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  • FIRST POST
    • bongo_boy
    • By bongo_boy 17th Aug 17, 8:02 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 14Thanks
    bongo_boy
    Landlord V Lodger deposit advice please
    • #1
    • 17th Aug 17, 8:02 PM
    Landlord V Lodger deposit advice please 17th Aug 17 at 8:02 PM
    Dear Forum,

    I am a live in land lord. I let 2 rooms in my house, and we all share the kitchen, lounge, bathroom. Any party that rents a room is by law a lodger (as opposed to a tenant), or excluded occupier.

    The following is a situation that is new to me I would appreciate advice with please, as I am struggling to find information online. I will list the facts as I have them.

    A new lodger viewed my property.
    He agreed to let the room verbally - and confirmed in writing (SMS).
    We agreed a move in date verbally - and confirmed in writing (SMS).
    The rent amount was clearly stated in the advert. The tenant said he accepted the rent amount - verbally only.
    We agreed the length of his stay - 3 months - confirmed in writing (SMS)
    The lodger paid the deposit, and was due to move in this weekend.
    I stopped advertising the room.

    Yesterday the lodger decided he no longer wants to move in and informed me in writing (SMS), and requested a full refund of his deposit.
    I accepted his decision to end his 'tenancy', but declined to refund his deposit.
    I informed the lodger that he had agreed to 3 months (verbally and by SMS). As such he owes 3 months rent.
    I said that as a gesture of good faith I would charge only one month's rent and refund the balance, so partially covering the rental income lost by me, on the assumption I could get another lodger.
    The lodger provided his bank details and I refunded the balance.

    Today the lodger contacted me and wrote the following:

    Dear xxx
    Thank you for recently returning xxx of the yyy deposit paid.
    Given the situation I have sought independent legal advice as to my position.
    I paid the above mentioned sum to you in good faith, as requested, as deposit funds for a fixed term tenancy of 3 months. By your own admission, and only after I requested return of the funds, the "deposit covers shortfall in rent". No agreement was made for the funds to be held for any other reason than the aforementioned. Given that no agreement was signed, despite the intention to do so, no relationship of landlord and tenant began. Rent can not therefore be payable, thus no shortfall can arise.

    I trust that you will be returning the outstanding balance to me as a matter of urgency, less zz as a reasonable gesture by myself for your costs and time. Should payment not be received within 5 working days, I will be instructing my solicitor to issue a claim to the county court money claims centre (Wales). Given that you have suffered no pecuniary loss, I would hope that you recognise my suggested course of action to be in the best interests of both parties."


    The lodger is correct, no contract was signed.

    However, my understanding is that 'giving' and 'receiving' possession means the act of the landlord saying how much rent is and when the lodger can move in, and in return the lodger saying they want it and will move in on that date. The agreement/tenancy then commences from that date and it is irrelevant if no contract is signed.

    In this instance the contract is verbal - with written confirmation via SMS.

    I want to do what is correct by law.

    If I have no legal right to deduct rent owed from the deposit that was paid, I will refund all monies owed.

    However, as I rely on this income, I fully intend to keep the 'rent' retained that I deducted which is in my possession.

    I would appreciate advice on this situation from the legal standpoint.

    Am I entitled to withhold the deposit or not?

    Many thanks in advance for your assistance.
Page 2
    • OscarFoxtrot
    • By OscarFoxtrot 26th Mar 19, 9:31 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    OscarFoxtrot
    Hi everyone I'm new here, just looking for some advice. I had a lodger agree to move in on 12th April and they paid 250 holding deposit so that I could delete the online advert and save the room for them. The lodger has called me this evening (over a week later) stating that they have changed their mind and want their deposit back. I have declined four good people for the room since this person agreed to move in. I put together a tenancy agreement (stating rent price and 500 security deposit) and sent it to the person for review when they said they wanted the room but they didn't sign it. The full security deposit for the house would be 500 when they moved in of which I would take off the 250 already paid from the holding deposit once they move in. I feel in a difficult position as I am now frantically trying to find a new tenant after thinking everything was all sorted for the last 8 days. Can people please advise legally on what I should do? From forums searches I am grasping that I am under no obligation to return this. Thanks
    Originally posted by Dunree1
    No idea what you're on about, you say lodger, then tenant and deposit for the whole house.


    As for returning the deposit, what do you have in writing? Because at the minute it's clear this is a security deposit (which may need protecting) and which you have no right to withhold.
    • Honeylife
    • By Honeylife 16th Apr 19, 11:40 AM
    • 136 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    Honeylife
    Hi everyone I'm new here, just looking for some advice. I had a lodger agree to move in on 12th April and they paid 250 holding deposit so that I could delete the online advert and save the room for them. The lodger has called me this evening (over a week later) stating that they have changed their mind and want their deposit back. I have declined four good people for the room since this person agreed to move in. I put together a tenancy agreement (stating rent price and 500 security deposit) and sent it to the person for review when they said they wanted the room but they didn't sign it. The full security deposit for the house would be 500 when they moved in of which I would take off the 250 already paid from the holding deposit once they move in. I feel in a difficult position as I am now frantically trying to find a new tenant after thinking everything was all sorted for the last 8 days. Can people please advise legally on what I should do? From forums searches I am grasping that I am under no obligation to return this. Thanks
    Originally posted by Dunree1
    NEW THREAD PLEASE ( Lodger Changed Mind Help?) THEN WE CAN RESPOND!
    "... 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
    • bigisi
    • By bigisi 16th Apr 19, 12:13 PM
    • 555 Posts
    • 996 Thanks
    bigisi
    NEW THREAD PLEASE ( Lodger Changed Mind Help?) THEN WE CAN RESPOND!
    Originally posted by Honeylife
    That poster hasn't been back to this thread since posting it over two weeks ago, what's the point of dragging it up again just to say what the two posters before you have already said?
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