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No contract + another question

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502 views 3 replies latest reply: 04 March 2014
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Tenant

Me and 5 other flatmates rent rooms in a flat in London.
We have no contracts at all, we just pay rents to the landlord each month through bank transfer.
I guess, this is more than current in London, but I would like to know how legal/illegal is this.

Another point: the landlord decided to rent the living room.
As we have no contract, he obviously did not break any agreement between us about this, but, here again, I would like to know how legal/illegal it is to rent the living room of a flat.

Thanks

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Tenant

Does the landlord live in the property too?

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Tenant

No.
He shows up approx. once a month to pick up the mail.
He manages many flats.

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Tenant

When you moved in did you have a verbal agreement to share the facilities such as the lounge, kitchen, bathroom etc?

The fact that you don’t have a written tenancy agreement does not mean you don’t have any rights. If you did have a verbal agreement to share the facilities in the house, you have the same rights as if you had an assured shorthold tenancy. This means that if the landlord wanted you to leave he would have to follow the correct eviction process and serve you with the correct notice giving you a minimum of two months to leave.

It suggests something not quite right if the landlord has not given you tenancy agreements and of course if you had a verbal agreement to share the lounge and now he has rented it out, he has broken that verbal agreement.

You should go to your nearest Citizens Advice office or call them to get some help but bear in mind that if you try to protect your rights, the landlord may decide to serve you with notice (he cannot just ask you to leave). This might happen because you will be shining a spotlight on his activities.

You mention that he comes to pick up the mail. It may be that the owner of the house has a mortgage and has not declared that the property is being let. You might want to look at the mail the next time it arrives since building societies often have their logo and address printed on the outside of the envelope. If the property is being let without the mortgage lender’s permission it will render any insurance the owner has invalid. If the mortgage lender finds out about the situation the owner of the property will not be very popular and will suffer repercussions.

If you find that the mail is coming from a mortgage lender take a note of the name and you could suggest to the landlord that you believe the property is being rented out without the mortgage lender’s knowledge. This might get you your lounge back. However, you should attempt to find alternative accommodation since if the landlord/owner gets into trouble with the mortgage, the lender can evict you in any event.

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