I am being sublet to and didn’t realise?

by Readers Question

A year ago

I am being sublet to and didn’t realise?

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I am being sublet to and didn’t realise?

I am currently renting a room in a flat, and to start it all seems genuine, deposit etc, there was just no contract.

A few months in, I was asked to pay cash rather than standing order. I never thought anymore of it. Then after a few more months, the neighbours have been asking me questions and have been telling me that my landlord doesn’t own the flat and that the family has been subletting.

I don’t want to cause trouble for the family, nor do I want to be breaking the law either.

Please advise me on what I should do



Neil Patterson

A year ago

Hi Laura,

I am going to guess your deposit is not protected and you haven't received the prescribed information documents of which deposit protection scheme it is held in?

Mandy Thomson

A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "09/05/2016 - 10:02":

Hi Neil

It sounds like Laura is a lodger, as she says she is renting a room. Deposit protection is only mandatory for an AST - i.e. a full tenant renting a completely self contained property long term.

It is not necessary from a legal standpoint to have a written contract - even for an AST, but certainly not for a lodger agreement. Also, a lodger landlord doesn't have to be an owner occupier - they can just as easily be a tenant.

Unfortunately, casual arrangements such as Laura has with her landlord are all too common where lodgers are concerned - if many landlords letting under an AST can't keep up with legislation and often make mistakes, what hope for the householder hoping to make a bit of extra cash by letting out his spare room?

By the way, Laura is NOT subletting - this is where someone is letting a WHOLE property (that they in turn rent from a head landlord) not just a room. As a lodger, Laura is simply under a licence, and only has the right to remain there pretty much for as long as her landlord allows.

Michael Barnes

A year ago

I believe that you are not breaking the law.
However, your landlord may be breaking his/her tenancy agreement.

Mandy Thomson

A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "11/05/2016 - 09:33":

True, but a lodger has very few rights (more or less just those agreed with the landlord and whatever a court would say was reasonable under the circumstances). If Laura starts asking her landlord questions, he/she might start to panic and ask her to move out - a lodger can be asked to move out for absolutely no reason at all with a maximum of one month's notice.

If the head landlord is aware of Laura's licence, if that landlord were to evict the tenant/lodger landlord, the head landlord is likely to evict Laura at the same time - it might just mean she gets a bit more notice if the head landlord is fair and adheres to legislation (which says lodgers under a licence should get a month's notice unless agreed otherwise or their behaviour is so unreasonable the lodger landlord couldn't be expected to put up with it - Google "lodger notice periods").

Where Laura could be at a real disadvantage is if there were an accident or burglary, she could find the insurance wouldn't cover if the insurance company had not agreed to her being there. She should in any case take out tenant's insurance to cover her own possessions.

At the end of the day, being a lodger is a very tenuous position, even where the law and best practice is strictly followed. It is highly dependent on the relationship between the lodger and their landlord, which from what Laura says, is good.

Michael Barnes

A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "11/05/2016 - 11:19":

I agree.
I was reassuring Laura based on her statement "I don’t want to cause trouble for the family, nor do I want to be breaking the law either".

Ashley Peters

A year ago

hi all can i ask a question please
if a management company has a letter from landlord to sublet he has a tenancy by deed
does the witness to the deed have to be an independent witness or can a colleague of the management company sign as witness
would it be void iun-inforcible if signed by company employee bias

your thought please

rob david

A year ago

Learning of these changed occupier identity situations always gives me a wry smile as my tenants buy their electricity through buylec sub-meters which can be put in rooms not just flats & well out of reach. If there's a new / different purchaser you're alerted when the payment is made.

If, when acting on this gem you're met at the door buy Guy the gorilla then at least you''re armed with - information !

rob david

A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "rob david" at "17/05/2016 - 14:41":

PS. Law permitting the power can be remotely switched off while the new account is "processed".

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