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Glasgowgirl
17-09-2011, 15:03 PM
Hi all new here and hoping someone can help me.
I rented out a room in my flat to a girl for 8 months, there was no lease and she paid me a cash deposit up front of one months rent, there was no receipt given... we had an agreement between us that a months notice would be given by both sides. She paid rent regularly monthly directly to my bank.

However she notified me a few days before her next rent was due by email that she was leaving the following week on the Friday but she cleared out 3 days earlier while I wasnt at home and without letting me what she was doing . Since her leaving I've been in to clean her room which was filthy as she had never cleaned not even once during her stay there was damage on the carpet, and I've had to throw out her bedding as it was a mess

She has now been in touch by recorded delivery letter saying she wants her full deposit back or will take court action and I will be liable for her legal costs

Can anyone tell me where I stand - what are my rights and what should I do?

theartfullodger
17-09-2011, 15:31 PM
Is this in Scotland?? If so suggest repost In Scottish section. (Law different in each country)

Highly unlikely you'd be liable for court costs. Suggest take lots of photos & notes before cleaning place. At least letter (presumably) confirms she's gone. If so I'd change locks Today!!

Her actions are not those of a reasonable person ...

Glasgowgirl
17-09-2011, 15:55 PM
thanks very much artful... yes it is in scotland I'll try and move this to correct forum I've got photos of the stains on furniture and carpet ... she kept the keys for 3 days after she left and put them through the door on the day she was supposed to leave, front door locks have not been working properly since she's gone so do need new locks.

theartfullodger
17-09-2011, 18:51 PM
MODERATOR please move to Scottish board

theartfullodger
18-09-2011, 07:57 AM
The difficulty with "lodgers" in Scotland (unlike in Engerland..) is the legal process for enforcing eviction, see...
http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/getadvice/advice_topics/eviction/eviction_of_common_law_tenants
- which is why what she says in her letter is key. As long as she says she's gone or quotes a new address or explains why she wants her deposit having now somewhere else back i think that would be accepted by the Sheriff that her "common law tenancy" has ended.

As you'll see from Shelter's info (a reliable, authoritative source, one of the best IMHO..) evicting a non-cooperating lodger/common-law-tenant can be a little tricky.

I've not been a lodger's landlord in Scotland (but have houses rented out) and don't feel too confident to be certain on these matters.

I THINK that if she wanted to take things further legally (it being I presume below £3k) she'd need Sheriff Court small claims route - where AFAIK (I've used it several times..) each side pays their own court costs, and if I were in your shoes I'd write a calm, polite, letter, keep copy, sent with **free** "proof of postage" from any post office stating the position (months notice, rent owing, damage, costs & damages - carpet, bedding, you've suffered..) and possibly making a counter-claim. You can only claim for losses suffered: So, if bedding was new, cost £200, she'd been there 1year & it was agreed the fair life of bedding was 4 years you could claim 3/4 of replacement cost, £150). Hopefully that will shut her up (you can always take small-claims action yourself, I think £45 to start claim).

I ALWAYS change locks after a tenant leaves a house & in these circumstances I'd definitely change the locks, you never know who else she gave a key to.

(No offence but..)maybe next time use a written agreement (? Google lodger agreement scotland??) as with verbal agreements proving what was agreed is "challenging".

If she keeps demanding ££££ re-post here or lake legal advice. The Scottish Association of Landlords
www.scottishlandlords.com
has a pointer a TC Young - solicitors, but I've never used them. In my experience most high-street solicitors whilst admirable chaps (never slag off a lawyer in print...) are surprisingly often not experts in Landord/Tenant law...

Anyway, sorry about your experience (most landlords have some "interesting" experiences, I've had a few,..), welcome to LandlordZone, hope it works out, best of luck & your next lodger is better. We'll nae discuss fitba...