Subletting help – my Assured Shorthold Tenant has sub-let my residential property to another tenant. How do I deal with this?
Your letting agreement should have a clause that prevents sub-letting, most do, therefore your tenant is in breach of contract – the tenancy agreement.
As your tenant is on an AST under the Housing Acts 1988 and 1996, he would normally be protected under the statutory rules.
However, this is no longer your tenant’s main residence, therefore this tenancy is no longer an AST. It is in fact what is known as a Common Law Tenancy, which is purely contractual in nature. As the tenant is in breach of contract you can end the tenancy without the major restrictions imposed on ending a statutory AST.
You must end the tenancy legally before either agreeing a new tenancy with the sub-tenant or proceeding to evict the sub-tenant.
As the six months’ minimum AST term no longer applies, you can take immediate court action against your tenant for breach of contract and for the eviction of the sub-tenant, if you require this.
Also, as this is no longer an AST, the local authority can bill you as landlord directly for the Council Tax. If they do this you should in turn be able to claim from your tenant, providing your tenancy agreement says he is liable for this.
©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these standard answers which apply primarily to England & Wales. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.