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Fiko

Proof you are a live in landlord

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Hi i have what i thought were 2 lodgers a couple from greece. We always agreed they eould vacate room end of january they will have lived in flat for total of 3 months. They aren now claiming they are tenants as i was on holiday when they moved in ! I have a serious leak in their en suite which i have to fix . I have offered them an alternative room rent free as long as they leave as agreed on 1 feb. They are now refusing to cooperate saying as they have ast they can live in room for 3 more months. I am selling flat and have a buyer which they were aware of when they moved in ! Help how can i get them at least into the alternative bedroom and then out ASAP 

Am i screwed? 

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Lodgers have little in the way of rights, these rights increase if given by contract. Have you given an AST or are they saying one is in place by the nature of the habitation?

If these people share your kitchen and bathroom they are most likely lodgers, if they have self contained style living arrangements then they are tenants, with an effective AST.

Proving you are a live in landlord is easy, you would have bills to demonstrate energy costs. The council tax will be all yours, but maybe some caution as it may be that you are just guilty of not declaring their accomodation for separate council tax. 

More information on the set up is required here.

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They are saying as i waa on holiday when keys were given to them i was effectively live out landlord when they loved in so therefore they had a verbal AST when  they moved in as one of my other tenants gave them keyd

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Whoa!  Fiko you seem confused between a lodger and a tenant.

1.  Do you live in the property concerned?  If you do then they are lodgers and are there on a lodger agreement - no or little notice needed - change locks and put their stuff outside.

2. If you don't then they are tenants have a minimum term of 6 months verbal or written contract.  They are on an AST so you will need a S21 or S8 notice to start proceedings against them.

Which is it?

 

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The property is my main residence and i  am living there now but i was on holiday when they moved in 

This is the dilema they say as i wasnt there its an AST snd wont leave . My kind of step daughter was living in fllat and was shsring kitchen witj them and gave them keys to move in . Shes gone travelling now so is not there .

I only rented the room short term . It waa always a short let . The issue is can louise be the person who let the room ? Making thek lodgers? 

Also i have to do emergency repair s to their em suite tomorrow. I have ordered them rent free alternative ensuite room next doot over 5 days ago they havent replied. 

Its just mad they only moved in for 2 months 

I am having to live with them in my home horrible

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So if you have proof it is your main home such at council tax document , bank statements and bills in your name then this is your proof it is your main residence.

The 'sort of step daughter' is irrelevant to the matter and the fact you went travelling.   Are you the sole owner of the property?  If so you can give any lodger notice to leave.

 If you want them out don't offer them any free accommodation - that will just prolong things unnecessarily.

Go in, pack up their stuff and put it in a safe place... Change the locks.  Text them and tell them where their stuff is so they can collect it.

 

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Let us know how you get on and my recommend is don't be so casual in letting without a written Lodger Agreement next time.  You can download one free from the Shelter website and other places.

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1. Proof that this property is your main home residence with Council tax and Utility Bills and you are living there in your home full time. If this is not the case then yes, you are stuffed.

If it is then these two people are short term lodgers and not renting your 2nd property on an AST and therefore have no protection rights whatsoever.

Remove their items, change the locks and get them out. They have no recourse of any legal action against you.

As Mortitia has said next time do not be so casual in how you proceed to rent your rooms or property out to total strangers.

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Regardless of the legalities of their status they are of the view they are tenants with the protection of the housing Act. They may well be lodgers but if you treat them as such you could very likely end up in court and even if you win it will cost you time and money.  

So ideally you need to throw weight to your argument that they are lodgers so a letter from a housing solicitor confirming the status may change their mind. You could also get one from a friendly letting agent as well. This may be enough to change their point of view or at least not pursue the point if you chuck them out . 

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2 hours ago, Grampa said:

Regardless of the legalities of their status they are of the view they are tenants with the protection of the housing Act. They may well be lodgers but if you treat them as such you could very likely end up in court and even if you win it will cost you time and money.  

So ideally you need to throw weight to your argument that they are lodgers so a letter from a housing solicitor confirming the status may change their mind. You could also get one from a friendly letting agent as well. This may be enough to change their point of view or at least not pursue the point if you chuck them out . 

If what OP writes is correct sounds like these to EU citizens are somewhat confused (probably because it suits them) having gotten some information elsewhere.

Housing solicitor........are there any?  

Letter from a letting agent!  9/10 are clueless as to the legalities of anything let alone definition of lodger V tenant -  a personal opinion based on the agent types I meet daily in my area.

 

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We still don't have a clear picture.

There is no written agreement, if they are lodgers then that is good as they have not been granted additional rights.

The room in which they have been granted access to, is there any way this could be viewed as self contained? Do you now share the bathroom and kitchen with them? 

If they are unable to lock their room and must leave it to share the kitchen and bathroom 'with you' then they are lodgers.

Grampa is correct in that you may end up defending a situation even if they are wrong. Shelter could very well assist them with this. Prevention might be better than a stressful cure.

But tbh if I was sure of my situation, in that they are lodgers in my home, I would change the locks while they are out. Any disturbance and I would call the police if they didn't. The police are often confused by such things but I would stand my ground and 'deny them any entry', as once in you can't evict. You are only permitted, by law, to prevent re entry.

You are not lawfully allowed to deny them their belongings, but you have a duty of care of them. Do not allow them in to collect. Request they make a list of their stuff and arrange a time for them to collect 'from outside', or elsewhere. Photo or video their stuff inside, and try to demonstrate considerate handling of it.

If the police are willing to oversee you might well give them all or what they can take. But it's best you have an assistant that would prevent them entering the property.

 

Be sure they are not of tenant status. Big fines and a prison sentence is the risk you run.

The law is an ass, but we became a dumb ass if we go the wrong side of it.

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I am a big fan of trying to head off a potential problem before it begins, so if you do have some documentation/letters not only does that mitigate any potential penalty (if you were found at fault in a court case) you will also have something to show to police or the council if they turn up or get involved.  

In my experience there is a higher risk of foreign national tenants trying to get litigious over tenancy issues than UK tenants.

But hey ho we all have our own levels of risk we are prepared to take.

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Thanks for advice. I dont really want to kick anyone out on street but tje fact they wont communicate wont give me access to make essential repairs nor acknowledge my offer of an alternative equally as nice bedroom until they have found somewhere is just crazy. Seems stupid that i have to change locks which not my style i would prefer to resolve this another way . Can i force them to move into the alternative room in order to at least fix the leak in en suite ? And fit carpet .. i really dont want to change locks but seems like its my only option 

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If I had excluded occupiers in my house I would want them out.  Sorry I just don't get your reasoning Fiko if what you have told us is correct. Something tells me there is more to this case than we are being told.

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This is the problem the tenants/lodgers say they are not exclude d but have an AST as i was on holiday when they moved in ! 

I would like them out but dont want to illegally evict them if they are right 

 

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