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Geeza
GOLD Member since May 2006

Geeza

addict
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Total posts: 694
Posted:In mid Jan of this year I moved into a room in a house with 5 mates. The room i moved into used to be rented by another mate who's company offered him a pay rise and also agreed to pay for the rest of his rent (up until june)



I moved in and I agreed with the 5 others in the house i would pay them my rent money towards the bills instead of paying a sixth of the bills and rent aswell.



Apparently the landlord has found out there is a sixth person in the house from when viewings have been taking place and my stuff has been seen.



Now, what i think has happened is that my mate who used to be in my room has told his company someone is living there and they have though "balls to paying for the room when someone is in it"



I have not signed anything and presumably neither has his company (only the lad who moved to the company) I have paid 2 months rent towards bills.



My mates in the house are not subletting to me because the room is already paid for (although the company havent been paying the rent) I have only been paying bill money.



Where do i stand legally and what do you think is the best way to sort this out? I suppose i could either pay half rent with the company, but as i see it the landlord will just want to get full rent from the company and someone extra for me living there



Sorry for the long ramble


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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Total posts: 1365
Posted:Let me just clarify, where is the person who's company is paying his rent living now? And the company did not pay your rent (understandably!)

Unfortunately, as you have not signed anything, legally you don't have a leg to stand on. I personally would forget about the company, as they are incredibly unlikely to pay for the rent of someone who they are wholly unconnected to, and focus on how you're going to stay in the house, if you want to.

The company would have signed paperwork with your friend, comfirming his payrise, and that they would pay his rent. Unfortunately for you, that agreement will have been between your friend and his company, and no-one else (ie. not the landlord), and will not be transferable to you (in the same way that his pay rise is not transferable to you!). If they iknow that he is not living there, then there is little chance they will pay the rent. If they don't, your friend could get into serious trouble if they found out further down the line.

If you have been paying for all the bills, it sounds like what you will need to do, is get this money back, only paying for your sixth, so the bills are then diveded between the 6 of you as normal and then use the money to pay the rent to the landlord, if he will accept it. If you do this, make sure you sign a lease with your landlord ASAP.

If I were you, I would also keep an eye open for other places to live, just in case. I'm sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear. Hope it helps though.


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Geeza
GOLD Member since May 2006

Geeza

addict
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Total posts: 694
Posted:A company asked the person who was living in the house if they wanted to take a job in another city for a higher rate of pay. He wasnt sure about it, then they also agreed to pay the rent on his room until the end of the year. So they do know he's not living there because thats what they agreed.



If the company turns around and says they are not paying the rent on one of the rooms (im not actually in his old one) then that surely leaves him in the crap because he was the one that signed the contract for a year to live there.



If worse comes to worse then the landlord asks me to sign something, at which point i move out having not paid him a bean. Im guessing i dont have to as i havent signed anything. OR i pay him rent and dont pay any bills for 3 months (as i have already paid 2 months)



Either this or sort something out where i pay 1/2 rent and the landlord still gets money from the company. Bearing in mind this company has a fair bit of money more than me!



(ignore the last bit, they are rich by not being stupid)


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:Is it rented as a shared house, or as individual rooms?
Ask to look at one of your housemates tenancy agreements if available, otherwise the clue is usually in whether there's any locks on the bedroom doors.

Either way, it's none of the company's business because:

a) if it's let as a shared house, the only limit there could be on the number of people allowed to reside there would be on the tenancy agreement.
If this is unspecified, or even if specified but not exceeded, it generally means it's not even any of the landlord's business either.

or, as it sounds:

b) if it's being let as individual rooms, you're not living in the room the company is referring to anyway.
Therefore, regardless of whether you have a tenancy agreement on that room, or how much you are paying, it's a matter between yourself and the landlord, though I can understand his point of view if you are living in an additional room which you're not paying rent upon.

Even if you were living in that room, it is the remainder of the tenancy agreement of your friend which the company is paying for, which the company agreed to do whether or not there was anyone living there.
As the tenancy hasn't been ended early nor transferred to anyone else, they should be obliged to honour their own agreement with your friend.

If the rooms are let individually, I would advise you and your mate to come to some kind of informal agreement until June which would allow you to move into this guy's vacant room and to continue paying your share if the bills.
Landlords are generally happy as long as the rent as being paid (check), the bills are being paid (check) and the property is being kept in it's original condition, which your friends should easily be able to vouch for your ability to do.

Note - this advice won't apply for all housing circumstances but it should apply to what I can conclude from your situation smile


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Total posts: 1365
Posted:Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant.

Spanners advice is good, but the other thing to bear in mind is that it sounds like the company agreed to pay his rent for the rest of the year, so that your friend could honour his contract and not have the burden of paying two sets of rent. (If this is the case, I would suspect that if your freind found someone to take over his contract, then the company would no longer pay the rent. Or at least if they had any sense, thats what they would say, otherwise they are throwing money away!).

I would be very careful about how you tread, if you end up living in someone's property, without the rent being paid, and with no paperwork, you or your friend could get into a lot of trouble!

First thing you need to do, is find out exactly what the terms and conditions are of your friend's company paying his rent, and whether they will cover you in this situation or not. You will then need to take things from there.

Good luck


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Geeza
GOLD Member since May 2006

Geeza

addict
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Total posts: 694
Posted:thanks for all the advice people.

How exactly would i be in a lot of trouble? I would have thought its my mates for letting me stay in the room, not me?

Why is no paperwork bad, what could the landlord do with no paperwork? If I move out, he doesnt know who i am


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Geeza
GOLD Member since May 2006

Geeza

addict
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Total posts: 694
Posted:Got some info. Apparently the lad who's room it was has said nothing to the company but because the landlord knows there is a sixth person living in the house he wants rent off me, which he will then give 25% of it to the lad whos room it was and 25% to the 5 other mates im sharing with.

Suppose i could do this and put the 25% towards bills and just pay a bit more. Landlord doesnt know ive been there as long as i have anyway so the other months i wont pay him. (as ive already paid rent towards all bills anyway)


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted: Written by: Geeza


Why is no paperwork bad, what could the landlord do with no paperwork? If I move out, he doesnt know who i am




That's presuming you move out before he move you out: if you're on the wrong side of the law as detailed in my last post (any joy in finding a contract to look at yet?), you've probably got next to no rights, likely less than even squatters rights.

Unfortunately, too many landlords are either ignorant of housing law or choose to take it into their own hands, which tends to result in a rather swifter, more personal ejection by the landlord than through the lawful court eviction procedures.

Which is why, either way, if you're going to begin paying rent, you'll be needing a contract as well smile


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Sorry but this sounds a bit confusing to me...

5 lads - 1 (off to live with the company) + you = makes still 5 to me and not 6 shrug

Companies would usually just credit a certain (agreed) amount towards their employees account and not to the landlord directly... sidenote: this surplus alone is proof of a contract between them and your friend.

Still I'm confused now whether this guy is living there or not? Does he rent another room at the place he is working now? Do you physically share the room/ bed with him?... you know what I mean....

If - in fact - there are now 6 people permanently residing in the house, you have to compensate the landlord - other than that your lad is making profit by sharing a room with and subletting it to you. A higher occupancy (if not agreed on) might invalidate the initial rental agreement altogether.

If - in fact - there is now the same number of tenants (5), there is no reason for a higher payment towards the landlord.

If - in fact - you're simply taking the place of 1 guy while he his away on assignment (i.e. not living in the house) - you guys might have done a mistake when sorting this out amongst each other and latest with the landlord 'cause you could have just paid the share of your rent and bills to this 1 guy, who then passes it on to the others. He could temporarily leave you his room (for a few months) "just for friends" and even if you'd 'share beds': as long as you can present a rental contract for your (fictive) residence... It's about your status as 'resident' vs. 'visitor'.

In any case your share of the rent should not exceed a fifth share of rent and bills (as long as there are 5 guys living in the house, if there are 6 its a sixth).

However, there are two kinds of contracts: a) in writing and b) verbally (pls check with UK laws).
Here we got a verbal contract, it is effective (you live in the house and you pay for it), thus leading to the question: do you have proof that you paid? Receipt, account statement, witnesses? Do they/you have witnesses on the conditions you agreed to? (This determines how much of a dispute can arise...)

Finally (when it comes to your liability) - you should only be responsible to your (verbal) contract with the fifth tenant. Any liability resulting from the rental contract of the house --- you haven't signed this contract and you have not signed any agreement that puts you in this position (*lawyers voice* "I hope"). In this case I see not legal way to hold you responsible for other ppls contracts that you have never agreed to...

If - in fact - I have not gotten the actual situation at all: ignore this post.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted: Written by: FireTom

Companies would usually just credit a certain (agreed) amount towards their employees account and not to the landlord directly... sidenote: this surplus alone is proof of a contract between them and your friend.







I'm not even sure it's even proof of a contract, but it's certainly no proof of its terms and conditions.



 Written by: FireTom

If - in fact - there is now the same number of tenants (5), there is no reason for a higher payment towards the landlord.







There is if they're let as individual rooms and if he's living in a different room to that which his friend vacated.



 Written by: FireTom

If - in fact - you're simply taking the place of 1 guy while he his away on assignment (i.e. not living in the house) - you guys might have done a mistake when sorting this out amongst each other and latest with the landlord 'cause you could have just paid the share of your rent and bills to this 1 guy, who then passes it on to the others.







In the case that he is living in the room his friend vacated (can we have same clarification on this please Geeza?), rooms being let individually or there being an agreed limit on the number of people living in the shared house, paying rent would count as subletting which is usually either forbidden by the tenancy agreement or allowed only with prior permission from the landlord.



 Written by: FireTom



However, there are two kinds of contracts: a) in writing and b) verbally (pls check with UK laws).







Verbal contracts are legal but also virtually unenforceable.



 Written by: FireTom

Here we got a verbal contract, it is effective (you live in the house and you pay for it), thus leading to the question: do you have proof that you paid? Receipt, account statement, witnesses? Do they/you have witnesses on the conditions you agreed to? (This determines how much of a dispute can arise...)







Irrelevant if subletting (in the case as above) whether verbal or not as the agreement wasn't supposed to have been made with an existing tenant rather than the landlord in the first place.

It's also irrelevant how much was paid as payment doesn't equal that agreement.



Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and I'd like there to be one who could contribute better to this thread than I am - if I'm wrong, fair play - but I have had to move on average every 6 months to one year over the past decade, having to deal with private landlords each time.

This means that unfortunately I do feel that it would be only responsible of me to comment on any theorising on what should happen under UK housing law with my experience of what actually tends to happen in practice, especially because having any problem with keeping a roof over your head is one of the most stressful things to deal with as it is without further confusion on top smile



hug


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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The Tea Fairy
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...

Total posts: 853
Posted:offtopic I know, but does anyone have any advice about getting deposits back? In what circumstances does the landlord get to keep them? I know in our contract it said something about the deposit covering the cost of any damage to the property aside from 'reasonable wear and tear', but what's 'reasonable' wear and tear when you've been living somewhere for 2 1/2 years? We moved out a week ago and I haven't heard from the landlord about oru deposit yet, so just getting ready in case we have to fight for it, because we really didn't trash the place at all.

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Tea Fairy, I've found that if you've gone through an agent they will take you for everything they can. I've dealt with the Residential Tenency Act Queensland, so what my experience is may not apply elsewhere.

At the start of your tenancy you should have been given an inventory that listed the condition of everything (all furniture, fittings and the property itself). The agent would have written the conditions on that, with a space for you to write your own opinion, say if the door was chipped, they might have written "undamaged" and you would have written "chip on the lower left hand corner". When you vacate, they'll go through with this list and note any damage, and anything other than the most minor scratches you become liable for if the damage wasn't noted when you moved in.

When you vacate, the place must be immaculately clean. If you do it yourself then get a professional to do the once-over so you get a receipt, without this in all likelihood the agent will delcare the place unclean and force you to pay for a professional clean. This has happened to me twice, even with my parents flying up and spending 3 days scrubbing everything. When I got a receipt for an hour's worth or pro-clean, nothing. (funnily enough, agents have recommended cleaners, I wonder if they get a portion of the fees).

The last place I rented, I lost half the deposit for "damage and dirtiness", which was utter rubbish. You have a month to appeal to get the rest back, which I did, in the end recovering $800 from a $1000 deposit. All your rights as both a private and agency tenant are set out in the RTA, which you can get either online or through rental agencies, which includes the time you have to wait for the return of your deposit. (does not apply outside Australia)


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Total posts: 1365
Posted:I've never had a problem getting a deposit back, even when I was even told we would, although I remember my ex had a bit of trouble. You're quite lucky in that in the UK at the moment, they've really toughened up the law about landlords giving deposits back. I wouldn't worry about proffesional cleaners (sounds like you've already left anyway). Rather than worrying about your landlord not giving it back, I'd go and ask him now. Chances are, he'll give it back, and if not, ask exactly why, and take it from there.

You really need to be proactive, if you don't ask, you don't get, and the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get it back. Don't wait and expect your landlord to come to you, they're probably hopeing you've forgotten about it!

If he says you can't have it back, like I say, find out the reason, then if you can't think of a solid argument, just say that you dispute that claim, and you need to discuss the matter with your former flatmate before taking further action. That will then give you time to think and sort it out.

Good luck. Believe that you will get it all back when you phone, otherwise they may take advantage of uncertainty in your voice.


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Tea Fairy
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...

Total posts: 853
Posted:Cheers! I'll probably get my bf to call him, he's really good at arguing things in a logical, calm way and much less likely to sound uncertain about getting it back!! I guess we should ask the landlord about it as soon as possible (the contract did say he had 28 days to return it to us but I guess it's not in his interests to be pro-active about it!). Cheers for all the advice.

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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