Here is a question to the blog clinic from John (not his real name) who is a tenant
I lived in a self contained 1 bed flat for nearly seven years, in that time I had a good Landlord, the rent was reasonable and I looked after the place, the landlord also allowed me to sublet the bedroom.
Nearly two years ago the Landlord died and the entire building was left to the caretaker. In April of this year, the Landlord while I was interviewing new lodgers said I could not sublet because of insurance, several days later he served a notice on me as well as others in building saying that he needs to renovate the HMO house and we would all need to leave while works were being done, but we could return in six months one completed.
Many of us put our belongings into storage and moved into temporary accommodation on this basis, however I now know after leaving the flat, this was not true, and he is to do up the place, charge more rent and get new tenants, his selfish actions have cost me my home and I was wondering if anything can be done at this late stage. Thanks
This is a difficult one and shows how difficult it is for most tenants to asset their rights.
If you moved out on the understanding you would be able to move back in again, then strictly speaking you should be entitled to do this. However if the standard of the property has been improved it woud be very difficult for you to insist on the same level of rent.
Even if the landlord let you back in again, he would still be able to get you out again under s21 after a few months anyway, for example if there were disagreements about rent levels and your right to sublet to a lodger. So you may feel that there is not a lot of point in this.
My feeling is that if you feel unhappy about the landlord and his intentions, it may be best to try to find somewhere else.
In retrospect it might have been best to make more of a fuss when he wanted you to move out, and to negotiate some sort of ex gratia payment which you could have used for a new place.
What do others think?