherwise dispose of it). Search 'abandoned goods' and 'disposal of tenants' goods'.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                correct but he wasnt a tenant, he was a lodger.
                the op would have no legal obligation to store the stuff, they can chuck the lodger and their stuff out on a whim, change the locks and theres nothing the lodger can do.
                if some scallywag sees some bags of stuff and decides to take it before the lodger has moved it, then its not the OPs problem

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by snakeeyes21 View Post
                  correct but he wasnt a tenant, he was a lodger.
                  the op would have no legal obligation to store the stuff, they can chuck the lodger and their stuff out on a whim, change the locks and theres nothing the lodger can do.
                  if some scallywag sees some bags of stuff and decides to take it before the lodger has moved it, then its not the OPs problem
                  No, you are wrong. Read this. It applies to ex-lodgers as well as to ex-tenants:

                  http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...88&postcount=8
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by snakeeyes21 View Post
                    correct but he wasnt a tenant, he was a lodger.
                    the op would have no legal obligation to store the stuff, they can chuck the lodger and their stuff out on a whim, change the locks and theres nothing the lodger can do.
                    if some scallywag sees some bags of stuff and decides to take it before the lodger has moved it, then its not the OPs problem
                    Snakeeyes21, try not to lose sight of the fact that the ex-lodger is entitled to as many human rights as the aggrieved OP. He may be in the wrong in owing money to the OP but you do not know his circumstances and to encourage the OP to make his condition worse is irresponsible. We do try to be impartial here to LL's and tenants alike. Nuff said!
                    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                    Comment


                      #11
                      so what is irresponsible about removing a lodger and his posessions from the house for non payment of rent, that hes no longer welcome to live it?
                      the advice on the CAB website is to bag up the lodgers stuff and remove it from the house when their not in, then to change the locks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by snakeeyes21 View Post
                        so what is irresponsible about removing a lodger and his posessions from the house for non payment of rent, that hes no longer welcome to live it?
                        the advice on the CAB website is to bag up the lodgers stuff and remove it from the house when their not in, then to change the locks
                        I would be very surprised if that were the advice they give since it is encouraging LLs to break the law.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by snakeeyes21 View Post
                          so what is irresponsible about removing a lodger and his posessions from the house for non payment of rent, that hes no longer welcome to live it?
                          the advice on the CAB website is to bag up the lodgers stuff and remove it from the house when their not in, then to change the locks
                          But that's not what happened here is it? The lodger's gone anyway, but at least he's still talking to the OP. Why antagonise him by 'losing' his stuff.
                          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Could OP (other person??) not keep the lodger's belongings "in storage" and charge a storage rate for doing so (which might just happen to amount to the back rent!)? And not release said belongings until paid?
                            If there are any mistakes in my posts - it was the computer's error, not my fault.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by soon2retire View Post
                              Could OP (other person??) not keep the lodger's belongings "in storage" and charge a storage rate for doing so (which might just happen to amount to the back rent!)? And not release said belongings until paid?
                              No, he cannot. I'm not sure of all the legal niceness, but it is to do with Distress to Goods. And in this case, basically, two wrongs don't make a right.
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                              Comment

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