Rights?

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    Rights?

    Hi,

    My friend is a student living in private rented student accomodation with 3 other housemates. Her housemates are trying to prevent her having any overnight guests. The tenancy agreement states no rules against having overnight guests - all it states is that underletting and taking a lodger in the house is not permitted. No agreement regarding overnight guests was made between the four of them before they signed the tenancy agreement.

    Do they have any right to prevent her having friends stay-over? If her housemates were to attempt to contact the landlord to enforce no overnight guests would they be able to stop her?

    Regards.

    #2
    Do all 4 occupants have a joint tenancy, or are they on individual contracts (ie a room each)?

    The situation you describe is not covered by tenancy laws - this is just 3 people who want to be able to enjoy the property as was intended when all 4 moved in.

    Comment


      #3
      Could it be that friend has had too many overnight guests?

      Comment


        #4
        All four occupants have a joint tenancy.

        I could understand that reasoning if that was the case. The housemates don't get along with my friend - they're doing anything they can to get on her case about anything.

        All of her housemates have overnights guests, perhaps not as often as she does - but they have them occasionally.

        They did try to tell her either she should pay more towards the rent and utilities or she should get her guests to contribute but surely that would be a breach of the tenancy agreement?

        Regards,
        Ryan.

        Comment


          #5
          The tenancy agreement is between the tenant (a specific legal term, meaning all of them) and the landlord. The overnight guest is not party to that contract, and so can not breach it.

          Because it is a joint contract, anything that happens must happen with the agreement of all 4 joint tenants. In this instance it is obvious that the remaining joint tenants do not agree to this extra person being in the property unless some payment (compensation, if you like) is made to offset the inconvenience. There have been a few recent posts, and it's a common feature that a 'spare' chap in an all-girl house can cause much disturbance - no dashing from bathroom to bedroom starkers - no sitting eating beakfast in just bra and briefs.

          Comment


            #6
            I see, what I meant by my previous comment of something being a breach of contract - I was referring to the housemates expecting the overnight guest to pay towards rent/bills - wouldn't that be classed as taking on a lodger as in essence he/she is paying to stay there? Which is clearly defined as not being allowed in the tenancy agreement.

            Should the other housemates not agree to the "spare chap" being present, would my friend have the same rights as them in terms of refusing them having overnight guests?

            Apologies for all these no doubt tedious questions, I just want to be sure of where she stands before I try and help her out.

            Regards,
            Ryan.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by rkr87 View Post
              I see, what I meant by my previous comment of something being a breach of contract - I was referring to the housemates expecting the overnight guest to pay towards rent/bills - wouldn't that be classed as taking on a lodger as in essence he/she is paying to stay there? Which is clearly defined as not being allowed in the tenancy agreement.
              But only the landlord could take any action over that

              Should the other housemates not agree to the "spare chap" being present, would my friend have the same rights as them in terms of refusing them having overnight guests?
              Yes - but in the real world it is 3:1 vs 1:3. She'd be out-voted every time on a majority decision. The only option other than mutual agreement (usually a majority thing) is the courts - and is that really likely to happen ???

              Comment


                #8
                It sounds like what you're saying is that the others sometimes have friends up for a weekend but that she has maybe a boyfriend staying there a lot of the time.

                Regardless of what the law says i would say she should be contributing more. If he stays for half the week why not divide the bills by nine instead of by four. The others could all pay 2/9 and she and he could pay 3/9. That would be the minimum i would say would be fair as he would also be paying no rent.

                Maybe he could negotiate a discount at his place.

                Alternatively she has to stay at his sometimes or they need to spend more time apart.

                This situation probably occurs at every other HMO in the country to some extent so regardless of the law, if i were her i'd be looking for a compromise to keep the peace.

                Comment


                  #9
                  There seems to be alot of opinion incorporated in to your posts, while I appreciate your time in giving me this advice I'd just like to know the facts from a legal standpoint as to where my friend stands.

                  I understand her roommates may be frustrated, perhaps I'd be more sympathetic to their situation if my friend didn't show up to lectures and my house in tears because of the way they're treating her. In short, there's no peace left to keep, she doesn't like being alone in the house with them - hence the guests.

                  Now I've bored you with the personal details of the situation - could someone clarify as to whether or not the landlord could take any action against her having overnight guests if her roommates should approach him?

                  Again, any advice is much appreciated.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by rkr87 View Post
                    could someone clarify as to whether or not the landlord could take any action against
                    her having overnight guests if her roommates should approach him?
                    Landlord may not be able to do anything, as they ALL have guests staying over night.
                    So he would have to say, no guests for any one !

                    He could also state, I rented this place out for 4 people, and you are all having
                    guests staying overnight, so that makes 8 people.
                    If I wanted 8 people, i would have 8 bedrooms.

                    But also, there is a line that your friend may have crossed.
                    You say her guest stays more time than anyone elses, therefore, if the max time
                    someone elses guest stays is once a week, then she should limit her guest to
                    once a week. etc etc.
                    And make sure she has less guests than the rest.

                    It is easy to start going to her guests house and stay there.

                    The problem is, her guest is there too often, that's the issue.
                    Stop having guests for while may solve the problem, then make sure she has
                    the least number of visits by guests.

                    Remember when a guest says from 7pm to 7am, that's 12 hours, and thats
                    gas / electric in the morning and evening if guest is having meals there.
                    That's the same as a guest staying there from 7am to 7 pm, having breakfast
                    there, and 6:30 evening meal.. ( there all day, but still 12 hours )

                    They would certainly object if guest was in house all day for 12 hours while they are out

                    R.a.M.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rkr87 View Post
                      There seems to be alot of opinion incorporated in to your posts, while I appreciate your time in giving me this advice I'd just like to know the facts from a legal standpoint as to where my friend stands.

                      I understand her roommates may be frustrated, perhaps I'd be more sympathetic to their situation if my friend didn't show up to lectures and my house in tears because of the way they're treating her. In short, there's no peace left to keep, she doesn't like being alone in the house with them - hence the guests.

                      Now I've bored you with the personal details of the situation - could someone clarify as to whether or not the landlord could take any action against her having overnight guests if her roommates should approach him?

                      Again, any advice is much appreciated.

                      I imagine that you are the boyfriend?

                      If you are asking if she will be evicted or the police will come knocking on the door then no, its very unlikely.

                      There could be issues with any licence the landlord holds eg if a 3 person licence is held but 4 are residing in the property. The landlord/council may get involved but it's likely to be letters to the tenants to protect themselves. If its a student house by the time any legal action could run its course, the tenancy would likely be over.

                      Maybe if your "friend" wasn't having guests so often, the other housemates would start being nicer. Why doesn't she stay at her friends house some of the time so that they can still be together but not using so much gas/electric etc at her house?

                      Irrespective of the reason why the guest is there, whilst they are there, they are using energy/facilities etc so it seems only fair they pay a contribution. That way whatever the others say, they can't use that against her.

                      The fact of the matter is that when people move out of home for the first time, there are a lot of adjustments to make. In my experience there are few disagreements that are the fault entirely of one party. It may take a while to realise it but your friend may well look back on this and cringe at some of the decisions she's made/things she's said.

                      Best advice i think is to offer a contribution, keep her head down and get through the next few months then move into a house with likeminded people and definitely not an all female one.

                      Comment

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