There were 3 in the bed and the little one said…

25 03 2011

Hi from a beautifully sunny Stoke-on-Trent.

Read on for a mixture of subjects in our more question/answers theme:

Can you tell me if there is any legality which prevents a mother, father and 30-year-old son all living in one bedroom in a one bedroom flat? Is there a restriction on how many people can live in a one bedroom flat? On either a double bed or mattress on the floor or one double bed only?
There are rules about overcrowding, however, it does allow the lounge to be used as a bed room and on this basis your property would not normally count as overcrowded. Local authorities can have more stringent standards but that is the basic national standard. 

We recently received applications from a couple looking to rent out a property. One person is based in the UK and the other is currently stationed in Afghanistan but due to return to the UK . To reserve the property, the couple paid a holding deposit and were asked to sign a holding deposit agreement. The person in Afghanistan completed and returned the agreement via e-mail, but we were waiting for the return of the signed agreement by the person in the UK when they contacted us to confirm that they were splitting up and no longer wanted to progress with the let. The mother of the person in the UK actually paid the holding deposit. They are now asking for the return of the holding deposit. Could you please confirm our legal position on this one?
It would appear that you did not manage to get the agreement of both parties before they pulled out. You may be able to charge for wasted referencing if you had done it, but really it is open to question if you should have done anything like this if you had not yet got agreement from both.

Can you please clarify my understanding of notice period on a periodic tenancy. Does the tenant legally have to give 1 months notice on the rent due date or can he/she give notice at any stage during the month?
The tenant can give notice on any day, but any periodic notice should expire at the end of a period of the tenancy. The rules are very similar to the section 21 notice which can be served any day, but the date of expiry is controlled.

We have recently let a furnished property and the landlord just prior to move in removed the leather 3 piece suite and replaced it for a suite of inferior quality (in our opinion and that of tenant). The tenant feels that landlord should replace this suite with one of similar standard as that is what was in the
property at time of view and offer. What is tenant /landlord position here?
The landlord could be guilty of a misrepresentation, i.e. showing the property better furnished in order to attract the tenant and then providing goods of inferior quality. In future, you should specifically establish what the landlord will be leaving at an early stage. In this case, you will have to negotiate between the parties as an unhappy tenant may not stay, is likely to complain about everything and will certainly not renew.

A tenant has paid the admin. fee as part of the deposit and the reference has come back stating that he has bad credit. He can’t get a guarantor. Legally how much is he due back? He only paid this amount a few days ago.
If you asked about adverse credit and they failed to tell you they could be charged reasonable costs, i.e. referencing charges. If the reason they failed was not asked about, e.g. insufficient income, then it is not their fault and you will have to refund all.




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