Sub Tenant

An individual who has permission to use and inhabit rental home that a renter has leased from a landlord is known as a subtenant. Both the owner and the landlord have expectations of a subtenant. Before renting a room a property to a sub lesser, a tenant frequently needs the owner’s permission. Rent to the owner and any harm to the asset brought on by the subtenant are still the owner’s responsibility. The roommate you wish to expel must be your landlord’s subtenant, and you must be the primary tenant (or the one who has executed a lease or rental deal with the owner) in order to do so. A subtenant is often somebody who rents out a portion of your home to you and pays you rent rather than your owner. You and your housemate are the “landlord” and “tenant,” respectively, under this arrangement.

According to some local landlord-tenant regulations, which differ by area, a rental trying to act in the role of a tenant who lives in the same rental unit as his or her subtenant may be permitted to remove said subtenant without reasonable cause. Based on regional legislation, a master tenant must notify the subtenant in writing a specific number of days before eviction. It could be essential to launch an illegal detainer case if the subtenant refuses to depart.

According to certain municipal legislation, a tenant who sublets his or her rented property may only charge the subtenants the same amount of rent that the renter is already paying the tenant upon the subtenants’ initial possession. Therefore, a master renter is not permitted to benefit financially from their landlord’s property.

If both you and your housemate are cotenants, you cannot evict them. If both you and your roommate signed the lease or rental agreement, you are considered cotenants.

The Legal Position of Sub Tenant in Indian Law

  • In the case of Associated Hotels of India Ltd., Delhi vs. S. B. Sardar Ranjit Singh, AIR 1968 SC 933, the Apex Court of the country ruled that the burden of proof is with the landlord when an eviction is requested due to subletting. The tenant would therefore be responsible for refuting the facts if the owner prima facie establishes that the third party is in the exclusive control of the property rented out for valued consideration.
  • In Helper Girdharbhai vs. Saiyed Mohmad Mirasaheb Kadri and Others, (1987) 3 SCC 538, this Court determined that the owner’s actions did not constitute renting when a tenant joins a partnership firm and permits it to operate in the premises while he himself preserves legal possession of those premises. It was decided that the existence of a true partnership must be determined based on the evidence of each case and the rules that apply to partnerships.
  • This Court held the following in the matter of Jagan Nath (Deceased) via LRs. vs. Chander Bhan and others, (1988) 3 SCC 57, when addressing the problems raised by Section 14(1)(b) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, which allows for eviction on the basis of subletting are :

“The question for consideration is whether the mischief contemplated under Section 14(1)(b) of the Act has been committed as the tenant had sublet, assigned, or otherwise parted with the possession of the whole or part of the premises without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord. There is no dispute that there was no consent in writing of the landlord in this case. There is also no evidence that there has been any subletting or assignment. The only ground perhaps upon which the landlord was seeking eviction was parting with possession. It is well settled that parting with possession meant giving possession to persons other than those to whom possession had been given by the lease and the parting with possession must have been by the. tenant; user by other person is not parting with possession so long as the tenant retains the legal possession himself, or in other words there must be vesting of possession by the tenant in another person by divesting himself not only of physical possession but also of the right to possession. So long as the tenant retains the right to possession there is no parting with possession in terms of clause (b) of Section 14(1) of the Act. Even though the father had retired from the business and the sons had been looking after the business, in the facts of this case, it cannot be said that the father had divested himself of the legal right to be in possession. If the father has a right to displace the possession of the occupants, i.e., his sons, it cannot be said that the tenant had parted with possession”

  • In Gopal Saran vs. Satyanarayana, (1989) 3 SCC 56, the court was asked to decide whether the tenant had, in violation of Section 13(1)(e) of the Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1950), designated, sublet, or otherwise divided with the ownership of the entire or any part of the site even without landlord’s consent. This Court declared: “Subletting involves giving a third party the sole right to use the property. In this regard, reference may be made to this Court’s decision in Shalimar Tar Products Ltd. vs. H.C. Sharma ((1988) 1 SCC 70), which held that in order to constitute a sub-letting, there must be a parting of legal possession, i.e., possession with the right to include and also the right to exclude others, and that whether there was sub-letting in a particular case was largely a question of fact. The Treatise of Goa on Landlord and Tenant, 6th edn., at page 323 was cited in that case to support the idea that the tenant’s simple act of allowing others into possession and to use the property for their own purposes does not constitute a breach of covenant as long as he retains legal possession himself. According to the report’s paragraph 17, sharing legal possession entails having both the right to include and the right to exclude individuals”.  The views made by the Madras High Court in Gundalapalli Rangamannar Chetty v. Desu Rangiah (AIR 1954 Mad 182), which relied on Jackson v. Simons ((1923) 1 Ch 373), were approved by this Court in the final case.

References

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-s-the-difference-between-tenant-subtenant.html

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-a-home/subletting-and-lodging/subletting/rights-of-subtenants-who-do-not-live-with-their-landlord/

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