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Lodger Vs Tenant – Whats the difference?

I often get asked this question by both landlords and lodgers/tenants!

So, what is the difference between a lodger and a tenant?

There are few similarities, but there are also some big differences and I have listed them below so hopefully this will answer the question!

Explained in simple words, a lodger lives in the same property as the landlord. Both parties share the home space, and the landlord is classified as a live-in landlord. In legal terms, the lodger is referred to as a licensee.

On the other hand, a tenant is someone who lives independently in a rented space. Landlords own the property, but they don’t live there. They are classified as a live-out landlord. A tenancy agreement is signed between the tenant and landlord.

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Tenant Rights

Tenants living under a tenancy agreement, such as the Assured Short hold Tenancy (AST), are entitled to certain rights during their tenancy period. Such as, the right to live in a safe property with essential repairs carried out in a timely manner, a standard notice period before eviction of no less than 2 months (unless a mutual agreement is made to the contrary).

With lodgers, the laws are different. They live under a ‘license’ which gives them much fewer rights. For example, they can be asked to leave at any time with a ‘reasonable’ notice period, typically 28 days, but can be less. A property management company in Croydon would advise both lodgers and landlords to have a written license with all the rules and conditions of stay properly outlined and mutually agreed.

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If a landlord wishes to visit a tenant’s property under an AST agreement, they must give reasonable notice before visiting – unless there is an emergency with agreement of the Tenant. Tenants also have the right to deny the landlord entry, which is not advisable, as professional Landlords are intent on up keeping yearly maintenance on their property to ensure the safety of their tenant’s.

With lodgers, they don’t have any exclusive rights to the property. They are not allowed to put a lock on their door and cannot stop the landlord from entering their room. Legally, landlords can also ask a lodger to move into a different room without notice.

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Take care




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