Be wary of sub-letting scams!

by Vanessa Warwick

19:56 PM, 19th June 2013
About 7 years ago

Be wary of sub-letting scams!

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Be wary of sub-letting scams!

Be wary of sub-letting scams!I just wanted to share with landlords that sub-letting scams are on the rise!

It is my belief that these scams produce three lots of victims …. the landlord, the sub-let tenants, and the wider landlord community, who get wrongly blamed as well and lumped into the anti-landlord campaigns run by the likes of Shelter.

Some sub-let scams are genuine scams, set up with intent to defraud … others are the result of someone who has been on a Rent2Rent course and has been taught how to sub-let a property and collect the difference between what the head tenant pays to the landlord and the rent they collect from the sub-tenants.

It is important to note that sub-letting a property will almost certainly be a breach of the T and C’s of your mortgage & insurance conditions. It may also turn your property into a licenceable HMO for which YOU could be fined.

I have seen a newbie fresh off a Rent2Rent course ask on a forum: “I’ve let a property, but I haven’t been able to let out any of the rooms yet. Can anyone give me advice of how to avoid paying the landlord rent until I have let the rooms”.

If things go pear-shaped, the head tenant has very little skin in the game and can disappear, still collecting rent from the sub-tenants. It may be weeks or months before the landlord realises what has happened and then he is left with tenants that he has no AST with.

One of the warning signs of a sub-let is a single person looking to rent a much bigger property than they need.

Regular property inspections are recommended to ascertain the situation at the property.

Landlord Action have just taken on a case where a property inspection revealed that the head tenants had put a partition up in the lounge to make another bedroom and had sub-let the property to 8 tenants!

For legal comment on the problems of sub-letting and Rent2Rent, please visit Property Tribes where we have a number of video interviews with various industry professionals here.



Comments

Mark Alexander

19:59 PM, 19th June 2013
About 7 years ago

Hi Vanessa

We raised the alarm bells of this back in march of this year but your post serves as a great reminder to us all to remain diligent.

There were examples quoted, particularly in the comments section below this article >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=37513

andrew townshend

18:38 PM, 20th June 2013
About 7 years ago

in norwich this is common with council properties, the council tends to turn a blind eye to it , after all they would have to house them when the become homeless.

Mark Alexander

21:02 PM, 20th June 2013
About 7 years ago

@Andrew Townsend - I'm from Norwich and I've never heard that. I know it's a problem in the Fens with gang-masters operating these schemes. There was a programme on the BBC a week or so back showing how a landlord in Wisbech got stitched up. Lovely 4 bed exec home let to a gang-master who subsequently put 20 (yes TWENTY) migrant land workers in there! The place was a complete shit-hole, the poor landlord turned up to see the BBC filming and do-gooders slagging off rouge landlords but the poor sod hadn't a clue what had been going on. His house had been wrecked but as far as he had known he had rented it to a respectable businessman who had referenced up well!

Vanessa Warwick

8:23 AM, 29th June 2013
About 7 years ago

I am just up-dating this with my thoughts on an article about sub-letting in the Guardian which seeks to blame landlords for the negative affect of sub-letting on tenants, and is whipping up a lot of mis-placed anti-landlord hysteria ... as I predicted above!

http://www.propertytribes.com/professional-landlords-reputations-damaged-by-rent2renters-t-8388.html


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