My tenancy agreement clearly says that I'm not allowed to sublet. Safe to get flatmates anyway?
It says this:
"The Tenant shall not assign, transfer, sublet or part with the possession of the Premises or any part thereof to any other person. This tenancy shall be personal to the Tenant named herein."
Okay, well, my wife moved out and I'm stuck with a 3 bedroom flat to myself. I'm helping her pay for her flat, so a bit of extra cash from flatmates would be helpful.
Question: how strictly enforced are such clauses in tenancy agreements? Can I get in trouble if I get flatmates?
Thanks in advance.
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Posted by Ed (722 days ago)
Shouldn't be a problem... subletting is not the same as sharing... subletting as I understand it, involves re-leasing your property to another party and not living in it
Posted by tourniquet (722 days ago)
Cool! Thanks, Ed!
Posted by Sid_1 (722 days ago)
I think so too. Just don't let the landlord know, in case he wants to kick you out. You can say some friends came to visit.
Posted by Underdawg (722 days ago)
I'm not a lawyer but I think as long as you don't have a new contract with anyone you are sharing with then it should be OK.
Posted by associates (705 days ago)
First, you say that your wife moved out and that you are helping her pay for the flat. Is the tenancy agreement in your name and do you wish to remain in the premises?
One would need to review the lease in detail, as it is possible there may be a break clause which would allow you to terminate the lease before its expiration by serving notice on the landlord. You could also discuss with your Landlord to ask for his agreement to surrender the lease. However, if there is no break clause and your Landlord does not agree to your surrender, if you default on the lease covenants, the landlord may apply to the court for damages for your breach of tenancy agreement.
If you wish to stay in the property by attracting someone to ‘share’ the flat, tenants often seek to reach some sort of “private deal” which although could be a breach of the tenancy agreement this often goes unnoticed or uncared for by the landlord, assuming all goes well and rent is paid. Please note that this is in breach and you may be liable for damages arising therefore.
The best option would be to discuss matters with your landlord and see if you can reach some sort of agreement with him. If the landlord agrees to a “sub-let” you should get a formal acknowledgment (“I consent to the sub-let of the premises to Mr. X”). If you manage to find an alternative tenant, the Landlord may wish to enter into a new lease directly with Mr. X which may or may not be good news to you in the sense that you (as the current tenant) are then typically released from liability under the lease and your deposit is returned and replaced by Mr. X’s.
In either method it is worth the cost to have a lawyer look at the arrangements to make sure that it is protecting your interests as much as possible.
Weir & Associates
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16th Floor Tak Shing House
20 Des Voeux Road Central
Tel : 2526-1767
Fax : 2868-3568
Email : WeirLaw@HongKongLaw.com
Posted by OffThePeak (705 days ago)
"The best option would be to discuss matters with your landlord and see if you can reach some sort of agreement with him"
Legally, he must be right about that.
But by raising the issue, you will also be Red-Flagging your intention to deviate from the lease terms. That may or may not be a good idea. Do be sure you are absolutely punctual in paying the full amount of rent, and take care that the flat remains in good order, and nothing gets damaged by you or your flat share person. Remember, it is YOU who remain legally responsible for any damage, so take care whom you share with.
Common sense is sometimes as good as legal advice - But I am not a lawyer, so it may be best to ignore my comment, since it will not help you if you have to go to court.
Posted by bing2 (704 days ago)
if i were your landlord, i would not let you share my property. but if you didnt tell me i would not care as long as i keep receiving my rent money on time.
Posted by walkup3 (697 days ago)
The message from associates is worth careful attention. Bottom line is that if a 'stranger' moves into your apartment and the rental agreement with the landlord is with you only, then any agreement between you and the sub-tenant would be difficult to enforce if a problem occurs, so there is some risk. Not that this stops many who go ahead and replace a leaving friend with someone else. Economics take priority.
Posted by traineeinvestor (697 days ago)
If I was your landord, I would be largely indifferent - so long as the rent keeps coming in on time and I am not getting complaints from the building management. However, if there are any damages then it is the person whose names is on the lease who is responsible.