I got stuck abroad when lockdown hit. I decided to rent by flat out on a short term basis while I was away to help cover mortgage costs. I took in a tenant and wrote up a short term tenancy agreement (using a government website one as basis and changing a few parts). It stated it would be a rolling month by month contract if agreed by both parties. I had let tenant know that it would be a temporary affair and I was wanting flat back when I returned – let him know this mostly by text message and Facebook message unfortunately, not in formal writing.
When I planned return I let him know a date and that I was open to him becoming a lodger instead. He agreed. Again unfortunatly all the communication of this was by Facebook Messenger, not a formal ending of the tenancy contract by writing. My bad mistake.
We lived ok together as landlord and lodger for the first month, but there were some incidents during that time including actions of his leading to visits by the police a number of times. Now he is out of work and is 2 weeks late in paying rent, but he has shown no desire to look for any work at all, stating that he needs “time to heal” – he has some mental health issues. He has given me no indication that he has plans to find work, pay any rent, or get money together to find somewhere else. Whenever I ask gently about it, he gets upset and storms off. He has previously vandalised workplaces of employers he feels wronged him, so I’m trying not to get him too worked up just yet. He also mentions everytime that “evictions are banned at the moment so nothing you can do”.
So I’m now faced with living with someone very difficult, who has not paid rent and shows no desire to start paying anytime soon.
My question is specifically this.. I know that the evictions ban doesn’t apply to lodgers, but given the situation I described above, am I at risk of him actually being classed legally as still a tenant of the entire flat, i.e. still under the terms of the original tenancy agreement, as I never formally in writing have notice for it to end? He’s only been paying lodger rates for the previous 2 months, and nothing at all for past 2 weeks, but I know rent arrears of 6 months are needed before eviction could happen if he is classed as tenant, not lodger…
Would appreciate any help!