Subletting without any agreement is against the law. However, tenants are still doing it.
Michael Cook, Lettings Managing Director, at Romans provies an insight into what to look out for:
By subletting without permission the tenants are in breach of the tenancy agreement, entitling the landlord to take legal action and could even result in eviction. This raises a number of potential issues, including debt, accountability and maintenance. A sublet property can also be detrimental to the landlord, as it may void any insurance policy they have on the property.
Michael Cook comments: “Illegal subletting is very detrimental to the landlord and tenants’ welfare and is a matter that Romans takes very seriously. We take precautionary measures including background checks on all potential tenants and ensure the tenancy agreement is approved by a legal professional.
“On top of this, we carry out inspections on a regular basis to check for signs of subletting, such as extra toothbrushes, suitcases or extra clothing.”
Without having to become a detective, there are often tell-tale signs that indicate that the tenant might be subletting;
- Extra rubbish
- Extra clothing or bedding, for example; pillows, duvets, suitcases or extra toothbrushes
- Extra wear and tear to the property
- Reports of anti-social behaviour from the neighbours
- Neighbours complaining about how many people are coming and going from the property
- Tenants making it difficult for the landlord to visit the property
If the landlord believes that their tenant is subletting they must let their letting agent know straight away and take relevant action; remember landlords must end the original tenancy legally before agreeing a new one.
“Very rarely does this situation arise but if it does we will step in on behalf of our fully managed landlords” adds Michael. “We take action straight away and after the original tenant has been notified we will take the appropriate action.”
You should note that, subletting can sometimes be allowed, with the landlord’s permission and a clause in the tenancy agreement.
If the tenant would like to sublet, they should make a written request explaining the reasons to the landlord and allow a reasonable amount of time for them to reply to the request. If the landlord agrees then there should be new terms and conditions formulated. However, if the landlord does not agree the explanation should be in writing.
Romans is a trusted local lettings agency with nearly 30 years’ experience. If you have any questions regarding subletting please do not hesitate to contact your local lettings team.
Find out more about our landlord services by calling 01344 985 870, or visiting romans.co.uk/landlords.