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Rent in Cash and Tenants Security


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I will soon be moving into a room in someone else's house. I expect I will be classified as a lodger.

 

The landlord wants to be paid a deposit and rent in cash. He also operates an odd system where the deposit is kept, but the final month is rent free - once notice is given.

 

Without causing offence how can I safeguard my payments, in other words, prove that I have paid rent. The landlord likes to trust tenants and expects trust in return.

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Tricky question as you are outside the normal laws for standard rental agreements as lodgers are usually on agreements known as licenses and deposits are not protected in the same way that they are for AST (Assured Short-term Tenancies).  Lodgers are, I believe, often on verbal agreements and many landlords do not want to get entangled with paper and contracts.   By the sound of it the cash economy demanded probably means that the landlord is operating in the margins of legality as they probably will not be declaring it to HMRC and so your tenure could precarious.  However, you may have some retribution post move out as you could "dob them in" to the tax man who may start an investigation which could prove costly to the landlord!;)

 

The only way to safeguard a record of some sort is made of your rent payments is that you insist that a rent book is signed indicating that money has been transacted- the only problem is that it sounds likeyour landlord does not want any traceable money transactions and so you may want to either look elsewhere or accept the inherent risks involved.

 

Good luck

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I asked for a receipt for the payment and got one. Hence I have proof of payment.

 

I think the odd system in this case of charging a deposit but not returning it and offering the final month (notice period)) free is probably to ensure that lodgers stay two months, which was the minimum period in the advert.

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If the landlord is receiving £7,500 a year or less from a lodger, then he does not need to report that income to HMRC. He may just prefer cash. https://www.gov.uk/rent-room-in-your-home/the-rent-a-room-scheme I have previously not taken rent on the last month of a lodger's stay and allowed them to use their deposit; purely because I then trust them and it saves unnecessary transactions-especially if they are returning home to a country outwith the UK. It's not a great suggestion to "dob someone in" just because the landlord prefers cash. The lodger can have no real insight into the overall picture of the landlord's finances and it's suggestions like this that make landlords not want to rent out rooms in their home (which forms a vital part of the housing economy!). Ultimately, it is the landlord's home and the lodger should find alternative accommodation if they aren't satisfied with the commercial arrangement.

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