Can LL amend an AST to remove sublet clause?

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  • Can LL amend an AST to remove sublet clause?

    Hi there

    Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere but I am new to this forum!

    I am a landlord, and my tenant has signed a AST which states the tenant must not "sublet the property or any part of it". However, as times are a bit harder, the tenant has asked if she can sublet the spare room to someone, to share the rent. I have a good relationship with the tenant, and am happy for her to sublet the room.

    My concern is that she and I, would be in breach of the AST as it stands if she sublets a room. Is is possible to amend the AST to say the LL gives permission for the tenant to sublet? If so, is there a specific legal document that will legally bind this agreement.

    Then what happens? Once the tenant has found someone suitable ( that I am also happy with!) what contracts then need to be drawn up between the tenant / subletter/landlord?

    I just want to ensure that if anything goes wrong ( ie the subletter / tenent trashes the flat - heaven forbid!) that I, as the LL am 100% legally covered.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Originally posted by CM1000 View Post
    I am a landlord, and my tenant has signed a AST which states the tenant must not "sublet the property or any part of it". However, as times are a bit harder, the tenant has asked if she can sublet the spare room to someone, to share the rent. I have a good relationship with the tenant, and am happy for her to sublet the room.

    My concern is that she and I, would be in breach of the AST as it stands if she sublets a room. Is is possible to amend the AST to say the LL gives permission for the tenant to sublet? If so, is there a specific legal document that will legally bind this agreement.

    Then what happens? Once the tenant has found someone suitable ( that I am also happy with!) what contracts then need to be drawn up between the tenant / subletter/landlord?

    I just want to ensure that if anything goes wrong ( ie the subletter / tenent trashes the flat - heaven forbid!) that I, as the LL am 100% legally covered.
    I'm not sure what you mean by 'legally covered'.

    AFAIK, if the tenant takes in a lodger (a.k.a. excluded occupier), this is not equivalent to 'subletting' so you would not have to change the AST (though you should still check as regards insurance cover). Lodgers have almost no security of tenure and would be easy for your tenant (the lodger's landlord) to evict at short notice if there were any problems (as little as a week if rent paid weekly, less if lodger were to behave badly).

    The lodger would not be your tenant, and you would continue to collect rent from your tenant not the lodger.

    As you would not be the lodger's landlord, it would be up to your tenant to carry out any checks they thought necessary, not you (but you could perhaps give your T some pointers on how to go about this).

    The alternative is issuing a new AST with two people as tenants, i.e. a joint tenancy. In this scenario, you would of course be the additional tenant's landlord and have to reference check as with any new tenant. The major disadvantage to your tenant is that if she decides she doesn't like the new sharer, she's stuck with them until the fixed term expires. If the new tenant trashed the flat, both tenants would be jointly and individually liable, as with the rent. If I were your tenant, I wouldn't want to enter into a joint tenancy (with its shared liabilities), with a relative stranger.

    I think in this situation, assuming your insurance allows it, and with a good tenant with whom you have a good relationship (and who you presumably trust), it would be better to keep T as your tenant, and for T to get a lodger.

    She would need to use a lodger agreement, and she does not have to protect any deposit.



    More info on lodgers/excluded occupiers.
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...uded_occupiers

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    • #3
      Thank you for your quick response.

      I agree that I don't particularly want them to have a joint tenancy.

      Is there a standard lodger agreement form to use?

      Also, what do you mean by make sure the insurance allows it? what insurance is this?

      Thanks again

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CM1000 View Post
        Is there a standard lodger agreement form to use?
        Try searching the forum as I'm sure there will be previous Qs about this, or wait for someone else to advise. Or, if you're a member of RLA or NLA they may have such a document.

        Also, what do you mean by make sure the insurance allows it? what insurance is this?
        I seem to remember someone saying that contents cover may be affected by taking in a lodger.

        Comment


        • #5
          http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/200...our-insurance/

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          • #6
            Is it a flat or a house? I'd lean against allowing a sub-letting if it's a flat.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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            • #7
              It's a 2 double bed plus 1 single bed flat

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              • #8
                What I do for my shared property is to have one tenant who pays the rent, and the others are listed as 'Licencees with no rights of tenancy whatsoever.'

                This has worked well for nearly ten years now. When one moves out, the tenant finds a replacement, or if the tenant moves out, one of the others becomes the tenant.

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