tenant or lodger?

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  • tenant or lodger?

    I have an annexe to my home comprising bedsit, kitchen and bathroom. Access is via a separate door into the bedsit from the garden.

    Services (heating, electricity, hot/cold water etc) are all off the main house.

    The agreement is for a house-sharer, not a tenant.

    All utilities, council tax, TV licence fee etc are included in the rent.

    The post Office, electoral registration office etc treat the property as a single address/dwelling etc.

    So, can the 'occupier' claim tenants rights or would this be catagorised as a lodger situation as I believe?

    (Yes, I know the separate access is the ambiguous element and perhaps only a court can decide - but anyone with similar set-up?)

  • #2
    I THINK it is as a tenant, because there are no communal areas. But I welcome correction!
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

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    • #3
      I am short of time.

      You are describing an occupier with basic protection.

      Verify this yourself at the Shelter website and search wider on the internet.

      Comment


      • #4
        This is a tenancy no question as it meets the requirements of exclusive possession (of accommodation), and has its own entrance door from outside. The sharing of the utility accounts have nothing to do with the tenancy as it's the accommodaiton that will determine whether it's a lease or a licence. The fact it is separately rated also contributes to the forming of my opinion.

        If the only access had been through the main building then that might be a different matter.

        Have a look at Street v Mountford 1985 if you want a case history study.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Rating

          Thanks Paul - everyone seems to agree . But FYI The annexe is not separately rated. I pay council tax for the entire property. As explained all authorities (post office, electoral Registration, council tax, tv licence etc ) consider this as one single dwelling place.

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          • #6
            2 supplementary questions

            1 The 'tenant/lodger' has moved his girlfriend in, who is obviously using extra utilitilities and costing me extra. Can I get rid of her and how?

            2 to avoid this in future, does the provisionof 'services' (eg once a week cleaning) turn it into a licence/lodger situation as Street v Mountford 1985 seems to imply if i read it right

            Cheers.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MK Landlord View Post
              FYI The annexe is not separately rated. I pay council tax for the entire property. As explained all authorities (post office, electoral Registration, council tax, tv licence etc ) consider this as one single dwelling place.
              But isn't that potentially because the relevant authorities aren't fully aware of the situation - ie, you haven't actually told them(!) Just that once I divided up a house into two totally separate units, and which I now let out; if I hadn't proactively notified the council tax people / Royal Mail / Highways Dept etc, I have no doubt that the newly-created house would be completely off the official radar! (didn't tell the TV license people - those b*ggers find out all by themselves...!)

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              • #8
                Ah! You see what only half the information leads to!

                You stated "the property" was treated as a single dwelling, but you didn't say the "whole property" or the "rented property" so it wasn't clear what you meant.

                In answer to your later post, you can't alter what has already been established, and it will very much depends on your written terms with the occupants. The default is an AST of course, but as we don't know the exact circumstances your question is not easy to answer, but I still think it's an AST as it is self-contained and has a separate access which I consider to be exclusive possession.

                The girlfriend can move in if your occupant has an AST but if they are only licencees then you could legally kick her out. Take legal advice on this first!
                The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                Comment

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