View Full Version : Landlord is resident; can tenant leave on notice?

11-03-2006, 07:46 AM
I have rented a room at a private house since early Jan this year. Rents are paid on a 4 week basis, and a 4 week notice is necessary should I want to terminate the tenancy.

I paid the owner, who also lives in the house, the rent that covers the period from 1-28 March, on 1 March. Something happened in my family which made me want to leave the house on 13 march, and I informed the owner on 7 March of my decision.

I know I should have informed her by the end of February or on 1 March.

But things are unpredictable -- I realised that I would need to compensate, but not sure how much it was.

The owner asked me for 3 weeks' rent, claiming that I only gave her one week notice.

I thought I only needed to pay one week extra, which covers the period from 29 March to 4 April.

How much should I pay really?

11-03-2006, 08:52 AM
If it is a standard tenancy(which it doesn't appear to be, I shall come to that in a moment) then you are definitely correct. Whether you were living there after that date is immaterial, you had paid the rent. Or at least, you are more correct than her....probably you should have given notice at the start of the 4 week rental period. But she certainly isn't entitled to get the same rent paid twice. You effectively gave 3 weeks notice as this is how much rent was paid.

However, you are almost certainly not a tenant, you are a lodger. Did you sign on agreement upon moving in?

11-03-2006, 09:34 AM
I did not sign any agreement with her, but the one-month notice thing was agreed on.

She insisted that this is how things are settled in her house.
But I am from Hong Kong, and will be leaving on 13 March -- and so I don't know whom I should turn to. I don't want to lose out.

11-03-2006, 09:36 AM
If you have signed no agreement, you are a lodger, and you do not have to give any notice whatsoever. So you owe her no more money.

11-03-2006, 09:36 AM
I was foolish enough not to really sign any agreement with her when I moved in. and I was even more foolish for not asking for the receipt when I gave in, by compensating for the 3 weeks.

The more I think of it, and the more I ask around, the more I believe that she is taking advantage of me.

11-03-2006, 09:38 AM
I had a verbal agreement with her when I moved in -- and the thing that I signed only specified the amount of desposit and the first 4 weeks I paid her.

It is not a very formal contract - that's what I mean.