A survey claims that 17 per cent of private rental sector tenants in the UK admit to having rented out part or all of their properties to individuals who are not on lease agreements.
Some 25 per cent of tenants who sub-let did not check the terms of their lease to see if it was permitted, while 34 per cent had not informed their landlord of the decision.
Of the sub-letters who did not inform their landlord, a fifth got found out in the end anyway. In 11 per cent of cases the tenants named on the lease were evicted with six per cent losing their deposit in the process. Other repercussions include landlords increasing rental charges, issuing a fine or giving a formal warning.
The survey, by Direct Line for Business, also suggests that 15 per cent of current tenants are thinking about sub-letting part or all of their property by advertising on websites such as Airbnb.
“The average monthly rent across the UK currently stands at £739. This means on average, approximately a third of people’s income goes towards accommodation. With the market having seen a five per cent increase in average rents in the last year, it seems that a larger number of renters are tempted to offset this expense by sub-letting their properties” says a Direct Line for Business.
Over the last two years, Landlord Action have seen an 18 per cent increase in the number of instructions from from landlords with sub-letting cases - making it an increasingly significant ground for eviction, alongside rent arrears and Section 21 for possession only.
“Organised sub-letting scams are also becoming more prevalent, where tenants, or sometimes even fake tenants, advertise properties and rooms on holiday/accommodation websites in order to cream a profit without the landlords’ consent” according to Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina.
The survey found that sub-letting is most common in the North West and West Midlands, where more than a quarter of private tenants say that have sub-let their properties. London is third.