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Recovery of unpaid rent from subtenant

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Posted by Mary Rouse on 01 August 2012

Mary Rouse Partner

If a tenant has not paid a quarter’s rent and the premises is sublet then it is possible for the landlord to serve what is known as Section 6 Notice, which is a notice under Section 6 of the Law of Distress (Amendment) Act 1908, requiring the subtenant to pay the rent the subtenant would normally pay to the head tenant to the superior landlord until such time as the arrears specified in the notice are paid off.

The Notice can only be served once there are arrears so you need to wait until the due date has passed. If the subtenant has already paid its rent then the Notice will remain valid for the next quarter. If a subtenant receives the notice but ignores it and pays its rent to the immediate landlord then it is worth noting that the superior landlord can require the subtenant to pay the rent to them as well and it will be for the subtenant to try and recover the rent from the immediate landlord.

If this is an ongoing situation then it will be necessary to serve a fresh Notice each quarter. If the premises are only partially sublet then it is worth noting that the subtenant will only pay its rent and therefore there may be a shortfall of what is paid to the landlord.

There are statutory requirements regarding the service of the Notice which we are able to help you with. Whilst this procedure may not enable a superior landlord to recover all of the rent arrears, it will certainly assist in helping to mitigate the loss.

About the author

Mary Rouse


Mary is an experienced property litigation lawyer.

Mary Rouse

Mary is an experienced property litigation lawyer.

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