What is the eviction process for company let?

by Readers Question

12:21 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

What is the eviction process for company let?

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What is the eviction process for company let?

I let an apartment out to a serviced apartment company using a normal AST. The company now unlawfully sublet out to a sister company without my permission, to their clients as serviced apartment rooms.Tenant Eviction

What’s my position if I were to evict?

Would it be easier than normal residential tenant eviction?

Many thanks

Mike



Comments

Neil Patterson

12:24 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Mike,

This sounds complicated and I could only suggest you talk to the professionals on this. please see >> http://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction-2/

Hopefully we have some readers with some experience in this area that can help 🙂

Charles King - Barrister-At-Law

13:58 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Mike. If the company is named on the tenancy agreement as the tenant then no matter what the paperwork says it is NOT an AST (see section 1(1)(a) of the Housing Act 1988 - for an assured tenancy (of which an AST is a species in the statutory language) the tenant must be an individual). It should be easier to end the tenancy, subject to what the written terms say. The devil is always in the detail. Best of luck!

Robert Mellors

14:32 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Mike

It is potentially much more complex because an AST can only be granted to an individual, not to a company, so the status of your agreement with the company may be uncertain. If letting to a company, it is a lease agreement that is needed, not an AST. As the status of the letting agreement is uncertain, this then poses problems for how to end it, as you perhaps are unable to use a s21 or s8 Notice procedure.

How to end the agreement will probably boil down to what provisions are in the agreement for ending the agreement. For example, if your agreement says that the agreement can be ended by either party giving 3 months written notice, then that may be the process to follow, but if you have not included a provision for ending the agreement (or have wrongly referred to standard AST notice procedures, e.g. s8 or s21 notices), then you may not be able to bring the agreement to an end and it will run for it's full duration.

How long is left on the letting agreement?
Are there clauses in the agreement relating to the process for ending the agreement?
Is there a "break clause"?
Are there terms in the agreement that prevent subletting to another company?
If it is a long letting agreement, with no break clause, is there provision for raising the rent during the letting period (and if so is this limited)?
Is them letting to a sister company really a problem, if the rent is still being paid?

Mike Wang

15:08 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Thanks Neil, Charles, Robert!

I understand that it's not going to be an AST(evenit says AST in the title), it is that the term of the agreement is a normal AST template (drafted by a letting agent in the same form as for their normal residential tenants):
12 months tenancy with 6 month break clause;
two months notice after fixed period
no sublet
etc

It is now 6 weeks towards the end of the tenancy and I did notify in an informal email to end/not continue the tenancy with the firm.

Subletting is not a big issue per ser since rents come in, but I wanted to understand my legal position if I had to evict them, say after the tenancy ends and the sister company stills put their clients in my apartment.

From my understanding since it's not an AST, hence less protection towards the "tenant", but how much easier for landlord to evict such "tenant" in reality and what process one needs to go through and for how long?

Many thanks

Robert Mellors

16:07 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike " at "20/05/2016 - 15:08":

Did the letting agent know it was a company let? If so, then they are incompetent and should be sacked. You may also have some legal comeback on them for their negligence, and you may wish to seek legal advice on that possibility.

How can there be a "no sublet" clause when you are letting to a serviced apartment company, i.e. you have let the property to a company on the basis that they will sublet. (Or do you mean there is a "no subletting to other companies" clause?).

Forget the informal e-mail, send them a formal letter by recorded delivery.

At the end of the letting period, the company should return the property to you with vacant possession and return all keys to you, in which case their sister company will be unable to put in anyone else.

Although it is not an AST to an individual, and thus not subject to the Protection from Eviction Act, it is potentially far more complex and could potentially be far more difficult for you to gain vacant possession. For example, what happens if there are residents in the apartments at the date when the company let agreement expires? - In theory, you may then inherit the subtenants as your tenants, and those subtenants may be entitled to rights under the Protection from Eviction Act (depending on their occupancy agreements), or they may be considered as trespassers (if no continuing right of occupation)? - I would strongly suggest that you get some specialist legal advice on your situation.

Richard Peeters

12:43 PM, 22nd May 2016
About 3 years ago

This scenario of "company lets" incorrectly using an AST agreement seems to be precisely how a lot of Rent-to-Rent arrangements are set up, so the actual property owner could have huge problems removing the company running (leasing) the property.

Although the R2R company may have ASTs or individual licenses set up for all of the tenants (it's often run as an HMO), that won't help the owner if it all goes horribly wrong.

Lastly, many BTL mortgages allow "single-let AST" as the default, although a few allow HMOs, but how many allow company leases of a residential property? Is that something else to worry about?

sandy

9:38 AM, 2nd December 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Charles King - Barrister-At-Law at 20/05/2016 - 13:58Hi Mike,
Would you be able to advise me on this case?
https://www.property118.com/fake-agents-scammig-landlord-tenants/comment-page-3/#comment-108696
Would really appreciate some legal guidance.
Thanks
Sandy

SimonR

15:39 PM, 12th December 2018
About 20 hours ago

The fact that you used an AST instead of a company let agreement could cause issues when serving notice and if needed eviction via the courts.
You cannot serve notice on a company using either a section 21 or section 8 you MUST use a Notice to Quit.
Should the company not vacate then you would have to apply to the courts for possession and this is where it could become difficult and would be at the judges discretion.

sandy

21:20 PM, 12th December 2018
About 14 hours ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonR at 12/12/2018 - 15:39
I did NOT use an AST. It was a company let tenancy.

Also the company is ficticious.

There is no contract between me and the current "occupants"


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