Illegal Sublets: What To Look Out For

Over the last few years, websites like Airbnb have given rise to short term rentals, allowing people to let rooms in their properties, or even whole properties for profit. A lot of this is often done during periods of high demand amongst tourists. Although their have been attempts to impose restrictions on short term lets and sublets, they have remained generally ineffective in what is essentially a completely unregulated market.

The short-lets market is a sprawling free-for-all, particularly when compared to traditional private lettings market and advertisements via an online property agent. Because of this, short-lets are increasingly being targeted by rogue operators, with a rise in subletting and bogus listings. 

There are many different types of sublets. Some are completely legal and occur with the consent of the landlord. But some are not. One important thing to look out for are people entering and leaving the property regularly. Of course, this could be guests, but observing a little more you’re likely to spot patterns in the people coming and going. Another thing to look out for is a listing of the property on a short term letting website without the landlord’s consent. There are, of course, a few more visual indicators that could tell you, a local authority, or the landlord that things aren’t as they should be:

Is there a great deal ore rubbish and recycling that normal? Indicating that the house has more occupants than usual?

Is there a lot more property or clutter inside the house when visiting for landlord or agency checks and reviews?

Has the property begun to incur more damage within a faster timeframe than with general wear and tear?

Are your tenants becoming increasingly difficult in granting access to the property?

Are neighbours complaining a lot because of increased sound levels?

All of these things can indicate that the property is being used to house more tenants and make a little cash on the side without your consent. If as a landlord, you’re beginning to suspect that this is the case, it’s important to discuss things with your tenants and to find out what’s going on. The next step, will be to alert a local authority if they do not comply, and take a legal roads towards rectifying the situation.

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