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Tenure of subtenant

This content applies to England

The tenure of the subtenant during a mesne tenancy.

While the mesne tenancy continues, there is no directly enforceable relationship between the subtenant and the head landlord. There will be a relationship of landlord and tenant between the head landlord and the mesne tenant and a separate relationship of landlord and tenant between the mesne tenant and the subtenant, in which all the normal security of tenure rules apply. The subtenancy may fall into any of the classes of protection looked at in the Security of tenure section.

It is quite possible for a subtenant to hold a regulated or assured tenancy if all the necessary conditions are met (see the section on Regulated (protected) tenancies and the section on Assured tenancies for more information). However, a subtenant who lives in the same building as the mesne tenant may have little or no protection as s/he will have, in effect, a resident landlord (see the section on Basic protection/excluded occupiers for the rights of these occupiers).

If the mesne tenant wishes to evict the subtenant, s/he must comply with whatever procedures the subtenant's status requires. Even if the mesne tenant is subletting illegally (eg where her/his tenancy agreement does not allow subletting), it will not affect the validity of the relationship between the mesne tenant and subtenant. However, the legality of the subletting may be of crucial importance if the mesne tenancy comes to an end.

See the page on Position when mesne tenancy ends for more information.

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