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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I have wrongly issued a shorthold tenancy agreement to

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have wrongly issued a shorthold tenancy agreement to a lodger/excluded occupier who is living in shared facilities with my parents the landlord. I issued her notice of non-renewal on the 4th month informing her that I will not be renewing her contract as we are looking to sell the property. Since then (1st February) she has failed to make rent payments and is now 2 months overdue. In the eyes of the law she is an excluded occupier so does this make her agreement invalid? I would like to proceed with changing locks to the property and evicting her peaceably If I can do so.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Does she just rent a room please?

Customer: Hi yes just a room
Alex Watts :

They can never have an AST because it is a lodgers agreement.

Alex Watts :

Therefore a Court order is not required.

Alex Watts :

If you have given notice (28 days) and the lodger has failed to rectify then you can change the locks.

Alex Watts :

But you must give 1 months notice before you do this and specify that is what you must do.

Alex Watts :

As I understand you gave a notice for non renewal but you have not given notice to say they are behind and you will change the locks?

Alex Watts :

If you have done this and it has been more than 1 month then you can change the locks.

Alex Watts :

If you have not given notice that they are in arrears and you will change the locks, then you can't and need to do that.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: Hi Alex I gave notice of non-renewal correct. If I issue her a notice today for non-payment and give 'reasonable' notice to vacate can I proceed with Changing locks? Will her ast stand in court?
Alex Watts :

Yes you can.

Alex Watts :

Her AST wont stand because she doesn't have one.

Alex Watts :

But if you want to avoid ANY issue in the future you should seek a Court Order for possession.

Customer: But I wrongly issued her an Ast and it was signed by both of us.
Alex Watts :

Yes I know that. But it can't be an AST with a live in landlord.

Alex Watts :

Therefore it can only ever be a lodger agreement.

Alex Watts :

But if you want to avoid any risk issue a court proceedings for possession rather than just change the locks

Customer: Can u do that without serving section 8 or 21?
Alex Watts :

Yes because its not an AST

Alex Watts :

You just serve a notice to quit

Alex Watts :

That is all

Customer: Ok thank you.
Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer: In terms of claiming back the rent arrears, should I file a small claims
Alex Watts :

If you are claiming for possession you can do this at the same time.

Customer: If I go with changing locks I can use small claims.. I will just need to be able to trace her.
Alex Watts :

Yes thats the problem of course if you have no forwarding address

Customer: Thank you very much for the response. I will recommend this service.
Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


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Customer: Will do. Many thanks Alex
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