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Lodger or HMO tenant?

(8 Posts)
SilverDragonfly1 Tue 29-Dec-15 16:47:13

I can't find the exact situation on google.

Person owns a house, but moves away for work. Their adult DC is left in the property rent free to 'manage' it. The owner (not the DC) also takes in 3 lodgers, who pay rent directly to owner.

The three lodgers have contracts headed 'Lodger's Agreement', which is why I've called them that. However, I suspect that this would be considered an HMO and that the owner is calling their tenants 'lodgers' so that they can get out of things like safety checks and protecting deposits, while demanding unreasonable notice periods and holding onto deposits with no fear of arbitration.

Apologies for the lack of detail that may make this harder to read, but I would prefer to give as little as possible away. Am I right?

ftm123 Tue 29-Dec-15 18:21:42

This is an HMO as there are more than 3 unrelated people sharing. It may not need to be a licensed HMO, this will depend on the local authority rules.

emwithme Tue 29-Dec-15 18:32:59

HMO, and they are tenants.

If the contract was in the name of the adult DC, then it would be lodgers (or some other form of excluded occupier, so no need for deposit protection), but still an HMO (so still need the extra fire stuff or similar)

SilverDragonfly1 Tue 29-Dec-15 19:47:30

It doesn't need to be licensed in our borough, but was wondering about the stuff like boiler checks, fire alarms etc. Mainly checking in case the 'lodger' who is thinking of moving has trouble getting his deposit back and needs some leverage. Hopefully they will play fair, but they have form for unprofessional behaviour...

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 30-Dec-15 09:03:52

The contract is in the name of the adult DC, but she doesn't get any of the rent paid to her.

They are exactly the type of landlords people dread really- amateur/accidental with just enough legal advice to avoid all their responsibilities while minimising the rights of the tenants who are paying for the mortgage on a very desirable property...

specialsubject Wed 30-Dec-15 10:25:57

yep, dreadful landlords. Stamp them out by not renting from them!

if the property OWNER lives there, they are lodgers. But he doesn't, so it is an HMO and heavily regulated. Report to the council and sue for non-protection of deposit.

all the protections are there.

emwithme Wed 30-Dec-15 11:28:31

It doesn't matter where the property owner lives. If the owner is allowing the adult DC to sublet (which I presume they are) then the adult DC is the "landlord" and they are excluded occupiers (according to the Shelter Tenancy Checker which is an excellent tool).

It is still an HMO, though. A live-in-landlord can have up to two lodgers/excluded occupiers so by having three other people living there, they need to comply with the normal HMO rules

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:45:28

Yes, em's right. Thank you for the links. Could only find stuff directly related to licensed HMO's previously!

This has been raised with owner and now the conditions for return of the deposit (and timescale for that) have become much more generous ;)

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