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Other issues

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There are a number of other issues affecting the tenancy in your property:

If you explicitly do not wish your tenant to sublet the property, you can prohibit it by adding a clause into your tenancy agreement. If you do not have such an agreement, then the tenant may have the right to sublet if he has paid what is known as a premium as a deposit. It is considered that a tenant has paid a premium if the deposit was for anything over two months' rent.

Of course, you are quite within your rights to allow the tenant to sublet if you wish, but you will have no control over who he sublets to, unless you specifically determine so in the agreement.

Leaving early
The tenant cannot move out before the end of a fixed term without being liable for the full amount of rent up to the end of the agreed fixed period, unless he has your consent, or unless there is a break clause in the agreement that allows him to leave during a 'window' of opportunity.

Sometimes your tenants die. Not a particularly pleasant thought, but it happens. Where it happens under a joint tenancy, any remaining tenants have the automatic right to stay on in the property and the tenancy continues according to the initial agreement. The rules governing sole tenancies are a little more complicated.

If a sole tenant dies during the fixed term of a tenancy, the executors of the deceased's will are able to pass the tenancy on to whoever was nominated in the will. With either a contractual or statutory periodic tenancy, only the husband, wife, or person who lived with the partner as husband or wife has the automatic right to succeed the tenancy. However, if the unfortunate circumstances occurred where the deceased tenant had themselves succeeded the tenancy through the death of a previous tenant (and since remarried whilst living in the property, for instance), then the husband or wife would not be able to succeed the tenancy.

Housing benefit
Although some landlords prefer not to deal with tenants on housing benefit, a great many do not mind at all. Some landlords even prefer the fact that the local authority can arrange for housing benefit to be paid directly to the landlord, so long as the tenant consents.

The maximum amount of benefit paid by the local authority will primarily be determined by the income and savings of the tenant. In addition, you may have the rent that you are charging assessed by a rent officer, in order to compare it with the price charged by landlords of similar properties in your area.

If you want to find out the maximum amount of rent that will be met by the housing benefit, you can apply for a Pre-Tenancy Determination, which will be carried out by a rent officer from the Housing Benefit Department.

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