As many as one in six (17%) tenants in the UK admit to having rented out part or all of their property to someone who isn’t on the lease agreement, new research by Direct Line for Business has found.
A quarter of tenants who sub-let their property didn’t check the terms of their lease to see if it was permitted, while over a third (34%) had not informed their landlord of the decision.
Of the sub-letters who did not inform their landlord, 23% got found out in the end anyway. The consequences when landlords catch tenants sub-letting can be severe. In 11% of cases the tenants named on the lease were evicted, with 6% losing their deposit in the process. Other repercussions include landlords increasing rental charges (22%), issuing a fine (14%) or issuing a formal warning (8%).
In spite of this, Direct Line for Business’s research reveals that 2016 could see an increase in the number of people sub-letting their properties. One in six renters (15%) claim they are thinking about sub-letting part or all of their rented property by advertising on property letting websites such as Airbnb .
When looking at who the properties are sub-let to, friends or recommendations (both 28%) are the two most common types of sub-lets. Family members account for just over a fifth (21%), while 19% of renters have sub-let to strangers responding to an advert.
“There could be some serious consequences for tenants who sub-let, but landlords need to be aware that in these circumstances there could also be insurance implications,” said Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business. ”Sub-letting is not covered under most insurance policies, so it’s really important that landlords make their tenants fully aware of the restrictions on the lease and maintain that communication that can help prevent any future breaches.”
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