Landlords urged to look out for signs of subletting in the PRS at Christmas
Landlords operating in the PRS across the UK have been urged to make sure they are looking out for the tell-tale signs of subletting this Christmas, as the practice, which breaches lease terms in many cases, rises.
According to new research carried out by Total Landlord Insurance, there are now a greater number of people choosing to go away over the Christmas period rather than celebrate at home, but it said many of these people are choosing to make a little extra money while doing so by subletting their empty properties.
The company said that nearly half of all tenants who do sublet a property on a short-term basis like this through websites such as Airbnb are doing so without first having sought the permission of their landlord, or against the terms of their lease.
Total Landlord Insurance said as a result, it has seen a rise of 14 per cent in the number of claims that are being made for malicious or accidental damage when a property is let without the landlord's knowledge.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to this issue is the fact that many tenants carrying out subletting are simply not aware that they are doing anything wrong. Despite it often being in the terms of their rental agreement, many will not have read these, and assume they are allowed to do so.
Letting agents and landlords would therefore do well to not only look out for the signs that a property is being sublet by the sitting tenant, but also to send out reminders around the holiday season that the practice is not allowed without express permission from the landlord themselves.
"Landlords who suspect their property has been sublet over the Christmas period should look at popular holiday websites to see if the property has been advertised. Most tenancy agreements include a clause that prevents subletting and, if this is the case, you should notify the original tenant of their breach of contract," said Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action.