Would you know if your tenants were subletting?

The National Landlords Association has announced that 50% of subletting happens without landlord consent. This is a huge number, and could become an issue if not addressed. Here’s our guide to prevent and spot subletting.

The issue

Unauthorised subletting can lead to cramped living conditions. Too many people living in one space can be uncomfortable and dangerous, as well as breaking licensing laws and invalidating insurance. Scottish government has shared guidance on minimum sizes for bedrooms which you can see here.

A clear statement within your tenancy agreement about your policy on subletting, is great but no assurance that tenants won’t continue to do so without asking permission. Therefore it’s important for tenants to understand the weight of subletting.

How to stop subletting

Educating Tenants

Setting out your expectations from the start is important. Discussing your subletting policy with tenants at the start of their tenancy, rather than relying upon them reading a hand book or tenancy agreement is smart. Outline how to address requests to sublet. Focus on the importance of communication rather than isolating tenants by focussing on potential penalties.

Taking headshots of tenants when they move in allows you, or whoever is inspecting, to quickly identify who should be there. This practise also creates a good opportunity to address (and stress) your policy on subletting.

keys with experienceProperty Inspections

Property inspections are always important, and can save you money in the long run. Regular visits to your property help to identify if anyone other than the agreed parties are living there.

Although this could become a strenuous task for landlords who manage multiple properties, these findings mean that it’s a necessity.

Diaries are the most effective way to keep track of property visits. Using one will ensure you are inspecting each property regularly, and is a good way to keep notes together.

Visits are your main opportunity to look for any signs indicating that extra tenants are in your property.

Stay well informed on the actions you can take if you do discover subletting. This will hopefully allow you to put a stop to the problem before it becomes worse, saving you time, money and hassle.