The practice of unauthorised sub-letting is still rife in the UK's private rented sector, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
The AIIC's claim follows hot on the heels of a National Landlords Association report that almost half of tenants who sub-let their property do so without their landlords’ consent.
The AIIC says landlords suffer thousands of pounds in additional costs caused by damage to properties during sub-letting.
The AIIC says that any tenants who are interested in sub-letting must speak to their landlord because - if they are approached officially and properly - there is a chance landlords may be willing to agree.
“There are countless horror stories related to sub-letting. I know of a new two-bed flat in which a total of 12 adults lived, although it was only rented to two male tenants. Another case concerned a three-bed furnished flat, let to a restaurant and a total of 27 people were sleeping there, on shifts, all workers for the restaurant business” according to Pat Barber, who chairs the AIIC.
“These were both properties that I personally checked-out and needless to say both were wrecked, leaving the landlords thousands of pounds out of pocket” she says.
Barber suggests landlords, agents and service providers like independent inventory clerks should be vigilant and look for signs of unauthorised sub-letting.
“An independently compiled inventory will comprehensively detail the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy and it is very difficult for a tenant to argue against such firm evidence of check-in condition” she says.