My landlord couple doesn’t allow me to wear mask indoor. The landlord wife says “If you wear mask indoor for the third time, get out. I will give you 3 days’ time.” ( I assume she was talking about notice period for eviction). I think she threatened me for eviction. But I still want to continue to wear mask to protect myself and others. She says I protect myself too much and I am selfish. She says “If someone else sees me wearing mask, they would think I have a problem and be scared of me. It would affect other tenants.” In fact, the third day I was in the shared flat, the husband landlord said “We are very healthy. If you are so afraid, then you shouldn’t live here. Masks don’t actually protect you. You still would be infected if someone had it in the house”. I said “if you are infected, you wouldn’t know even though you are healthy. Masks could minimize the chances of infection”. I notice the landlord couple doesn’t wear masks even when going out for gathering with friends. I am on a 6-month contract and all the rents and deposit are already paid. I think if the landlord evicts me for continuing to wear a mask indoors, I should be able to get back the deposit as well as my rent? I think the notice period should be 6 months during Covid? Currently, I wouldn’t dare wear a mask indoor. But I think I should since it is a health concern and the eviction is for no good reason. The landlord wife says “If you want to continue to live here, it depends if you can change yourself. It is your problem.” What should I do? Should I at least ask if the deposit will be returned to me and if there is a reasonable notice period for eviction?
In addition, I also accidentally broke a picture frame in the stairs of the house. Even though it didn’t look expensive and I asked to pay for it, she said she purchased it from betting and money couldn’t buy it back.
The science is unless it is an FFP3 filter mask that has been fit tested for leaks you are not 100% protecting yourself or anyone else.
Cloth and paper masks reduce droplet transmission ( eg when you talk and sneeze) and it is thought that there is a large amount of viral load in droplets but it does not 100% protect you or the third party.
Wearing a material mask is for someone else’s benefit rather than it is yours
You can maintain a 2 m distance as aerosol is unlikely to go beyond that point unless you sneeze cough talk or shout
Studies are currently being published demonstrating efficacy.
In short you cannot be evicted for wearing a mask and you are doing your Landlord a favour. But wash it daily if it is material( 60 degree wash as virus killed at 56 degrees) and change regularly if it is disposable otherwise they are a breeding ground for viral load and other bacteria etc.
I would speak to the council if you are threatened again. You cannot evict someone in the fixed term
Are you a tenant or a lodger?
Do they clean your room or provide meals?
Tell them you are doing it more for their welfare than yours
What type of tenant or lodger are you? You mentioned a shared flat.
Agree you should be able to wear whatever you want and that should extend to a mask.
Not sure how the flat is managed or arranged but if you haven’t already, it might be helpful to try and arrange things so you are not actually in shared spaces with the others.
Such as arranging times for kitchen use etc but obviously that depends on the agreement of the others.
In addition to what A_A has contributed, I have yet to see one person throughout this pandemic handle a mask correctly.
If someone in your flat had Covid and were wearing a mask (which gets very moist very quickly, and therefore becomes a Petri dish for bacteria and viruses) they touch the mask (which you see them doing all the time) and then touch every surface throughout the whole flat they are transferring all those germs.
I am living with live-in landlords so I assume I am a lodger. Some people say I have less legal protection?
How do I contact the council? I mean, after having a hard talking to from the landlord wife, I wouldn’t dare wear the mask around the house even though I still want to. So, I think I should approach the landlord about wearing a mask indoor again. But the thing is that the landlord gets really unhappy with me about it. But I think even if they evict me, they should return me the deposit as well as rent and provide me with reasonable notification period?
I cannot maintain a 2 m distance since the landlord husband could just come and talk to me. If I ask him to maintain a distance, he would be equally offended as if I put on a mask. His way of thinking is that if you are so afraid, then don’t live here. Or he thinks that I think they are unhealthy, or their house is dirty.
They do not clean my room or provide meals? For meals, so far they have cooked dinner twice but I have only had dinner once with them because they invited me to even though it is covid and we shouldn’t be having dinner together in a small dining table and chatting with each other. I didn’t and don’t want to have dinner with them anymore since they do not use public utensil for their dishes and everyone’s saliva is on the dishes.
I change my disposable mask regularly and never touch the mask when using it.
Now, the landlord husband asks me not to put on the hoodie hat indoor because it doesn’t look fortunate.
Did you sign an AST or a licence?
Do you have a lock on your door?
AST is a Tenant and has a lot of rights
A lodger has to be given reasonable amounts of notice eg 28 days ( your agreement that you signed will be called a license or lodger agreement)
If they ask you to leave make sure you get your excess rent back
The council have a housing department/ environmental health so ask to speak to them and explain your situation
Shelter may be able to advise you for free
Your other option is to open windows when you are in the same room. That is the advice of public health England.
Wearing a mask indoors is for their benefit not for yours.
You could remind them that people can be asymptomatic carriers so you are doing to protect them just in case you are a carrier
I appreciate you don’t touch your mask but I am talking about what other people do. What other people do is the danger to you.
It sounds a awful situation that the Landlords are breaking Covid rules.
How much contact are you having to have with your landlord and any other people living there?
As I say, keeping out of the company of others is a better way to protect yourself than being in their company but with a mask on your face.
I would just ring the number for the council and explain you want to talk to someone who can help you about a problem you have with your landlord and they will put you through to the right person.
I feel for you having the worry of having to live with others at this time.
I assume I am a lodger as they are live-in landlords?
I know people don’t wear the mask properly and I am not enforcing anyone to wear a mask indoor as I respect what they do. I just want to put on my own mask indoor. It worries me a bit that some of them are coughing continuously in the flat.
Yes, I understand. some people are very unknowledgeable about using the mask that they just put their used mask everywhere like on the desk or in their pocket.
Can’t really arrange times for kitchen use. The landlord can really use the kitchen whenever they want. Sometimes, they even invite friends to come over all of a sudden without notice and without mask. One time I was having dinner and all of a sudden a family came over to fry some chicken wings without mask. They talk loudly and have social gathering in the small living room like a party, like covid is not a thing. You have to adjust yourself for them.
Even in the previous rental place, I live with someone who is around 60 years old and he is acting like a landlord. He enters the kitchen whenever he wants. I feel like he is doing it on purpose while I am cooking. He doesn’t really need to use the kitchen but at the same time doesn’t want me to use for so long. He wants me to let him use the kitchen first for making some milk tea and filling up water bottle while I am cooking for my meal.
What was the title of the document you signed?
Assured Shorthold Tenancy or Licence agreement?
The title is “TENANCY AGREEMENT”. The Tenancy Agreement is one page long with signatures only but without any clauses. The only clauses is “please notice one month in advance for moving out, thanks”.
I have a lock on my door. I think every door has a lock no matter what house you are in?
I think they might give me back the excess rent. Otherwise, it would be really bad. The problem is whether they would give me back the deposit and provide me with reasonable notice period for eviction because they are the ones who want me to leave.
It is so unreasonable of the landlord. I am not sure if they are ignorant on purpose or their behaviors are based on feelings than reasons. The landlord wife says “We have all tested and we are all negative”, to which I responded “If you tested negative today, you might be infected tomorrow, for example, after grocery shopping and you never know. You are not testing everyday”.
Moreover, I doubt they have even tested since they don’t even take the covid situation seriously. Often, they go to social gatherings at night to other places without a mask and come back drunk.
Sounds like you have signed an AST
Lodgers are not allowed a lock on the door
Speak to Shelter. They can advise you for free legally.
They cannot just then evict you
Also how long is the agreement?
The agreement is 6 month long. So, this is the problem. If I don’t do something about it, I have to live through this for half a year.
Speak to Shelter. It’s free
I really do sympathise with you as I am at high risk of Covid and also ex-NHS medical staff so understand how you feel.
Sounds like the Landlords are breaking the rules quite badly.
There is the option of reporting them.
I think you may be able to report them online, I am not sure.
Very worrying for you having to share with others at this time.
If its a live-in landlord you have very few rights. However, I think you should find somewhere else to live as the landlord sounds quite nasty.
Sounds like the Tenancy is just something they have drawn up themselves.
Do you have a friend who you could look for a place with?
Sounds like you have had to put up with a lot from the various people you have had to live with.
If it was someone you knew it might be easier.
If you report them for breaking Lockdown rules you can do it anonymously.
I just moved to UK several months ago. I have one friend from my first tenancy and he was quite nice. Unfortunately, my room in that first property was small and I couldn’t really find a place to dry my clothes. All of a sudden, the agent suggested that I moved to another place more spacious and he asked for my age saying that he thought I could fit in better because people there were around my age. To my surprise, I noticed an old man in the whatsapp group and I knew there’d be trouble. As expected, I had trouble there again because the old tenan was behaving like a landlord. He was very fussy and monitored around all the time. One night I was trying to explain myself since he was mad at me. I lost grip of the toilet seat and it made a loud noise and he doubted that. I reported to the agent and not much they could do about it. Several times the old tenant slammed the door and cupboards just because of his ‘bad mood’. So I decided to move. I only had one month to look for a new flat before the end of my tenancy there. It was a really wrong move that I decided to move in with a live-in landlord couple because my mum and I thought they were nice. During the viewing, the landlord couple wasn’t even transparent with how many people that live in the flat. I was counting in front of them like and said “So, there were 5 people living here if I moved in as well? Aren’t there too many people including me. Wouldn’t there be many people cooking?”. The landlord wife said 'No, tenants here are lazy, they don’t really cook". Little did I know there are 6 people living in the house. Moreover, little did I know they often have gathering in the kitchen living room. Just like now I just came back from Tesco with all of my stuff and I haven’t cooked for my dinner yet. The landlords have dinner together with their friends and the landlord husband is still kinda drunk chatting with his friends in the kitchen living room. I am hungry and still waiting for them to leave now. I still have to put my veggies in the fridge. They have already finished their dinner and not sure why their friends are still hanging there in the house. I am not sure if they expect me to cook and have my dinner while they are chatting loudly without a mask in the dining table or should I eat somewhere else? Because I am not even allowed to eat in my room. Last night they came back drunk and the gathering went until 23:00 when I was trying to sleep. And of course, none of them wear a mask. Hopefully it will be better because I can’t imagine going through this for 6 months.
I would like to but I am on a 6 month contract. I am thinking that if it is due to health concern and moreover, the landlord talked about wanting me out if I wear a mask indoor again, I think they should return the deposit as well as rent to me.
Speak with Shelter and the Council today and let us know how you get on. You can get the ball rolling and be accountable on here.
In theory you should get your rent and deposit back but if they don’t hand it back you would need to fight so it may take time, so if you are relying on it to pay rent in any new place that might be difficult.
Sounds like they don’t know what they are doing legally, they have just written up, what they have called a ‘Tenancy’ on a piece of paper.
I can understand your concerns over the mask but a mask really does not offer you very much protection from any germs they might have, as said before, if other people do not use properly it can even spread more germs so your safest option is for these friends not to be there at all.
Would you be happy to report them or would you be worried they will think it was you?
I assume that there are neighbours around who must be seeing all these people going in and out of the house?
If you reported it this way and did not mention what went on inside, then it could surely be anyone who could have reported them.
I will speak with Shelter or the Council later since I have job interviews to prepare for. I have been applying and looking for jobs.
I am worried that they will think it was me based on the timing. Because I believe they have been having gathering during covid even before I moved into their house and I guess there has been no complaint from their neighbors. But I think this has to be solved. For the past three nights the landlord have invited friends over and just now I heard he was inviting his friend to come over again over the phone for tonight.
It sounds like the landlord would let you go if you wish and if not, you just wear a mask indoors and they will ask you to leave.