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eningen
14-12-2011, 13:20 PM
Hi!

If someone could help me out with my problem I'd be very grateful. The story is a bit messed up.

In the flat I am living there are 4 people. Let's say their names are Me, Friend1, Friend2 and NotFriend. (and Friend3 who is just a friend, not living in the house)

Me & Friend1: We are official tenants and rent the house from a landlord (through an agency), in our tenancy agreement we have that we cannot sublet the house
Friend2: She moved in as a friend and we really like her. We had a verbal agreement that she pays every month to Me an amount of money we agreed on

NotFriend: She was suggested by Friend3, we had a verbal agreement that she pays an amount of money every month. We said if we are not happy with her we can give her one month notice to move out. Me, Friend1 and Friend2 were there when we had this agreement. We started to feel bad about her (the reasons are not important) so we wanted to tell her to move out, but she doesn't want.

What can I do in this situation? Is there any hope and does it worth me going for a lawyer? We have no official agreement, no paper, nothing about her living there.

Thanks very much in advance.

mind the gap
14-12-2011, 13:38 PM
You and Friend1 are effectively the resident landlords of Friend 2 and NotFriend (they are your lodgers) and you can give either or both of them notice to leave with very little formality. If NotFriend does not move out when asked (e.g. when the one month's notice is up), you can wait until she/he goes out, e.g. shopping, change the locks and not let them back in. You cannot however throw their stuff away - you must let them come back and collect it (although you don't have to let them back inside).

eningen
14-12-2011, 13:54 PM
Oh, thanks for your reply. It's like the biggest relief of my life. Oh. Thanks again.

Could you please suggest me some good sites or other sources where I could get familiar with the terminology and laws, etc? Thanks in advance.

Mrs Mug
14-12-2011, 14:40 PM
Could you please suggest me some good sites or other sources where I could get familiar with the terminology and laws, etc?

The link below is a good source of advice about lodgers.

http://www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk/

mind the gap
14-12-2011, 16:11 PM
You're welcome.

Just to add - if you do end up changing the locks, make sure you tell your landlord you've done so, supply him (or his managing agent, if he uses one) with copies of the keys and offer to change the locks back at the end of your tenancy.

Snorkerz
14-12-2011, 21:11 PM
I agree with the other posters - these peeps are your lodgers.

I have written this suggested process for evicting lodgers:

Evicting A Lodger


Rights


If you are living in the same property as, and share facilities with your
occupant, then they are a lodger or excluded occupier - not a tenant. Lodgers
are protected by the 'Protection from Eviction Act 1977'. The notice that has
to be given is 'reasonable notice'. This is usually taken to be the same as the
rental period, although it can be less in cases of severe breach.

If you have a contract/agreement with your lodger then it may give them
more security that the Protection from Eviction Act. If this is the case, they
your breach of the contract could result in a civil claim from the lodger.

Process

It is best to serve notice in writing, and to have some kind of proof of
service. It is impractical to use the postal service to your own address so
personal service with a witness is preferable. Having a guest or friend present
at the time of service will also reduce the possiblity of friction or adverse
behaviour from the lodger.

If your lodger refuses to leave then you can not physically eject them, but
you can refuse them entry back into the property. This may involve changing the
locks. Once the notice expires, the lodger is trespassing in your home, you may
be able to get help from the Police. If you think there may be a threat of
violence then it would be wise to involve the police - they will usually try to
attend if there is the potential for a breach of the peace.

If you do this, although the lodger has no right to re-enter the property,
he does have a right to his possessions. It would be best to arrange an agreed
time/date for these items to be collected and to have them available for
hand-over at the front door, or alternatively for the items to be collected from
a secure storeage place. If it is more convenient for you to allow the
lodger access to your property to collect his goods then you would be advised to
only do this with a police presence.

eningen
14-12-2011, 23:11 PM
Thanks again for all the answers. I still got some more questions :)

If this lodger damages the house, what can I do about it? She used to eat our food so I am mildly concerned, but I hope she is not that crazy.

What I am doing is considered to be subletting? Do I have to pay taxes after the money I am collecting from the lodgers?

My tenancy agreement says:


You must not contravene these requirements:
Subletting/Sharing Occupancy
Not to sublet, mortgage or charge the benefit of this Agreement or part with or share posession or occupation of the Property or any part of it or receive paying guests.


Does this only mean that the agency can end the contract because I contravene what's written in it? Is there anything else I should be concerned about?

Snorkerz
15-12-2011, 09:25 AM
1) If you have proof of any damage or loss then you could sue - that's what the courts are for.

2) Legally it's not subletting - but your landlord probably considers it to be so. However your agreement bans sharing, which you are doing.

3) Yes tax is payable - though HMRC have a 'rent a room' scheme that means people with one lodger often have no tax to pay - don't know about your situation.

4) Technically the landlord could seek possession through the courts under section 8 of the 1988 Housing Act (ground 12) if your agreement says he can use ground 12. However it is very unlikely a court would evict you for this. Of course, if you are out of contract, you can be evicted easily. You can not be forced to vacate the property without a court order, and such an eviction would have to be against all of you.

eningen
15-12-2011, 09:46 AM
Well regarding her leaving, she will need a reference from me anyway so she had better not to do any nasty stuff while still being around.

I have written the letter and will create general one and upload it here maybe it is useful for someone.

Thanks again for everyone for being so helpful!

eningen
15-12-2011, 14:39 PM
1) If you have proof of any damage or loss then you could sue - that's what the courts are for.

Ok, so this is the only thing I can do. And of course not giving reference.



2) Legally it's not subletting - but your landlord probably considers it to be so. However your agreement bans sharing, which you are doing.

So technically I am breaking my contract.



3) Yes tax is payable - though HMRC have a 'rent a room' scheme that means people with one lodger often have no tax to pay - don't know about your situation.

Okay this is one of the things I have to find out before the end of the tax year. Thanks!



4) Technically the landlord could seek possession through the courts under section 8 of the 1988 Housing Act (ground 12) if your agreement says he can use ground 12. However it is very unlikely a court would evict you for this. Of course, if you are out of contract, you can be evicted easily. You can not be forced to vacate the property without a court order, and such an eviction would have to be against all of you.

So because of question 2 that I am "out of contract" this means the landlord could sue me and get back his home. However this is very unlikely if we keep a healthy relationship (paying the rents in time etc). When I got the house the agent said the would like everyone who was going to live there to be an official tenant.

Again, huge help and thanks very much.

mind the gap
15-12-2011, 14:47 PM
Yes - if you are good tenants (paying your rent on time and treating the property and your neighbours with consideration), your LL is hardly likely to chuck you out for having one extra person living there (assuming you do not contravene overcrowding guidelines).If there are three bedrooms, there should be no problem in asking him to include the third person as an official T when you come to renew the contract, if that's what everyone wants.

LLs tend not to like subletting because it's open to abuse and they can end up with silly numbers of people in a property inflicting excessive wear and tear on it and annoying the neighbours with extra vehicles, people coming and going all the time.

Snorkerz
15-12-2011, 15:10 PM
Yes - if you are good tenants (paying your rent on time and treating the property and your neighbours with consideration), your LL is hardly likely to chuck you out for having one extra person living there (assuming you do not contravene overcrowding guidelines).If there are three bedrooms, there should be no problem in asking him to include the third person as an official T when you come to renew the contract, if that's what everyone wants.

LLs tend not to like subletting because it's open to abuse and they can end up with silly numbers of people in a property inflicting excessive wear and tear on it and annoying the neighbours with extra vehicles, people coming and going all the time.

If you DO negotiate with the landlord for a new tenancy with the extra person as a real tenant then make sure you and the landlord realise that this is exactly that - a new tenancy. The contract is between "The Tenant" and "The Landlord". Currently "The Tenant" is You & Friend1. If tenant becomes you, Friend1, & Friend2 that is a separate legal being. Its just blooming confusing that "The Tenant" is comprised of 3 "tenants".

A new tenancy means an inventory and returning the deposit for the inital tenancy to you & F1, and then taking a new deposit from you, F1 & F2, presumably based on the same inventory.

eningen
20-12-2011, 13:58 PM
The thing is that we have financial interest keeping only ourselves as tenants in the house. We as tenants have more responsibilities and therefore we would like to pay less. Our lodgers pay a fixed fee for their staying which is generally a bit more expensive, but in return they can leave the house with one month notice, don't have to worry about paperwork, bills, 1 year commitment, broken equipments, furniture, common stuff like glasses and such, and so on. We take care of it all with Friend1. I think it is a fair business.

So as long as we don't piss off the LL I think we can live with these conditions.

PS: The girl seems to be willing to move out on her own finally so we might not need to force her out, but who knows ...

EDIT: Here is the letter I wrote to notify my lodger about the move out. Maybe it is useful for someone.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26655090/evicting2_sample.pdf