There are certain limitations to what tenants can do in their rented homes without overstepping the boundaries of their relationship with their landlords. So, if you’re thinking about subletting to have someone help you out with rent, ask your landlord first before proceeding with your plan. You could get evicted or, worse, be summoned to court, as in certain circumstances it is considered a criminal offence.
Subletting is when you take a subtenant in the home you’re currently renting. Unless you have written consent from your landlord, you cannot sublet your home, even just a portion of it. It is considered a bigger offence if you no longer live in the property while you sublet it. However, this rule only applies if you’re not renting from a private landlord, or under a special tenancy agreement with a local authority landlord.
Although subletting entails additional responsibilities on the part of the landlords, they are not accountable for the subtenant unless rent is directly collected from the sub-lessee.
Tenant rights for subletting
There are five types of tenancies, each with different levels of rights in terms of subletting their rented homes. A clause about subletting may or may not be included in the agreement, but it is always better to get your landlord’s permission before you take in someone to rent a room in your rented home.
Demoted and family intervention tenants
If you were involved in serious anti-social behaviour as an assured or secure tenant, a court order will demote your tenancy. This is a typical move intended to make it easier to evict you. As a demoted and family intervention tenant, you are not allowed to sublet a part of your rented home.
Regulated or protected tenants
If you fall under this category, it means you started your tenancy before January 15th 1989. This has two stages: contractual and statutory. The contractual stage means you are following your initial agreement with your landlord. The statutory stage is when the first stage ends and you are now protected by the Rent Act of 1977.
Subletting your whole home can happen if you’re still within your contract period, with your landlord’s permission. Do not bypass them as you could lose your statutory status and they could go to court and apply for your eviction.
Check your tenancy agreement for any clauses on prohibiting subletting a part of the home you are renting.
This type of tenancy means you are renting from a local authority, and are well on your way to becoming a flexible or secure tenant. Your right to sublet should be indicated in your signed tenancy agreement. As with protected tenancies, you can lose your status as an introductory tenant if you proceed with unconsented subletting. You could face eviction, if your landlord wishes so.
Assured and assured shorthold tenants
These tenancies are different from each other in terms of who they rent from and where. Assured tenants rent housing association homes, while the assured shorthold renters have private landlords. If either apply to you, you may be allowed to sublet your home based on the terms or conditions on your tenancy agreement.
Like all the other tenancy types, your landlord’s consent is required; however they have to have valid reasons for refusing your request.
This is a month-to-month or year-to-year tenancy. It runs for a particular period, which happens after your fixed term has ended and you are allowed to stay in the home without a new signed agreement yet.
If you are a periodic tenant, you cannot sublet your home unless your landlord agrees. They can refuse your request without giving you any reason.
Fixed term tenancies
Your fixed term tenancy allows you to sublet even without your landlord’s consent, especially if your tenancy agreement does not have any clause on subletting.
Secure and flexible tenants
Flexible tenancies have no expiration date, but secure tenancies do. If you have a secure tenancy, you have lived with the housing association since before January 15th 1989.
As a secure and flexible tenant, you can only sublet one part of your home provided you have your landlord’s permission. Landlords are not allowed to set any conditions with the subletting. If they don’t allow you, they will need to provide valid reasons.
As a tenant, you need to respect your landlord’s decisions, especially if they disagree with you. Understand that they could be concerned with losing control of their property. They could be legally liable if the number of tenants in a home exceeds three. This requires a house in multiple occupation (HMO) license, and they might not have that.
If your landlord gives you trouble even if you submitted a written agreement to them on subletting part of your home, you can seek the help of your local authorities. If you have any issues regarding your landlord ignoring housing disrepair requests, you can contact DisrepairClaim.co.uk for legal advice on how to manage your conflict with your landlord.