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Found 22 results

  1. Guide to taking in a Lodger What is a Lodger? A Lodger is a person who rents a room in your home without having exclusive rights to any part of the property. Usually there is a formal arrangement in place that sets out the rooms that the Lodger can use and those that they share with the rest of the household (e.g. the kitchen, living room and bathroom) for an agreed payment. Close family members such as a parent, step parent or parent-in-law, a son or daughter, step son or step daughter, a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, a brother or sister are not normally classified as Lodgers so you need to be fully aware of this. Do I need Permission to take in a Lodger? As a Private Home Owner --You may need to inform your Mortgage Provider. --You may need to inform your Insurance Provider. --You may need to inform the Local Council (Council Tax). --You may need to inform DWP if you Claim any Benefits. As a Council Housing / Housing Association / Housing Trust etc Tenant (Social Housing) --You may need to Request Permission from your Landlord to have a Lodger. --You may need to inform your Insurance Provider. --You may need to inform the Local Council (Council Tax). --You may need to inform DWP if you Claim any Benefits. We would recommend that you always get Permission in Writing from the Landlord. Do I need to provide a Furnished Room? To comply with the Governments Rent a Room scheme to earn a tax free income you must provide a Furnished Room. How much can I charge a Lodger for a Room? This will depend on the area where you live and what condition your property is in. Have a look on www.SpareRoom.co.uk at other rooms available in your area to get an idea what the going rate is likely to be. How do I Evict a Lodger? It is easier to evict a Lodger than a Tenant but you will still need to give ‘reasonable notice’ to the Lodger if you intend to evict. We would always recommend a written agreement between you and your Lodger(s) so the conditions are agreed upon in advance. Will I be Taxed on my Income and do I have to Declare it? Under the Government’s Rent a Room scheme you can earn up to £7,500 a year tax free by taking in a lodger and, provided you don’t earn more than this, you won’t need to declare it. Important if you do earn over the amount you must inform your Local Tax Office ASAP. Do I need to Comply with the New tenancy Deposit Laws? The law only applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) so you can take a deposit without having to use the tenancy deposit scheme. (Ensure you have a Lodger Agreement signed by Lodger and Yourself) Do I need to Comply with Right to Rent Laws? As of 1st February 2016, the law requires everyone renting out property in England to check whether their tenants are legally allowed to live in the UK, regardless of the type of agreement, whether they're written or verbal. (this includes Lodgers so you need to be aware of this) Right to rent checks introduced for landlords in England Right to rent document checks: a user guide A short guide on right to rent Right to rent checks: what they mean for you Check your tenant's right to rent The PDF below contains the above information but also: 1. Lodger Agreement 2. Lodger Interview Form 3. Inventory List 4. Example Notice to Quit letter. Guide to Taking in a Lodger.pdf
  2. Back in August I moved into a 2 bedroom flat that was sold to me as a 2 bedroom self contained flat. The landlady is now beginning to cause me some issues. She keeps referring to me as a lodger, and the 'Lodgers Agreement'. True, I do have a lodgers agreement, but she does not live in the property. The landlady is getting shirty with me having people round, namely, I have begun dating someone, and she has an issue with him staying. She was quite vile to him the other day, and made reference to the fact that he is 'moving in'. This is not true, he occasionally stays over as we haven't known each other for very long, and he lives 2 hours away from me. She also went on to ask what I was doing for Christmas ('I assume she'll be spending Christmas with you') and told him details of my rent payments. My agreement does not saying anything about overnight guests, and this was first an issue at the end of October - the first time I had anyone other than my parents stay over (a couple of friends that had been to thee Halloween party my landlady hosted - she had known for weeks that they were staying). She will often text me to say she is staying on the sofa, as she likes to go out and get drunk in the town I am in. She has demanded to have access to the property at all times. My issue is this; I found out yesterday that it is not actually legal to have a lodger if you do not live in the property, and that would in fact, make me a tenant (thus me having more rights). I believe she is actually subletting. I'm planning on leaving as soon as I can, but in the mean time I would like to enjoy my home without fear of her pretty much harassing me. Any advice???
  3. A friend is interested in moving in for an uncertain amount of time and i wanted to get an idea of how this works as i am on benefits. I am currently receiving ESA and DLA as well as having my rent (minus the under occupancy charge for one spare room) and council tax paid. My friend works self employed as a pointer. If he was to officially move in what would be the repercussions? I found some information on Housing Benefit. It appears i would no longer receive the bedroom tax cut and anything upto £20 in rent charges to my friend would also be ignored as income for myself. Does anyone know how it would affect ESA and DLA though? Also Council Tax. If he were to suddenly move out for example would i be liable for a large council tax bill? Thanks.
  4. Hi there, I'm having some problems to get the balance of my deposit back, this is £290. I have sent 3 emails to my former landlord and he said that I'm his lodger, I don't have any right and they are not willing to give me anything back. The problem is I'm not his lodger, he didn't live in the property. The landlord is a business of 2 Spanish guys (agency) taking advantage of other foreigners in London. They rent properties through letting agencies and they sublet every inch in the house to people. We were living in London 8 people in a house with one bathroom. As far as I know the owner of the house doesn't know what is happening in her house, but my landlord doesn't want to give me her details nor the letting agency details neither. The agency who rented me the house keeps partly the deposits of other tenants saying that the walls need to be repainted or things like that. My former flatmates had the same problem as me. In my case, they are charging me for a mould which grew in the bedroom due poor insulation, for the cleaning of that mould and for the curtains (which are dirty because of the mould and they were so high I couldn't remove them to wash them up). They are charging me for the walls (were dirty before I moved there, but they didn't do a check-out to the previous tenant and they are charging me for it) and for one night I did not sleep there. This agency are making fraudulent contracts. My contract says "Licence to occupy" and it says "This agreement is not intended to confer exclusive possession upon the licensee, nor it is intended to create the relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties. The Licensee shall not be entitled to an assured tenancy or a statutory periodic tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 or to any other statutory secure of tenure now or upon the determination of the Licence. The Licensee accepts that this Licence does not confer any statutory protection and/or rights that would otherwise be applicable to an assured tenancy or a statutory periodic tenancy under the Housing Act 1988". I contacted Shelter and they said that the agreement is not legal as I was a tenant, not a lodger, as the landlord is an agency and they do not share the property with us. A legal advisor in Shelter told me that I can go to court and make a claim because the agency didn't protect my deposit despite the agreement says. Does anybody know what can I do in this case? This agency does not want to talk to me nor to reply my emails. They took my money unfairly and they are doing the same to other foreigners as people leave the property and they do not know how to claim their money back. So they keep doing the same over and over again. They are taking advantage mainly of Spaniards who come to the UK without knowing how the system works. Is there any way I can report them? If so, where? I don't mind the money, but I want to stop them to do the same to other people. Many thanks.
  5. Dear all. My tenant are asking me to repair the rear fence. However, because of the different configuration of the garden behind us, our rear fence is actually the neighbour’s left hand fence. If this is the case, then are we still definitely responsible for this fence? The deeds do not say whose fence it is! Does anybody have any ideas please?
  6. Guide to taking in a Lodger What is a Lodger? A Lodger is a person who rents a room in your home without having exclusive rights to any part of the property. Usually there is a formal arrangement in place that sets out the rooms that the Lodger can use and those that they share with the rest of the household (e.g. the kitchen, living room and bathroom) for an agreed payment. Close family members such as a parent, step parent or parent-in-law, a son or daughter, step son or step daughter, a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, a brother or sister are not normally classified as Lodgers so you need to be fully aware of this. Do I need Permission to take in a Lodger? As a Private Home Owner --You may need to inform your Mortgage Provider. --You may need to inform your Insurance Provider. --You may need to inform the Local Council (Council Tax). --You may need to inform DWP if you Claim any Benefits. As a Council Housing / Housing Association / Housing Trust etc Tenant (Social Housing) --You may need to Request Permission from your Landlord to have a Lodger. --You may need to inform your Insurance Provider. --You may need to inform the Local Council (Council Tax). --You may need to inform DWP if you Claim any Benefits. We would recommend that you always get Permission in Writing from the Landlord. Do I need to provide a Furnished Room? To comply with the Governments Rent a Room scheme to earn a tax free income you must provide a Furnished Room. How much can I charge a Lodger for a Room? This will depend on the area where you live and what condition your property is in. Have a look on www.SpareRoom.co.uk at other rooms available in your area to get an idea what the going rate is likely to be. How do I Evict a Lodger? It is easier to evict a Lodger than a Tenant but you will still need to give ‘reasonable notice’ to the Lodger if you intend to evict. We would always recommend a written agreement between you and your Lodger(s) so the conditions are agreed upon in advance. Will I be Taxed on my Income and do I have to Declare it? Under the Government’s Rent a Room scheme you can earn up to £7,500 a year tax free by taking in a lodger and, provided you don’t earn more than this, you won’t need to declare it. Important if you do earn over the amount you must inform your Local Tax Office ASAP. Do I need to Comply with the New tenancy Deposit Laws? The law only applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) so you can take a deposit without having to use the tenancy deposit scheme. (Ensure you have a Lodger Agreement signed by Lodger and Yourself) Do I need to Comply with Right to Rent Laws? As of 1st February 2016, the law requires everyone renting out property in England to check whether their tenants are legally allowed to live in the UK, regardless of the type of agreement, whether they're written or verbal. (this includes Lodgers so you need to be aware of this) Right to rent checks introduced for landlords in England Right to rent document checks: a user guide A short guide on right to rent Right to rent checks: what they mean for you Check your tenant's right to rent The PDF below contains the above information but also: 1. Lodger Agreement 2. Lodger Interview Form 3. Inventory List 4. Example Notice to Quit letter. Guide to Taking in a Lodger.pdf
  7. Would really appreciate some sound advice. I have my landlord's permission to sub-let a room in my home. This income covers the shortfall between my HB and my monthly rent. On Saturday, my new lodger paid a holding deposit and two weeks' rent in advance after we had verbally agreed to an initial three month tenancy. (He originally viewed the room three weeks ago.) The guy was desperate to move in and it was all very last minute. (He and his girlfriend had been having significant relationship problems.) We agreed terms and I promised to provide him with a Licence to Lodge the next day as I would be out til late and he started work at 10.00 pm that night. He agreed to this. Later that afternoon, he collected some of his belongings from his previous address and put them in his room (about 4.45 pm). I had to leave him to move in as I had family commitments. At 6.35 pm I received a text from him saying he had changed his mind as his girlfriend didn't want him to leave their home. He demanded his money back in full. Despite subsequent threatening texts from him, I advised him to seek advice from CAB and told him that if he had a legal claim, I would happily reconsider my decision. (He is Polish and although his English is reasonable, he does not understand English Law.) He was advised by CAB to request a refund for the holding deposit and one week's rent - a total of £180.00. He would allow me to retain one week's rent as compensation for changing his mind. I was under the impression that a contract, albeit verbal, still had legal standing and that if he failed to move in, it was not necessary to refund the holding deposit/rent already paid. It was his loss. If I had changed my mind about him moving in, I would have instantly given him a full refund. I feel as if he is effectively depriving me of three month's income and I have still to find another lodger which may take months (if past history is anything to go by). When I was told of his relationship difficulties, I suggested that a month's trial period might be appropriate and to "keep the door open" and not to commit himself to a long rental period. I put this to him three times but he insisted he needed to move in immediately. He refused the trial period and we agreed on an initial tenancy of three months. I would usually take a deposit and a month's rent in advance. I waived this in favour of just two weeks' rent to assist him in managing his budgeting/finances. As far as I am concerned, I have gone out of my way to accommodate him and feel aggrieved that he should now be sending threatening texts to come "with a friend" to collect his money and do everything he can to involve the police (even though it is obviously a civil matter). He texted this morning to say that, unless I refund him, he will make a claim against me and that I could be fined £810 plus costs if the case went in his favour. As an aside, good luck on that one -- I'm impecunious (as the name suggests), so it's doubtful he would ever receive a penny. The income I receive from letting the spare room keeps a roof above my head and prevents me from being evicted. As I said at the top of my post, I would really appreciate some sound advice on this matter. If I am at fault, I will happily make a refund but feel strongly that I shouldn't give in to threatening behaviour and intimidation without being clear on where I stand legally. Thanks guys! Imp PS I have advised him I will respond to his request within seven days and I have advised that I will keep the room open for him for the next fortnight in case he feels the need to leave his home again.
  8. Hi all We had a long term lodger in our home, a female, who stayed here for about 3 years We know she was having financial problems, but four weeks ago, she just packed up and left, leaving us in the dark She kept telling us she would be back, but never returned Now we're getting debt collection letters through the door, addressed to her We also found a bunch of opened ones in the room she let One of them was about her car, which was towed away about 7 months ago, because she stopped paying tax on it, from what we've found out through one of her friends, she was summoned to court about it, but never showed up This letter was from Marston Group Ltd, on behalf of the courts it seems. So my dad emailed them to explain the lodger no longer lived here, their response was: A little worrying, can we deny them entry? Should we? I don't know what rights we have regarding such people.
  9. Hi, apologies if this question has already been asked - I've searched and haven't been able to come up with anything answering my questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm in quite a muddle! I was a lodger in a landlady's house for two months last year. I paid a deposit of £420 and signed a lodger licence agreement (relevant clauses given below). My landlady is now refusing to return my deposit for the following reasons: (1) A month's prospective rent (£420) lost because my room was in such a state that she was unable to show the room to prospective tennants and was unable to get a tennant to take my place as soon as I left. (2) A week's worth of lost earnings (£500) that she suffered due to induistrial cleaning (carried out by herself) of the property after I left it in 'an incomparable state of dirtiness and smell'. (3) An additional week's worth of prospective rent (£105) she lost out on because of the week she spent cleaning. With respect to claim 1, while my room was untidy, it wasn't unclean, and I was never notified, in person or writing, that my room was in an unacceptable state and that this was stopping her from advertising the house. She acknowledges this and alleges that it was because I was unapproachable while I was living there. Also, she made this allegation just two weeks after I left the property. With respect to claim 2, I have dated video evidence from the day that I moved out showing the house to be very clean and tidy, that counteracts the claim that it was in the state that she alleges (though I can't prove it didn't smell, I do have a signed witness statement from a tennant that left two days before me saying that the rooms didn't smell when he left). I have three questions (with some follow-ons!): Firstly, is the landlady's claim of a loss of 'prospective' rent a reasonable deduction from the deposit? Secondly, shouldn't she have said something to me, in writing or in person, if she what she's saying regarding lost rent, is true? and if so, does the fact that she didn't do this invalidate her claim? Thirdly, assuming that my video evidence shows that the room was clean (which I believe it does), is there any traction to claims of smell? and if so, would it be 'reasonable' to claim for five days of her own time spent cleaning for that? Any elucidation on any of these issues would be greatly appreciated. ------------------------------------ Pertinent clauses in licence agreement: * Deductions from the deposit can only be made to cover any reasonable costs incurred by or losses to him by any breach of the lodger's obligations under this agreement'. From what I can see in the agreement, the only clauses she can claim I breached are: (1) Keep the interior of the room in a good and clean state and condition and not damage or injure the property or any part of it. (2) Yield up the room at the end of the term in the clean state and condition it was in at the beginning of the term (3) Not do, or omit to do, anything on or at the property which may be or become a nuisance or annoyance to the Owner or any other occupiers ...
  10. Hi, I am helping a friend sort out a problem he has with his council. He left his wife and started a new relationship a few years ago. This didn't work out and moved back in a separate room. For the last 6 years he has hardly been able to work but has not claimed any benefits etc. The council have looked over their housing benefit claim and are saying that he can't be a lodger as the he had been in a previous relationship with his ex-wife. They had put that he was living there and ticked that they wasn't related. I have looked at the tenants handbook and on the net and cannot see that there is any guide lines for what is and what isn't a lodger. Any advice would be appreciated. JJ
  11. I am/was a lodger in a house where the landlady also lives. I know that under the law, because I was only a lodger, I have no rights and the landlady can treat me as she pleases. But I just want to see if there is anything that I can do because I do feel I have been treated unfairly. I went away for a week. Whilst I was away, the landlady let someone else use my room. When I came back, that person was still using my room, so I had to use a much smaller room and bed for a week. I no longer had access to the fridge and all my toiletries had been removed from the bathroom. Also, there was no hot water for a shower. In view of the above issues, I felt that I was not getting the service I was paying for and so should have a discount. When I tried to discuss it with her, she got very angry and blew her top. She started shouting at me, refused to let me speak and said that I was not getting a discount. She didn't let me explain myself fully and just stated that she would not discuss it further. She behaved like a bully and due to her anger, I was actually scared and so left the building. As I was too uncomfortable to be in her presence, I have not been back. As I strongly believe that I should not have to pay full rent for a much reduced service, and she refused to discuss anything, I have not yet paid the rent (a week late). This week I got a message from her saying that if I didn't pay by a specific day/time, she would change the locks and retain my possessions until I pay what she feels I owe (She also has a few hundred pounds deposit, which I expect I will not see again). Prior to her deadline, I attended the address and discovered that she has indeed changed the locks. So, in my mind, I have been evicted. I appreciate that as a lodger, I have no tenancy rights but surely I should have rights to my own possessions?
  12. LODGER INFORMATION PACK ALWAYS SEEK ADVICE AND CONSENT IN WRITING FROM YOUR LANDLORD This pack is intended to be used by council and housing association tenants who are thinking about letting a spare bedroom in their home to a lodger. The pack takes the form of: Ø A series of questions and answers about things you need to think about and do before you let your spare room to a lodger. Ø A lodger licence agreement which you can use to establish an agreement between yourself and your lodger. Lodgers some basic information What is a Lodger? A lodger is a person who rents a room in someone else’s home. Usually there is a formal arrangement in place that sets out the rooms that the lodger can use and those that they share with the rest of the household (e.g. the kitchen, living room and bathroom) for an agreed payment. Close family members such as a parent, step parent or parent-in-law, a son or daughter, step son or step daughter, a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, a brother or sister are not normally classified as lodgers. Do I need permission to take in a lodger? YES As a Tenant of a Social Landlord (either a council or a housing association) if you hold a secure tenancy you have the right to take in a lodger, your landlord needs to provide you with their consent in writing. If you are an assured tenant it is highly likely you have the right to take in a lodger but you will require the housing associations consent. Ensure you check your Tenancy Agreement for any clauses stating you cannot have lodgers. Always get written consent from your landlord and keep it safe. In both instances it is a good idea to let your landlord know that you are thinking about taking in a lodger, as they might be able to offer you help and advice. Things to think about when you consider taking in a lodger Before you ask for your landlord’s agreement to take in a lodger, you might want to think about whether you’re prepared to have a lodger living in your home and whether it’s right for you. Having a lodger living with you means that you’ll be sharing your home with a stranger. If you live alone this might mean that you will have some company but it also means that’ll you’ll be giving up some of the privacy you enjoy at the moment. You need to ask yourself whether you are prepared to do this? If you have children you might want to consider whether you want a stranger living in your home, particularly if you don’t know a great deal about their background.As a parent or guardian of a child or children, your first duty to them is to ensure that they have somewhere safe to live. If you do want to have a lodger living with you, providing you with another source of income, it is important that you choose who lives with you very carefully. Getting ready to take in a lodger Who should I inform that I’m going to be taking in a lodger? If you are thinking about taking in a lodger and after you have received consent from your landlord, you should contact your Home Contents Insurer and inform them that you intend to take in a lodger. They may want to obtain certain information from your potential lodger and they might in some circumstances adjust your insurance premiums. It is important that you contact your insurer and advise them that you are taking in a lodger. If you don’t and you make a claim on the policy you might find out that the contents of your home might are not covered. Once you have taken in a lodger you need to let the following organisations know: Ø Council Tax – if you are a single person and receive a single person discount on your Council Tax you need to let the Council Tax section know about your lodger. If your lodger is a student they will not be considered to be a full time occupant and you will not lose your single person supplement. Ø Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)– if you receive benefits you will need to let the DWP know that you have a lodger and the amount you are paid each week by your lodger. If you don’t advise the DWP that you are receiving additional income from a lodger, you will be committing benefit fraud. Ø Housing Benefit – if you are on a low income and receive Housing and Council Tax Benefit, you will need to let the Housing Benefit Team at your council know that you have a lodger and the amount you are paid each week. If you don’t advise the Housing Benefit Team that you are receiving additional income from a lodger, you will be committing benefit fraud. What condition should my home be in? When you let your spare room to a lodger, your home should be clean, carpeted and in good decorative order throughout. The spare room should be bright and cheerful and spotlessly clean. If it is not it is unlikely that someone will want to come and live in your home. You might want to hang pictures or posters in the spare room or allow the lodger to hang their own pictures of posters. If you don’t want the lodger to use nails or blue tac, you should provide a noticeboard or pinboard. You should ake photographs of the room that the lodger will use before you let it, to record its condition. What furniture should I provide my lodger with? As you are going to be letting the room to the lodger on the basis that it is furnished, you will need to ensure that you have the right furniture in the room. The furniture you provide in the room will depend on the size of the room but you should provide the following: Ø A comfortable bed and mattress. It is a good idea to fit a waterproof cover over the mattress. Ø A desk or table with lamp and chair. Ø Shelves on the wall or a small bookcase. Ø A bedside table and lamp. Ø A wardrobe and chest of drawers. All of the furniture you provide must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings(Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988. If you’re buying new furniture this won’t be a problem, but if you’re using older furniture it is a good idea to check for labels to ensure furniture is compliant with the regulations. (Labels can be found on items such as padded headboards, sofas, mattresses, pillows, cushions, cloth covers on seats, curtains). It is best to buy new electrical items and make sure that you keep the receipts and instructions. If you can’t afford new items, you should get them tested by a qualified electrician but this could be expensive. You will also need to provide the lodger with access to pots and pans, cups, plates and cutlery and you should make some space for them to store their food in your kitchen cupboards and fridge and freezer. You should provide an inventory (a written record) of the items you provide the lodger with, noting their condition. You can find a copy of an inventory at the end of this pack. Should I establish house rules? It is important to set some rules about what you will and will not allow in your home, so before you let your spare room to a lodger you need to give this some thought. For example you might not want a lodger to smoke in the property or to keep a pet. Whilst you don’t want to develop a list of rules which is too long you will want to set out the standards of cleanliness and tidiness you expect of your lodger. You will want to tell a potential lodger about your house rules when you meet for the first time, as they need to know whether they would be comfortable living in your home. Should I use a lodger agreement? It is important that you and your lodger sign a lodger agreement, so that your rights and responsibilities as the landlord and the rights and responsibilities of the lodger are clearly set out. It is also important that you sign a lodger agreement if your lodger needs to claim Housing Benefit to help them pay their rent. Your lodger will need to provide a copy of the agreement to the Housing Benefit Team. A copy of a Lodger Agreement is part of this pack. You and your lodger should sign two copies and each keep a copy. How much should I charge my lodger? You can charge whatever rent you feel a lodger will be willing to pay. One approach is to look at adverts in newspaper and on the internet and charge an amount that reflects the average weekly rent in your local area. Things to bear in mind when you’re setting your rent: Ø If you’re a taxpayer you can earn £4,250 each year (or £81.73 a week) tax free under the Government’s Rent a Room Scheme. If you receive more income than this you will need to declare it on a tax return Ø If you are thinking of letting your spare room to someone who receives Housing Benefit to help them pay the rent,you need to be aware that if the rent that you charge is greater than the rent allowed by Housing Benefit, your lodger will have to fund the shortfall themselves. You can ask your Housing Benefit Team for the Local Housing Allowance shared room rate which will tell you the maximum rent that your lodger will be able to claim. Should I charge the lodger a deposit? A deposit is a payment taken by the landlord to hold as insurance against the lodger damaging the property or failing to pay their rent. If the lodger leaves the property in the same condition as you let it to them and they did not develop any rent arrears, the deposit needs to be returned to them when they leave your home. It is a good idea to ask your lodger for a deposit. However, you must remember that when your lodger gives you their deposit, you are holding it on their behalf and it would be a good idea to put the deposit in a savings account. For lodgers on low incomes or benefits, affording a deposit could be a problem. Some organisations provide bonds or guarantees for lodgers, which will cover any damage or loss you experience should you need to make a claim. You need to consider whether you consider this to be an acceptable form of security. Finding a Lodger How should I go about finding a lodger? There are many ways of finding a lodger and these depend on where you live and the typeof lodger you are willing to have living in your home. You need to think carefully about who you want to live in your home as a lodger. Renting a room is a business transaction between you (the landlord) and the lodger. If you rely on word of mouth to find a lodger, this is likely to mean that the lodger is a friend of a friend or a friend of a family member. This might cause you some difficulties if you have to ask the lodger to leave, for example if they fail to pay or they behave badly. If you live in an area where there is a university you might want to advertise for a lodger at the accommodation office of the university. Please note they might want to inspect your home before they advertise your home to students. You might want to consider putting an advert on notice boards in colleges and place adverts in shop windows in areas where students live. If you live close to a hospital you might want to consider contacting the hospital to find out whether they maintain a list of lodgings for staff and relatives of patients and whether you can go on that list. You will also want to put adverts on notice boards in the hospital. You can advertise for lodgers in local newspapers, in local shops and on the internet. There are a number of internet sites which aim to help you find a lodger for example http://www.spareroom.co.uk/ and http://uk.easyroommate.com/. You could consider using these. In Wales a website has been developed to match landlords with lodgers called House Share Wales http://www.housesharewales.co.uk/. Not only does House Share Wales provide you with an internet site to find a tenant, they also provide accommodation brokers who can direct you to organisations who can help you putan advert on the website and help you find an appropriate lodger. The brokerfor North East Wales and Powys is based in Cefni Lettings and can be contacted on 01341 423266. How should I select a lodger? It is always a good idea to meet with people who respond to your adverts for a lodger. The meeting should ideally take place in your home. This gives the potential lodger the opportunity to meet you and look around your home to find out if your home is somewhere they want to live. The meeting gives you an opportunity to explain the basic rules of the house and find out whether they are comfortable with them. The meeting also gives you the opportunity to find out whether they’re someone you’re happy to share your home with. You might want to meet your potential lodger with someone present whose judgement you trust. Their views might be important to you when you make your decision. When you meet the lodger it is a good idea to gather some basic information about them,such as where they live, their contact address, their telephone number. Your home contents insurer might want you to obtain certain information from a potential lodger. Also you might want to ask to see some form of identification and find out how they intend to pay the rent. The form which is included in this pack will help you record these details. When you meet a potential lodger you will also want to ask them to provide you with 2 references. It is important before you agree to let your spare room to someone, that you contact their referees to find out a little more about them. You should ring everyone you meet to let them know your decision. The Money Can my lodger claim Housing Benefit if they have a low income or receive benefits? If your lodger is on a low income or claims benefits, they are able to claim Housing Benefit to help them pay their rent. They will need to make a claim for Local Housing Allowance (this is the term used for the type of Housing Benefit payment the lodger will receive). To be able to claim Local Housing Allowance your lodger will need to be able to show the Housing Benefit Team that he or she has a formal written agreement which enables him/her to occupy your home as a lodger. It is very important that you complete two copies of the lodger agreement and give a copy to the lodger, to enable him/her to present it to the Housing Benefit Team. Your lodger will have their Local Housing Allowance paid direct to them and they will be responsible for passing the payment onto you. Recoding rent payments You should give your lodger a rent book, or a written statement that confirms that you have received their rent payments. How will the money I receive affect my tax? Income Tax The Government offers people who have a spare room an incentive to rent their spare room out to a lodger; this is called the Rent a room scheme. This allows people who let out a spare room in their home to a lodger to receive £4,250 a year tax free. You can find more information about the Rent a Room scheme by clicking on the following link. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/Taxes/TaxOnPropertyAndRentalInc ome/DG_4017804 If your income from your lodger is less than £4,250 a year you do not have to complete a tax return. If your income from the lodger is more than £4,250, you may have to complete a tax return. Council Tax If you currently live alone you should receive the single person discount on your Council Tax. The single person discount is 25% of your Council Tax bill. You will need to tell the Council’s Council Tax Team that you have taken in a lodger. In most cases this means that you will lose your single person discount, unless your lodger is in one of the groups who are disregarded. You can find out which groups are disregarded by contacting your Council’s Council Tax Team or following this link http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/YourlocalcouncilandCounci lTax/CouncilTax/DG_10037422 How will the money I receive affect my benefits? If you receive benefits, you must inform the DWP and your Council’s Housing Benefit Team that you have taken in a lodger. Failure to do this will mean that you are committing fraud. The benefit payments you receive will be reduced to reflect the additional income you receive from your lodger. If you receive a means tested benefit (Income Support or Income related Employment and Support Allowance or Income based Job Seekers Allowance) the first £20 of income you receive from your lodger will be disregarded and not affect your benefits. Your benefits will be reduced by any income more than the first £20. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EXAMPLE Jane receives Income Support of £100 a week and receives full Housing Benefit to help her pay her rent of £80 a week. She takes in a lodger who pays her £55 each week. When Jane’s benefits are recalculated she receives £65 in Income Support in addition to the £55 rent she receives from her lodger, a total of £120 a week. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you are on a low income and claim Housing and Council Tax Benefit the way that your benefits will be adjusted is different. The first £20 of income you receive is disregarded and your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 65p for every £1 you receive over that amount. Your Council Tax entitlement will be reduced by 20p for every £1 you receive over that amount. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EXAMPLE Jane works on a part time basis and receives £20 Housing Benefit each week to help her pay her rent of £80 a week. Jane takes in a lodger who pays her £50 each week. When Jane’s benefits are recalculated her Housing Benefit is reduced to 50p per week. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If I under-occupy my home will taking in a lodger mean that I’m not affected by ‘the bedroom tax’? The answer to this question is usually yes. If, for example, you under-occupy your home by one bedroom and the lodger you rent your spare room to uses your home as their only home, your home will be assessed as being fully occupied, so the amount of Housing Benefit you receive will not be reduced. If you were under-occupying your home by two bedrooms and took in one lodger, you’d be considered to be under-occupying your home by 1 rather than 2 bedrooms and the amount of your rent eligible for Housing Benefit by increase from 75% to 86%. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EXAMPLE Jane receives Income Support of £100 a week and receives full Housing Benefit to help her pay her rent of £80 a week. Jane under-occupies her home by one bedroom and her housing benefit will be reduced by £11.20 each week. She takes in a lodger who pays her £55 each week. When Jane’s benefits are recalculated she receives £65 in Income Support in addition to the £55 rent she receives from her lodger, a total of £120 a week. In addition her Housing Benefit payment covers the whole of her rent, as she is no longer considered to be under-occupying her home. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you let your spare room to someone who is not using it as their only home, for example a student or some-one who lodges with you from Monday to Friday and returns home at the weekend, you may still be considered to be under-occupying your home, as the lodger is not using your home as their only home. These rules will change when Universal Credit is introduced. Under the proposed rules any lodger will not count as part of your household which means that you will be affected by the bedroom tax, but you will be able to keep all of the income you receive from lodgers, without it affecting your benefit. Dealing with problems with a lodger How should I deal with a problem lodger? You should try to deal with any problem you have with a lodger at an early stage, for example if they haven’t paid their rent or they are not complying with one of your house rules. You should talk to the lodger and find out why they have broken the agreement. If following your conversation the problem hasn’t been resolved, you should write to your lodger, setting out what the problem is. You need to keep a copy of the letter and make sure that the letter is dated. If after your first letter the problem still hasn’t been resolved you need to try a more formal letter, which says that if things don’t improve you will be asking them to leave. Again you need to make sure that this letter is dated and that you keep a copy. You should also keep a note of all incidents. If your second letter doesn’t work you will need to give your lodger a notice to quit. This is a letter which says that you are giving them a certain amount of time (7, 14 or 28 days’ notice) to leave the property. A sample notice to quit letter is as part of this pack. If the problem is of a far more serious nature, such as violent or criminal behaviour a shorter notice period may be appropriate. In such cases you should contact your local housing office, who will notify you where you can get appropriate advice about ending the lodger agreement. In housing law, lodgers are considered to be ‘excluded occupiers’. This means that they have very few rights and can only stay until their landlord asks them to go. How do I evict a lodger who’s causing me problems? If you have asked your lodger to leave (either by speaking to them or giving them written notice), in the days leading up to the date you want them to leave you should ask them what their arrangements are for leaving your home. If they need a little more time (a few days more to make alternative arrangements) you should consider agreeing to this. If they state that they have no intention of moving out you will need to evict them. It is important that you seek legal advice, from your local Housing Options Team or your local Citizens Advice Bureau before taking any action to remove your lodger. A Lodger Agreement, Lodger Interview Form, Inventory Form and example Notice to Quit letter are available in PDF Format at the end of this document and is –APPENDIX 1 LODGER INFORMATION PACK - Social Housing Only ----------.pdf
  13. Hi All, I'm new here so fingers-crossed that this is in the correct forum. Until around 3 weeks ago I had a former friend lodging at my home. He was only here, on & off, for around 6 weeks, I had to throw him out because he caused substantial damage to my home and neither arranged to have the damage made good, paid for it to be done or even apologised (& I'm talking about what will in total be over 1,000). I've since received a number of items of post addressed to him. Today when I got home another one had been delievered except I didn't notice it was for him until after opening it. It's a letter from Marston: "We are in posession of a Magistrates Court Order as a consequence of non-payment of the above amount. We are instructed to demand immediate payment in FULL from you. We must inform you that unless the TOTAL sum due is paid into our office within 7 days of the date of this letter, our bailiffs will attend to levy distress and remove your goods for sale by PUBLIC AUCTION. This action will involve minimum further costs of 215." It was seemingly non-payment of a 35 fine for 'A*****t by b*****g' + 85 fees. Not wanting something like this to be recorded against my address I called Marstons, it was a -long- process just to speak to someone. The first time, after being on hold for ages the line was answered, as I started speaking it went dead. I called back, more time on hold. This time I was able to start explaining the situation but after a few moments the line died again. In case it was a problem with the landline at home I tried from my mobile. More time on hold & yep, same problem after speaking for a few moments. On the 4th attempt, having speant over an hour on hold I eventually got to speak to someone properly. I explained the situation and explained that because the addressee left under far-from-favourable circumstances, that he did not provide a forwarding address but that I had subsequently discovered where he was working, I offered this information but it was refused with no explanation beyond "I need a residental address". I said I thought it was ludicrous that they were being offered information which would enable them to find the person they're trying to contact but were refusing it. I then specifically asked for my address to be removed from the persons record. I was told that I would have to send them a utility bill in my name. I asked what that would acheive, given that it neither prooves I actually live at the address or that the person they are chasing does not. I received no sufficient answer to this, only mumbling about bailliffs visting. I asked again both what sending a utility bill would acheive and also why I should have to do anything given that I'm not the person they're chasing (this being particularly annoying when I've already offered contact details (which they could verify with a single call) and when they could verify my residency here on the electoral roll). When I didn't get a sufficient reply again I asked to be transferred to his duty manager and I was asked why he should!! I said that I wanted to speak to someone in authority there and the reply was "I'm in authority, I'm a senior member of staff" so I pointed out that if he was "a senior member of staff" that he wouldn't be taking first-line calls. I then asked again to be transferred to his duty manager and he refused. I asked for him name, given the fact that he had a strong accent, because he was obviously very agitated and because I wanted to be sure I asked him to repeat and the response was (shouted) "A-L-F-I-E, did you get that, was it simple enough for you?". Given his appalling attitude I hung up. So........... as I'm not an expert in these matters what should I do next? I have no wish to avoid either Marstons or my former lodger running up expenses and charges etc, that bit doesnt bother me in the slightest. However, I dont want any of this to be recorded against my address. Can I force the removal of my address? How on earth can I proove someone -doesn't- live here? Should I have to proove anything? Can Marstons send someone to my home to seize property? Can they force access to do so? Everything here is mine, there is nothing here that belongs to the former lodger. Many thanks in advance! Richard
  14. Hi Folks - I alongwith my wife lived as a lodger for around 6 months in one of the rooms in this property with resident live in landlord. On one morning (November 2012) I saw a letter addressed to me mentioning "Urgent - Do not Ignore", and found that it was a letter from Moorcroft (on behalf of Thames water) asking for paying debt of around GBP 300 as a matter of urgency !! I never ever contacted Thames water and had never had any agreement with them or requested their services at all ... Neither I ever gave my address to them nor I understand how they got to know that I live there as a lodger. I was living there as a lodger and my lodger agreement (on a simple plain paper made by landlord) signed by me and the resident landlord clearly says that the rent is inclusive of all the bills including water. I called Moorcroft and explained the whole situation and gave them my contact number - to which they responded that if you think that landlord should be held responsible for paying this rent - you need to talk and convince him for the same. !! When I talked to the landlord he responded in a suspicious manner saying - "Just ignore these people and they can't do anything, I will write them a letter. Its just that they are trying to find someone who lives in this property who can respond to them as I am not responding to them due to a dispute I have with Thames water" . After around 4 months, now I have started getting calls and texts from Moorcroft asking to get in touch which means that the landlord never responded to them and the debt is still outstanding... I now live as a lodger at a new address and am concerned how can I get this off my head. I want things to be clear so that my credit history etc. doesn't get affected for future sake and obviously I am not the one who should be paying this debt.. Please would you be able to advice and help me asap? Many thanks Cheers.
  15. I will shortly have to pay the shortfall in rent as my house will be under occupied. I currently have non dependents here whose income is not taken into account wrt to HB or CTC as I am in receipt of DLA. If I were to get a lodger, would their income also not be taken into account as with my non dependent adult children, or as they are not related, is that different? Also, how would any money they pay towards the household bills be taken into account for HB, CTB or even my ESA (ir)? Thank you.
  16. Hi all Have recently found myself in a situation that I can't quite believe... At the beginning of 2012, my lodger moved in. He lived here 11 months and moved out on the 1 Dec 2012. At least, he officially moved out, the fact is, he only took a couple of car loads of stuff and then said he'd back for the rest of his stuff. Apart from a couple of phone calls, I've not heard from him at all and, he never turned up at the agreed times. Funnily enough though, he forgot to cancel his Standing Order so I got another months rent out of him for December that I was more than happy to keep. His room remained in the disgusting state he left it in (particularly with the hundreds of beer cans he left behind) and I just kept the door shut and didn't go in there as I had a trillion other things on my mind... Now, a few things about him. He was an old mate of mine from college from 20+ years ago but, I never really knew him that well but I found out very rapidly once he moved in that he was quite obviously an alcoholic. Always drinking cans of lager from the moment he got home from work until he'd go to bed at whatoever-o-clock (I'd hear the cans cracking open as I was trying to sleep). What was seemingly a less-pleasant side-effect was that I'd occasionally find literal human-excrement around the house! On the bathroom floor (far away from the toilet, christ knows how he got it there), little $h!t-smears on the settee (so I had to have the sofa-shampoo at the ready...). It was pretty gross. I broached the subject with him a few months back once after I found the latest, erm, deposit on the bathroom floor and he scrubbed it and apologised and said he had stomach problems. It never happened again after that and I was glad to forget it had ever happened. Anyway, as I said, he left this house finally a month ago and I was, quite frankly, glad to see the back of him. I found him a pain to live with anyway (not just because of what I've described, but other things too that aren't really relevant right now so will leave to one side). So, last week, on the 1 January 2013... New year, new start. I figured it was time to get stuck into clearing his room out as much as I could so thought I'd go make a start on clearing up all the beer cans. And, oh my god, i found out they were all full of his own urine and occasional fag butts. Hundreds of them. What I thought would be a quick job of swilling out stale beer cans and chucking them in the recycle box became a lengthy process of emptying his stinky p!$$ into the loo and then swilling them out and only then getting them out of the house. It was disgusting. As I cleared one section of the room, it opened up to another section, and another section. There were about 50 cans under the bed alone that took a good 2 hours to clear, some of them had fallen over so the result was long-dried urine in the carpet... Anyway, that wasn't the worst of it... The next day, I got to the corner of the room and found a pedal bin that was full to the brim too. And, in front of that was a homemade chemical toilet full of a brown-looking liquid that was quite obviously his own excrement. Absolutely disgusting. It's only today, after a week (and with the help of my poor elderly father who hired special plastic containers and a pump) that the job of clearing all the revolting contents of the room has been completed. I've had to rip up the carpet and throw it away, along with the mattress, bed and some other bits of furniture that were no longer fit for any human to use. So, I currently have a shell of a room that's full of the rest of his belongings. Does anyone out there have any thoughts/idea what I can do legally about this? I'd ideally like to sue the pants of him and, at the very least, get him to pay to replace the bed, carpet and furniture. At the moment, *no one* is going to be living in there and providing me with an income... Any advice appreciated (Apologies if I've just put anyone off their dinner)
  17. Ive had a 'friend' staying with me for 5 months. I drafted a written tenancy agreement with him and stated I was happy to wait until he had sorted out housing benefit to pay rent to me or to the housing association that the house belongs to. Written permission from the association was sought and granted, and the application was put in. After 5 months of him piddling about I finally had enough as I hadn't received a penny. I told him rent in a week or your out. He subsequently did a bunk leaving the house in a disgusting state as I had been away for a couple of weeks looking after an ill relative. I have an address that he has post sent to but not the address where hes actually living. Ive spoken to housing benefit who inform me that he failed to return documents they had asked for so his claim had been rejected. I am unable to appeal to recover rent Ive paid as he has to be the one to register an appeal. The housing association have said theres very little they can do but recommend legal action. Ive started a claim on moneyclaim.gov but havent finalised it yet as £70 is a lot of money to start the claim when Im unsure of my legal stance. Advice anyone?????
  18. Hi, I'm currently claiming Income-Based JSA and receiving £71 per week. I am considering taking in a lodger under the Rent a Room Scheme. The rent would be £85 per week. How would that affect my benefit? At present I'm not liable for Council Tax either would that be affected? Any replies would be appreciated. Thanks Terry
  19. Hi, I am new to this site, so not sure about where to post my questions...hence putting it into the 'Welcome' section...I have had a very nasty experience with my landlord... I rented a double room in a flat sharing system; this was my first time as a lodger...On the 10th of September (Monday), I deposited a full month's rent of £450 directly into the bank account of my landlord and then collected the key and put some of my stuff in, before leaving for london..The flat had two rooms, one for me and the other for another lodger...The landlord would use a bedroom put in the living room, over the weekend when he would come from london, where he works.. I returned on Saturday (15th Sept)...I paid the deposit of £450 in cash on sunday and signed a standard agreement, which he also signed and we each had one copy...Then he left for london and I saw him next on Friday (21st Sept)...On saturday morning, he woke me up and accused me of stealing something from the shared living room..He started yelling and told me to get out... I packed all of my stuff and called the removal vans...When i went to ask for my deposit, he told me to come at 4 pm for the deposit and next week for the remaining rent that was due..When I objected he pushed me on the chest and hurled abuses at me.I was afraid that he might assault me..At this point I was really scared...I went back to my room and called the police, then collected my valuables, locked my room and went outside the building to wait for the police..The police had a chat with him..he had too much to drink..I was able to come back and get all of my belongings..I returned the keys and he told me that he would transfer the money- the deposit (£450), two week's rent (£130) on a working day that is Monday which is today... Given his nasty behavior, I have a feeling he might not return the money...The agreement which i signed states that before leaving, a month's notice has to be given by the lodger or the landlord whichever applies...'Anything less than this is subject to a daily rental charge by the lodger'...I guess that this is the sticky bit, he doesn't have to give me anything....but what about the deposit... I am entitled to my full deposit...The agreement states that I would be returned the full amount if all utensils and property were found to be in the same condition as when i arrived..Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures when i arrived...but i just lived in the room and property for 6 days... I want to know where should I go for getting my deposit and if possible my remaining rent...Do i stand much chance? In terms of evidence I have the agreement...It states that I have paid £450 rent and another £450 as deposit...plus the police members who came, they knew that i was kicked out on Saturday 22nd sept...Can I bring them as witnesses or something...sorry if I am coming across as ignorant but i really don't know how to go about this...I am an international student and have been living in a university accommodation for the past year... Given this experience..not just for the financial loss but also the emotional distress caused by this situation...I am planning to return to my country.. but I would still like to make an attempt at getting my money back...I think this man may be running a [problem] of some sort....I would really appreciate any help... Thanks Prateek
  20. Hello there, i hope you can help. Is there anything i can do to get out of a 6 month contract as a lodger? My live in landlord isn't a very nice person at all, this evening I have just sat with him and suggested that this agreement is not working however he refuses to return my deposit and let me leave. My deposit is not protected, it appears that as i am lodger, he does not need to put it into a protected scheme, he will not give me a receipt, he tells me bank statement is fine, and i am pretty sure that regardless of how quiet i am or how much i clean the house, i will not get my deposit back once the agreement ends. Can anyone help, he has me over a barrel and i feel i have no rights at all.
  21. Hi people. I have a notice of distress warrant for a magistrates court fine. I have read that for magistrates court fines bailiffs do have the power to force entry. But the house where I live is not mine, the landlord/house owner lives here and I'm a lodger and receive housing benefit for my rent here. Can they force entry under these circumstances? Thanks in advance.
  22. Hi, I had a lodger about 4 years ago who was from Poland. he got a job here, very nice chap. He moved about after about a year and I haven't heard from him since. I was getting post for him for a while occasionally, but now more worryingly I am getting banking post - e.g. credit cards and bank accounts - for him AND his wife. How do I approach Lloyds bank, for instance - about this? I contacted them a year or two back but they just kept saying as I wasn't the account holder they wouldn't tell me anything - I kept trying to explain I didn't actually want to know anything - just wanted tot ell them that one of these people has never lived here and one did but moved out. Not sure how to deal with it and what the possible implications for me are if these accounts go pear-shaped? Thanks Sam
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