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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Morning, I had a tenant live with me in my home, I am a live

Customer Question

I had a tenant live with me in my home, I am a live in landlady. The lodger recently vacated the property with only giving me 2 days notice, despite having it in writing from her (via email ad text) that she would pay the months rent / notice.
I have since informed her that I will be taking the rent out of her deposit, the lodger has disputed this and I received a letter from a solicitor y-day advising me if I don't pay for the full deposit in 7 days they are taking me to small claims court.
The issue I have here is that I didn't put the deposit in a protection scheme and by law under the "assured short hold tenancy agreement" that I had in place, I needed to do this and she can apparently sue me up to 3 times the rent.
However, I have since learnt that I had the wrong contract in place as a short hold tenancy agreement is for when the landlady/lord doesn't live in the property & the correct contract I should have had in place was a lodger agreement & with a lodger agreement the deposit does not need to be put into a protection scheme and to add t this, the contract was a 6 month contract & expired 3 months ago. My question is, was my tenancy agreement valid and can I take out the months rent from the deposit?
Any advise would really be welcome
Many thanks
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you

In fact the solicitors are wrong.

Yours was not an "assured short hold tenancy" since you shared a property with the tenant

Accordingly you did NOT have to protect the deposit and you can deduct the amount she owes you from it

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi,Sorry if I did not make myself clear here, I am aware that in my situation I should have had a lodger agreement in place, but at the time I had my lodger move in, I didn't know this & the agreement she signed was an assured short hold tenancy agreement. Where do I stand from a legal point on this, does this mean because my contract was the wrong contract that actually it is void?Many thanks
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare,Sorry to chase but I was wondering if you had a chance to review my last email?Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Whatever it said on the agreement it does not fulfil the requirements necessary to be a Short hold tenancy so it was just an oddly worded lodger agreement!

Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry that you feel that my service was poor

Your contract is void as an Assured Short hold but stands as a lodger agreement and yes you can take the months outstanding rent from her depaosit