An agent surveyed tenants to find that 96% were subletting their property for short periods only, mostly to help out a friend or member of their family. Not surprisingly, 82% were subletting to help them pay the rent.
There is good news for tenants as 52% suggest that they will ask for their landlord’s permission when they’re planning to sublet their property soon. Nevertheless, over three quarters of tenants believe they shouldn’t need to ask their landlord’s approval before subletting a property.
Ever increasing numbers of landlords need to resort to the law courts to repossess their properties, because tenants are using apps like Airbnb to offer a short-term sublet, which is difficult to prove and track by the landlord.
Experts suggest that landlords need to carry out more regular checks on their properties to see whether additional occupants are breaking the sublet clause of the tenancy agreement. Of course, warning signs like quicker wear and tear and too much rubbish around the property can suggest that extra individuals are living in the landlord’s property and tenants will go to extreme ends to disguise these facts. With more people in the property, condensation and mould can be increased.
Regular checks by landlords may provide indications that additional tenants are in their property. This might be seen as additional pillows and sleeping bags around the property or more suitcases and rucksacks than you would expect. A trip to the bathroom might show an additional number of toothbrushes, compared to the amount of residents. Vigilant and consistent landlords can help reduce the number of illegal sublets.
Landlords will argue that it will cost them more over the longer term because redecoration, damage and repairs will be required because more people than expected have been using it.
Subletting is a fraudulent activity, which may be found with better checks and references on tenants before they move in. References are not only to check who the people are and decide whether the rent is affordable, but it also brings up past dealings with landlords and hopefully, any previous subletting attempts.
While government, through legislation, is planning to make it simpler for tenants to sublet rooms, the consultation period has not yet begun.