I sublet property and moved out 6 months ago but now worried about Landlord losses

by Readers Question

2 years ago

I sublet property and moved out 6 months ago but now worried about Landlord losses

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I sublet property and moved out 6 months ago but now worried about Landlord losses

I rented 4 bed property, and sublet three rooms, finding sublet tenants from Gumtree, and the contract finished on 20th of January 2016. Actually, the contract was finished on September 2015, but I asked the landlord to stay longer to find a new property.worried

We agreed to move out 20th of January 2016 by email. But I already moved out 6 months ago. Only sublet tenants stayed the property from July 2015 to 20th of January 2016. Finally, one of sublet tenant has wanted section 21 to get a council property.

There was only my name on the tenancy agreement issued by the real estate agents, but my real estate agents, the landlord, and the landlord’s main plumber knew that I sublet but they have not known that I already moved out 6 month ago.

So I want to ask 3 things,

1. the landlord can sue me regarding his future lose?

2. the landlord confirmed that he will process the section 21 with only my name, not the sublet tenant because there was only my name on the tenacy agreement. But I am not living in the property anymore, already moving out.

If the landlord conducts section 21 with only my name, Will I get any lost or any damage like crime record if I want to get mortgage. The sublet tenant can get council property even if the landlord conducts section 21 only with my name? Anyway, if the landlord conducts section 21 with only my name, what will happen to me?

3. I have find one from Gov.uk website
” Excluded tenancies or licences

You don’t have to go to court to evict your tenants if they have an excluded tenancy or licence, eg they live with you.

You only need to give them ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. Reasonable notice usually means the length of the rental payment period, so if your tenants pay rent weekly you can give them one week’s notice. The notice doesn’t have to be in writing.

You can then change the locks on their rooms, even if they still have belongings in there.”

Can I also do this?

Thank you



Gary Dully

2 years ago

Hello David,

You are a 'ROGUE LANDLORD' of the worst order, even your post is asking for a freebie from law abiding Landlords.

You also now want to involve your Landlord, when its all messed up.

If you did that in a Local Authority Home, you could get 2 years in Prison.
So it isn't exactly legal is it?

Firstly you need Professional Legal advice, but more so for your Landlord

As you appear to have profited rather well from your current Landlord, I suggest that you should pay for it.

From your Landlords point of view you have left him or her in a bit of a pickle, the costs of which you will probably be liable for.

Firstly, as far as you being served a Section 21, if you expressly surrender your tenancy after giving your Landlord 4 weeks written notice, he or she should be able to legally re-rent the property.

However, you are subletting their property, without written authorisation, you have converted it into a HMO, (House of Multiple Occupancy), without their written consent and you also indicate that individual locks are fitted.

If I was a sublet tenant, I would want damages from you for making me homeless.

If it is mortgaged, the lender could repossess for mortgage fraud.

If it is insured, the policy would be invalidated under misrepresentation on the application form.

If a sublet tenant is injured, they will have no Public Liability cover and a No-Win No Fee solicitor, could destroy the Landlords finances overnight, shortly followed by yours.

The house will shortly require a Mandatory Licence to operate, when the new Housing Bill receives Royal Ascent in Parliament, if it doesn't already, and I can guarantee it probably wont meet safety standards and will leave the Landlord open to fines in the £20,000 region.

Next, just what human misery have you left behind at that property?

What are the current occupants supposed to do, now their perceived Landlord has left them?

Any rent paid without redress to a Landlord is now claimable by the tenants as refundable as a criminal offence has occurred and you are now their 'Live-Out' Landlord.

So they are not under licence they have a statutory tenancy by default.

If that house does need a HMO Licence, your tenants could sue you for all the rent they have paid you already as proceeds of crime.

Any pets there? - lets aim for a full house of disasters.
have you rented the garage or shed to anybody?

Graham Bowcock

2 years ago

Dear David

You seem to have created a chain of events which is less than ideal and, presumably is not well documented.

From what you say the landlord can take action against you as you are contractually liable by virtue of the tenancy agreement you have entered into. It is up to you to give the landlord vacant possession and until you can do so your remain liable under the original agreement.

Although you say that your landlord and agent knew about the arrangement did they actually agree to it? Is there anything in writing. With respect, telling the plumber is irrelevant.

I think that moving out of the property and leaving others in place was a mistake. Until that point the three people were most likely licensees and had no rights to remain after you had given them reasonably notice. Licensees (lodgers effectively) have very limited rights.

Once you had left, however, it is arguable that the licensees became tenants under the Housing Act (AST's) and that is why the one remaining one is requesting a s21 notice. He may be entitled to one but before serving one I suggest that you provide all the facts to a solicitor or CAB; it is difficult to advise without going through the paperwork and analysing all the facts (including key dates).

Are you aware that you have probably created a HMO, which carries much responsibility and consequences?

I think you are in a bit of a mess.


Gary Dully

2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Graham Bowcock" at "27/01/2016 - 12:01":

I agree with Graham,

Here is food for thought, I only wish it applied to Private Rental.


Mandy Thomson

2 years ago

Firstly, the HMO bit and yes, you CAN have an HMO with lodgers, "[HMO] Licensing is mandatory for all HMOs which have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more persons forming two or more households. Additional licensing is when a council can impose. a licence on other categories of HMOs in its area." - source: UK Government - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/15652/HMO_Lic_landlords_guide.pdf

There are two types of HMO licences: mandatory, as above, which in your case will apply if the house has more than 2 storeys and will also depend on the number of PEOPLE living there, not rooms let.
Smaller properties can be designated as an HMO by the local authority. I suggest Googling "additional licensing" and your area or visit the Housing page of your local authority website. Under additional licensing, local authorities can require licensing for properties where at least 3 separate households share (a household being an individual, couple or family).

Second, the legal status of the occupants. When they first moved in, they would have just been lodgers. However, you say you moved out - did you move out completely? If you still spend part of your time at that property, and use it as your address, they are still likely to be lodgers. If however, you moved out completely, leaving them with exclusive possession, they are likely to now be full tenants.

Thirdly, YOU are the landlord of the occupants, whatever their legal status. Therefore, if they are lodgers, you give them a month's written notice; if they are tenants, you issue Section 21 with at least 2 CALENDAR months notice. If the occupiers can prove that the head landlord (i.e. your landlord) or his managing agent (the "real estate agent") has tolerated this subletting arrangement, and they are tenants, they may be able to argue in a court that the head landlord became their landlord on surrender of your tenancy.

Your problem is the tenant (if he/she is a tenant) who needs Council housing. Local authorities often advise tenants to remain until the bailiffs literally turn up to evict them. If your own landlord has been happy for you to sublet the rooms, that person’s tenancy would become his/her responsibility, but if your landlord isn’t happy, and you can’t prove he/she tolerated the arrangement, you really are in trouble.

Gary Dully

2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Davia Ki" at "27/01/2016 - 13:22":

Hello Davia,

Just to summaries.
The property is now a HMO, full stop.
Unless your tenants are of the same family.
The letting agent suggests that it doesn't need a license, but you should check the local councils website, then sack them.

You are a live out landlord, so your tenants have a tenancy under statute and it won't be difficult to prove.

Your tenants should be given 2 months notice under section 21 of the housing act.
If they have paid a deposit and you haven't protected it, it will be invalid.

The letting agent should be strung up for allowing it to happen.

A bit of a mess, me thinks!

Your Landlord needs legal advice, especially if one of your tenants tells them this story when they approach them for housing.

It may end badly.

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