Ending a Tenancy (England) | England | Tenant Wants to Leave (England)

Other people living in property not covered by lease

1 Feb 2022 | 3 comments


My tenant has given notice, and explained that there is now another couple living in the property who wants to rent it. It seems our tenant moved out and let these people move in without our permission. They did ask to do this a couple of months ago and I said that to do this we needed to take up their references and once agreed set up a new tenancy agreement, ending their tenancy. As they did not get back to me we assumed they were not going ahead with this.

We have now met these people and they have asked to have a tenancy agreement however I am not convinced they are telling us the truth about their employment etc, something is not right.

I would like them to leave and advertise the property to get new tenants in. How do we go about this.

Many thanks



  1. guildy

    This could become very tricky and may need the services of a solicitor.

    If you have had a discussion about rent payable and perhaps have received some rent from the occupiers, they will have become your assured shorthold tenants verbally, and you will have to get a written agreement done and ensure they have all the relevant documents (gas safety, EPC etc.)

    If there’s been no demand nor discussion about rent, they are there unlawfully, and you will be entitled to possession through the courts. There is a caveat to this though, which is your discussions with the previous tenant and whether they were under the impression you were granting the new occupiers a tenancy or not (this is where a solicitor would be needed where more detail could be provided).

    There is an untested argument that if they are there with no rent payable (assuming a rent discussion hasn’t taken place) then the tenancy/license is not protected and possession can be sought by peaceable re-entry after “reasonable notice” being given.

    In addition to rent-free, a tenancy or licence is excluded from formal notice and court orders by section 3A(6) Protection from Eviction Act 1977 if:

    … it was granted as a temporary expedient to a person who entered the premises in question or any other premises as a trespasser (whether or not, before the beginning of that tenancy or licence, another tenancy or licence to occupy the premises or any other premises had been granted to him)…

    However, obtaining possession without a court order is high risk on residential property, and we would be happier with you discussing this with a solicitor who is an expert in landlord/tenant matters.

    Please see this article about unlawful sub-letting (amongst other things).

    Also, see here for evicting an excluded occupier after reasonable notice and without a court order.

  2. Helen Thornton

    Thanks for your help with this. Do you recommend lawyers?

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