And the practice of tenants re-letting part or all of the properties that they rent without the consent of landlords is putting both tenants and property-owners at risk, added Sarah, speaking from her Wistaston office.
“Sub-letting can be disastrous for landlords if not done properly,” explained Sarah. “Although most tenancy agreements prohibit sub-letting, demand for properties is currently out-stripping supply in some areas – increasing the temptation to profit by sub-let without the consent of the landlord.
“Many sub-tenants are not aware that the tenant does not have permission to rent the property and will hand over deposit monies which are not protected in one of the Government approved schemes and are never returned,” she added.
“ The tenant will then collect the rent from the sub-tenants and may not pass this money onto the landlord causing rent arrears that could result in the landlord taking possession action.
“If the tenant’s intention is to make as much money as possible, they may make internal changes to the property to fit in as many people as possible, creating separate tenancies for each room. This can lead to overcrowding and damage to the property.
“The landlord may discover that 10 people are living in the property, not the family of four that signed up to the original tenancy agreement. Not only can the condition of the property deteriorate but, even more concerning, the property may well become a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). The landlord will not have applied for the necessary licence which leaves the tenants without the protection of the licensing process and enforcement action may be taken by the Local Authority.
“Although these situations can never be totally avoided there are preventative measures that can be taken. Proper referencing and periodic inspections of the property by landlords or their agents will reduce the risk. From the sub-tenant’s point of view, if there is any doubt about who owns the property, a land registry search will reveal the ownership for a small fee.”
For further information click onto: www.sarahfaulkner.co.uk