Dispute with lodger. Please advise!

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    Dispute with lodger. Please advise!

    Hi all,

    I am in need of some advice please.
    My question is, am I within my rights to change the locks on my home and evict a lodger, and keep her deposit, given that SHE gave ME notice...and then didn't move or pay rent?

    I know a landlord has to give "reasonable notice" to a lodger, but what if the Lodger gives the Landlord notice and then doesn't go through?

    Deposit was kept because:
    Change of locks
    Damage to mattress (definitely not wear and tear, bur deliberate iron burns and tears all over?!)

    I just want someone opinion to see if I was reasonable??
    I would really appreciate any advice

    Thank you in advance.

    #2
    Give her notice ,if possible with a witness, giving reasonable time period. I'd do 5 days but others may suggest shorter time.

    Then change locks.

    Deposit is not for use as punishment but to compensate for losses. Tot up your fair losses & deduct that.


    After changing locks do NOT allow back in, but pass belongings to her.
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you theartfulldodger!
      I should have been clearer. What I meant is.. WAS I within my rights for doing the above? (This happened in June/July)
      So, in a nutshell she gave me notice for end of June..July rolls round and still no sign of her packing/moving and no rent for July, she became defensive when I tried to speak to her about paying it and she said she would use it as her last months rent! I had to clarify deposit was for security etc. Upon packing her things and checking the room, I find the mattress damaged. Annoyingly I had/took no inventory. However had 2 previous lodgers who left it in fine condition and both got their FULL deposits back! In total losses included cleaning, labour, lock change and mattress damage. Hence it turns out she owes ME money.

      Comment


        #4
        Lodger not dodger.


        Has she started small claims action to recover her deposit? If not I wouldn't worry.


        The only person who can really decide is the judge.

        Nothing to stop you suing her!
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          OH! yes Lodger! How did i miss that!

          She tried to "demand" her deposit back despite my explaining she actually owes us money.
          Lets hope I get a decent judge then, as I have started the county court process.
          Thanks again!

          Comment


            #6
            If this were a tenancy (it wasn't) her notice would have ended the tenancy whether she left or not. Therefore, I feel that the requirement for 'reasonable notice' from the landlord was no longer applicable if we draw the parallel that she no longer had a right to occupy the property.

            With regard to 'damages', if you can prove the condition/value of the matress at the start of the occupation, and at the end then you will have been fine to deduct it's current value.

            For instance, lets say a mattress has a lifespan of 10 years, and it was 6 years old when she left. Therefore you have been deprived of 4 years of use - therefore it would be reasonable to deduct from the deposit 40% of the replacement cost. New-for-old won't work though.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you Snorkerz. All useful points for me to think about.
              First point is spot on.

              This is the problem re. the mattress - No proof of its fine condition prior to her moving in.
              I didn't think someone would use the mattress as an ironing board! So never took pics.
              However I had 2 lodgers prior to her, who left it in perfect condition. Both of which also got their full deposit back. First thing you notice is mattress as bedsheets are gone, so it was damaged caused by her.
              Mattress cost £280.84 and was purchased on 3rd January 2010. I deducted £150. Is that a bit much?

              Comment


                #8
                Depends on the judge.

                If you have a receipt for £280 for 2½ years ago, then that is obviously not a 'cheapie' so 10yrs would not seem unreasonable.

                You can at least indicate to the judge that it was in good condition at the start of the stay - after all, the tenant accepted it on move-in. You can also show the condition at move-out.

                Using my calculations, you would reasonably claim £210 for the mattress, so you shouldn't have problems having only claimed £150. No promises, it depends on the judge on the day, but I wouldn't be un-confident.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes you are right, depends on judge. (Yes have receipt and yup-lodger took mattress on move in and have pics after her departure).
                  Good advice. Fingers crossed and let's see what happens!

                  Thanks so much for taking the time to reply!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Dwyer View Post
                    I didn't think someone would use the mattress as an ironing board!
                    The ingenuity of some tenants is quite extraordinary. We had one who left iron-shaped melty-burn marks all over the carpet then claimed she always ironed on the floor as it got the clothes smoother
                    '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


                      #11
                      Ridiculous! Although...at least they were honest! My ex-nightmare lodger hasn't admitted anything and on top of that has made some bizarre claims...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Dwyer View Post
                        Ridiculous! Although...at least they were honest!
                        Only about the burn marks. She lied about the pint glasses full of wee...don't ask!
                        '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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