Landlord's landlord has repossessed; must subtenant go?

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    Landlord's landlord has repossessed; must subtenant go?

    Desperate Renter in need of advice in regard to:

    1) Can I give one months notice in the first 6 months of tenancy?
    2) If my landlord has dissapeared, who do I contact and do I have legal right to stay in the property for my final month of notice?

    My Situation

    I am currently in the 5th month of the first 6 months of a contract with my landlord for a flat in North London, and had been planning to leave in mid-September giving two months notice to my landlord in mid July, in line with our tenancy.

    I was planning notifying him of this next week, when me and my girlfriend came home to a letter from the freeholders stating that they were going to evict us if we did not get in contact immediately- bit of a shock on a Tuesday evening needless to say!

    I phoned them immediately, and they explained that our landlord owed them two months rent for the 17 properties that he leases from them totalling somewhere in the region of 17k! Although initially surprised by the figure, I was not surprised with this sort of behaviour, as we had been trying to get in contact with him to look at rising damp that had taken grip of our hallway and bathroom ceiling (turning large sections of them black with mould), with no success as his office said he was on 'holiday' and no one could act in his absence.

    The freeholder said that they could try and recoever our deposit on our behalf at a later date when they try and recover their owed monies but that we would have to cancel our stsanding orders to our landlord and pay them in future if we wished to continue to live there.

    The following day we contacted his offices and the estate agent that arranged the contract between us and the landlord, and it was been confirmed that he has done a runner for the time being and no one is able to get hold of him. We are now not sure where we stand in terms of who to pay or whether to pay anyone at all.

    We plan on leaving and want to serve notice of one month and leave the property by mid-August, but not pay any rent for this period as we are going to lose out deposit otherwise (our landlord was given it at the start of the tenancy), and has his phone on voicemail constantly- as he has through much of our time in the property.

    What legal rights do we have? We are not sure who to serve notice to, but out main concern is that we dont lose our deposit- would we be able to stay there for till mid August, or would the fact our contract is with our landlord mean that we are effectively squatting?

    Any help gratefully received!


    if you are in the first 6 months of a fixed term contract then you dont have to give notice at all to vacate. If you stay beyond the 6 months then your tenancy reverts to a periodic one and then notice must be given as per the contract.

    I personally would send a letter by recorded delivery and deliver bybhand to the address shown on your contract. This should either be on the first page or a clause within the contract should stated "notices to be served to........"

    if you are not planning on staying at the flat anyway dont worry about what the freeholders are saying.

    with regards to your deposit monies - mmmm difficult situation as legally you are not permitted to use deposit to pay the last months rent. However in your situation, if you really dont know where the landlord lives then is he really gonna be chasing you for the last months rent if you dont pay it considering he is allegedly owing far more than this to the freeholders! I know what i would do!

    good luck.


      Poppy35 is spot on, just leave at the end of the six months, don't pay the last months rent in lieu of your deposit.

      I doubt you will ever hear anything else from the LL and the situation with the LL freeholder doesn't affect you.


        Many thanks all- think I will follow your advice Poppy!



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