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Help ~ Room Sublet Issue!

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Help ~ Room Sublet Issue!

Postby Titan75 » Wed, 22 Sep 2004 3:24 pm

I am renting and living in a private property that I, in turn, sublet a room to a couple. The verbal agreement between the couple and me is they have to stay for a year. Now the couple is left less than a month before expiration of our verbal agreement and I decided not to continue subletting to them due to differences we had.

The problem here is they argued that since there is no written agreement, despite a verbal one in which I have to produce a witness, I couldn’t evict them nor raise rental. I know that the tenant has rights and I couldn’t simply trespass on their property when they make good on their rental payment. But this case is a little extreme and I wonder if anyone can help. Any form of advice or experiences that you can share would be most appreciated.

What I want to know here is my legal position:

1. Since we don’t have written agreement, can I just treat this as an informal arrangement and that I can exercise my right as the lawful tenant to evict them by giving them a reasonable one-month notice?
2. I have conveyed a verbal one-month notice to them that does not seem to register. I consider drafting them a written notice and hand it to them in front of a coupled with several witnesses. Should I get a lawyer to draft this Notice of Termination or Eviction?
3. Can I get my own Movers to get rid of their things out of the house or do I simply vacate the occupied room but I am obliged to keep the things within the house?
4. Is it possible to get the police or private security to witness the eviction should they simply refuse to move out on the termination/eviction date?
5. Can I recover any cost arising from the above exercise, for example legal fees, Mover fees, security fees, etc from the deposit or do I have to bear this cost myself?
6. Do I have to immediately refund them the deposit on the very day they move out or can I withhold the deposit for up to a week pending my thorough inspection of any damage or stolen property?

Thank you all so much in advance for reading and providing me feedback. At this moment, I am a little exasperated and lost.


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Help-Room Sublet Problem

Postby Bubbles » Wed, 22 Sep 2004 5:24 pm

Hello Titan

This is a very tricky one, but which has echoes of similar happenings all over the world. There have been long drawn out cases of 'squatters' living in accomodation which is not theirs for years. Your tenants will become squatters if they stay and you do not take rent from them. I would continue to take rent as it seems squatters have more rights than tenants. However, if you continue to take rent over the year period then you will perhaps be perceived to have started off another year's tenancy.

This is not my field and these are only rough guidelines per Brit law, but I would seriously advise you to spend some money NOW and get advice. This sort of situation can drag on for years. Verbal agreements should hold water but are labourious to prove. You must also look to your intial agreement from whoever you are renting to. I hope that it allows you to sub let as if not you are in a bit of a pickle. Try to sort this out before getting the owner on board as things such as this have a habit of getting nasty and you want to stay where you are and not have the landlord going mad because you sublet and then turf you out.

Sorry to be so drear here, but I have heard of this happening many times and it always comes down to the personalities of the people involved in the end, so let's hope they are folk you can reason with.


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