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CoffeeD

Lodger locked out and possessions retained by aggressive landlady

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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?

Edited by CoffeeD
grammar errors

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You might want to have a word with Shelter - they don't just deal with homeless people.

 

Hopefully caggers with knowledge of this will look in as soon as they can.

 

 

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/how_we_can_help/housing_advice_helpline

 

Free advice helpline

 

0808 800 4444

 

 

8am-8pm Monday-Friday

8am-5pm Saturday-Sunday

 

You say you went away for a week, but your room was still paid for, yes ? I wouldn't have thought that she could let someone else use your room if you were paying for it?


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Shelter actually have quite a bit of information regarding Lodgers' rights on the link below..

 

 

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/sharing_and_subletting/lodgers


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Thanks for the reply.

 

Yes, I had paid for the room, as I paid in advance as per the norm. She knew when I was going away and when I was coming back too.

Edited by CoffeeD
added info

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She cannot keep your possessions. You can get the police involved as it is basically theft, even though its a civil issue. Did you ever have a tenancy contract or similar?

 

As CB said. If you were still paying for the room, then she CANNOT allow anyone else to use the room at all.

 

Give her 7 days to resolve this issue, and give you your belongings back, UNDAMAGED, or you will issue a court claim for distress, compensation etc etc. It really looks like she is one of those rogue landlords who think they can skirt the law.


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She cannot keep your possessions. You can get the police involved as it is basically theft, even though its a civil issue. Did you ever have a tenancy contract or similar?.

No tenency agreement or contract

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Give her 7 days to resolve this issue, and give you your belongings back, UNDAMAGED, or you will issue a court claim for distress, compensation etc etc.

Would this be under the Torts Act 1977? I wasn't sure if this applies to lodgers

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Hi CoffeeD

 

Did you have a Lodger Agreement at all?

 

Renegadeimp is completely correct the landlord cannot hold your possessions to ransom in this way so I would follow that advice but put it in writing and keep a copy you now want to keep a good paper trail.


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Hi CoffeeD

 

Did you have a Lodger Agreement at all?

 

No lodger agreement, despite me asking for one several times

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Are you homeless now, or are you staying with friends relatives? I think its time to put a letter to her as stu said, but couple this with an LBA. She would be very stupid to keep your belongings or dispose of them if she gets court papers. Since there was no tenancy agreement but she took money from you, she could be done for that in its own right. She may try to say you never stayed there, so if you have any letters/bills with the address on, or people who can be used as witnesses, make sure you have that in order.

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Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Are you homeless now, or are you staying with friends relatives?

 

I have found somewhere else to stay

 

I think its time to put a letter to her as stu said, but couple this with an LBA. She would be very stupid to keep your belongings or dispose of them if she gets court papers. Since there was no tenancy agreement but she took money from you, she could be done for that in its own right. .

 

Really? I thought that they didn't need to do tenancy agreements for lodgers

 

She may try to say you never stayed there, so if you have any letters/bills with the address on, or people who can be used as witnesses, make sure you have that in order.

 

In that case. she would have to explain why my bank statement shows regular transfers to her account - same amount every month.

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Hi CoffeeD

 

Have a little read of this CAG stikkie on Lodger Information Pack may be of interest for future reference: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?393994-Lodger-Information-Pack-**Correct-as-at-June-2013**

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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As has been said issue a letter before action, give her 7 days to return all your clothes /posessions / deposit any rent owing or you will claim it all back in the small claims court + your costs. Any common sense judge will find in your favour. You have proof of rental payments too


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As has been said issue a letter before action, give her 7 days to return all your clothes /posessions / deposit any rent owing or you will claim it all back in the small claims court + your costs. Any common sense judge will find in your favour. You have proof of rental payments too

 

Would I be entitled to the deposit back?

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I don't know but the judge could always award you the rent / cost of your possessions / any damages, and say no to the deposit....


PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

 

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I wonder if she is declaring the extra income to HMRC? I would drop them a line just make her life awkward1

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......a letter before action, give her 7 days to return all your clothes /posessions / deposit any rent owing or you will claim it all back in the small claims court + your costs. ......

 

Letter sent. I anticipate that it will be ignored.

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Letter sent. I anticipate that it will be ignored.

Did you also send a letter to HMRC informing them that the LL has an additional income. It does not have to have any of your contact details on it. Hopefully she is not claiming any benefits either.

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Dont have to declare to HMRC if below a certain threshold, it is £4250 so if she is renting out more than one room it might count as a HMO and thus have to be registered as such and then you have further protection by the law. There are no circumstances where she is entitled to hold on to your property, even if you owe her money so you could enquire at your/her local police station and explain to them that you wish to recover your property but believe that there will be a breach of the peace if you try and would they accompany you at a time to be agreed to prevent said breach?

As most police station front counters are manned by civilian staff the response you get to your request will depend upon theirunderstanding of what you are wanting and sometime their whim so approach in hope rather than certainty

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... Since there was no tenancy agreement but she took money from you, she could be done for that in its own right.....

 

Interesting. I didn't realise this was an offence. Can you please point me to the legislation for this

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Im unsure of legislation which is why i said "could". Meaning you should really check up on it, and do as others advise regarding HMRC etc.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Im unsure of legislation which is why i said "could". Meaning you should really check up on it, and do as others advise regarding HMRC etc.

 

Ok. We ll in that case, I don't think it is illegal as she will just say it was a verbal agreement. Also, she is below the HMRC threshold. Not on benefits.

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Even if it was a verbal agreement, sine it meant you would reside there, she should have issued some form of proof.

 

I still thing you need to give her 14 days, and then get he legal ball rolling.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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