Covid19 tenant found subletting

Dear Landlords

I need your advice. I’ve just found out my main tenant has subletted my property and left the country but is still paying me rent. There were initially 2 couples and now 7 adults living there without my knowledge till the coronavirus outbreak. They have requested for a payment holiday which has exposed their breach of contract and paid only 10% of the outstanding rent this month and unwilling to pay more.

There is an agent involved in this but acting very slow and his only solution is to ask for a mortgage holiday but I am frustrated that complete strangers are living in my property.

I’m self employed and rely on the rent to pay for bill and the mortgage and have also lost my projects and therefore will have no other income coming in.

I feel that they are taking advantage of the situation but they are unwilling to pay more.

What can I do to get my property back and / or get a reasonable payment?

if that means its overcrowded I would go the local council and get their view… sack the agent .This will get worse if they get away with it then more will move in. Are you in a Landlords association who give free legal advice? If not see a property solicitor.

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You are not their landlord!! So you don’t have to agree anything with them. I’m assuming you have no idea where the tenant is? Basically, they are squatting. Sack your agent! Unbelievable response! The government has only required the landlords work with Tenants & offer a rent holiday. I’m afraid if you don’t know where the current real tenant is, you’re buggered. Serve a notice now. It will be three months before the courts will even look at it And you will be in a very long queue. Do you have a rent guarantee insurance? What I don’t understand is how landlord gets in this situation. Im in contact with my tenants regularly & I visit the property. If that’s impossible, your agent should be doing that. They are the ones liable for this. The way your agents reacted you would think that they were actually involved in this scam but obviously are totally incompetent. In the meantime, get proof of the tenancy agreement from said tenants you didn’t even know about. You can easily point out that you didn’t sign it and that they are illegally staying in the flat. Or are some of the original still there? If so, they are in breach of contract. Get them out. Ask them for the contact details of the real tenant/s. Do they have a right to rent? Ask for the papers. If they don’t have the right to rent, report them. This is taken very seriously but with lockdown, you won’t be able to get them out. you need to make sure that the original tenant to sign the contract did have a right to rent or you’re in trouble. Go to your agent and ask for evidence that they had a right to rent and get all of the details such as passport et cetera. As a landlord, I always ask for this very early on even at the viewing stage. I’m interested how this pans out. Not good. Your agent is liable for this, but you are ultimately. Perhaps this is a lesson To keep on top of things and not just rely on your agent?


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I agree that you need to talk to a property solicitor straightaway. You also need to accept that nobody is going to do anything about this until the current situation eases, and you aren’t going to receive any money from the property until they are out. Have they changed the locks? If not, you could secure the property when they are all out - if the current tenant has left the country he is unlikely to complain - although the current situation means that probably isn’t going to happen either.

If your preves tennent rents it but is now sublettig it out to orther tennets then its a council job or court as that tennet can get done for subletting it out

If it were me I would be sitting outside wait till they all left change the locks and move in with my mates. Then send the original tenant a message " i have found illegal tenants in your rental and secured it for you" I bet he wont come back