Sublease of Room in Tenant’s Property
This Sublease of Room in Tenant’s Property should be used where a tenant is subletting a room in a property that he occupies.
The tenant must check its tenancy agreement carefully before entering into this Sublease. Many tenancy agreements prohibit tenants from subletting or require the tenant to obtain the landlord’s written consent before doing so.
This Sublease is not an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) because lettings by resident landlords fall outside the scope of ASTs. The Sublease is therefore a contractual tenancy and, as such, it is not covered by any of the statutory regimes that give tenants security of tenure. It can be terminated easily, subject to the tenant (as landlord under the Sublease) complying with the notice period in the Sublease and the notice requirements of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (a minimum notice period of four weeks).
This Sublease does not provide for the subtenant to pay a deposit. Note that, if the subtenant does take a deposit, the deposit will not need to be protected in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Use of such Schemes is compulsory only for deposits taken from assured shorthold tenants. However, the tenant may prefer to use a Tenancy Deposit Scheme as a matter of good practice.
The Sublease sets out the main details at the beginning, being the parties’ names, the address of the property, the term and the monthly rent. An Inventory should be completed and attached to the Sublease to record the condition of the property and the furniture and contents.
Clause 1 is the grant of the tenancy. The Sublease gives the subtenant the exclusive use of a bedroom and rights to use other parts of the house (or flat) such as the kitchen, bathroom, corridors, staircase and, optionally, the living room.
Clause 2 contains standard legal interpretation clauses.
Clause 3 contains the subtenant’s covenants. The subtenant is to pay a monthly rent and must also pay a fair proportion of the Council Tax and utility bills and cleaning costs. (The cleaning relates only to the shared areas of the house; if the subtenant wishes to have his own room cleaned this should be arranged and paid for separately.) Other covenants cover repair and maintenance, use, allowing access for inspections and end-of-tenancy arrangements.
Clause 3 includes covenants requiring the subtenant to observe the terms of the landlord’s insurance policy and the tenant’s tenancy agreement. These covenants will only have effect if the tenant has given the subtenant copies of the relevant documents.
Clause 4 provides for interest to be paid on overdue rent.
Clause 5 is the forfeiture clause. This allows the tenant to forfeit (i.e. bring to an end) the tenancy if the rent is at least 21 days overdue or if there has been a substantial breach of any of the subtenant’s obligations. The tenant should note that it will still be necessary to go to court in order to obtain possession of the property.
Clause 6 contains the tenant’s covenants (as landlord under the sublease). These cover quiet enjoyment (the right of the subtenant to use the property without interference) and enforcing the landlord’s covenants in the tenant’s tenancy agreement.
Clause 7 is an optional break clause for each party.
Clause 8 will contain the parties’ addresses for service of documents. Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 provides that rent is not lawfully due from a tenant unless the landlord has provided him with an address where notices are served. It is vital that the tenant is given an up to date address for the landlord.
Clause 9 is a jurisdiction clause.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
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