Total Landlord Insurance is warning landlords to be extra vigilant over the festive period as it reports a 14% year-on-year increase in the number of malicious and accidental damage claims received as a direct result of illegal subletting.
Increased rent costs are believed to be behind the sharp rise in the number of tenants subletting their homes without their landlord's permission, putting them at risk of eviction for breaking their tenancy agreements.
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.
The volume of sublets tend to rise around Christmas according to Total Landlord Insurance, as some tenants who go away view it as an opportunity to recoup some of their rent rather than leave the property empty.
“Whilst off on vacation themselves, tenants may consider subletting to earn extra easy income, but according to findings from the National Landlords Association (NLA), almost half of tenants who sublet their property do so without their landlord’s permission,” said Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance.
“Subletting can breach a landlords mortgage terms and also invalidate their existing insurance policy – so it’s vital for them to be aware of the problems it can present. An increasing number of landlords are suffering accidental and malicious damage to their properties, generating a rise in claims, because tenants have sublet to another tenant,” he added.