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    • apronedsamurai
    • By apronedsamurai 7th Jul 18, 9:53 AM
    • 45Posts
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    apronedsamurai
    Have been scammed by "landlord?"
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 18, 9:53 AM
    Have been scammed by "landlord?" 7th Jul 18 at 9:53 AM
    Saw an advert on Gumtree.

    Was advised I would bhe living with a live in landlord, thereby making me a lodger or "excluded occupier".

    I signed a tenancy agreement and applied for housing benefit. Turns out that the gentleman who gave me the tenancy agreement (and which we both signed and dated) is not the landlord at all, merely another tenant renting this two bedroom property.

    Thererfore, to be eligible for housing benefit I require the consent of the actual, legal owner which turns out to be some letting agency. However, according to him, they will just tell me to go if I inform them I am here. I am desperate, I have nowhere else to go, no friends or family to turn to, and despite my best efforts in trying to find somewhere else, I have had no luck.

    Would I be able to recover any money I paid to him on the grounds of fraud? He maybe subletting the property, but imo he has either defrauded me, or he is defrauding the real landlord by taking money that is not rightfully his for the landlord's property. Any advice would be gratefully recieved.
Page 1
    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 7th Jul 18, 10:41 AM
    • 535 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    buggy_boy
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 10:41 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 10:41 AM
    Saw an advert on Gumtree.

    Was advised I would bhe living with a live in landlord, thereby making me a lodger or "excluded occupier".

    I signed a tenancy agreement and applied for housing benefit. Turns out that the gentleman who gave me the tenancy agreement (and which we both signed and dated) is not the landlord at all, merely another tenant renting this two bedroom property.

    Thererfore, to be eligible for housing benefit I require the consent of the actual, legal owner which turns out to be some letting agency. However, according to him, they will just tell me to go if I inform them I am here. I am desperate, I have nowhere else to go, no friends or family to turn to, and despite my best efforts in trying to find somewhere else, I have had no luck.

    Would I be able to recover any money I paid to him on the grounds of fraud? He maybe subletting the property, but imo he has either defrauded me, or he is defrauding the real landlord by taking money that is not rightfully his for the landlord's property. Any advice would be gratefully recieved.
    Originally posted by apronedsamurai

    It does sound like the tenant is subletting without permission, the heading of this thread should probably be "Scammed by Tenant"
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 7th Jul 18, 12:16 PM
    • 4,880 Posts
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    csgohan4
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:16 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:16 PM
    You should have stopped when 'Gumtree' was involved in the sentence.


    I got scammed by Gumtree once, never again, you live and learn
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 7th Jul 18, 12:24 PM
    • 1,881 Posts
    • 2,704 Thanks
    FreeBear
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:24 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:24 PM
    Saw an advert on Gumtree.

    Was advised I would be living with a live in landlord, thereby making me a lodger or "excluded occupier".
    Originally posted by apronedsamurai
    Be very careful of adverts on gumtree or craiglist offering rooms - Heard way too many bad stories, particularly offers of low rent in exchange for "benefits"... https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/apr/02/sex-for-rent-accommodation-rogue-landlords-campaign

    That said, accommodation in exchange for genuine work (such as renovation, gardening, or social care) is not uncommon. As a live-in landlord myself with a pair of lodgers, I would be prepared to make rent reductions in exchange for gardening and/or help with certain DIY tasks. Also happy to accept lodgers claiming HB, so once the claim has been processed, the rent should be paid on time.

    Getting your money back from the current "landlord" may be difficult. As an "excluded occupant", there is no requirement to put any deposit in a protection scheme. And if you rock the boat, you can be kicked out without notice. However, subletting probably puts him in breach of his tenancy agreement - Use this to your advantage and let him know if your money isn't refunded, you'll take it up with the letting agency.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 7th Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    • 11,809 Posts
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    pmlindyloo
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    Are you a lodger or a sub tenant? A sub tenant must have exclusive use of one room (usually the bedroom) - i.e your live in landlord cannot enter it.
    A lodger needn't have this..

    The actual tenant of the property is your immediate landlord and their landlord is the head landlord. I am presuming you pay your rent to your immediate landlord. This is who you have a contract with. To claim housing benefit you should be showing them your contract with your immediate landlord, not the head landlord. Who told you that you need the contract from the head landlord?

    It does not matter whether you are a lodger or a sub tenant - you are still eligible for HB.
    Last edited by pmlindyloo; 07-07-2018 at 12:43 PM.
    • apronedsamurai
    • By apronedsamurai 7th Jul 18, 12:50 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    apronedsamurai
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:50 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:50 PM
    The council told me I needed the head landlord permission, on the grounds that the head landlord is the legal owner, not the tenant/my landlord.

    I have exclusive access to a bedroom which has a lock on it and an en-suite bathroom. I share a kitchen and lounge with my flatmate/landlord.

    My tenancy agreement is with Brian, my immediate landlord, the man I live with.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jul 18, 12:50 PM
    • 45,317 Posts
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:50 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:50 PM
    Saw an advert on Gumtree.
    Uh oh!

    Was advised I would bhe living with a live in landlord, thereby making me a lodger or "excluded occupier".
    OK

    I signed a enancy agreement Why? If you were to be a lodger? Still - makes no difference to either your status, or your contract as such.

    and applied for housing benefit. Turns out that the gentleman who gave me the tenancy agreement (and which we both signed and dated) is not the landlord at all, merely another tenant renting this two bedroom property.
    No. He is your landlord and you are his lodger.

    Thererfore, to be eligible for housing benefit I require the consent of the actual, legal owner which turns out to be some letting agency.
    This is a Benefits issue - not a housing issue.
    How do other lodgers claim benefits (I don't know)?

    However, according to him(you mean your landlord, or his landlord?), they will just tell me to go if I inform them I am here.
    The Benefits authorities cannot 'tell you to go'. Only a judge can do that to a tenant, and only a landlord can do that to a lodger.
    ......

    Would I be able to recover any money I paid to him on the grounds of fraud?
    What fraud?
    * someone told you you could move into a room in a house as a lodger
    * you signed a contract with that person and paid him
    * you moved in, and now live with him as agreed
    * he is your landlord.

    He maybe subletting the property No - this is not sub letting. You have a licence to occupy as a lodger
    , but imo he has either defrauded me,
    Hmm..
    * do you pay him rent?
    * does he let you live with him in return as promised?
    * where is the fraud?

    or he is defrauding the real landlord by taking money that is not rightfully his for the landlord's property.
    Originally posted by apronedsamurai
    ???
    I assume (correct me if I've misunderstood) he is paying rent to his landlord as agreed under his tenancy.

    Without seeing the terms of his tenancy we cannot know if taking in a lodger (you) breaches that agreement, but that is a matter between him and his landlord.

    Last edited by G_M; 07-07-2018 at 1:08 PM.
    • apronedsamurai
    • By apronedsamurai 7th Jul 18, 1:00 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    apronedsamurai
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:00 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:00 PM
    Actually, I have exclusive use of my room and there is a lock on the door, rendering me a sub-tenant?

    A lodger rents from the landlord or the person who owns the property, whereas a subtenant rents from another tenant.

    He does not own the property, he is a tenant himself, again,making me a sub-tenant...
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 7th Jul 18, 1:15 PM
    • 18,358 Posts
    • 16,588 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:15 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:15 PM
    I got scammed by Gumtree once
    Originally posted by csgohan4
    You mean you were scammed by somebody who just happened to advertise through Gumtree?


    OP - your landlord is your flatmate. You are their lodger. The fact that they are subletting is not (yet) your problem.
    • apronedsamurai
    • By apronedsamurai 7th Jul 18, 1:15 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    apronedsamurai
    No, I am their sub-tenant. I have exclusive occupancy of my bedroom.
    • apronedsamurai
    • By apronedsamurai 7th Jul 18, 1:29 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    apronedsamurai
    Are you a lodger or a sub tenant? A sub tenant must have exclusive use of one room (usually the bedroom) - i.e your live in landlord cannot enter it.
    A lodger needn't have this..

    The actual tenant of the property is your immediate landlord and their landlord is the head landlord. I am presuming you pay your rent to your immediate landlord. This is who you have a contract with. To claim housing benefit you should be showing them your contract with your immediate landlord, not the head landlord. Who told you that you need the contract from the head landlord?

    It does not matter whether you are a lodger or a sub tenant - you are still eligible for HB.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo

    It was the council.

    "Our records indicate that Mr X is not the legal owner of the property, and we must ask that he provides verification that the owner/letting agent of the property has authorized him to do so."
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jul 18, 1:33 PM
    • 45,317 Posts
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    G_M
    No, I am their sub-tenant. I have exclusive occupancy of my bedroom.
    Originally posted by apronedsamurai
    Again I'm guessing but I assume you share part of the acomodation with your landlord? The bathroom? The kitchen? Perhaps the sitting room?
    • Armorica
    • By Armorica 7th Jul 18, 1:47 PM
    • 738 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    Armorica
    So it's not you that requires the content of the owner, it's just that the landlord needs to have permitted the tenant to then in turn sub-let to you.

    Sub-letting in itself is not fraud. But it may be breach of Brian's contract with his landlord. Ask Brian to see a copy of his tenancy agreement (with the landlord/letting agency).

    Or just give up with him if you think he's breaching his contract. (It's actually possible that he would be kicked out for breaching his contract).

    An alternative is that the letting agent (might) be happy to deal with you directly - which would be a sounder legal footing. But that's unlikely - others may be able to advise better here what they would do if they were the landlord.

    Did you pay a deposit or just rent? If the former, that's more of a problem than the latter. There isn't really fraud in you having paid rent. But the chances of getting a deposit returned seem rather lower given the arrangements...
    • apronedsamurai
    • By apronedsamurai 7th Jul 18, 2:01 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    apronedsamurai
    Fraud in Scotland:

    "Acquisition of personal gain by deception".

    Brian did not disclose he was not the landlord, and was happy to maintain that facade whilst claiming money. IMHO he has defrauded either myself or his landlord, because he has kept quiet about this arrangement and obviously has not advised the head landlord/letting agent that he has indeed taken on a sub-tenant/renting out the property.

    I know sub-letting by itself is not fraud, but he did not even tell me that he was sub-letting at all, and maintained in every concievable way that HE was the landlord full and proper. But the fact he has not told the landlord, is getting money using their property, THAT imo definitely is fraud. I also imagine that he has not informed the relevant parties namely the Council Tax office or taxman etc.



    And yes, I have paid a deposit, and he gave me a print out of the account in which it was paid to (I paid both the rent and deposit via bank transfer and have kept the tenancy agreement he gave me).

    And again, that imo strengthens the mistaken belief (or sinister silence to use the legal terminology) that was manifestly perpetrated by Brian. He KNEW he did not have permission/was reckless in doing so when he rented the property and so that goes beyond mere error there, that goes to a delibrate course of action designed to gain a personal benefit/advantage/profit utilising deception. Deception can be through omission as well as admission.
    Last edited by apronedsamurai; 07-07-2018 at 2:06 PM.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 7th Jul 18, 2:06 PM
    • 12,907 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    Brian is your landlord though and you are his common law tenant.

    https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/renting_rights/resident_landlords
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jul 18, 3:33 PM
    • 45,317 Posts
    • 54,315 Thanks
    G_M
    so you waited till post 14 to tell us this comes under Scottish law.......


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