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Question

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) (England) | Types of Tenancies (England)

NTQ and licensees

17 Jul 2018 | 9 comments

Am i right that if there is shared house situation that they are licencees if they haven’t been issued an AST? they share common parts etc… plus if it is an NTQ but there are significant rent arrears, how does that work in terms of relying on rent arrears grounds? finally, in terms of serving an NTQ is it a full month pus up to last day of a tenancy?

Answer

9 Comments

  1. guildy

    No, that’s not correct. If it’s their only or principal home and the landlord does not live in the same building, they are assured shorthold tenants and the usual rules apply.

  2. eden2011

    even if they dont have keys for their own rooms? its one house with the same address, i read something about an AST exclusivity, which they dont have

  3. guildy

    Then it’s a single joint and several tenancy with all of them named. They all have equal exclusive possession of the whole house. The section 21/8 will be in all names too.

    Even if they have separate rooms, they are still ASTs because of section 3 Housing Act 1988:

    Where a tenant has the exclusive occupation of any accommodation (in this section referred to as “the separate accommodation”) and—

    (a)the terms as between the tenant and his landlord on which he holds the separate accommodation include the use of other accommodation (in this section referred to as “the shared accommodation”) in common with another person or other persons, not being or including the landlord, and

    (b)by reason only of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a) above, the separate accommodation would not, apart from this section, be a dwelling-house let on an assured tenancy,

    the separate accommodation shall be deemed to be a dwelling-house let on an assured tenancy …

  4. eden2011

    Isn’t this for an assured tenancy?

    The situation is that there is a house with 3 people, it was bought with them in situ (and an AST was enterted into with one of them) each pay rent for rooms (no locks on their doors) and they share kitchen and bathroom, the rent which is on the AST is divded by all 3.

    There is no written agreement in place with 2 of them, only verbal to pay a proportion of the global rent, and for one other there is an AST entered into (i believe the latter isnt one because of the situation im describing) it seems like these are actually licences

  5. guildy

    Do all 3 pay 1/3 each directly to the landlord or, does the one who has a written AST pay the whole rent then the other two pay their rent to that tenant?

  6. eden2011

    one pays 650 the other 2 350 as the former rents 2 rooms the other 2 one each all pay LL separately (though i would be interested to know how the situation would change if the 2 paid the other tenant and he pays the LL?

    After reading Street v. Mountford re exclusive occupation and if its a tenancy or a license and it seems to be down to if the doors are locked/have locks

    ‘You can also have a tenancy of a room in a shared house. But you have to have exclusive occupation of that room for it to be a tenancy. Generally, this means it has a lock on the door and no-one but the tenant is allowed in, without the tenants’ permission’.

  7. guildy

    To cover all bases, a notice could be served on all three individually, then, another single notice with all three names on it.

    It’s impossible to say with certainty from what’s described whether it’s 3 individual tenancies or a single joint and several tenancy. This article may assist deciding whether it’s a joint tenancy

    If the two were paying the tenant instead of landlord they may have been lodgers of the tenant. However, that isn’t what’s happening.

    On balance we’re preferring the three individual tenancies route just because they pay their rent individually but that alone is not the determining factor.

    It’s basically impossible to be a licence unless the landlord is living on the premises in which case it would be a lodger arrangement.

  8. eden2011

    I am still having an issue on this fast that there are no locks and exclusivity would point to licences and thus NTQ, are you certain that it cant be licences even though they all essentially share to house with no locks on their doors

  9. guildy

    100% certain. You’re reading only one small part of Street and taking it out of context.

    They have exclusive possession either of the whole house (if joint and several) or their room (if individual) because they can exclude all persons including the landlord. It’s the symbol of being able to do this even if they haven’t got a physical lock.

    If however, the landlord was living in the property AND there were no locks, there wouldn’t be exclusive possession because the landlord could enter freely. If there were locks on the doors and landlord living on premises, it could be a tenancy instead of a licence but it wouldn’t matter because section 3A Protection from Eviction Act would exclude the tenancy (or licence) from various requirements.

    Once the landlord is not living on the premises it’s basically impossible to grant a licence (which is what Street decided).

    If this wasn’t the case we would all let individual rooms and not the whole house or flat and avoid all the legislation forever!

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