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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70180
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a tenant and I have 2 flatmates that will not

Customer Question

I am a tenant and I have 2 flatmates that will not pay their rent, since the beginning of the month.
We are all leaving the property in a weeks time, but as I am the only legal tenant (only my name is ***** ***** tenancy agreement), I am the one who put down the deposit.
They have made me aware that they aren't leaving and are not paying any rent.
I risk losing a lot if not all of my deposit.
Am I in my rights to change the locks of the apartment and pack their belongings and leave it at the entrance of the building?
Thank you for your help.
Kind regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do you have permission from the landlord to sublet?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo,

Yes the landlord is completely aware that the other rooms were taken, but now they refuse to pay and will not leave.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
And these tenants have a contract with you not the landlord?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They do not have a formal contract with me or the landlord. They didn't want to sign the tenancy, they just agreed to pay every month, but now the new month has begun and they have told me that they will not pay and will leave when they decide to.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Who do they normally pay?
Do you rent the entire property and sublet these rooms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

just the rooms as I live there also.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
This actually does not sound like a sublet. You are renting a room and they are renting others. Sublet would be if you rented the entire property and then let to those tenants.
Therefore, this is actually the landlord's problem rather than yours. You may well be the tenant who organises everything but that does not make you a like a subletting landlord.
Therefore, these people have a licence to occupy even if they don't have any other contracts and that the landlord cannot just change the locks as you could if you were a subletting landlord because you live with them.
The landlord will need to serve notice and seek a possession order from the courts if it is his wish to evict them.
I'm afraid that a landlord who does not live with his tenant cannot just change the locks because that is unlawful eviction which is a criminal offence.
I'm very sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

But I am renting the entire property and they just needed one of the rooms.

they pay me and not the landlord, even though he knows about it. he would rather rent be paid from just one account.

but now they aren't paying me the rent, I have to pay for the whole property.

so I don't understand why i can not change the locks.

Please elaborate further as I am not understanding.

Kind regards

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That is not what you said above.
You said you just rented your room.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I thought I had, I must have explained incorrectly.

I have been renting the entire property. I meant they rent a room. I hope this makes sense.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
If you rent the entire property from the landlord and they rent from you their room then you are their landlord.
That will mean they are lodgers.
You have to give them written notice of no less than 28 days and then if they refuse to go you can just change the locks.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Oh I understand.

Thank you for your advice.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem and all the best.
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