Have you been struggling to meet your rent payment each month and were considering subletting a room out in your rented property? Just for a few months whilst you get over the quiet period at work or the winter months when the heating costs will be higher? You may even know someone who can/would move straight in and you could even maybe a bit of money in profit each month?
Well I am sorry to let you know, but did you realise that sub-letting your rented property could see you ending up in prison? Quite a shocker really as what you think is just a little innocent verbal agreement between 2 friends can actually have such a massive result.
Tenants sub-letting their rental properties without the knowledge or consent of the landlord is becoming an increasingly widespread issue and one that has been highlighted more and more as sub-letting scams are now on the increase with ‘tenants’ renting a number of properties and re-letting (subletting) them to others in exchange for money and profit.
Many tenants may be subletting the property without even realising they are doing it. Example; letting a friend/family member stay in the property for a few months whilst you work away for a while or go travelling. Kind of like house sitting but paying the rent in your absence. I would recommend anyone in this situation to have a conversation with your landlord just to make it clear and more importantly ASK THEIR PERMISSION.
Most AST (Assured Tenancy Agreements) have a clause within them stating that sub-letting is not allowed and the tenant will be in breach of their contract, this is because most landlords will not allow tenants to sub-let as it may cause gaining the possession of the flat more problematic.
What can Happen If I Sub Let Without Landlords Consent?
If you sub-let part or all of your property not only will you have to face the wrath of your landlord but you may well find yourself in court especially if it is found that you have profited from the sub-letting.
According to an article written by Property Core, “a woman was found guilty of letting eleven properties and then sub-letting them to multiple tenants without the knowledge of the landlords highlights the severity of punishments, she was sentenced to four years in prison on fraud charges. Another couple in Sussex who rented a property and sub-let it to make a profit whilst living in their own home. They were charged, found guilty, sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and held liable for over?7,000 in legal costs.”
Shelters stance on this is ” If you sublet your property to another tenant without permission, and have made a profit from subletting, your landlord may also be able to take you to court to claim damages.”
Be honest and open with your landlord. If your friend is coming over for a while and ‘paying their way’ all you need to do is pick up the phone and speak to the landlord about it.
So the question you need to ask yourself… Is it worth going to court or in the worse case scenario prison for?
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