More tenants are subletting without consent

subletting by tenants
Sep 17 2016

More tenants are subletting without consent

More tenants are subletting without consent
We have discussed the topic of subletting before and some of the potential issues. However, it seems from some research around a third of private rented sector tenants in the UK claim to be currently subletting without the landlord’s consent and even more worryingly 40% are seriously considering the idea of subletting.

I read a couple of articles on the topic and it seems the vast majority of tenants are subletting on a short term basis to friends or family in need of accommodation. I then spoke to several of our letting agency clients and this reinforced this research. Many mentioned that when they had carried out inspections it was not the signed tenant that was living there. If you are a private landlord are you carrying out regular inspections?
The second reason tenants are subletting is to help pay for the rent. We have come across a couple of cases were landlords have approached us, as they have found tenants to be subletting rooms in their houses. In one case a tenant was living in the dining room and letting out the three bedrooms, ironically they were making double what the landlord was in rent.
It is not all doom and gloom almost half of tenants do approach their landlord asking for consent to sublet the property. Three quarters of tenants think it should be up to them if they can sublet the property.
Should we be education tenants on this matter as part of the letting process?
We are experiencing a sharp increase in instructions to remove tenants due to the landlord finding out the tenant is subletting without consent. We work with several letting agencies and subletting is becoming one of the main reasons for evicting a tenant.
It is very worrying that so many tenants are prepared to risk being evicted from the property and sublet the property without asking the landlord. As mentioned earlier it is vital that landlords and letting agencies check their property for additional or different occupants. Many tenants will of course try to hide the fact they are subletting, some of the signs are excessive rubbish and accelerated wear and tear. Also look for additional items in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.
It is worth pointing out that illegal subletting falls under tenant fraud and renting a property makes landlords vulnerable to fraud. It is vital that landlords and agents carry out thorough pre-letting checks. The purpose of referencing a tenant is threefold; to check the person is who they say they are, that they can afford the rent and that they have honoured past commitments.
Last year, the government planned to make it easier for tenants to sublet a room by legislating against the use of clauses in private fixed term tenancy agreements that expressly rule out subletting, or otherwise sharing space on a short term basis.
What are your thoughts should the government proceed with legislation to prevent a landlord from including a non-subletting clause?

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  • Enid Whitehead

    Subletting should not be allowed. Tenants will then turn your property into HMOs and will be collecting more rent than the are paying to the landlord. Landlords could be tarnished with being slum landlords.

    3rd October 2016 at 1:23 pm
  • GenerationRent

    If the landlords are against subletting, than they should charge the rent at 25% of the tennant(s) take home income… Like it is in Germany.

    20th September 2017 at 10:16 am

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