Visit properties regularly to stamp out multiple sub-tenants.

Recent news released from the NLA (National Landlords Association) reported that almost half of the tenants occupying rental property also partake in subletting that is not known by their landlords. This illegal practice is a growing trend, especially as immigration in to the UK continues to rise and costs landlords £1,000’s in costs for repairs and damages.

Subletting is not a re-fused topic, landlords do allow this to happen within the right situation is approached first by their tenants, though only usually a fifth of landlords accept subletting upon request.

Many cases are not just an ‘extra person’ staying in a property and subletting, it also stretches to properties rented by one or two people who then sublet to multiple people and simply crowding a property with mattresses with obviously ill sufficient sanitary/services for all to use (I have seen this situation for myself on a few separate occasions). These kind of horror stories usually end up with the property being left in a poor state, usually requiring a complete re-decoration from doors to decorations, bathroom furniture to landscaping.

The government new proposals are seen as being ‘hopefully’ keen to deal with this situation, but for now landlords / property owners need to take care of their own property and make sure that they are vigilant to exactly who is renting on their premises.

This new phenomenon is really down to how the buy to let sector is allowed to continue, rents are rising and more and more people struggle to afford their rent so renting out the odd room here and there is bound to happen to include those who will see it as a whole new business opportunity to put their name down on a property and sub let it out. They simply have a portfolio of people who are happy to house share and who are unlikely to be unable to get somewhere to rent on their own, ie the immigration situation we have here in the UK.

Direct Line recently reported that ‘Ghost Tenants’ are now known to be sub letting rooms in multiple property without the knowledge of landlords – Easy money if you have the connections – There is most certainly a housing crisis in the UK, especially South of the country so opportunity is rife.

The best way for landlords to avoid their property being sublet include:

  • Have a good relationship with their tenants, speak on the phone to make sure all is well and organise a regular visit to check over the property, even if it is to make sure that nothing needs repairing or updating to make the stay better for the tenant.
  • Make sure that the estate agency / letting agency you uses has sufficient paperwork in to protect you from subletting. What criteria do they have when choosing who is best to rent your property. Do they communicate with tenants on a regular basis, have they good software in place so that tenants can report any issues such as Fixflo.
  • Change locks on property when old tenants move out.
  • Drive past your property at varied times, especially going to work and coming from work times to make sure things seems consistent with who is renting. How many vehicles are parked outside? Rubbish collection days, amount which is outside etc.

What can your Landlord do about subletting? Citizens Advice

Rights of the Tenant to sublet their home. Citizens Advice

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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