Am I a tenant or a lodger? Please help.

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    Am I a tenant or a lodger? Please help.

    Hey guys,

    as you've all guessed it.. im new

    I'm looking for some advice on what i believe could turn into an issue.
    i need to establish first if im a lodger or if im a tenant

    and the ill list my problems separately.

    I found out about the property through a friend, she rents a room and her dad owns (we'll call him MR X) a lease hold on the flat.
    We've been friends for years, and shes always been there for me when ive needed her.
    I finished from a 3 year relationship and needed somewhere to live quickly... my friend suggested she had a small room but it would suffice until i found somewhere bigger.

    I signed an agreement which Mr X, which appears to be a home drafted one.. basically saying.. you will respect property, not trash the place etc etc

    I moved in just after my birthday in march, and had been paying rent on an advance monthly basis (always paid on the 28th and due on the 1st)
    Each month i had been asked to pay in cash until they gave me details of the joint bank account.
    This has never happened.. and another month has passed where they are withholding the information. I've asked 3 times for a receipt also.... hasn't happened.
    Should i be cautious at this point??

    When moving in, i was told all rooms had power points, tv aerial sockets etc.
    My room doesnt have an aerial socket, so im unable to use the television. Whilst the landlord is a lovely bloke.. hes promised and promised and its not happened.
    Where should i go from here?

    My friend owns a cat, which whilst is an animal... its disgusting, tends to poo everywhere, is a house cat only and doesn't like to leave.
    She doesn't clear this up, so the litter tray can be sat for several days without being emptied. This makes a smell.. and the litter tends to scatter.
    Do i have any grounds being a tenant?

    Theres rat poison in one low level kitchen cupboard - should i ask for this to be removed?
    theres dodgy wiring in the bathroom, which i have been assured is dead.. which is poking out.. exposing wires (presumably a light at some point) - any ideas?
    No smoke alarm batteries.

    Now my major problem tends to be with 'my friend'
    Since moving in, shes totally changed, moody, aggressive, and outright rude.
    The flat is a mess most days, the landlord inst strictly too bothered about it, despite being communal areas.
    Last night, she asked me to pay for rent via cash again (i refused asking for receipts and bank details)(surely it should be LL asking?)
    shes now piped up that its her flat, despite my agreement being with her father (who resides at another address). This would then make me a lodger. and i have no rights???

    She also has spare keys to my room, which she inadvertently told me about a few days ago.. so her father has keys, as does she. This leaves one person in the flat not having keys to my bedroom. Seems kind of pointless having a lock in this case. Her excuse is her dad has asked her to get copies of the keys.
    Whilst she hasn't used them (or at least i don't know about it) im uneasy with people having keys.

    Where do i go from here? as it stands... my rent is 1 day late (i have money to pay it sat in bank)

    Should i write a letter?

    #2
    If you don't like your friend's habits and the room does not suit your needs, what's stopping you from finding a new place?

    If it is important to you to know whether you are a lodger or tenant, you need to know who owns the flat to help your properly determine your status. If you don't trust their answer, get the answer for £3 (soon to be £4) from HM Land Registry.

    Comment


      #3
      Depending on the nature of the agreement you signed with your flatmate's father (who would appear to be the LL), I think you are probably a tenant and as such you have some rights, including the right (unless you default on the rent or breach your agreement in some other way), not to be made to move out within the first six months - longer if the tenancy agreement was for a fixed term of 12 months. How long does the agreement you signed, commit you to staying? Did you pay a deposit of any sort?

      However, given the problems you describe, I cnanot understand why you want to stay there and if you wanted to leave I should imagine that you could probably come to some arranagment with the LL for an early surrender involving a reference by you to how interested the Environmental Health Officer would be to hear about the rat poison, the wiring, etc.

      If you are mad enough to want to stay, you have the right to a receipt for your payments and you should not hand over any more cash unless he is prepared to give you a written/printed receipt. It would be easy for him to claim that you had not paid him, wouldn't it? Offer a cheque instead, or offer to pay the cash straight into his bank account (you can do this at your own bank). At least that way you will get a receipt for the payment, which you might need later.
      '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


        #4
        nothings stopping me looking for a new place other than capital for a deposit and obviously increased bills. Cheap rent and bills is a massive positive.

        Thanks for the info Poppy, but i believe the flat is part of a lease hold. He also has a shop below which i believe is leased as well

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by youatemymonkey
          ... but i believe the flat is part of a lease hold.
          How does that answer who your true landlord is?

          Comment


            #6
            The agreement doesnt actually state an amount of time.. it just suggests that if either party wishes to leave the contract.. it must be made in writing within 1 month.

            I think the problems seem more serious than they actually are..and the people i live with have their moments.. they arnt half as bad as its made out.

            Ill contact the LL directly today, he may be unaware of the whole story if his daughter is misting his vision.

            what can i do regarding tv aerial etc?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Poppy View Post
              How does that answer who your true landlord is?
              Well by checking the land registry surely it'll show who owns the property and not the lease hold?

              Comment


                #8
                I don't know why you would assume that. You can pay for Land Registry searches on the freehold title and the leasehold title. For your circumstances if you truly want to persist with this tenancy, you want the leasehold title register.

                Comment


                  #9
                  having just spoken to the land registry

                  they dont hold details on the freehold or leasehold of the building....

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by youatemymonkey View Post

                    When moving in, i was told all rooms had power points, tv aerial sockets etc.
                    My room doesnt have an aerial socket, so im unable to use the television. Whilst the landlord is a lovely bloke.. hes promised and promised and its not happened.
                    Where should i go from here?
                    Did you get anything in writing from LL promising an aerial socket? If not, LL is under no obligation to install a TV aerial socket in your room.

                    My friend owns a cat, which whilst is an animal... its disgusting, tends to poo everywhere, is a house cat only and doesn't like to leave...
                    The flat is a mess most days...
                    Do i have any grounds being a tenant?
                    You can try complaining to the LL about the behaviour of the other T, but as LL is her father I doubt she'll take any notice. Have you tried discussing it with your friend? There must be a reason she is suddenly being rude and aggressive?

                    Theres rat poison in one low level kitchen cupboard - should i ask for this to be removed?
                    theres dodgy wiring in the bathroom, which i have been assured is dead.. which is poking out.. exposing wires (presumably a light at some point) - any ideas?
                    No smoke alarm batteries.
                    Smoke alarms are not necessarily compulsory. Contact the local council about your health/safety concerns if LL refuses to address them.

                    Last night, she asked me to pay for rent via cash again (i refused asking for receipts and bank details)(surely it should be LL asking?)
                    shes now piped up that its her flat, despite my agreement being with her father (who resides at another address). This would then make me a lodger. and i have no rights???
                    Assuming the father is the LL, you must insist on paying rent to the LL himself. Phone him and put him on the spot - say you need the bank details in order to pay the rent now due.

                    Should i write a letter?
                    You can try, but it's highly unlikely to change your friend's behaviour. Realistically, the best you can hope for is to have the health/safety issues addressed, and bank details for paying the rent.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by youatemymonkey View Post
                      I found out about the property through a friend, she rents a room and her dad owns (we'll call him MR X) a lease hold on the flat.
                      We've been friends for years, and shes always been there for me when ive needed her.
                      I finished from a 3 year relationship and needed somewhere to live quickly... my friend suggested she had a small room but it would suffice until i found somewhere bigger.
                      Aha. Perhaps the clue is here.

                      Your friend offered to help you out in a difficult situation, and from the sound of it didn't expect you to stay very long. That was back in March and it's now July. Perhaps she is resentful because instead of looking for somewhere else to live, you are showing no sign of leaving, and are complaining about various things. Before you arrived, no-one was bothered about her mess and the cat litter, but now she has you nagging her about it.

                      So, by being rude and aggressive, she is sending you the message that it's time to go.

                      shes now piped up that its her flat, despite my agreement being with her father
                      She's not saying she owns the flat, she's saying that, in her eyes, it's her territory. And you're intruding on it.

                      Make sense?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yeh got you there...

                        having checked back through the emails leading up to moving in...
                        she just said that she had a room to rent. it didn't say anything about short term..and in all correspondence she says 'she'll check with dad'
                        Hes on the assumption its long term, ive not spoken to her today since the argument.

                        Shes also mentioned that they needed another person to cover the bills.. if i leave.. it'll leave them short again.. so i dont think that's the case.. i might be wrong.

                        i know shes lashing out recently due to a financial breakup with her boyfriend.. who bought the cat too. so perhaps this is another reason why its not being cared for correctly??

                        Comment


                          #13
                          kill the cat

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by youatemymonkey View Post
                            having just spoken to the land registry

                            they dont hold details on the freehold or leasehold of the building....

                            Some titles are unregistered. I guess you may have discovered one.

                            Rights apart. The living conditions are clearly not working for you. I think it would be very unwise for you to try to impose your living standards on your friend. If her Dad (and probable owner) thinks you're not worth the hassle, he'll exercise his rights to evict you. Please don't let it get to that stage. I suggest that you find a new, cleaner, better place having time to find somewhere that you are happy with. You never know you may keep the friendship intact by moving voluntarily.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I agree,
                              i think this may be the right choice...

                              it appears the other house mate isnt happy either... and for the same points ive made.
                              he was never informed when the cat was bought... and he had lived in the house for some many months before hand..

                              I'll start looking..

                              know of any nice landlords who would like a professional tennant? very clean and prompt payment around the oxfordshire area??

                              Comment

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