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

Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

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