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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My father in law allowed his friends son and family(wife and

Resolved Question:

My father in law allowed his friend's son and family(wife and one child) who is here on student visa to stay for nominal rent. There is no written contract. They have been lodging since 2005. He wishes them to move but they are refusing despite a verbal and two written requests over the past year. They have stopped paying rent for last 3 months and has had a internet connection fitted without my father-in-law's permission. He wishes to change the locks as he expressed in the letter to the lodgers. Is this okay to do so now even though they have a child under 10? Thank you in anticipation for your advice.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



It does not matter that you do not have a written agreement in place, the tenancy will be held to be a assured shorthold tenancy.


Under Section 8 Ground 8 of Housing Act 1988 a Landlord is entitled to take possession of the property is the Tenant is at least two months in arrears with their rent. You must serve a s.8 Notice on them giving them two weeks to vacate and you can download the relevant form from


If they do not move out of the property after the two week notice period has expired you can make a claim for possession of the property through

If you do this you can also make a claim for the arrears in rent.


If they do vacate in the two week notice period then you can make a claim for the arrears by using but the fact that you have not got a written agreement will make it more difficult than it otherwise would be.


I hope you find this useful, if so please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my effort. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,





If the tenants are at least two months in arrears with their rent then you can serve a Section 8 Ground Notice on them under the Housing Act

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for taking the time to answer, however please would you clarify that your answer is for lodgers? The family of three have one room in the house (with access to the only kitchen and bathroom) that is occupied by the owner, my father-in-law. He gave verbal and written notice- including a final notice letter one month ago and now wishes to change the locks. Is it okay to go ahead and do this?

My main concern is regarding the fact that there is a child involved.

Thank you in anticipation.
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Sorry, I think I misread that part of the question. As there is nothing in writing, the Landlord is required to give the lodger "reasonable notice". "Reasonable" depends to a certain extent on whether the lodger pays rent weekly or monthly.


A months notice is appropriate in most cases in which rent is paid monthly, but if there is a child involved then he may consider giving a slightly longer notice period event though he obviously not under a duty to house a child who is of no relation to him.


The notice should be given to the lodger in writing, it's not essential to give reasons but if the lodger is not paying rent then this should be included as a reason.


If the lodger does not leave after the expiry of the notice period then the safest way for him to evict the lodger is to apply for a court order for eviction.


If this clarifies your enquiry please kindly click accept.


Kind regards,



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