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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor
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Our live-in landlord has given us an AST tenancy agreement

Resolved Question:

Our live-in landlord has given us an AST tenancy agreement for renting a room in his 2 bedroom flat. He also stated that the deposit paid would go into a safe deposit scheme.
Are we entitled to proof that it is in such a scheme? What is the legal validity of this AST as i have read elsewhere that it would be null and void as we would be classed as lodgers?
Would it be legal/within our rights to suggest that the deposit be used as the last month's rent, as no proof was given that the monies as safe other than his word which i believe to be questionable? Would we also be subject to a 2 month notice as stated in the AST, Or is only 1 month required? Rent is Paid monthly by bank transfer.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

You are a lodger, you cant have an AST. He is a live in Landlord.

You are a lodger. This means that you have a lodgers contract. So you are only required to have notice as per the tenancy agreement.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
nothing stated in the AST would be considered valid.
Sorry for not taking you up on the offer to call. signal at work is really bad and cannot make/take private calls.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Yes thats ok. No its not an AST, you have a lodger agreement

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the AST agreement would be seen/accepted as a lodgers agreement?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He also refers to it as an AST, stating that he used to be an estate agent.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Its not an AST. Its a lodgers agreement. it cant be an AST - he lives in.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No. Is anything written/typed on that paper with the heading of Tenancy Agreement legally binding.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Yes. Save for the requirements that give you protection under the Housing Act.

What you have is a lodger contract

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok. thank you.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
With regards ***** ***** deposit paid. Can you give me some advice on that front based on the initial questions in my original post?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

By law because you are a lodger it does not have to be protected.

Unless the agreement says otherwise you can use it to set off against the last month.

But if the Landlord does not provide the deposit back you can issue proceedings.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Jamie-Law and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Morning Jamie.
I have a follow up question regarding our Landlord and our rights.
Under which conditions may the landlord enter our room which we rent, if no services or repairs are supplied or required. Would he be allowed to snoop and use/take, eg. cordial, from the room, use it and return it? He has also on a previous occasion opened the door without knocking while my wife was home in the room.
Would a recording of events in the room be admissible? Or are there conditions?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

No, he can't snoop either. He cant record events in your room.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The recordings are made by me of the room while we are not home. Spycam.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Report it to the Police.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I will send you the documents; AST and a written document. Could you tell me which parts are valid with regard to being lodgers and using it as a Licence agreement
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Unfortunately the AST file will not upload. I think the file size may be too large. I'll rescan it and upload again.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Its a 1 page document. Its a lodgers agreement, you are renting a room. That is it.

My advice has not changed.
I can look at the AST but it will be an additional service as I need to review and consider the document.

In short the law is this - you are renting a room, you are a lodger. It can NOT, I repeat, can NOT be an AST

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry Jamie. This is the document in question. The written agreement was an arrangement before we moved in and was given this document. Please also note that this document is not signed by us.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

This is a long document. As it is 18 pages this will be an additional service.

I can consider this for you but it is extra.

Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Which bit of the AST are you concerned about?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is any or all of it valid and or binding? Or is the hand-written note/document more binding?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Its not binding, as it can NOT be an AST. You have a live in Landlord.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok. Thanks. So how much notice would we have to give, based on the paperwork provided?
Also. If were to tell him that the AST agreement is not valid. How much notice would he need to give us?
With regards ***** ***** Can it be used to off set the last month rent?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

The deposit can't be used no, but you would be entitled to it back at the end of the term. He needs to months notice and you would need to give a month.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The reason i asked about the deposit is because we are leaving the country on the 24th dec. which is the last day of our arrangment, should we stay that long, and would have no recourse if he dod mot repay our deposit.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Ah ok. Well in that case don't pay the last bit of rent and then seek to have the deposit offset.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok. thanks.