What is a lodger? “Thats a silly question” you will probably say, “Everyone knows what a lodger is!”. Someone who lodges. Indeed the free online dictionary defines it as ‘One that lodges, especially one who rents and lives in a furnished room’. So that clear. Or is it?
As a lawyer (and I should say here that any law in this series is only relevant for England and Wales UK), when considering a situation, I want to know what someone’e legal rights and obligations are. And for someone renting a room, that depends upon what type of occupation they have in law. There are two main types of occupation to consider. Tenancies and licenses.
Tenancies. It will probably surprise many people to learn that a tenancy is a type of ownership of land. If you have a tenancy of somewhere. you legally ‘own it’ for a slice of time – for the duration of the tenancy. There are lots of qualifications to this, but essentially that is what a tenancy is – a type of ownership of land. “Land” in this context can include a flat, or a room, including a room in the landlords house or flat. Furnished or not.
So if you rent a room out to someone for £50 per week, you don’t want them to end up with a tenancy, with all the rights which come with this. What you want them to have is a license.
Licenses. This is where someone has permission to occupy property (in this case a room) and is therefore not a trespasser. Licensees have far fewer rights than tenants.
So how can you prevent someone from getting a tenancy? And how can you best protect your position as a lodger landlord? ….
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