Planning to sublet: What happens when a sublet tenant refuses to leave?

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    Planning to sublet: What happens when a sublet tenant refuses to leave?

    Before anyone says it's against your tenancy, I'd like to say that at this point we have no other choice. We have two months left on our AST tenancy but we cannot afford to pay two places at once. Our landlord refuses to let us terminate the contract early and would definitely refuse assignment and subletting.

    He has threaten to evict us, has been passive aggressive to us, and has literally terrorised us throughout the tenancy. Upon moving in he tried to get us to sign the agreement with the downstairs on top of our to profit off of it should one party choose not to pay. I'm having serious mental issues because of this, and do not believe the term not to sublet is a fair term under the fair contract law at this point, particularly after reading this:

    We need to move as we have found jobs outside the city. But we are afraid of how subletting system would work. We plan to do a short term let for two months, which is lower then our own rent since no one will take this property for as high price as we are paying.

    We want to know what sort of position we would be in should a subtenant choose to live there past two months against the contract. Even if we return the keys to our current landlord, would we be liable to pay him rent should he chose to take us to court over the subtenant? Or will he be forced to send an eviction notice to the subletting tenant?

    I hear a lot of nightmare stories about renting and wish to do anything possible to make this unlikely to happen, but even with utmost carefullness it may, so I'd like to be prepared for the eventuality.

    Have you or your landlord served notice?
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      Have you or your landlord served notice?
      I have emailed him to say we would like to move out 2 months early, offering the deposit minus any deductions (although I don't believe we have any, the property is in same condition as we moved in.) This was over 30 days prior to the date we wanted to move out by, more like 35 days prior.

      It's been over two weeks and he has not responded at all. I sent him an SMS recently asking for reply to me email. We will probably try calling him soon. Although we really don't want to speak to him, we would prefer to move out rather than sublet.

      Edit: He has threatened to evict us also over 2 months ago, but he has not done it. We would have preferred he had...


        If the tenancy is in the fixed term, you can't serve notice that means anything (it won't be valid) - that's notice to leave during the term, at the end of it or after it.

        From what you've written, you haven't actually served notice at all. You've asked to move out early, which isn't notice.

        Your simplest option to end the tenancy is to leave before the end of the fixed term, which ends the tenancy at the end of the fixed term.

        Your plan to sublet isn't a great idea.
        Two month's accommodation isn't that appealing, it's too long for a short stay and too short for a long stay.

        Arguably, if your fixed term ends and your sublet won't move out, your tenancy might continue (it's not black and white) because you haven't returned the property to the landlord. That would leave you liable for paying the rent.

        It's possible that your tenancy would end, leaving the sublet as a trespasser.
        The landlord might have to go to court to evict the sublet, which would cost money they would probably claim from you (as it was you that caused their loss).

        You are liable for the rent until the end of the fixed term unless the landlord agrees otherwise.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


          If you sublet, then in my opinion it would be an AST, and you could not remove the tenants before the end of 6 months.

          The only option I can see is AirBnB, but that comes with its own issues (one of which is it would need to be furnished).


            That's six months until you could start court proceedings. If they are not playing ball, it will be much longer than that before you have them out.


              You only have 2 months left on your AST, so suck it up and pay the rents.


                The threat of it might be enough to persuade the landlord to negotiate. He will of course say that the AST prohibits it but in practice there is nothing he can do to stop you and there would be no point suing you as he would suffer no loss.


                  Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                  If you sublet, then in my opinion it would be an AST, and you could not remove the tenants before the end of 6 months.

                  The only option I can see is AirBnB, but that comes with its own issues (one of which is it would need to be furnished).
                  We are actually able to offer it furnished and I was looking at an AirBnb as an option. However, I am also unsure of how it works if people overstay. Does AirBnb protect me from guest overstaying? It would be a plausible option to rent for short terms I guess, but I don't know how the renter would be categorised according to the law. I know that for a lodger you are able to just lock them out, but does an airbnb client categorises as a lodger?


                    An AirBnB customer booking for two months is probably there under false pretences and may well actually be an AST tenant.

                    Also a genuine one is likely to breach your landlord's lease.


                      An AirBnB customer is an excluded tenant, not a lodger, but only if they are there on a genuine holiday.


                        I'd want to see a hell of a lot of cold, hard, case law before subscribing to the "suitable replacement person" theory.

                        Especially with the potential downside of paying thousands of £££ in unpaid rent, legal fees and trashed property damages.

                        Personally, I'd just pay for the couple of months I agreed and signed up to.


                          Subletting in this situation is a terrible idea! Look at the reasons already given and consider this LL of yours; he WILL go after you for everything he can plus lots of spurious stuff so avoid that stress on top of what you have. If you really are against the wall then I see little option but to sign a deed of surrender and move out. The LL will chase you for the rent but you may well have it together in the interim.
                          Take lots of photos, ideally with an independent witness, before leaving and have the place professionally cleaned if it's in the contract. Do everything to avoid conflict and make sure you provide a forwarding address so you're aware of any court proceedings he might initiate.


                            I agree that subletting would be a terrible idea. As you have no basic knowledge of what you're getting into the risks are considerable.

                            Practical matters;

                            You signed a contract. You need to fulfill it.
                            The Landlord needs to rent the property. They are under no obligation to agree an early surrender - irregardless of how 'stupid' this may be.

                            Practical solution;

                            You return the property to the Landlord now. Hand the keys back with a letter surrendering the property and stating that you a, can't afford it and b, forefit the deposit as partial payment of owed rent. Separately, you offer to pay the remaining rent in part payments over a period of time. Can you manage to pay 1/3 a month over the next 3-months? or a 1/4 over 4-months? If the Landlord accepts this offer then stick to it. Pay them off and they are out of your life.

                            You move out.

                            Are the utilities in your name? Then you also need to terminate and satisfy these.

                            Be in no delusion, you DO OWE THE LANDLORD RENT up to the end of the lease.

                            You are only responsible for your actions. The LL may well be a horrible person. This doesn't entitle you to anything. If you think it is OK to walk away from your responsiblities without making reasonable efforts to fulfill them then that makes you a horrible person too.

                            I think that by making the above offer then should any Court action be taken then any Judge is going to be very accommodating towards your situation.
                            There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                            If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                            Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


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