Unauthorised residential sub-letting costing UK landlords thousands

Taylor Scott International News

The practice of unauthorised sub-letting is still rife in the UK's private rented sector (PRS) and subsequently damaged properties are costing landlords thousands of pounds, it is claimed. The warning from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) comes after the National Landlords Association (NLA) recently reported that almost half of tenants who sub-let their property do so without their landlord’s consent. The NLA's findings come in response to government proposals to introduce minimum room sizes in order to crack down on problems such as unauthorised sub-letting. The study also found that of those tenants who approached their landlord about sub-letting, a fifth had their request permitted. The AIIC says that any tenants who are interested in sub-letting must speak to their landlord as if approached officially and properly, there is a chance the landlord will be willing to hear any requests. ‘Unfortunately, the practice of unauthorised sub-letting remains rife within the PRS and can cost landlords thousands of pounds in damages,’ said Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC. ‘There are countless horror stories related to sub-letting. For example, 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,’ she explained. ‘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 added. It is hoped that the government's new proposals will limit the scope of unauthorised sub-letting but Barber pointed out that it also remains vitally important for landlords, agents and service providers like independent inventory clerks to remain vigilant for the signs of unauthorised sub-letting. She also explained that in the case of unauthorised sub-letting, an inventory carried out by an independent inventory clerk could provide the landlord with the opportunity to recoup some of the costs incurred by property damage. 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. Taylor Scott International

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