Section 66 - Exclusion of contract-holder after abandoning contracts
211.Where the sub-holder believes the contract-holder no longer wishes to be a party to the head contract, the sub-holder may act to end the head contract. The effect of this will be to transfer the contract-holder’s rights and obligations (as landlord under the sub-occupation contract) to the head landlord. The parties to the occupation contract will then be the head landlord and the (former) sub-holder. Such a scenario may occur where the contract-holder has disappeared.
212.To end the head contract, the sub-holder must serve the contract-holder with a notice stating that he or she no longer considers the contract-holder to be a party to the head contract and sub-occupation contract. This notice must be copied to the head landlord. The notice must inform the contract-holder that he or she has a four-week ‘warning period’ during which he or she must confirm that he or she is still a party to the contracts. The sub-holder must, during this warning period, conduct investigations in order to be satisfied that the contract-holder has abandoned the contracts.
213.After the four week period, if the sub-holder is satisfied abandonment of the contracts has taken place, he or she may apply to the court to have the rights and responsibilities of the contract-holder (as landlord) transferred to the head landlord. The court may not make the order if the head landlord asserts that the court would have made a possession order against the sub-holder, had the contract-holder brought such a claim, and the court is satisfied this is the case.