Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • CVP
    • By CVP 16th Mar 17, 8:57 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Getting Rid of Difficult Lodgers - Please Help!
    • #1
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:57 AM
    Getting Rid of Difficult Lodgers - Please Help! 16th Mar 17 at 8:57 AM
    Hi all

    I have just had some difficult lodgers move out and would really appreciate some advice on how to handle the final stages of their departure as I think they're aiming to make it as stressful as possible!

    I rented a single room to the first lodger 2 years ago; after about a year she asked if her girlfriend could move in and they would take the double room that was available at that time. I said that was fine, but unfortunately it was many months later that her girlfriend finally moved in, by which time the double room was occupied. They've subsequently been sharing the single room for the last 5 months. Neither of them had a written lodger agreement.

    I didn't mention the girlfriend paying any rent or bills at the time (which I really regret now obviously) as it was a pretty casual conversation and I figured we would sort it out once the girlfriend got a job (which she still hasn't) or I would add on additional cost to their rent for the double room to cover it (which then didn't go through). It didn't occur to me that she would begrudge paying her way as I knew them both fairly well - or so I thought - and didn't think they would be !!!!!!!!!!s.

    When I gave them notice via email and text I asked that we discuss the financial contribution the girlfriend would make for having stayed in the flat rent-free for 5 months. They ignored both messages completely, and ignored me in person for most of their notice period. Needless to say it made for a really stressful living situation for me.

    Now they've left but not returned either set of keys, and demanded the deposit back in full stating that the girlfriend paying bills is a "separate conversation". As the deposit is only 375 I don't feel that I owe them much/any of it given the circumstances.

    I guess my questions are -
    1. Am I being unreasonable asking for contribution to bills, irrespective of that not being in writing at the outset?
    2. At what point can I change the locks and charge them for that? I can't seem to find any clear answers on this one.

    I would really appreciate any help, as I'm currently driving myself mad worrying about it. They've literally only moved around the corner too, which doesn't help!
Page 2
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 19th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
    • 5,622 Posts
    • 11,802 Thanks
    Thanks for everyone's advice. I've returned the deposit, and have been asked to send copies of the bills to the girlfriend so she can see what she owes...although she was already trying to work this out by excluding any time she was away from the flat. Sigh.

    The plot thickens with the remaining two lodgers: I found out by pure coincidence that the four girls had been looking to move out all together (giving me 3 days' notice instead of the month in the written agreements these two do have) to share a house nearby. It fell through because they couldn't afford it. I think I will have to ask them to leave now too, as clearly they are not to be trusted. Shame.
    Originally posted by CVP
    Why are you sighing? She never agreed to anything.

    And on that note, I think it's best you stay away from lodgers.
    • Honeylife
    • By Honeylife 8th Apr 17, 12:09 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    Hahaha I did think about that, but sadly I don't know any 'big Dave' types. Luckily it didn't come to that.

    Re the bills: I guess this is my own fault because my original lodger was always on about how we were "friends" and that she didn't see me as a landlord anymore. I don't so much as sleep on a friend's sofa for a weekend without repaying the kindness, so I would never dream of living somewhere for months without paying anything. Lesson learned. I guess I'm aggrieved because this is her first place away from home and she has been stroppy and entitled the entire time she's been here, so I feel I've been pretty accommodating with no thanks in return. Hopefully the next landlord will have a different relationship with her.
    Originally posted by CVP
    My tuppence worth everything you need to know about being a live in landlord.
    Never ever be friends! It's business. That way nothing like this will happen again.
    Take your expenses ie the cost if changing the lock, out of the deposit, refund the rest.
    Chalk it up to experience and move on You weren't on the ball, that will never happen again. In future Make sure you have proper paperwork in place that's signed. If it's single occupancy stick to that, much easier to deal with one person than two... two against one...practically bullying so avoid in future.

    You say the current lodgers were planning to leave giving you only three days notice. If your paperwork ie your Agreement, says a months notice then you would be entitled to take the appropriate sum from the Deposit. No haggling! I have done this. I also remind them I can legally do this at the point if signing paperwork. Its business, put your business head on.
    Last edited by Honeylife; 08-04-2017 at 12:15 PM.
    "... during that time you must never succumb to buying an extra piece of bread for the table or a toy for a child, no." the Pawnbroker 1964
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

338Posts Today

5,878Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line?

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin