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Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.
Do you still need assistance with this? If yes, can you tell me if this is a property you live in yourself where you have rented out spare rooms, or a property you rented and then re-let as a whole to someone else?
Please bear in mind this is an email service and not a live chat so responses may not be instantaneous. I am not available for calls, but in all cases it is very likely you can be helped online.
Does the person you rented a room to have shared use of the bathroom, kitchen and other facilities?
Was the intention for her to be a lodger or a subtenant - i.e. is she a joint tenant along with you and your partner?
There is a difference between a subtenant and a lodger, which is what I am trying to establish here - it sounds to me as though she is a lodger, in which case she is an excluded occupier and as such you do not have to protect her deposit as she is sharing the property with her landlord (i.e. you).
If she is a subtenant, then you should protect her deposit. (With the qualification that the subtenant agreement is an AST).
There are only three government schemes - one of them would have taken it.
You can either secure it now - and provide the subtenant with the relevant information and risk that she might decide to try and sue you for non-protection (if she did I'd suggest you defend on the basis that she's a lodger), or you can repay it to her and then ask her to pay it again and then protect it within 30 days of receipt. Of not hold a deposit at all if you are comfortable with that.
If she has an AST she's a subtenant.
The schemes are here: https://www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords
You told me she was a subtenant - if you have given her an AST, then she's a subtenant.
My view is she is a lodger.
But the question is what would a judge decide she was if she claimed that her deposit should be protected and was not. Why take the risk?
You can't use a commercial lease for residential property.
In my view, as I have said, she's a lodger.
Kindly take a moment to rate positively - thank you.