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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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My husband and I have just moved out of our house into our

Resolved Question:

My husband and I have just moved out of our house into our barn next door which we have been renovating. We want to rent out two bedrooms in the old house to lodgers who will share kitchen, sitting room, bathroom, laundry. The barn is small, so we are keeping bedrooms in the house for our daughters who are currently at uni and travelling. We have also kept 3 rooms in the house for our own use, for storage, for a spare room for guests etc, although we do not sleep in there ourselves. The house also has a self contained attic studio bedroom with ensuite, which we have always rented out to a lodger. That room doesn't share living space, just access through the house. We have never put the lodgers' rent deposits in the DPS as it was never an assured short hold tenancy. But now that we are not actually living in the premises ourselves full time, does that change this - and must I put their deposits in the scheme? Many thanks, Louisa
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

Customer:

thanks. Well, what do you think?

tdlawyer :

If the person shares the property with you, and you have the right (as landlord) to put them in different rooms etc., then this will not be a tenancy and there is no need to protect the deposit.

tdlawyer :

However, it makes a lot of sense to protect the deposit, whilst telling your tenant that you do not believe there is any legal obligation to do so - i.e. you do it for their reassurance.

Customer:

So that still is ok if we now live next door, and not actually in the house - even if we keep rooms there, so have access?

Customer:

I wouldn't put them in a different room, that would go against the spirit of the agreement, I think

tdlawyer :

I think in reality, if you live next door, then this is likely to be a tenancy in which you must protect the deposit.

tdlawyer :

However, it might suit you to retain the argument that this isn't an AST for a later stage if issues arise, although my feeling from what you're saying, is that it is an AST and you do need to protect the deposits.

Customer:

We have always just had a lodgers agreement we have both signed, so in that case, does it mean it becomes an assured short hold tenancy? So a much more complicated contract?

tdlawyer :

It's not so much what your agreement says that determined whether this is caught by the law, but rather, what the arrangement really is "on the ground". You can't avoid the legislation by trying to get around it by labelling something which it is not. If they have their own room, and you do not live in the same building/structure, then I expect it will be considered an AST and you should have proper AST agreements.

Customer:

Hmm, ok, that is what I had feared. It just seems to make the whole thing much more complicated. Having straightforward lodgers was so simple

tdlawyer :

Yes, and the only way to retain that is to live with them.

Customer:

and if our daughters live with them - as the girls have rooms in the house? although they are not there all the time - in fact very little. And the fact that we have rooms in the house wouldn't be enough to say we share the space?

tdlawyer :

Your daughter is not the owner - that's the problem. She would really be another tenant in effect.

Customer:

ah, I see. But keeping rooms in the house ourselves, a spare room, etc?

tdlawyer :

Again, it comes down to what the facts on the ground are. If you're trying simply to avoid the legislation, then I fear you might fail if you don't have a sufficient degree of "live in". Keeping a room spare isn't going to work.

Customer:

OK, I think it's pretty clear then, thanks. Does it mean the house becomes a house of multiple occupation, then?

tdlawyer :

Yes, if you have several people in there.

Customer:

OK, more stuff to consider.

Customer:

Thanks for your advice - helpful, even though not what I wanted to hear.

Customer:

Louisa

tdlawyer :

:) Lots of regulations these days - just to keep landlords on their toes! :)

tdlawyer :

Thanks Louisa.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else you would like me to answer for you?

Customer:

Bit worried I am getting into something I don't know enough about. Can I do this with info over the internet, or would it be sensible to get further advice? If so, where/who would be the best kind of agency for my ongoing queries?

Customer:

other than you

tdlawyer :

You can read up on this on the internet, but to be honest, you might want to con sider getting a professional managing agent to look at it for you - they will have all the needed agreements etc. and can advise you moving forward. They usually take a percentage of the rent, but they can guide you for a period, then you can go it solo without them. Most larger estate agents offer this service.

Customer:

it's what you don't know that's concerning...

Customer:

I mean what I don't know

Customer:

don't like the idea of someone else deciding on the tenants, as it's been our home all these years. And I want the control. It's more the advice about regulations etc.

tdlawyer :

They don't have to decide on the tenants - they can put them forward to you, and you can still interview them if you wish.

tdlawyer :

But they can do this IF you wanted them to, but more important for you, they can advise on the regulations etc. moving forward and this is an area of constant change.

Customer:

hmm, still not sure about that - especially as we are on the doorstep. Perhaps I will just trawl through the internet & regs & helpful posts on landlord zone - lots of good info there.

tdlawyer :

Yes, there is lots of information there, and we can always answer questions on here whenever you need to ask them.

Customer:

ok, if it was just the regs bit, I don't want the rest of the management bit - god idea, I will contact a couple, and see what kind of arrangement they could offer. Good thinking

Customer:

OK, that is helpful - thank you. I'm done now. Appreciate your advice. First time I've used this - amazing to have such instant advice!

tdlawyer :

Glad you found it useful! Thanks for your time!

Customer:

thank you

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