Are your tenants planning to secretly sublet their home this Christmas? | Discuss

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Are your tenants planning to secretly sublet their home this Christmas?
1:53 pm
News @ Tenant Referencing

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A buy to let insurance company is warning UK landlords to be extra vigilant over this coming festive period, following reports of a 14% year-on-year increase in the number of malicious and accidental damage claims received as a direct results of illegal subletting.

Rent increases are believed to be behind the sharp rise in the number of tenants subletting their homes without their landlord’s consent.

Subletting not only breaches most tenancy agreements and creates additional wear and tear issues, but it also leaves private landlords vulnerable to being in breach of their mortgage terms and buildings insurances too.

Research by Direct Line for Business earlier this year found that one in six tenants have rented out part or all of their property to someone who is not on the lease. Of those that have sublet their home, around a quarter did not bother to check the terms of their lease to see if it was permitted, while more than a third did not tell their landlords.

Eviction Specialists Landlord Action also spoke out about the growing issue of tenants subletting their rental properties on peer-to-peer websites like AirBnB.

At Tenant Referencing UK we talk to 100’s of landlords and letting agents on a daily basis, where subletting is becoming an ever increasing problem in the PRS, 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.

In one particular case: one of our landlord community had a tenant who sublet their property, and on searching the tenant via our tenant histories database we found two other landlords who had also registered them as their tenant. On contacting these two landlords they discovered that this tenant had also been subletting their properties out and on further investigation it was believed that the tenant had rented out 10 other properties! At £500 a month (each) this equated to the tenant raking in £5,000 a month, and they got away scot free! !

Furthermore, communications via our community also reveal that there are thousands of private landlords out there that know that their tenants are illegally subletting their properties but do nothing about it because they are either scared of the repercussions from their tenants or just don’t think it’s worth the hassle ! !

This is why have created this quick check-list to combat unauthorised subletting of your property:

  • Make sure your tenant agreements contain a clause preventing sub-letting.
  • Carry out thorough pre-tenancy checks (financial and rental history), to be clear who will be living at the property.
  • Carry out thorough periodic inspections of the property.
  • Take our Rent and Legal expenses insurance; Good quality policies will include cover for legal expenses incurred in gaining possession for breaches of the tenancy agreement.
  • If you have (unfortunately) experienced ‘rent-to-rent fraud’ then please join and upload the relevant tenants onto the Tenant Referencing UK system, to warn the rest of our community and prevent it from happening to any of them in the future.

Landlords, Letting Agents and Tenants :

  • Have you ever experienced a tenant or neighbour illegally subletting private housing?
  • Would you like to see subletting in the private sector criminalized?

Related topics:

Subletting burglars jailed after £50k raids

Avoid Airbnb subletting scams with Tenant Referencing UK

MPs pass bill that criminalizes social subletting

8:34 am
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These sub letting tenants are also guilty of council tax fraud and electoral roll fraud

C Tax fraud is imprisonable

I have never heard of any sub letting tenant being charged let alone convicted of such fraud even when it is so blatant.

7:58 am
David Price
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PaulBarrett said
I have never heard of any sub letting tenant being charged let alone convicted of such fraud even when it is so blatant.

Paul you know that any fraud on the part of the tenant is the landlords fault, so you would not expect the tenant to be prosecuted.Confused

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