When renting a property, the general rule is most tenants will rent directly from the Landlord, however it is possible to rent from another tenant at the property, which is called subletting.
Majority of tenants will require their landlord’s consent to sublet all or part of the property, and almost every tenancy agreement will have a clause in the lease which bans subletting. Clearly, any landlord would want to know who is living in the property and rent is being paid to him.
There are many concerns if you as a landlord allow subletting of the property.
Firstly, the council may class it as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). HMOs need a licence and there are strict penalties for the landlord if they are caught renting out an HMO without one.
Secondly, your tenant may illegally sublet and you may not know who is actually living in your property. If your tenant does not co-operate, you will be left without information as to who the tenant is and who he has been paying rent to.
Thirdly, if subletting is taking place there is the requirement to comply with the rent to rent regulation which may be breached. All of these could also invalidate landlord insurance as well as being in breach of buy to let mortgages.
As a landlord, if your client is subletting which you did not allow, you may want to take possession of the property and you are more likely to get it if they have breached the lease. If you are not unhappy with the subletting, you should regularise the position, providing it does not breach any regularisation.
Alternatively, if your tenant has absconded and the subletter is in the property, you may well want to have a new tenancy agreement in place with the new subletter.
There is a breach of agreement, and any landlord should come to an agreement with their tenant and not ignore the issues. Sublet scams produce two sets of victims – the landlord and the sub-tenants, therefore when letting a property it is imperative you have carried out your due diligence as to who the tenant is.
This is a short guide to subletting and if you require help with any landlord or tenant issues please speak to our specialist team on 0800 088 6004.