Beware the fake 'live-in' landlord

Hi Im new today

Want to make you aware of a problem that I only learned about the hard way.
I have been in this co tenant house for 5 years. When I advertised myself on a well known site I was contacted by a landlord and went to view. The advert said he was a live in landlord then during the interview he said he stays rarely so myself and the then co tenant basically have the house to ourselves. I signed a lodgers agreement. I didnt realise he would then just leave us to it. Time went on and he inferred that for tax reasons he says he lives in. I kept out of his finances of course so I just went with it.
HE HAS NEVER lived here. He has never maintained or cleaned his house. Never had any safety checks done. He will not settle any issues between myself and other tenant unyet he will just walk in unannounced to access a room he keeps as storage.Anytime of the day or night he appears like a ghost even allowing his family keys… Has full control of the out buildings and gardens and frequently lets people use the drive.
Last year after being threatened by him I sought legal advice and it turned out that this live in landlord sham is all about not issuing an AST and then of course making life easier and still allowing himself the best of both worlds. I have been robbed of the independence and privacy a private rental would bring : Id be able to choose my co tenant, sort disputes, do the gardens, use the garage and reclaim the 2nd living room and the drive! even decorate etc. and convenience of being a lodger: landlord on site, responsible for his home, maintains it, cares for it, witnesses issues and settles them)
Im neither. He has his cake has ate it and mine. DONT let this happen to you. It is not funny, its not healthy. I feel like hes ‘allowing’ me to live here. There is zero respect. I stay because I am not in a position to move right now but all relationship has broken down.

One way to get him is to report him to the taxman . he wont be reporting the income ,However anyone can rent out a part of their house to a lodger and “earn” up to about £7500 per year tax~free as long as the house is not divided into flats. Yes tax free. Get to that taxman!!

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I should report him, if for the anguish alone!
Yes thats right…but Im not a lodger…Im an AST, without the paperwork and without the freedom that comes from it. Canny **** he is.

You have signed a lodgers agreement you said

But Colin he doesnt and hasnt ever lived here. Ever.

sounds like a fiddle, plays like a fiddle

Consult a lawyer on this, but as he’s likely breaking the law you could be in a powerful position here. If your tenancy was found to be an AST, he’d clearly be in breach, have breached first, and thus shouldn’t have recourse for any breaches on your part.

An example in which you could benefit is having the flexibility to find a new place, leave, and stop paying rent with little or no notice.

However to cross your T’s and dot your I’s you’d have to tell him why you think he’s breached your implied AST, and give notice of any potential action.

So be sure to consult a lawyer on this - it’s not something I’ve ever done, and I am not a lawyer, it’s just an idea inferred from what I’ve read about tenancies and law. Also, you might have to be prepared to go to court to sort it out if he’s the assertive type.

Also, if he’s doing something this shady I’d be surprised if he’s protected your deposit properly. This colud open him up to a large fine in your favour. But the first thing to do is take advice on whether your tenancy would be considered an AST in law.

edit: Also consider talking to Shelter or Citizen’s Advice if a lawyer is too expensive

Colin If it sounds like a fiddle., its not a piano :wink:
Alex, yes I saw a solicitor last year after Shelters revelation who told me its true. There are not many housing solicitors left anymore thanks to legal aid pull but they are and I got her from the councils housing crisis department she works through my local CAB so very lucky. Thing is I have to wait for him to serve ‘incorrect’ notice then they can do something. In my post re gas cert Ive just explained the game changer that occurred yesterday- hes moving into this property officially as live in landlord. Ive never played chess but I think hes just won.