Romans’ lettings managing director Michael Cook has given details of his agency’s approach to identifying and responding to sub-letting.
Cook says: “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.”
He says the tell-tale signs that good agents look for to identify possible sub-letting include additional rubbish; extra clothing or bedding such as pillows, duvets, suitcases or toothbrushes; greater than normal wear and tear to the property; reports of anti-social behaviour from the neighbours; receiving complaints about people coming and going from the property; and tenants making it difficult for the landlord or agent to visit.
Cook adds that if the landlord believes that their tenant is subletting they must let their letting agent know straightaway and take relevant action.
“Very rarely does this situation arise but, if it does, we will step in on behalf of our fully managed landlords. We take action straight away and, after the original tenant has been notified, we will take the appropriate action.”
He adds that of course subletting can sometimes be allowed, with the landlord’s permission and if there is an appropriate clause in the tenancy agreement.
Cook advises that 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.