Leases usually include restrictions in respect of how you can use your flat.
A common restriction is to use the premises as a "private dwelling-house only" or alternatively as a "single private residence in one occupation only". There may also be a restriction "not to use the said premises or any part thereof for any business.”
A lodger is not normally a member of the tenant’s family. This will usually be because they are not related or it is a purely commercial venture, to enable the lessee to meet the costs of running the premises. They will often share the use of rooms, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or sitting areas, but will have separate domestic arrangements. The lessee will pay the bills even if the lodger makes a contribution towards them.
Each case is fact specific. The relationship between the parties has to be considered. For example:
- An adult child who pays ‘keep’ or who moves into the parental home to provide care will be unlikely to be a lodger. They will probably be regarded as part of the lessee’s single family unit so that the lease would not be breached.
- An unrelated carer, au pair or a student staying in the flat would be a breach, even if meals and bedding were provided.
- Having lodgers would be a breach of such clauses.
The Consequences of a Breach of Your Lease
The landlord in these cases can stop you having a lodger by making an application to the county court or the First Tier Tribunal. If the lodger continues to stay, you could, ultimately, in a very worst case scenario, lose your flat.
We Can Help
At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including leaseholders who wish to take in a lodger and wish to stay within the terms of their lease.
If you are contemplating renting out your flat as a whole or just a room, westrongly advise that you seek the advice of one of dedicated and experienced Property Disputes Solicitors. Timely advice at an early stage will no doubt lead to the avoidance of potentially expensive litigation. Our Leasehold Enfranchisement Department can also assist in re-negotiating or extending the lease on your property.