Subletting without any formal agreement is against the law. But tenants persist in doing it.
By subletting without permission, tenants are in breach of their tenancy agreement, entitling the landlord to take legal action that 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.
Without having to become a detective, there are often tell-tale signs that indicate that the tenant might be subletting that include;
Extra rubbishExtra clothing or bedding, for example; pillows, duvets, suitcases or extra toothbrushesExtra wear and tear to the propertyReports of anti-social behaviour from the neighboursNeighbours complaining about how many people are coming and going from the propertyTenants 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.
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.
Michael Cook, lettings managing director at Romans, said: “Illegal subletting is very detrimental to the landlord and tenants’ welfare and a matter to be taken 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.”