Accused Of Subletting? What Action Can I Take?
Allegations of sub-letting and threats of eviction can be a very daunting experience.
What constitutes subletting?
Sub-letting happens when you let part or all of your home to someone else. Council or Housing Association tenants generally cannot sublet their homes. If they do this is a breach of their Tenancy Agreement and results in an automatic loss of their tenancy.
Interview under caution
Council or Housing Association tenants who sublet their homes may be subject to criminal proceedings. If your landlord believes you are subletting your home, you will be invited to an interview under caution. You are entitled to legal representation while being questioned.
You can choose to attend the interview without a representative although you are advised to seek legal advice.
Investigation by the local authority
Local authorities have the power to ask organisations to provide them with information if this is reasonably required for investigating or preventing social housing fraud. Local authorities can request your information from banks, building society, utility companies and complete thorough credit checks otherwise known as a 360 check to detect whether other tenants are residing in your home.
Allegations of subletting are often linked to accusations of parting possession with your home. Council or Housing Association tenants must live in their home as their main or principal home. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of your tenancy agreement.
What steps can you take?
Gather evidence to establish this is your main home and that you are not sub-letting. This can include supporting statements from your neighbours, recent GP letters, prescriptions of repeat medications via your GP surgery/local pharmacy, Oyster/travel records and receipts from your local supermarket.
Having people stay over on a temporary basis is not a breach of your tenancy agreement. However, subletting will lead to an automatic loss of your tenancy.
If your landlord serves a notice to quit or start possession proceedings against you on the basis of sub-letting, you may be eligible for legal aid.