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Agony Agent is here to help!

20th November 2018

Q: Do I treat a room let in my home, the same as a flat let?

A: No.  Whilst there are some similarities between the two i.e monthly rental payments, written agreement and legal responsibilities, there are clear differences.

The best way to look at them is that people that rent out a room in your house are lodgers/ licensees, and people who rent out your property are tenants.  These words have different legal meanings.

A lodger is someone who lives in the same property as you.  In this case you are called a resident landlord.  Lodgers rent under a licence and have fewer rights e.g. you only have to give them ‘reasonable’ notice to leave which is normally 28 days – 1 month.

Tenants on the other hand are people who have sole and exclusive use of your property, and have more rights than lodgers which should all be listed under their AST.  A prime example is access rights, for tenants by law you must give 24h written notice unless it is an emergency.  For lodgers, no notice is required.

With both though, it is essential to ensure you have met all legal obligations and health and safety requirements; and of course ensure that checks have been made and the correct agreements have been signed prior to move ins.  Legal obligations, and health and safety requirements also differ for other types of tenancies, e.g. HMOs, so do check all requirements in each instance.

Do get in touch if you require any assistance.

Richard Bond

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