By subletting without permission, your tenants are in breach of the tenancy agreement, entitling you as a landlord to take legal action, which could result in eviction. So how do you identify if your tenants are illegally subletting?
Michael Cook, the Lettings Managing Director of Romans estate agent, explains why illegal subletting is harmful to both landlords and their tenants: “Illegal subletting is very detrimental to the landlord and tenant’s 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 becoming a detective, there are often telltale signs that indicate that the tenant might be subletting. These are the things to look out for on your periodic inspections:
- Extra rubbish around the property
- Additional clothing or bedding, as well as extra toothbrushes or suitcases
- Unusual amounts of wear and tear
- Reports of anti-social behaviour from the neighbours
- Complaints about how many people are coming and going from the property from the neighbours
- Tenants making it difficult for you to visit the property
If you believe that your tenant is illegally subletting, you must take relevant action straightaway.
“Very rarely does this situation arise, but, if it does, we will step in on behalf of our fully managed landlords,” Cook explains. “We take action straightaway and, after the original tenant has been notified, we will take the appropriate action.”
Landlords must note that subletting can sometimes be allowed, with your permission and a clause in the tenancy agreement.
If the tenant would like to sublet, they should make a written request to you, explaining the reasons and allowing a reasonable amount of time for you to reply to the request. If you agree, then there should be new terms and conditions formulated. However, if you do not agree, you should give your reasons back in writing.