Landlord News

Landlords, Check Your Properties for Illegal Subletting

Em Morley - December 16, 2016

Imfuna, the digital inventories and inspections specialist, is urging all landlords and letting agents to check their properties for illegal subletting, as Airbnb continues to expand rapidly in the UK.

Landlords, Check Your Properties for Illegal Subletting

Landlords, Check Your Properties for Illegal Subletting

Established in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb now has over two million homes and rooms available to rent around the world. It is estimated that 80,000 British property owners are earning income from Airbnb – and the number is doubling by the year. More than 33,000 of these homes are in London.

While it is not known how many Airbnb hosts take part in illegal subletting, landlords and agents are reminded that it’s a growing problem. Many tenants do not seek approval from their landlord or agent before subletting, and therefore breach the terms of their lease.

If you find that your tenants are subletting illegally online, here is what you can do: /property-sublet-online/

The Founder and CEO of Imfuna, Jax Kneppers, says: “When there is multiple occupancy in a property, wear and tear is dramatically accelerated. The most common damages we see in rental properties are iron burns on carpets, cigarette burns, soiled marks on baths and UPVC windowsills and frames, heat damage to polished wooden furniture, and stiletto heel imprints on wooden floors and vinyl.

“It is vital that landlords and agents make regular inspections of their properties to check that the tenants who are listed on the tenancy agreement are the only residents. At the end of the tenancy, landlords should always change the locks if the property has been sublet. Landlords can also do regular checks on Airbnb’s website to see if their property has been listed there.”

Howard Lester, the Director of Balgores Property Group, also comments: “Over the last 12 months, we have seen a growth of illegal subletting and this is causing a host of problems for landlords. Many of these subletting tenants are not known to the landlord and have not undergone the rigorous reference checks. Inevitably, the property gets damaged with more occupants and there is the major issue of excessive wear and tear.

“We conduct regular inspections on our properties and are able to assess quite quickly if there is illegal subletting. The tell tale signs are excessive rubbish in the bins, extra clothes and bags, and additional toothbrushes and bedding.”