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Basic advice on tenant setting up a sublet

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« on: July 12, 2021, 08:03:22 PM »

Hi there,

I currently rent a 2 bedroom house through a private landlord whose permission I've asked to sublet the other room to a friend.

My landlord has agreed. Now I am looking to start this off properly and I am looking for advice on what kind of contract to create for my friend who will be my subtenant.

I will charge him a fixed amount per week on a periodic basis of tenancy for renting the room and he will have access to all other areas and facilities of house except of course for my bedroom.

Since this will be a short to medium term/temporary living arrangement, I need to know what authority I'll have to ask him to leave.

1) For example, under what period of time of a notice to quit, let's say under the circumstances that rent has been paid and there are no arrears.

2) I also need to know if I should writie a new Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, in addition to my master one.

3) If so, is that the right kind of 'contract', is this at all necessary or is it possible just to write up a 'licence agreement', as I saw on one website online.

4) Instead would it give me more authority to keep it verbal since there is a level of established trust already? And then if he doesn't pay up it is personal rather than legal.

5) If he pays cash,  is that an issue in terms of proving that rent is up to date?

6) Do I need to put the deposit in the government approved safety deposit scheme?

7) Can I wite my own 'notice to quit' into the 'contract' or is it predefined already based on circumstances.

8.) Given the answers to the above queries, would he be considered as an 'excluded occupier' , a lodger or a tenant?
Thanks in advance for any answers.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 08:22:47 PM by spoofproof »
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2021, 04:36:09 PM »

Why not keep it simple and have a lodger arrangement? You don't need to protect the deposit,and as far as I know you can give notice with a minimum of fuss and delay. It's not something I have experience or much knowledge of ,but I have heard enough horror stories about letting to friends,so the fewer legal restrictions you take on the better.
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2021, 08:48:56 AM »

You are asking - "what will be the case in this circumstance?" as if you have no influence on this yourself - but the question should really be - "how do I best protect myself, and my Landlord, by making the agreement suit me best?"

That would seem to be a Lodger setup. I mean, you're living there anyway, right? So it falls into that bucket first. A Lodger is good, for you, because they don't even have exclusive rights to their room... they can't put a lock on it or anything like that. If you don't like the cut of their jib, you can even move all their belongings out into the front garden when the next opportunity arises (like when they go to work some random day)... they just need to have had a reasonable notice period (you can choose whatever you want, I suppose - 24 hours? 72 hours?) and they probably won't think you'll act onanything... but you will, and they'll be stood out there, at night, in the rain, with all their belongings on the lawn (please cover them with a sheet or something)... wondering - "what next?"

Don't let the power go to your head.

Please do not fall into the trap of asking your friend for sexual favours (like Janet Street Porter used to) in lieu of rent. That is not cool. Having a Lodger is not a means of getting your rocks off.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2021, 02:50:40 PM »

Do heed Hippogriff's sage advice.His first-hand knowledge of the pitfalls that can beset a landlord  is invaluable.
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2021, 10:08:00 PM »

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Useful to know, thank you both very v much, I have narrowly avoided another pointless separate tenancy agreement and now got myself a lodger, which like Hiffogriff said, is much more suitable to my circumstance. Thanks again both Hippogriff and Heavykarma. Lifesavers.
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2021, 04:53:15 AM »

Hi
A lodger agreement seems the easiest way.  However if you are a single person living there at the moment you should be paying only 75 percent of your council tax band.  If you take in a lodger you will have to declare it to the council and you will pay the full council tax.  You will need to factor in this increase when deciding what rent to charge.  Failure to inform your local council could result in you being prosecuted for fraud.
I know this does not answer your question , it was just a thought I had which you may not have considered.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2021, 03:43:02 PM »

You are asking - "what will be the case in this circumstance?" as if you have no influence on this yourself - but the question should really be - "how do I best protect myself, and my Landlord, by making the agreement suit me best?"

That would seem to be a Lodger setup. I mean, you're living there anyway, right? So it falls into that bucket first. A Lodger is good, for you, because they don't even have exclusive rights to their room... they can't put a lock on it or anything like that. If you don't like the cut of their jib, you can even move all their belongings out into the front garden when the next opportunity arises (like when they go to work some random day)... they just need to have had a reasonable notice period (you can choose whatever you want, I suppose - 24 hours? 72 hours?) and they probably won't think you'll act onanything... but you will, and they'll be stood out there, at night, in the rain, with all their belongings on the lawn (please cover them with a sheet or something)... wondering - "what next?"

Don't let the power go to your head.

Please do not fall into the trap of asking your friend for sexual favours (like Janet Street Porter used to) in lieu of rent. That is not cool. Having a Lodger is not a means of getting your rocks off.

If I put 14 days in the lodger agreement, am I bound to honour that? Or can I evict the tenant sooner. Thanks.
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2021, 04:14:22 PM »

You should probably refrain from referring to them as "Tenant".
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2021, 04:46:15 PM »

So does that mean I have complete legal authority?
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2021, 09:15:14 AM »

That means you are talking about creating a Lodger Agreement and also calling the person who will be there a Tenant, rather than a Lodger.

It was not a comment about complete legal authority... more about your own ability to think with clarity.
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2021, 10:24:49 AM »

I assumed they had been there some time already,so what was the agreement you drew up? You may be overthinking this,unless you have strong misgivings about the lodger in question,in which case you should not have taken the risk.
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2021, 02:20:17 PM »

That means you are talking about creating a Lodger Agreement and also calling the person who will be there a Tenant, rather than a Lodger.

It was not a comment about complete legal authority... more about your own ability to think with clarity.

Fine, I mean I get that. I do realise the difference but thanks for pointing it out, it was more a reflection on a stressful issue I was having.


I assumed they had been there some time already,so what was the agreement you drew up? You may be overthinking this,unless you have strong misgivings about the lodger in question,in which case you should not have taken the risk.

Yes and well I took a generic 'Lodger Agreement' from online and put their name on it. In actual fact I gave a notice period of 7 days. And yes I think maybe so and I wouldn't say strong misgivings, I knew there was some risk but as a short term arrangement with a 7 day notice period I saw it as calculated risk. My Lodger (Thanks Hippogriff) has paid every time so far and been reasonable enough to live with up until recently where there was an issue and I just wanted to know where I stood. Although I do have a tendency to overthink things I wanted to know where I stand in case of an emergency. I.e. I couldn't undermine my own terms such as the notice period in the Lodger Agreement if it came down to it? If so then I will just know my position better.

Thanks both for your replies.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2021, 02:36:07 PM »

If you want to overturn your own written notice period of 7 days you'd need a really good justification... like threats of violence (from the Lodger to you, it's OK the other way around) or weird behaviour (like the Lodger rummaging around your personals)... not something more benign. If you really feel under threat then nothing stops you from changing the locks while the Lodger is out... you must 'take care' of their belongings. If it ever reached a point like that you'd need some kind of backup for the ultra-short notice... I don't know what that would be, exactly, but it can't be something like - "I just felt like living on my own again" - otherwise there'd be no point of notice timescales at all.

None of us knows what the issue was... but we would reasonably assume you've tried to talk it over without coming across as completely superior and domineering? I mean, if the issue was coming home once, drunk as a skunk, then you can discuss that quietly... as behaviour you're not the biggest fan of (unless you're invited, right?)... but if it was spitting dribble into your face while the Lodger had you pressed up against the fridge and was shouting at you... little point having that chat - change the locks.
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2021, 08:53:44 AM »

If you want to overturn your own written notice period of 7 days you'd need a really good justification... like threats of violence (from the Lodger to you, it's OK the other way around) or weird behaviour (like the Lodger rummaging around your personals)... not something more benign. If you really feel under threat then nothing stops you from changing the locks while the Lodger is out... you must 'take care' of their belongings. If it ever reached a point like that you'd need some kind of backup for the ultra-short notice... I don't know what that would be, exactly, but it can't be something like - "I just felt like living on my own again" - otherwise there'd be no point of notice timescales at all.

None of us knows what the issue was... but we would reasonably assume you've tried to talk it over without coming across as completely superior and domineering? I mean, if the issue was coming home once, drunk as a skunk, then you can discuss that quietly... as behaviour you're not the biggest fan of (unless you're invited, right?)... but if it was spitting dribble into your face while the Lodger had you pressed up against the fridge and was shouting at you... little point having that chat - change the locks.

In short the logder has made repeated big fights with his partner during times which I am working from home, compromising my job. I have tried to reason with him but he isn't listening or willing to make any compromises. I want him out, is it safer to abide by the written notice? The problem is that will mean taking more days off work but I can do it if really necessary.
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2021, 09:27:58 AM »

I would get it started ASAP... like this morning... 7 days isn't that long and it seems like you're in no danger yourself, but that could change. Tread carefully. I don't see how there's anything wrong in serving the 7 day notice you have... if all goes well then he / they are gone in a week... if it turns nasty, somehow, then you can change approach (along with the locks).
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2021, 09:42:06 AM »

You never know a person until you live with them. Choosing to let to a friend is a big mistake.
Use the link!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z3FS71Tgzw
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2021, 09:55:55 AM »

I would get it started ASAP... like this morning... 7 days isn't that long and it seems like you're in no danger yourself, but that could change. Tread carefully. I don't see how there's anything wrong in serving the 7 day notice you have... if all goes well then he / they are gone in a week... if it turns nasty, somehow, then you can change approach (along with the locks).


The notice has been issued. That's correct, the biggest problem is I don't trust him any more to continue working whilst he is living there. I have a job whereby any slight noise or any sign of disturbance could cost it me.So that's 5 days of work lost. I have offered to refund the deposit of course, if there is no damage to the room. Thanks a lot for your hasty advice.


You never know a person until you live with them. Choosing to let to a friend is a big mistake.
Use the link!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z3FS71Tgzw

Really, that's something well known? Thanks for the song, heavykarma.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 10:01:44 AM by spoofproof »
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2021, 03:24:29 PM »

The dynamics of relationships changes,often for the worst,when a friend or relative becomes your tenant.The tenant can feel subjugated and demeaned,and family members can use the opportunity to replay old grudges.Just don't do it.
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2021, 05:52:51 PM »

La-la la-la-lah!
La-la la-la-la-lah!
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2021, 04:21:53 PM »

The dynamics of relationships changes,often for the worst,when a friend or relative becomes your tenant.The tenant can feel subjugated and demeaned,and family members can use the opportunity to replay old grudges.Just don't do it.

Well what happens when you thought you had at least an assumed level of respect as 'friends' but find out this was just an incredibly thin and precarious facade? I am a tolerant person and coming in drunk in the unholy hours of the morning and making a bit of a racket - mid week even - doesn't bother me much at all however this was not against my expectations but this once or twice a week, extra cleaning with no help, daily commotion from arguing with partner thus a danger of losing my job, a lack of common courtesy in all assumed basic levels of household responsibilties and hygeine is. I beared it all then tried to draw lines, set basic boundaries, minimum expecatations etc. And even though these still weren't being met, continued enduring it for the hope that things would improve. Then said lodger very consciously did something big, ridiculously immature and irresponsible and though I was ready to forgive and move forward, wouldn't take responsibility and went against his word again in the same week even after a second chance.

I may be more comfortable giving more detail once he has vacated the premises. But for now I need yours and Hippogriff's
sage advice.
at least once more time if possible, please. The deposit; what obligation do I have to return it in full? I can think of citing at least one official damage in the room so far but that is all. I would be looking to seek compensation for 2 months of headaches where possible. For instance, having his partner here every day, when I told him no. Using all the facilities and even then doing the unthinkable against said partner even when all sacrifices were made on my part, albeit some involuntarily, to support and maintain said relationship. And now taking time off of work to evacuate him. Can't I charge him for this?
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2021, 05:38:04 PM »

No, you'll have to suck up the aggravation.With regard to the damage,presumably there is something in the lodger contract to allow for this.You will need to get an invoice if applicable and tell him what you intend to do.The most important part is getting your keys back and getting him out of your home with a minimum of hassle.It sounds as if this man did not go out to work? If you work from home it was a big mistake to take someone in who was going to be around all day,regardless of girlfriend.In your position I would see if your budget allows you to live there alone.
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2021, 07:15:59 PM »

Thanks for your reply, Heavykarma.

This is what the Lodger Agreement states:

'Damage Deposit. The Subtenant agrees to pay the Sublandlord a deposit of 'x' (the "Deposit") to cover damages and cleaning. The Sublandlord agrees that if the Sublet Premises and contents in the Sublet Premises are returned to the Sublandlord in the same condition as when recieved by the Subtenant, resonable wear and tear expected, the Sublandlord will refund to the Subtenant the Deposit, or the amount remaining, at the end of the Term, or within 30 days thereafter. Any reason for retaining a portion of the Deposit will be explained in writing within 30 days to the Subtenant.'

No cleaning was done by him whatsoever so I guess this is chargable? What about if I want to change the locks now in case he got one cut? The trust is completely gone. Can I charge for that?

The most important part is getting your keys back and getting him out of your home with a minimum of hassle.

I absolutely agree.

It sounds as if this man did not go out to work? If you work from home it was a big mistake to take someone in who was going to be around all day,regardless of girlfriend.

He did but when he takes a regular working day off 'ill' to invite another around and I let the gf in, it was big trouble. To then be promised by him it's over with her anyway and my deciding to subsequently bar her from the house, albeit perhaps being no fault of her own, but to prevent any further fighting at my expense. And yet then only 5 days later to find him having snuck the gf in again. Bearing in mind the cause for 2 months of aruging prior at inappropriate hours and at the time I had no idea what was the cause, so gave them both the benefit of the doubt, was actually the gf-suspected cheating in the first place that was found out to be true afterall. And after all of this still wasn't willing to admit his wrong.

In your position I would see if your budget allows you to live there alone.

I will quite happily return to this set up, I'll just have to live on a knife's edge for 6 more days and I'll be grateful of the peace once more.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 07:25:18 PM by spoofproof »
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2021, 07:21:04 PM »

Duplicate post, please delete.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 07:22:59 PM by spoofproof »
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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2021, 10:17:26 PM »

I think the Deposit you took is the least of your worries.

I don't think you'll be worried about the Deposit once you have the place back to yourself.

Right now you probably think it's a bigger deal than it is. Sometimes it's worth it if it just get shot with as little aggro as possible. I would probably return it - all - with a genuine smile.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 09:05:41 AM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2021, 10:24:44 AM »

This is all about feeling let down by a friend,and looking for ways to punish him.I get it,been there.The fact is that people like that really don't care,he will merrily bounce into some other sucker's life and forget about you,and you would be wise to put this down to experience.If he returns the keys you can't charge him for new locks.You also cannot charge for cleaning unless you have an invoice from a cleaning company.He will be gone within days.I would get yourself a bottle of something nice for that evening,and raise a glass to "Absent friends".All part of life's rich tapestry,and I promise a few months/years from now,you will find it rather funny.
I have heard some real horror stories over the years from friends who had lodgers,and the one time I came close to doing that  I really dodged a bullet thanks to fate/karma. I found it preferable to live on Weetabix and baked potatoes and forego the rent.
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« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2021, 04:19:18 PM »

I think the Deposit you took is the least of your worries.

I don't think you'll be worried about the Deposit once you have the place back to yourself.

Right now you probably think it's a bigger deal than it is. Sometimes it's worth it if it just get shot with as little aggro as possible. I would probably return it - all - with a genuine smile.

True, if only I was so confident I could definitely get him out even after the notice period. He doesn't seem to be budging and so far taking the relaxed approach and taking his 'word' has proven meaningless. I have just found him in the house relaxing and his friend round, using all the facilities even given the circumstances.

Edit: I have since recieved an apology for his friend using the shower without permission and been reassured that will  be out in time which has alleviated my concerns. I am only looking for a controntationless hassle free experience of him leaving also as per the recommendationed approach on here. I just have to pray that he does but so far I can't see any reason for his lying.


This is all about feeling let down by a friend,and looking for ways to punish him.I get it,been there.The fact is that people like that really don't care,he will merrily bounce into some other sucker's life and forget about you,and you would be wise to put this down to experience.If he returns the keys you can't charge him for new locks.You also cannot charge for cleaning unless you have an invoice from a cleaning company.He will be gone within days.I would get yourself a bottle of something nice for that evening,and raise a glass to "Absent friends".All part of life's rich tapestry,and I promise a few months/years from now,you will find it rather funny.
I have heard some real horror stories over the years from friends who had lodgers,and the one time I came close to doing that  I really dodged a bullet thanks to fate/karma. I found it preferable to live on Weetabix and baked potatoes and forego the rent.

I absolutely disagree, my emotions are not invested, I couldn't care less to punish him, I just want him to know that I'm serious that he can't keep walking all over me only because I want him to know I won't let him do something ridiculous like try to barricade himself in in an effort to cause further risk to my job. I agree he doesn't care, that's exactly why I am in this trouble. I don't care either personally unless it affects my work, which it is. There's 3 days left and so far as far as I can tell hasn't moved any of his stuff and I am getting nervous now. I am on the brink of going down the changing the locks route.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 05:01:33 PM by spoofproof »
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« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2021, 04:46:48 PM »

If the day comes and he is still there refusing to budge,you could try the local community police who could escort him off the premises.You could then get the locks changed.Likewise,if he went out after the deadline, you could put his stuff under cover in the garden or a shed,and get the locksmith round.What did he say when you gave notice,he must have shown some reaction?
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2021, 05:06:59 PM »

Ok, thanks Heavykarma that does make a lot of sense. I think this is the probably the path of least resistance too.

Since my last post I have recieved an apology for letting his friend have a shower and also been reassured that he would be definitely leaving on the 6th day.

Yes, well he was actually the one who suggested moving out in the first place, but only after I had given him a very hard time about what he had done. Hence his reaction to the notice was actually just 'Ok, no problem, that's fine.' in a non confrontational voice.

 
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