Half of subletting cases without landlord’s consent
Almost half of tenants who sublet their property do so without their landlord’s consent, according to new findings from the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The findings come as the government recently announced proposals to introduce minimum room sizes in order to crack down on problems with private rented accommodation such as unauthorised subletting, which often results in overcrowded and cramped properties.
Of the 11% of tenants who say they have sublet all or part of their property before, just 5% did so with their landlord’s permission.
A quarter (26%) of tenants say they have approached their landlord about subletting but have had the request declined, and 63% say they have never asked their landlord about subletting their property.
Overall, the findings show that around a third (32%) of tenants have approached their landlord about subletting their property, with a fifth (22%) of requests being permitted by the landlord.
Carolyn Uphill, chairman of the NLA, said: “These findings indicate that subletting is not common in private rented homes, but worryingly that where it does happen, much of it takes place behind landlords’ backs, without their knowledge or permission.
“This isn’t something apparently harmless, like putting your flat on AirBnB while you are on holiday. We are talking about individuals looking to deceive their landlord and maximise their personal gains at the expense of proper property management standards and the risk of others. It not only increases the cost of renting for the unwitting sub-tenants, it affects their rights and can reduce security of tenure.
“Subletting can also breach a landlord’s mortgage terms, the conditions attached to licenses granted for letting out shared homes, and invalidate existing insurance products – so they must be aware of the problems it presents.
“The NLA advises all landlords to insert a clause into new tenancy agreements that makes clear sub-letting is only allowed with the landlord’s permission, which should not be unreasonably withheld. This would reduce their exposure to a whole host of unnecessary risks, including hefty fines and even a prison sentence.”
Central Housing Group’s ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme provides professional assistance to landlords in addressing the various types of tenant-related issues highlighted in this article.
Our friendly, professional and comprehensive management service includes regular property inspections (including the regular use of digital photography for monitoring purposes) that are carried out either on a fortnightly or b-monthly basis, depending on the Council letting scheme that the property is occupied under.
Inspections are a vital part of the service we provide to landlords, as they allow us to closely monitor the condition of our properties as well as noting any occupancy issues and also allow us early intervention if necessary.
If you let your property privately, most agents will carry out inspections only once or twice a year or, at best, on a quarterly basis and these inspections may sometimes incur an additional charge for landlords.
By carrying out regular and frequent inspections we ensure that the opportunity for unauthorised subletting or unauthorised occupancy, by tenants, is minimised and significantly reduced but, failing this, unauthorised subletting or unauthorised occupancy can be identified at an early stage and reported to the Council concerned for immediate remedial action.
Our ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme and management service also provides landlords with the peace of mind that they do not have to deal directly with tenants when they break the rules and can instead rely on our experienced and professional team of staff to effectively deal with all tenant management issues.