1

Suppose Bob enters a 12 month tenancy contract and would then like to move early, suppose after 5 months. Bob would remain liable for the remaining 7 months of rental payments, which liability his tenancy deposit would expectably be withheld toward the partial payment of.

Suppose Alice also enters a 12 month tenancy contract but would like to be released from it early, which her landlord denies her permission for. So she finds a replacement for herself to take over the remaining 7 months of her tenancy liability, called Charlotte. Charlotte moves in as a subletter, but Alice’s landlord is upset when she discovers that Charlotte has been sublet to without permission. What can Alice’s landlord do about this situation, other than move to terminate Alice’s tenancy by evicting her under section 8 Housing Act 1988? Once Alice gets evicted under section 8, then hasn’t Alice gotten her way anyway, in being released from the remainder of her tenancy term rental payment liabilities?

And Alice’s landlord is now again on the hook for finding a new tenant to replace Alice some months earlier than planned.

Perhaps one undesirable effect of this for Alice would be liability for her landlord’s section 8 proceeding legal costs, but suppose that these come to 35% of her tenancy deposit and her rental payments have otherwise all been punctually kept up to date.

Would Alice not still get to keep more of her tenancy deposit than Bob got to keep of his, not to mention the further 5-6 months of rental liability that Bob was hypothetically left with?

3
  • I'm confused. Could you link to the Section 8 you are referring to? There is a U.S. low income tenant subsidy law that affects evictions, but this is tagged "England and Wales" so it would be good to clarify what is being referred to in order to clarify that this isn't a jurisdiction jumbling question.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 23, 2023 at 20:35
  • Thanks for the link. Weird coincidence.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 24, 2023 at 1:20
  • Section 8 housing act 1988 is one of the staples of housing possession procedure and together with section 21 of the same act probably one of the most widely popular known and referred to sections of any law in England I would think. Jul 24, 2023 at 22:25

1 Answer 1

2

Although Alice will mostly have achieved her aim in ending the tenancy early, there is one significant consequence of being evicted under section 8: a county court judgement (CCJ) against her.

A CCJ check is a standard part of the referencing check done by landlords when someone applies to be a tenant. Having a CCJ on record means that Alice may find it much harder to find somewhere to rent in the future.

So even if she's not out of pocket due to ending her tenancy early, she may end up with nowhere to live...or perhaps renting from a landlord who doesn't bother with CCJ checks, which may not be a good thing...

EDIT: as pointed out in a comment, it looks like a CCJ would only apply if the tenant leaves while owing rent or other costs. If no money is due, then there will be no CCJ, even if the tenant is evicted under one of the other grounds of Section 8 (e.g. breach of contract).


Realistically, there are up to three flaws with this scenario:

Achieving a section 8 eviction can take many, many months, so it's entirely possible that Alice's fixed term will have ended anyway by the time the case comes to court, making much of this moot.

My understanding is that eviction proceedings aren't cheap, so I'd be amazed if the costs only came to 35% of the deposit.

Having a subtenant creates further complications, as the subtenant has certain rights even if their tenancy is invalid. But that's out of scope for this question.

4
  • CCJs AFAIK only refer to money judgments while Section 8 proceedings rather seek possession orders so if Alice was up to date on her rent to her superior/master landlord than I don’t see a CCJ being made against Alice. Jul 24, 2023 at 22:23
  • But I guess the crux of this question is: if possession is awarded based on breaches under section 8, where arrears related or not, upon enforcement or obedience of the possession order, does the tenancy actually end including the tenant’s liability for payment throughout the remainder of the originally contracted fixed term? Jul 24, 2023 at 22:26
  • @Seekinganswers: Re CCJ: you may be right there. Though if the tenant is evicted due to any of the "at fault" grounds (e.g. breach of contract), one would hope that that would be recorded somewhere; but perhaps not. Re 2nd comment: the court will define an end date to the tenancy; once that has occurred (and if any tenant has left), then yes, the tenant's responsibilities end - though obviously if they owe money, that is still due (but is not applicable in this question). Jul 25, 2023 at 8:48
  • You may hope but AFAIA there is only the master register of fines and judgments which only focuses on pecuniary concerns. If not there then where would it be so “recorded”? I suppose One could always request records from the county court so in that sense it is indeed recorded but I expect that that would be about it. Jul 25, 2023 at 15:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .