Did something silly - rented a room in a flatshare then changed my mind

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    Did something silly - rented a room in a flatshare then changed my mind

    Hello All,

    I hope you can help me a little, I'm not sure what my options are. Here is what happened.

    I had to move out of my current flat share (last night) and viewed a place last Saturday. The place looked ok and I thought it was quiet so I contacted the current tenant and agreed to rent the room on Sunday. I paid a full months deposit via bank transfer (about £1000). I think the current tennant is renting the whole apartment (I don't know if it's through agent or direct with landlord or any of the details).

    I moved in last night with one suitcase (returning from a business trip) and I paid the 1st months rent via bank transfer (about £1000). But unfortunately I didn't sleep all night from the traffic noise. The noise probably wouldn't be an issue for some people, but I am a very light sleeper and since a bad illness two years ago I have mild fatigue which seems to have made me more noise sensitive and the problem is if I don't sleep well I'll easily get sick. When I viewed the place I thought I couldn't hear the noise, but I really noticed it last night.

    So I've moved out this morning with my case and sent a note to the current tenant I was renting from apologizing for messing her around and asking can I have my rent payment returned (£1000). For the deposit I explained I feel bad for having her hold the place since Sunday so offered for her to deduct one week rent from the deposit (I guess about £250 of the £1000 deposit).

    She just replied and said, it was really a difficult to find me and she will be away / busy over XMAS so may not be able to find someone else. She finished the note by saying she would 'think about it'.

    Now, she seems like a nice person, and I hope we can work it out. But I'm not very rich and I really need my money back to get another place to stay and survive the XMAS / New Year period !

    Do you have any advice? I'm so worried I might lose all my money.

    I haven't signed any contract at all. We had mainly phone call exchange, with some text and e-mail, but no details / commitment in them.

    Should I offer more money? Should I look into small claims court already?

    Really appreciate any advice to a very stupid feeling novice !

    Alex

    #2
    Verbal agreement backed up by a substantial payment sounds like an implied contract to me. Your LL has stated that she'll be away/busy over xmas and has probably made those arrangements based on the security of knowing she has a new tenant and the rent is paid. Now you are asking to breach your agreement, have your money back (despite having actually moved in) and have felt the need to mention court already before even begining negotiations.
    You are also basing your comments on one night, your first night, in a new home. Find me one person who settles completely on the first night they move house. Every noise, squeak, rumble and shake will be notable.
    I think you will need to work hard to convince your new LL to let you extract yourself from this quickly, and it will cost you a couple of weeks rent at least. It's unreasonable to expect her to drop everything so quickly but it is resolvable in the medium term.
    I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

    Comment


      #3
      Its worth noting that you are legally not a tenant but a lodger as you are subletting from a tenant. So your tenancy is governed by statute, in the absense of a written agreement.

      You need to pay for the minimum reasonable notice (the month you prepaid i would guess) and get the rest back - i.e. the deposit
      All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
        Its worth noting that you are legally not a tenant but a lodger as you are subletting from a tenant. So your tenancy is governed by statute, in the absense of a written agreement.
        It could be although it's unclear whether OP is sharing the property with his landlord or is subletting it as a whole, in which case he would be a tenant with, I would think, an AST.

        Comment


          #5
          Sure. I assumed from the post that OP is renting a room from a tenant that has an AST for the whole property and is resident in the property.
          All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
            Sure. I assumed from the post that OP is renting a room from a tenant that has an AST for the whole property and is resident in the property.
            Yes, this is the case. Although I have no visibility of the nature of the AST for the whole property.

            Thank you all for your posts. I will negotiate and I do want to be fair. I was already talking about court as I have paid £2000 in total and I'm worried I'll not get anything back, so I was trying to understand where I stand legally.

            In terms of being fair, I offered only 1 weeks rent since I asked for the room to be held from Sunday until today. Maybe it's fair if I offer two weeks. It sounds like by rights I can lose my full deposit at £1000. I don't really feel I deserve to lose 4 that when I only had the room held five days, but then that's why I need your experience and advice..

            Thank you so much.

            Comment


              #7
              You dont need visibility of the agreement between your LL and her LL. You are her lodger.

              I believe the statute says that you need to give reasonable notice. Reasonable is obviously open to interpretation but at the same time there is no provision for a rent refund. I would say giving notice to leave at the end of the month that you have already paid, is reasonable for a lodger. Whether your LL has other plans, or cant find someone in that month, is IMHO irrelevant.

              Your deposit, you should get back in full
              All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

              Comment


                #8
                If I was the landlord, I would have you on the hook for rent until I found someone new. If that used the whole £1000, or more, or less, would be down to how long it took to get someone else paying the rent.

                Unless I was feeling generous or particularly sympathetic to your circumstances.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the extra comments. I contacted and asked for my deposit back. I said I understand about XMAS etc. and that while I hoped not to lose my 1 months rent I understand that she will need to find a replacement and that she'll be away partly so we can look at what happens.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by 8086 View Post
                    If I was the landlord, I would have you on the hook for rent until I found someone new.
                    And what would give you the right to do so?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The agreement they have? What else?

                      Within reason, you understand. I'm not talking about years.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Have you read the post? There is no agreement (from what OP is saying)
                        All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          FTFY

                          There is a verbal agreement, and acceptance of the agreement, because the money has been paid.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            verbal agreement to create a lodger's tenancy? for how long? You cant assume a 'fixed term' unless one was explicitly mentioned. And lodgers dont need one
                            All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
                              for how long?
                              A month, at least, apparently.

                              Comment

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