What happens if your landlord is actually not the property owner - PropertyBlawg

What happens if your landlord is actually not the property owner

by Deni Ivanov on August 15, 2013

After finding out that there are actually people who have problems like this I have decided to put some information out there on what you are entitled to do in such a scenario.  Usually there is a legal rule that says that tenants can’t look behind sort of speak – behind the landlord title. This means that even if your landlord does not own the property he’s renting out to you, you can’t really without rent to this person, as you have a tenancy agreement with him/her. The landlord might not have the legal rights to the property, but you do have a contract and these two things are two separate cases, which are under different types of law.

As long as you you have a tenancy agreement with said person, the normal tenant to landlord obligations still apply, even if your landlord has the legal right to rent the property to you. For example you will still have to pay for damages on the property that you have done, along with the obvious obligation to pay your rent to this particular person.

The problem occurs if your landlord does not have the right to rent to you and this is specifically noted in his or her tenancy contract from the main landlord a.k.a. the housing authority. In such case the head landlord could end your lease in his property and kick you out in a way or claim vacant possession in other words. In such a case you could always make a claim against your landlord who in this particular case would act as a mediator in the deal between you and the property owner. If this happens a you are entitled to compensation, but unless it does, your agreement with the mediator-landlord are the same as they would be between the property owner and his tenant. Such a scenario is a rare phenomenon and there aren’t a lot of people who will do such a thing and it is most likely that you won’t have to deal with such a situation, but it’s always good to be informed and prepared, rather than not.


If this happens, then you will a claim against your landlord for compensation.

However unless and until it does (and it may never happen), you are a normal tenant and you shouldn’t act in any other way towards the person who you’re dealing with. All other tenancy agreements that you have in your contract are still in place and you should obey them.

In conclusion we’ll have to say that if your landlord is actually a tenant and you know about it it’s a good idea to check on his/her tenancy agreement and make sure that there isn’t a clause that says explicitly that he or she can’t rent to others.  Recognizing this up front will help you out and save you a lot of headaches in future, especially if you find yourself in this situation.

Tenancy agreements can often be misleading and important issues like the one, that we covered in this article could slip up unnoticed, but as long as you read this blog as well as this one  you should be fine.

My name is Deni Ivanov and I am the owner of an end of tenancy cleaning company that serves London. The many years in the business working with clients and more specifically tenants has shown me that there are as many cases, as there are landlords and properties for rent.

At the end I’m going to leave you with an interesting infographic about tenancy and rent in London and facts about the city that could interest you as well.

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