Lodger or Tenant?

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    Lodger or Tenant?

    I am planning to convert my integral single garage to a furnished studio apartment with ensuite, and a kitchen area. French doors to the side will provide private entrance and a small garden area.

    There is a door at the back which links to a shared utility room and our own kitchen door. No locks will be placed on internal doors. I will clean apartment and change sheets. Occupier will buy own food to cook in the apartment.

    With shared laundry facilities, and access to our house permissable (though not necessary) can I treat this person as a lodger, rather than a tenant? I want to be able to evict someone without any problems. A tenant would have rights to stay, which could mean a court order to evict, and stress to my family.

    Please can anyone advise, thank you.

    #2
    The basic problem is that it would take a court to decide the issue, should the occupant decide not to accept that they're a lodger.

    So your agreement could make it clear that they're a lodger and that you can ask them to leave with reasonable notice.
    But if the tenant decides that they're a tenant, and declines to leave, you would either have to risk a claim of illegal eviction or go to court anyway.

    If they're renting a specific space (with access to shared areas), the basis on which they're a lodger is that you provide services and have access to the space (so it isn't exclusively theirs).
    That argues that they're a lodger - but it's not 100% guaranteed.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      I think you need to be careful regarding council tax too.

      I could be wrong but I believe if they have cooking facilities and toilet as well as their own access, it may need to be registered as a seperate dwelling and liability for council tax.

      Comment


        #4
        Ooh! I read somewhere, last year, about the dangers of having 2 kitchens in a property. Councils will take it to mean the premises are 2 separate dwellings, and charge council tax accordingly. The example I remember was a couple with a roof terrace on a 2nd floor roof (3 storey town house) They had a kitchenette, to save lugging everything down the kitchen. Nothing they could do would persuade the council that it was being unreasonable in charging council tax for 2 dwellings.

        It wasn't the only example:

        http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news...il-tax-5375916

        http://selbydesign.co.uk/homeowners-...ncil-tax-bill/

        Comment


          #5
          If not assessed as a separate dwelling, adding an extra bedroom could mean your home is reassessed for C Tax, then there are Building Reg's for conversion to be considered.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you so much guys, some very helpful tips and warnings that I had not considered.

            Comment


              #7
              The valuation office (E & W) will make the assessment as to whether it's a bandable property.

              Where it's not a completely stand-alone property then they can deem it to be 'self-contained' under the chargeable dwellings order. If it comes to down to it they can deem it a dwelling simply on occupancy alone (although it's not overly common to use that route).

              Two kitchen in a property does not automatically make it individual dwellings for council tax - the valuation office will look at the overall circumstances. It would only be deemed as two properties if they ascertained there was sufficient to indicate it was two dwellings (partitioning, separate supplies etc)

              In the first example an annexe with it's own facilities will almost always be banded individually, that's always been the case. In the second example the same situation occurs.

              Craig
              Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

              If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

              Comment


                #8
                Re-assessment in that case would only happen on transfer of ownership or sale.

                Craig
                Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

                If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

                Comment

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