Serial Sub-letting Saga
A true story from one of our Network Referencing community, regarding the escalating problem of tenants illegally sub-letting property in the Private Rented Sector.
Tenant Alert Reference NW-MST-197
The tenant in question applied for a property using a false employment reference, from a falsified company. The company that provided the false employment reference was supposedly in Pakistan, had an authentic looking website and the e-mail address verifying the reference was made to look as if it came from a director based in the UK.
Upon further investigation, via inputting the ‘companies’ telephone number into Google Search, at least 3 serviced apartment companies appeared. All of them had authentic looking websites and all contained the same ‘head office’ address as the false company the tenant had used for his employment ‘reference’.
The letting agency were then contacted by their block management company, who advised them that they suspected their property was being used as serviced apartments, which was a breach of the lease.
Coincidently, the letting agency had a routine interim inspection scheduled on the same day and upon entering the property the inspector found an unknown gentleman, who advised the inspector that his company had rented the flat for a couple of weeks whilst working in the area.
When the agent spoke to the unknown gentleman’s company they informed the agent that they had used the tenants company for several short term lets for their employees, and were extremely surprised when they were told that the tenant had been doing this illegally.
After going AWOL for some time, the agent finally got hold of the tenant by telephone. Despite notifying them of all the evidence and information that they had compiled on the matter the tenant adamantly denied that the property was being illegally sub-let.
The tenant was then advised by the agent that the landlord was considering taking action against them for obtaining the property via deception, yet they still denied any wrong-doing.
However, the next day the tenant contacted the agent and confessed all. They said they would give up the Tenancy of the Property and not continue to sub-let it anymore.
As a result of this the agents emailed a number of other letting agents in the Manchester area, which revealed that at least 3 of them had come across this tenant and their colleagues before.
The agent who provided Landlord Referencing Services with this information had this to say on the matter : ‘I do think that these actions should be considered criminal, at least from the point of obtaining possession of the property by deception/fraud.’
This story was kindly supplied to LandlordReferencing.co.uk by the Manchester branch of Philipjames.co.uk.
© Copyright belongs entirely to Landlord Referencing Services.
Landlord Referencing members should refer to the tenant alert reference (above) to protect themselves and their existing tenants from this serial sub-letter in the future.
But where does this leave the private landlord?
This true story highlights the ever increasing problem that is plaguing private landlords, right across the UK.
But because subletting private property is a breach of contract, rather than a criminal offence, the private landlord has no choice but to go through the lengthy process of obtaining a court order eviction in order to remove the original tenant from the property and once this is gained; an eviction order can then remove whoever is inhabiting the property.
In the mean time, the tenant (who cannot be evicted without a court order) can simply continue to take money from the subletting tenants and not pass it onto the landlord.
Until subletting in the private rented sector is criminalized, we believe that the safest answer to protect yourself from serial sub-letters is to Network Reference with your fellow landlords and letting agents nationally.
Not only can landlords and agents use our national database to reference a new applicant tenant, to ensure that they do not let to a notoriously problematic tenant, but Lifestyle Tenant Referencing is also now acting as a deterrent to tenants; as once they find out that our unique system is in place (more often than not) have reconsidered their actions and decided against leaving on bad terms in the first place.
And best of all; all of our Lifestyle Tenant Referencing products are completely free to use!
Click here to join the largest, busiest and (above all) safest Lifestyle Tenant Referencing Service in the UK, and say goodbye to problematic tenants.
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