When do I give away my illegal sublet? UK Housing Filter.
January 27, 2015 2:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently living in an illegal housing assn. sublet (UK), and I'm moving soon. When do I tell the authorities about it? I want to do it because it just seems wrong for it to be occupied by people who don't necessarily need it when there's a queue of folk who do. But I want to cover my back. But I don't want to screw over the next lot of tenants. What would you do?

I didn't know it was illegal when I rented it, I did think the landlord seemed shady, but I was in a very tight spot at the time and perhaps wilfully ignored it.

When I found out, I made arrangements to move, sharpish. But now I'm going - what do I do to make things right? I feel that if I tell before I get my deposit back from the landlord, I might never get it, and I NEED that cash - it's been crazy expensive moving twice in 12 months and I'm rinsed out. But if I wait more than a few weeks, what if new tenants get in, and then the poor sods have to move right back out again.

I'm not sure what's right. Maybe I should tell sooner and chalk my deposit up to the price I pay for my stupidity. But is there any other way round it?

Thanks for the advice mefites.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're not at fault, the landlord is. He/she/they should be reported (you can do so anonymously). Be prepared to move but you may also have a case to stay put or for the housing association to accommodate you otherwise. Depends on your council as they have put up a major number of restrictions in order to cut the number of people trying to get a council house.
posted by parmanparman at 3:17 AM on January 27, 2015

Is your deposit in a deposit protection scheme? Legally it should be, if its not, you're probably not going to get it back anyway. If it is, it should be a lot easier to get it back
posted by missmagenta at 3:39 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

If it's not in a deposit protection scheme and you don't get it back, be sure to report that when you report the illegal sublet too. The landlord may be prosecuted and forced to refund you.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:46 AM on January 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Call Shelter. When I called them, they told me about the deposit scheme and that, if my deposit was not held in said scheme and retained for any reason (other than provable damage or back rent) then I could sue the landlord for up to three times the amount of the deposit. Threatening to do this (at the appropriate time, of course) to landlords trying to hold a non-secured deposit (to punish former tenants) usually make them pay up.

But for that and the rest of your question, call Shelter.
posted by K.P. at 5:36 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]

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