In most cases, a tenant needs their landlord’s consent before they can sublet their home, and yet some tenants seem to ignore the rules.
Tenants risk breaking the term of their tenancy agreement and on that basis, a private landlord can take action to evict them. 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.
Romans is urging landlords to be extra vigilant in light of growing reports of illegal subletting.
Michael Cook, lettings managing director at Romans, said: “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.”
The estate agency has identified what it sees as clear tell-tale signs that indicate that the tenant might be subletting. They include:
+ 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
Cook says that it is important that landlords ensure that they end the original tenancy legally before agreeing a new one.
However, you should note that subletting can sometimes be permitted with the landlord’s consent 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.