Absent Tenant

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    Absent Tenant

    Good day to all and happy new 2006.

    I am the leaseholder of a flat in which I have put a tenant on a shorthold tenancy agreement.
    Before Xmas and into the 3rd month of his tenancy, the tenant went back home to the other side of the world on vacation , he said.
    Before his departure he reassured me that my rent would be paid regularly, even if he had to stay away months rather then weeks and today , going by the flat, I found out why : he has sublet!
    How shall I deal with this situation?
    In subletting he has breached our contract I believe (not to mention the fact that a satellite dish has been installed without my knowledge), so what shall I I do?
    Can someone show me what the full scenario is in these circumastances ?
    Your advice is very much appreciated.

    Thanks and regards
    Danglar

    #2
    Well, the first thing to do is to check to see if he actually has breached your agreement, as if he hasnt then you can do very little! Did you put a term in the AST about subletting?
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

    Comment


      #3
      Hello Mr Shed.
      Yes , I have used the standard tenancy agreement (F36307 1998 edition) from Oyez which does state that the tenant must not assign or sublet.
      Danglar

      Comment


        #4
        Well then, that is the first problem. It is considered unfair by the OFT to prevent both of these methods of passing on a tenancy to the tenant. As such, if push came to shove, the term preventing both would probably become null and void. So, I do not believe you can do anything. If you did wish to evict on this basis, you would serve a Section 8 notice, but you would be lucky IMO. Other than the fact that he is doing the dreaded word and "subletting", is there really much problem with him doing this? In my opinion it is worth just allowing it, depending of course on what the sublettee is like.

        *EDIT* just thought I would quote DJB, he sums up the subletting/assignment issue quite nicely:

        "The "not to asign or sublet" term is not exactly unfair - it is in the way that it is put into this contract because as you say, it removes a choice of the tenant - but if the words "without the consent of the landlord which will not be unreasonably withheld" were added, it would make it a fair contract term.

        However, the tenant cannot simply ignore it as it stands. If a tenant were able to do this, he or she could move any undesirable into the property and simply say "I have assigned the tenancy to Bertie the Tramp - collect the rent from him". Any reasonable landlord would not accept Bertie the Tramp as his or her tenant - the landlord does have a right to choose who will live in his property and the unfair contract term legislation does not remove this right."
        Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

        Comment


          #5
          And I thought that by using a standard contract from a legal stationery shop I was being prudent and wise ..!
          Why put the term in if it cannot be sustained i court ?

          So, unless it an undesiderable tenant I seem not to have much choice but to grin and bear it.
          I will see tomorrow if the rent is coming . And if not ? Who do I take the matter with ? This was my other concern: the ABSENTEE TENANT issue.
          If he is not there he cant read my request to increase the rent and agree or not as the case maybe , nor he cannot receive/acknowledge any written communication let alone the eviction notice !
          Also , if for whatever reason I am called to the flat and I acknowledge the subtenants presence and then do nothing to have them evicted do I cage myself in a situation that will work all against me ?

          Regards
          Danglar

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by danglar
            And I thought that by using a standard contract from a legal stationery shop I was being prudent and wise ..!
            Why put the term in if it cannot be sustained i court ?

            Ask Oyez

            I honestly do not know one way or the other if it would stand up in court, I jsut suspect personally not. But it certainly is NOT a good idea to have this clause in in those words.

            With regards increased rent, you need to serve a notice(Section 13 I believe) to increase the rent. You have to serve it, you do not have to prove reading, and so whether he is there or not is kind of irrelevant. Same with any eviction notice. And you also basically agreed to him being absent anyway, from your initial post.

            With regards to acknowledging the sublettee, I believe in law the only acknowledgement you can make is accepting rent from him which makes a difference. However, I could be wrong with this.

            Another possibility for oyu is a Section 21 eviction. When did the tenancy start? What was the fixed term for it?

            I must stress that I really know very little about subletting situations, and so not sure as to the rights etc of the sublettee during an eviction process.
            Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

            Comment


              #7
              Difficult one this, I helped in a similar situation a whilse ago, did have to goto court thank god.

              http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...read.php?t=718

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