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Letting agency tells landlords to check properties to deter sub-letting

An online letting agency claims a third of tenants are subletting without the agreement of their landlord, with an even higher proportion intending to do so at some time in the future.

A study by PropertyLetByUs shows that the overwhelming majority of those who do sublet normally do so to help a family member or friend. Some of the subletting is conducted via Airbnb or similar online platforms.

“It’s imperative that landlords make regular checks on the property to check for additional occupants” says Jane Morris, managing director of the agency. 

“Many tenants will try to hide the fact they are subletting, so the warning signs can be excessive rubbish and accelerated wear and tear. There can be increased mould and condensation with more occupants” she says. 

“Illegal subletting falls under tenant fraud and renting a property makes landlords vulnerable to fraud. It is vital that landlords and agents carry out thorough pre-letting checks. The purpose of referencing a tenant is threefold - to check the person is who they say they are; that they can afford the rent; and that they have honoured past commitments” Morris explains.

Last year, the Cameron government hinted that it planned to make it easier for tenants to sublet a room by legislating against the use of clauses in private fixed-term tenancy agreements, that expressly rule out subletting, or otherwise sharing space on a short-term basis. However, little has been heard of the suggestion in recent months.

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    Inspections should be conducted in a formal manner with tenants given at least 24 hours notice otherwise such ad hoc visits could be construed as harassment if re-possession proceedings are eventually required. Professional Letting Agents carry out such inspections on a regular basis as part of their service something online agents cannot provide.

  • David OConnor

    Inspection are a service that you should get from a locally based lettings agents, yes there would be a small fee buy it is normally good value and sensible to have the property regularly checked.
    Thank you to an online firm for pointing out that a local agent has major benefits. However good you computer system is it is not replacement for a local agent. Lower fees mean lower service; it has always been so. 'Having a failed tenancies redefines the meaning of expensive'. 'Underselling your home redefines the meaning of expensive'. All independent agents feel free to use this strap line as it says it all regarding online agents.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Sorry why is an agent with 47 properties making comments on the UK market? Why arent companies asked to quantify these statistics? How have they arrived at this? Surely this is also highghting, again, why you need a full servoce lettngs agency not one offering it for £24! Yikes!

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    Not all online agents are the same, i run an online agent and we do all property inspections every 3 months and the LL receives the report with 1 working day, i am sure not all local agents can say that!!

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