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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Dispute w tenant over notice in HMO

Resolved Question:

I am landlord to a multi-let property in London.

Please direct me to the statutory legislation that

either

a) confirms whether or not I am in the right or wrong;

or

b) infers that there is no law forbidding my actions.

My generic question, applicable to every HMO scenario, is based on these parameters:

  • Multi-let contractual situation of salaried adult sharers in a privately owned fully-equipped house.
  • The landlord is not resident in the property;
  • Each tenant has a verbal agreement (implying they have a "room-only AST" by default ) between the landlord and themselves for the rental of their designated room and allowing them with full free use of the shared areas.
  • They observe code of conduct dictated by the landlord in the House Rules [which you can see are generic and do not impact on the matter in hand]:

A - Pay your rent on time

B - 1 months notice by email if you want to move out. As

landlord, I can give you 2 month's notice to move out.

C - Keep the house secure;

D - Keep the house clean and tidy and clean up after use within 3 hours;

E - Show respect to others at all times;

F - Guests may stay free of charge for 2 weeks within

reason.

Given these conditions:

a) does the rented room in each verbal agreement constitute the designated zone governed by each tenant's right for 24 hour notice for access (emergencies excepted)?

OR

b) does the whole house including shared areas such as kitchen/lounge, garden, etc. constitute that designated zone requiring 24 hour notice for access?

Knowing whether the answer above is (a) or (b) will determine whether my unannounced visits to the property where I let myself into the shared areas, collect or deliver something and then leave in a matter of minutes, is an act in breach of statutory law.

Can you assist me with this?

Thank you

Lovett Whitelaw

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Assuming that you are correct in that each tenant has an individual AST for their own room only (this will certainly be right if you pay the council tax rather than the tenants) then their ability to use the communal areas is simply an ancillary right or licence, and the communal parts do not form part of any tenancy. Accordingly, you do have every right to enter the communal parts without notice, because none of the tenants have the exclusive occupation of the communal parts. I am afraid that there is no specific statutory provision to this effect, as it is simply your right to enter your property when there is no tenancy or lease of it. Hope this helps? WB
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I am the Council Tax payer.

So thank you. This is exactly what I need to know.

Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.
Excellent - you being the council taxpayer proves your point. Good luck, but please don't forget to leave a rating or JA won't pay me for helping you. Many thanks, WB
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