How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Vineet S Your Own Question
Vineet S
Vineet S,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3082
Experience:  Freelance Solicitor at Self Employed
60556257
Type Your Law Question Here...
Vineet S is online now

Property law UK Devon, UK Devon, I'll explain when Im

Customer Question

Property law UK Devon
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK Devon
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: I'll explain when Im connected
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, I am a solicitor in England and Wales and I will be dealing with your case today.

Kindly note, I am not available for phone calls at the moment, however I can easily assist you via this online chat.

I will go through your question and will get back to you with my answer shortly.

Meanwhile, please ignore any phone call request pop-up, they get generated automatically without any input from the expert, so I have no control over these requests.

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Hi there,

What is your specific question, please?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I have a tenant in my 3 bed property who I am currently in the process fo evicting. There were 2 living there, and we agreed initially they would move out after 3 months. One did, but this tenant decided at that point to make me do it officially, so I am. As there were two rooms empty, I put the rooms on Airbnb to cover my mortgage and the bills. The tenant has stopped paying her rent (and also the electricity bill that should be shared between us now) because she says she has to use the money to eat out as she doesn't want to eat at home anymore with strangers staying there. She has hinted/threatened that when she doesnt move out and it goes to court, she will be seeking or me to pay her back for all the meals out and other costs to keep her physically well, like her therapist (even though she's always had a therapist since before this situation). My Qs are: 1) Can she do this, does she have a case? My view is that the house has always been a shared house situation, that is what she signed up to and she can't expect me to leave the rooms empty so that I can't afford to pay the bills/mortgage. 2) She is on housing benefit. Is she allowed to use the money like this, to pay for meals out etc?
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

I will go through your question and will get back to you with my answer shortly.

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Could you please confirm if it is a joint tenancy agreement that she has signed ?

If the tenancy is a fixed term or rolling periodic monthly one?

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

So, there was one single joint tenancy agreement for the whole property which she signed with other tenants?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Rather foolishly I didn't get her to sign a tenancy agreement, just a lodgers one as I didn't update any of my admin from when I no longer was living there officially. I think it converts to an assured tenancy agreement by default.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
But I'm sure you'll know better than me if that's the case.
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

If there is a Lodger agreement that she has signed?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I have a lodger agreement
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Lodgers are excluded occupants, and do not have a number of rights which a tenant enjoys like deposit protection, exclusive access to the property, right to quiet enjoyment and protection from illegal eviction (including an extended eviction procedure that requires a court decision).

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Each tenant was individual
Ive had legal advice previously that said I am allowed to rent the rooms out as I have been and that I don't need to inform her, although I explained I would be renting the rooms like this
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
She's not a lodger though
Even though she signed the agreement, as I dont live there she becomes a tenant who rents a room by default
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Im concerned you dont understand the situation correctly, although I have explained it
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
My question is specifically about her claims regarding rent/me covering her "expenses"
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

If the occupant is not sharing the house and any of its facilities with the Landlord , then the occupant is a tenant and not a Lodger.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I know this already
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
But she only rents one room, not the whole house
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

She can not claim her expenses such as for eating out from the Landlord.

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

She is trying to push her luck too far here.

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

As she has been used to staying there with other tenants, it does not matter if the tenant is planted by her or they are your AirBnb guests.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I agree, she is a very difficult and tricky person who has bullied other tenants there, and has seems to take pleasure from making me suffer financially (she fired my cleaner, told the other tenants I had fired her, and told the cleaner to carry on invoicing me so Id still have to pay)
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

So, there is no agreement in place with her?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Ok great - I agree. This is also my view and what I have explained multiple times. It is a shared house, always has been. if she wants a place to herself she has the freedom to move to one. I wanted to just check.
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Ok a Lodger one .

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
please kindly review the second half of the Q
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
No agreement (apart from lodger one which is defunct)
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Send her a notice to evict the property in 4 months in line with current COVID 19 guidelines.

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

You can directly get in touch with the council for her rent payments ,and notifying that housing benefits are used for dining out .

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Tell her if she want to keep the whole property to herself then she would be liable for the rent for the whole property.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I already have, as explained in my covering message
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Re eviction notice
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Ok I will contact the council
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Im just nervous as my insurance doesn't cover me for malicious damage, and she's pretty unhinged and vindictive (my experience and the previous tenants feedback to me seperately of this)
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I worry that she might do something crazy, like set fire to my house/flood it etc
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
If she finds out I have told the council
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

You need to make a dilapidation claim for that , however, if the tenant has no financial means and on benefits, then it would be of not much use.though.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
RE: Tell her if she want to keep the whole property to herself then she would be liable for the rent for the whole property. > She has been quote rude to guests and taken over shared spaces, so that one guest left. If she does this sort of stuff, so that I cannot earn money on the rooms, do I have some sort of claim? Not that I will, but Id like her to know that she cant do this
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Yes, she can not keep the whole property for herself. notiffy her that if she wants the exclusive possession of the whole house , then she would have to pay the rent for the whole property.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
if she sets fire to my house maliciously, I'm pretty much screwed?
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

You can claim damages from the tenant , however, if the tenant has no finances , then it would be a futile exercise.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Would I owe the mortgage company?
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

You have building Insurance in place?

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

If the tenant intentionally does this, then it would be a criminal matter.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
but they wont cover malicious damage due to the Airbnb guests (but it's not them Im worried about)
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

* burn the house I mean.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
agreed, im just interested in what happens with the mortgage/house as crime doesn't pay, literally!
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

If the tenant intentionally burn the house, it would be a criminal matter. Mortgage provider can chase you for claiming their loss

Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

If you do not have the relevant insurance cover for such an eventuality.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Ok, thanks for your help
Expert:  Vineet S replied 15 days ago.

Thank you for using Just Answers. Best wishes.