Subtenant trouble

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    Subtenant trouble

    Hello all,
    I let out a HMO to a guy on AST for 6 months who then sublet it to other tenants. Neither of us lived at the property. After the 6 months, he didn’t renew the contract for another fixed term so the letting agent moved him onto a monthly rolling contract. This carried on for a few months till He gave notice a couple of months ago. He didn’t give notice to the tenants in the house nor complying with the check out / transfer the tenants to me properly. He also left the house in a mess with lots of repairs to be done at costs probable in the region of a couple of thousands along with other costs he agreed to pay (gas safety cert, cleaning etc...) the contract said he must hand the property back in the condition he’s taken it on.

    I now have problems getting the tenants to pay me and they had gone to seek the council’s advice who told them the only way I can get rid of them is to serve s21 notice. They claimed they were still paying their old landlord and he still had their deposits when my old tenant / their old landlord denied they have paid him nor he still had any of their deposits. My agent told me I need to serve s48 notice.

    I am totally overwhelmed with the potential mess this could turn into. I see that I no longer have a contract with the old tenant / their previous landlord and I have no contract with the existing subtenants that are left in my house.

    I really just want any arrears recovered, the tenants out and headache to end. How can I best do this? Also, which would be my best option to recover repair costs from my old tenant? Would debt collection agency or small claims court be best?

    thanks so much in advance for any advice.

    #2
    In Law, you inherited his sub-tenants as your Ts and must provide them with s48 etc that you are now their LL
    Ensure that any deposit is paid to you and remains, or is protected.

    Comment


      #3
      Surely they are squatters now?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Landlordintraining View Post
        Surely they are squatters now?
        They can't possibly be squatters (who have to enter a property without any permission, a condition that previous tenants can never meet).

        They're tenants of the OP.
        They should be served notices (s48) and told where to now pay rent.
        The OP should return their deposits and serve notice under s21.

        You would be well advised to discuss how much it would take to pay them to agree to leave.
        The chances of surviving a defence to any s21 notice is remote.
        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).

        Comment


          #5
          You've made a big mistake allowing this sort of sub-letting arrangement. Apart from the other problems you mention, your tenant may have turned the property into a licensable HMO. You should get some legal help with this situation immediately

          Comment


            #6
            mariner,

            Thank you for your reply.
            when I asked for the deposit to be transferred from my old tenant / their old landlord, he said he didn’t have any deposits from them.

            My agent is preparing the S48 notice. I don’t hold hope of receiving any of the rent arrears. If I can get them out of the property, I will be relieved.

            Comment


              #7
              jpkeates,

              Thank you for taking time to reply. I am starting out on this journey and clearly have a steep learning curve ahead. I was hoping my letting agent would have had some experience dealing with this. It appears they haven’t a clue either. They took no step to serve S48 as soon as the ‘intermediate landlord’ (if I can call him that) left. Even a quote to repair the damages took a month to arrive.

              I have no deposits from the existing subtenant as they didn’t contract or give the deposit to me. Their old landlord said he has nothing from them as it stands. Can I still serve S21 in this case?

              It would seem it’s best to serve S48 first and then S21 to evict in 2 months? Could I ask why you mentioned S21 would have little chance of success? I am advised that it is the only means I can ever hope to get rid of the tenants.

              Best wishes...and thanks 🙏 again

              Comment


                #8
                DPT57,

                Hi,
                It is a licensed HMO and with hindsight allowing the sublet is a mistake. However, in my contract with the tenant,
                -he is responsible for keeping it compliant (I.e ensure safety certs like gas / electricity up to date)
                - responsible for all routine repairs and maintenance except structural issues
                -hand back the house in the same conditions as it was taken on
                -give notice to his tenants at the same time as he gives notice to me and ensure vacant possession

                i thought I had spelt out the terms of pour engagements sufficiently clear. However, he broke pretty much every single term and left the place in a mess with subtenant who took advantage that they are in contract with no one now and refuse to leave.

                I am well aware it’s a pickle and it appears it happens a lot (no comfort I know but that’s where we are).

                Thank you for taking time to respond. Should I post this in the legal advice thread?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Also serve s3 notice or possible files & criminal conviction
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Did you take Deposit from your T and protect it?
                    You are resp for providing nec annual GSC etc to your T. Suggest you take some comprensive LL trg or join NLA/RLA and complete their LL Distance Learning Modules before you make more expensive miistakes.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by BrandNewdawn View Post
                      I have no deposits from the existing subtenant as they didn’t contract or give the deposit to me. Their old landlord said he has nothing from them as it stands. Can I still serve S21 in this case?

                      It would seem it’s best to serve S48 first and then S21 to evict in 2 months? Could I ask why you mentioned S21 would have little chance of success? I am advised that it is the only means I can ever hope to get rid of the tenants.
                      If the tenants paid a deposit to the "old" landlord and didn't properly protect it, any s21 you serve will be invalid unless you give the tenants the deposit money back (whether or not you actually have it).

                      If the HMO needs to be licensed, and you don't have a licence, any s21 you serve will not be valid.

                      There are lots of things you need to be able to show were done before you were a landlord that would, if they weren't done, would mean any s21 notice you might serve isn't valid.

                      None of that matters unless any of the tenants don't leave when you ask them to. Because it doesn't matter if the notice is valid or not unless you need to go to court to enforce it.


                      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).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        jpkeates,

                        I misunderstood what the OP was saying. I was under the impression that he had rented the property to someone, who had illegally sublet to other people. If that was the scenario then they'd be squatters?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          No. They'd been given permission to live there
                          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Landlordintraining View Post
                            If that was the scenario then they'd be squatters?
                            If the squatters knew that the sublet was illegal, possibly.
                            If they believed that the landlord was in a position to let the property to them, they would have sufficient permission to enter.

                            When the permission ended, they would become trespassers.
                            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).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by BrandNewdawn View Post
                              i thought I had spelt out the terms of pour engagements sufficiently clear.
                              Have a look at this recent case: https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/...ed-off-like-me
                              and this advice:
                              https://www.anthonygold.co.uk/latest...to-rent-scams/

                              Comment

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