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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My landlord is a limited company with many properties all located

Customer Question

My landlord is a limited company with many properties all located in a small village. I have a tenancy agreement which requires me to ask permission before taking a lodger. There is no definition of lodger. I and others have been given permission before. I asked for permission and in response to that the landlord, who had no lodger policy up to then, formulated a policy and I was told I would have to pay an amount equivalent to 30% of fair rent for my home because (a) my landlords don't want to encourage lodgers in our village because it encourages single people to continue occupying larger houses; and (b) they cite that this is reasonable due to additional wear and tear. When I started renting my home there were 4 of us living there. With my lodger there would be only 2. I have never had a rent reduction on the basis of reduced wear and tear so this seems unreasonable.

I would like to know who regulates landlords like mine so that I can get some guidance on how fair this is. My concerns in particular are:

1. This policy seems to have been formulated and applied retrospective to my request. Is this fair/allowable?
2. The use of a lodger policy to control the demographics of our village by making it unaffordable for people like me to remain in our homes seems inappropriate.
3. The amount of this rent surcharge at 30% seems disproportionate.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and 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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : What is the exact clause re lodgers please?
JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

Hello Alex. I am not at my home today - this was something of an impulse decision to contact you on a friend's suggestion. Would it be OK if I sent you a reply when back at home tomorrow. I could also send you a copy of the newly drafted policy on lodgers and the response that my landlord has sent to my queries - or is that too much?

Alex Watts : You can email it to [email protected] but it can take 24 hours to get forwarded on to me
JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

OK, will do. Thank you. In the meantime if you're able to answer the question as to who regulates landlords like mine I would be grateful.

Alex Watts : For taking in lodgers - this is not regulated.
JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

IS THERE

JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

Is there no regulation of landlords in general?

Alex Watts : It depends in what way,
Alex Watts : Condition of property etc is the council.
Alex Watts : Contract disputes would be the courts.
JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

Sorry, what do you mean by the council when you say 'condition of property etc is the council'? I am not a council or housing association tenant and can't think of any other council you might have meant.

Alex Watts : Ok. If there is an issue with the inside of a property, the council can serve notices upon the landlord to improve it.
Alex Watts : i underatand you are not a council tenant and you do not have to be.
JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

Hello Alex

Alex Watts :

Hello

JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

You asked for the exact wording in my tenancy agreement ref. lodgers. This is paragraph q of clause 8 and says :- The tenant agrees with the landlord as follows:- (q) Not to take in any lodger or paying guest without the prior written consent of the landlord.

Alex Watts :

Does it say such consent shall not be unreasonably refused?

JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

No

Alex Watts :

Are you in a fixed term of a tenancy please?

JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

No I am not in a fixed term tenancy. I have an Assured shorthold tenancy agreement under the housing act 1988

Alex Watts :

Ok - so you are on a periodic tenancy?

JACUSTOMER-ujqb08sd- :

Yes

Alex Watts :

Ok - any changes can't be retrospective

Alex Watts :

However the bad news is because you are on a periodic tenancy you have very little rights

Alex Watts :

The Landlord can introduce new changes and sadly you have very little negotiation rights

Alex Watts :

If you were on a fixed term you would be in a better position

Alex Watts :

And because it does not say any consent can not be unreasonably withheld then sadly this does not help

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?

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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