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deluk20
07-03-2010, 12:46 PM
I am hoping you can help...

I moved into a 2 bed flat where the other occupant rents from the landlord, as such I am being sublet from the other occupant.

MY landlord (the one subletting to me), lives here also.

When I moved the other occupant asked me to sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, with only her and me signing for an agreed term of 6 months. The contract is only between me and her. I did ask her about the subletting and she advised that she has done it before and the Landlord didn't mind.

Since moving in (only been a week), I was given a rude surprise by her having guests over all night, playing loud music till 7AM!! Which is not what I wanted. Since this event I spoke with a neighbour and they advise that this is a common occurrence and they have all complained to the local council, but they advised that they cannot do much as it is the Landlords responsibility.

Any way, since now know all this I now want to leave as I do not want to be involved in any disagreements with the Freeholder, the real Landlord or the Council.

Having scanned on the net I found an artical which says a live-in landlord cannot use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. Is this correct, am I not legally bound by the 6 month term?

Is there a way for me to get out? If I got proof from the Council that complaints have been made about the property?

westminster
07-03-2010, 13:36 PM
Having scanned on the net I found an artical which says a live-in landlord cannot use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. Is this correct, am I not legally bound by the 6 month term?
The contract does have the wrong name (you're a lodger, not an AST tenant) but despite this it's still a valid contract and you may be bound by its terms...but generally lodger agreements are a little more flexible than ASTs. For example, if you did something such as stole money from your flatmate, he/she would probably be entitled to ask you to leave without much notice at all. Similarly, the flatmate's unreasonable behaviour might entitle you to end the agreement early - but one all-night party probably isn't sufficient basis to end the agreement (even if you know there may soon be more parties).

I strongly recommend you seek advice at a Citizens' Advice Bureau or Community Law Centre and show them your contract.


Is there a way for me to get out? If I got proof from the Council that complaints have been made about the property?
First, try talking to your flatmate. He/she may be willing to agree an early surrender (if so, make sure you get it in writing). If you left without their agreement, and the flatmate tried to claim against you for unpaid rent, it could be useful to have evidence of the complaints made about the flatmate to use in your defence.

See this link for more info on lodgers (also known as excluded occupiers).
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/private_tenancies/excluded_occupiers