Has Regulated Tenancy turned into an HMO subletting rooms?

by Readers Question

11:43 AM, 24th September 2015
About 3 years ago

Has Regulated Tenancy turned into an HMO subletting rooms?

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Has Regulated Tenancy turned into an HMO subletting rooms?

We run a shop and were able to buy the building in 2010. A protected/regulated tenant has been there since 1987, who we know, and so paid a price that reflected the situation.regulated

Somewhere in the distant past, the previous LL gave them permission to rent out a room to help with the rent. The thing is, as she has a husband and rents a room to another individual to which they all share a bathroom and kitchen. Does this flat become a house of multiple occupation? If so, who should be licenced and is currently in breach of the 2006 regs?

Our building insurer has been very thorough and wants a lot of detail regarding tenants. We have asked for the original agreement and the letter giving permission to let the room and to answer the insurer’s question, but our tenant says the docs have been lost. So we ask for the tenant to put that in writing, which never happens!! She earns very well out of that room and has in the past rented two rooms out. Yes, its a big flat. Can we force her to declare how much she earns from it?

We are also in the process of determining a fair rent with the valuation office. Should I raise this HMO question with the val office when we meet at the property?

Cheers

Kevin



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:50 AM, 24th September 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Kevin,

It depends on the local authority and their individual rules as to whether they would consider this an HMO. Some might and some might not.

I would recommend you ask how they would perceive the above situation and go from there.

It is always dangerous though having people live in your property without any agreement with you.

Kevin Kilkenny

16:30 PM, 24th September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "24/09/2015 - 11:50":

Hello Neil,
"It is always dangerous though having people live in your property without any agreement with you." Exactly and I'm sure that if anything were to happen regarding that flat my insurer would be pleased to use that to dodge any claim.

In the meantime. Is there a mechanism to extract these 'sub-tenants' details, the original tenancy agreement and the letter giving licence to sublet rooms?

I have considered contacting the local authority, but I'll leave that as a last resort. You never know. We'll probably have to pay the HMO fee to the LA for our regulated tenant to benefit!! 😮

Jay James

17:23 PM, 24th September 2015
About 3 years ago

For anyone who might know.

1 Does consent from a previous landlord (for subletting by a regulated tenant) bind the current landlord?

2 If the regulated tenant cannot prove consent to sublet, could this be a basis for evicting the regulated tenant?

3 If the regulated tenant cannot prove consent to sublet, could this be a basis for evicting the sub tenant?

The answers may be obvious, but regulated tenancies are somewhat different and unfamiliar to some.

Kevin Kilkenny

20:51 PM, 24th September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay James" at "24/09/2015 - 17:23":

Hi Jay,

All good questions. As you say the answers may be obvious and we have taken advice from our solicitor regarding Q1. yes. We bought knowingly that room renting was going on, so we are obliged to carry on with the arrangement.

Q2 & Q3......that is interesting!! Further comments would be most welcome.

I've got another question

Q4. What constitutes a nuisance by the tenant under the Rent Act 1977? ........Could that be operating an unlicenced HMO?

Kevin Kilkenny

22:27 PM, 24th September 2015
About 3 years ago

I found this from Regulated Tenancy booklet from gov.uk

"Can a regulated tenant sublet part of his or her
accommodation?
Yes, unless his or her tenancy agreement says he
or she may not. If he or she sublets on a regulated
tenancy he or she must tell the landlord in writing
within 14 days and give details of the rent charged. A
tenant who does not do so without reasonable excuse
or who gives false details is liable to prosecution.

If the tenant sublets the whole of his or her
accommodation without the landlord’s consent, or
if he or she charges a subtenant more than the Rent
Act allows, the landlord can apply to the court for a
possession order (see section 2.2)."

The article is https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11445/138295.pdf

I cannot seem to find the section regarding how much a subtenant can be charged in the 1977 act itself. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Regards

Kevin

paul smith

12:18 PM, 26th September 2015
About 3 years ago

Why don't you mention the rent payments to Inland Revenue????? If not declared, isn't that criminal activity being carried out??

Kevin Kilkenny

20:40 PM, 27th September 2015
About 3 years ago

Hello Paul,

That's a good point. However, this tenant is a shrewd cookie.

If I were to report and she had or had not declared, how would I know?

I doubt she would tell me or even HMRC!!! Is there a way to see if she has?

Kevin Kilkenny

13:26 PM, 3rd October 2015
About 3 years ago

I decided to write and ask the tenant to answer the questions put forward by the insurer.

The tenant replied that I should forward my building insurance application form for them to see the questions and for a copy of my insurance which they say is required by the 1977 Rent Act.

I've looked briefly through the Act and cannot find any requirement to supply copies of building insurance to regulated tenants. If they were lessee's then I could understand this position. As they do not contribute to the insurance as per the '77 Act, do they still have a right to a copy!!

I'm a bit put out that they want to have influence over my insurance application and feel that they are entitled to act in this obstructive way.

Can anyone clarify this please?

In the meantime, I am writing back presenting the insurer's questions again and if they would direct me to where in the Act that it states building insurance copies have to be forwarded to tenants.

cheers

k

Jay James

9:17 AM, 7th October 2015
About 3 years ago

I would call your tenant's conduct worse than obstructive. Maybe the only way you can get them to deal with the 4 questions is to ask a court for an eviction order, perhaps claiming breach of their agreement.


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