Sorry, this is a bit of a long one.
I currently live in a flat in the attic space above my landlady’s garage which sits on her property. I pay monthly rent. Although small it is entirely self sufficient with its own kitchen, bathroom, living area, and with its own private entrance and hallway. I share no accomodation with my landlady whatsoever, only the same driveway. The garage is a separate building about 20 feet from my landlady’s main residence, but is on her land. It doesn’t have its own electricity meter (bills are included in rent) and I exclusively use a washing machine in the garage below, which is the landladys. There is a rental agreement but all it states is the rental amount, the deposit amount and that I am to be the sole occupier.
My landlady has served me notice to leave and given me 4 weeks!! Also she has not put my deposit in a deposit scheme. Effectively she believes I am a lodger since I am on her property. I believe I am a tenant as I live in a separate, self contained building. I have spoken to an adviser at Shelter (the housing charity) and to a housing officer at my district council and both have confirmed I am a tenant. But I spoke to a legal adviser through a scheme I subscribe to, and they have advised I could still be classified as an excluded occupier as I live on the same “property” as my landlady’s home.
I am not registered for council tax as my landlady told me I didn’t have to. I have since found out that I should be registered, but the Valuation Office Agency has no record of this extra flat I live in!! I’d rather pay council tax now than get chased for it in 6 years time if this ever gets found out.
In short, I am a tenant with all the legal rights therein or am I a lodger without a leg to stand on? And who decides, and when?