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Nightmare lodger


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I am a live in landlord and have let out two rooms to lodgers.

I have no formal agreement and one of the lodgers is causing grief not only to myself but also to the other lodger.

Initially I said the let was for a minimum of six months and took the equivalent of one months deposit.

This is the beginning of the fourth month and again she is late with her rent, has been smoking in the house despite me stipulating it is a non smoking house and often has very late nights/all nighters. She also leaves quantites of stuff in the communal areas

If I wanted to remove how quickly can I do it and what's the process?

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Your have an interesting problem to which there is definitely a solution, but which may take a little time to implement. There is an excellent booklet on the subject which gives lots of detail on this type of letting and can be found at:


In a nutshell, provided:

a) you live in the property as your main residence and did so at the start of the letting

b ) your tenant has exclusive possession of at least part of the property e.g. a bedroom and

c) you share some living accommodation, such as kitchen, bathroom or lounge

then your lodger is what is called an "excluded" tenant. If any of these dont apply then do say, because it could change the situation significantly.

Unfortunately, you have created a fixed term tenancy of six months which, from what you have said, has just more than two months left to run. Your clearest option is to wait till the end of the six months and the tenancy will come to an end automatically. It would also be useful to send her a notice to quit during this period just to make it absolutely clear, as the original agreement wasnt in writing. The leaflet mentioned above gives more information on what to include in the notice, but in brief it should give her at least one months notice (if she pays rent monthly) and end on the last day of the six month period.

If you wanted to end the tenancy sooner than the six months you would need to be able to demonstrate, if ever she challenged you, that she had broken some term of the original agreement, like smoking in the flat. Technically, it doesnt matter that the agreement wasnt in writing, but of course this might make it more difficult for you to prove your case.

Unless your original agreement included something to the contrary (which it probably didnt because it wasnt in writing) you would need to give at least one months notice to quit, ending on the last day of the tenancy period (i.e. the last day of the rent month). If I understand it correctly, you are already into your fourth month, so the notice could actually come into effect at the end of the fifth month - one month sooner than the end of the six months.

Anyway, once your notice has expired, you technically dont need a court order to evict her; you could, for example, simply change the locks whilst she is out. You must never, however, threaten or use force to get her out. In practice, most landlords go for a possession order if the tenant refuses to move their belongings because of the hassle a lock change can sometimes create.

So, thats the legal postion. As always, a negotiated solution would probably be best for all parties if possible, but at least you know you have a solid backstop if necessary.

Good luck


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