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UK-Justice
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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Hi, I am writing to ask about housing laws and regulations

Customer Question

Hi, I am writing to ask about housing laws and regulations in relation to lodgers.
My situation: I moved out of my parents house 6 months ago to a "friends" house. The friends parents own the whole property, but my friend and I lived in a small section that was connected by a door, which only locked on their side. When moving in there was a verbal agreement to give a months notice and a deposit of £180 paid upfront, but unfortunately the condition the friend was keeping the house in was extremely poor and between my landlady and her son I was being made to feel very unwelcome. After living there 4 months I requested something in writing to enable me to feel secure about my living situation but they decided against putting anything on paper. During the period of living there I also met the previous tenant who proved to me that they had never received their deposit back, even though the room was left in perfect condition.
I decided to move out on the 22nd of Feb, back to my parents, and therefore handed in my notice. At this point the landlady did point out that she would expect £260 off me to cover until the 22nd of March, to match the 4 week notice as verbally agreed.
I have actually moved out already, on the 27th of Feb, as I couldn't stand being there anymore and now it has come to the point of paying the £260.
I don't know what my rights are as a "lodger" and it was pointed out on several occasions that I was a "guest in their house". This money may not seem much to some people but unfortunately it is a lot to me, even more so now that I am living with my parents and having to contribute there also this month.
I want to do the moral thing and stick to the agreement but I have started to resent them due to how they have both made me feel. I thought I would find out my rights and therefore my options.

And also I am now lead to believe they never registered me as someone under their roof and would not be declaring the income from myself to the tax man.
All payments I have made have been done by bank transfer to maintain a receipt in the form of my statements.

What are my legal options/obligations in this situation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question, I will do whatever I can to help you. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE.

Your rights in relation to your deposit?

Was it ever discussed about notice?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, thanks will do.


 


I was told the deposit will be returned to me when the room has been checked at the end on the notice.


It wasn't ever really discussed, I was informed that it was 1 month notice. There doesn't seem to be any flexibility and now I have received a text message with, what I can only describe as a veiled threat within.


 

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
But was 1 month termination ever discussed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. It was said very matter of fact so I left took it as no flexibility.


I may not be understanding precisely what you mean...are you referring to after moving out or when originally moving in?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Perhaps in case I am misunderstanding - you want to know about your rights in relation to what - notice, or deposit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

To both.


 


Do I have to stand by the verbal agreement and therefore pay her the £260?


I have spoken to colleagues about it who have had friends of family go through similar but didn't want to just take their word on the situation. They have said that as a lodger I have little to no rights and in turn she has no rights to me, or my money. I have left the property in perfect condition and a month before required, enabling her to show others round if she so wishes.


What I have been advised to do is to refuse to pay the £260 and also demand the £180 deposit back, as she shouldn't have requested it in the first place if I am a guest.


 


I personally don't want to go as extreme as that, I would be happy for her to keep my deposit and call it quits. This would be leaving her £80 short of her expected income.


If this isn't agreed with I would offer to pay the difference between the deposit and the charge so that I know I will be getting my deposit back.


 


All in all, I can't afford to pay her the £260 and run the risk of not getting my deposit back.


 


Hopefully this helps

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Was it agreed before you moved in you would give notice at all or 1 month?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

In that case you are liable for 1 month.

This is because a contract is a contract. They can be in writing or oral. If you agreed and were aware of 1 month termination then you are bound by it.

But your deposit should be returned.

However you could use set off, that is they could deduct the deposit against remaining rent.

That is how you are liable.

Does this help?




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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is this even so when she hasn't declared the income to the inland revenue?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thats to do with the Landlord and HMRC. Nothing to do with you..................




Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?

UK-Justice

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