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John, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2130
Experience:  10 years legal experience
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We have had a house-sitter for 7 months who does not pay

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We have had a house-sitter for 7 months who does not pay rent, but does pay a monthly charge that recovers the utility bills (excluding council tax) over the time she's been here. We are in dispute with an insurance company about flood damage and we suspect they may claim we have been 'renting out' the property without telling them about it. I'd like to understand whether legally having a house sitter on these terms counts as 'renting out'. In common parlance, clearly it does not, but of course legally the situation may be different.

Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Please note there may be delays in responding as I am away helping other customers but I will get back to you as soon as I can.  I may also need to ask you some clarifying questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks John, sure, that's fine.

Thanks for your message, I appreciate it is important to you.

As a house sitter, she would be classed as an excluded occupier. This is different to a tenant whom you are renting to. If she does not pay rent, you cannot be said to be renting.

I hope this helps. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It certainly does! Many thanks John.

I am glad I was able to help. Have a great day.

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