Landlords warned of “holiday-sublets” over festive period

Landlords warned of “holiday-sublets” over festive period

Landlords are being warned to look out for tenants who go away over the Christmas holidays and sublet their rental properties without consent.

Total Landlord Insurance has revealed a 14% increase in the number of malicious and accidental damage claims received this year as a direct result of illegal subletting, through holiday rental sites such as Airbnb.
 
Airbnb, synonymous with the ‘sharing economy’, has seen rapid growth throughout the UK, particularly in prime London locations, and now has an ever increasing community of users. Many travellers will be using such sites to book accommodation for their break over the festive period, a high season for renting out property, and whilst the majority of holiday rentals will be hosted responsibly, Total Landlord Insurance warns there will be cases where tenants sublet without the relevant permissions.
 
Whilst the ‘sharing economy’ provides expanded access to products and services, it remains a highly unregulated part of business.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance, had this to say: “Whilst off on vacation themselves, tenants may consider subletting to earn extra easy income, but according to findings from the National Landlords Association (NLA), almost half of tenants who sublet their property do so without their landlord’s permission.

Subletting can breach a landlords mortgage terms and also invalidate their existing insurance policy – so it’s vital for them to be aware of the problems it can present. An increasing number of landlords are suffering accidental and malicious damage to their properties, generating a rise in claims, because tenants have sublet to another tenant.”


There are also examples of both landlords and tenants using Airbnb rentals as a complete business model, as short term lets often attract higher levels of rental income. Airbnb has recently changed its terms and conditions to prevent properties from being offered for more than an aggregate 90 days in any one calendar year unless relevant council permissions have been obtained. The vast number of buy-to-let insurance policies insist that tenants are living at the property under assured shorthold tenancy agreements in order for genuine claims to be accepted.  
 
Paul Shamplina, Brand Ambassador of Hamilton Fraser, parent company to Total Landlord Insurance, offers his advice to landlords: “Unfortunately, anyone can fall victim to a subletting scam so landlords make sure you’re on your guard over the next few weeks when tenants are more likely to be vacating your property.

Although not entirely preventable, there are steps you can take to help avoid such situations and the risk of having a ‘bad tenant’ staying in the property. Be prepared and carry out property inspections to look out for tell-tale signs of subletting. Speak to the neighbours if you can. They can be on alert for anything suspicious including, a high volume of people coming and going from the property and/or excessive noise.
 
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.”

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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