Landlords at Growing Risk Of Subletting Scams

AFS Team·21 November 2019·4 min read
Landlords at Growing Risk Of Subletting Scams

Landlords at Growing Risk Of Subletting Scams

Landlords and agents are being urged to visit rental properties on a regular basis in a bid to avoid the growing risk of subletting scams.

The warning comes from No Letting Go, an inventory service provider, and their data reveals that an inventory that has been compiled professionally and having a landlord committing to a thorough check-out process will help provide financial cover should their property be damaged.

However, the firm also says that they have seen a big rise in the number of subletting scams with fraudsters using short-term letting platforms to rent out a landlord's property without their permission.

A recent BBC investigation revealed one family who was being checked into a landlord's rental home by the current tenants.

They then carried out an investigation and found more than 70 reviews of the landlord's property to reveal a long-running subletting scam over the course of the tenancy

Landlords struggling with stress

The tenants were evicted eventually leaving the landlord struggling with stress and expensive property repairs.

The firm's founder, Nick Lyons, said: "The growth of short-term lets has increased unlawful subletting and technology makes it easy for a tenant to let their property quickly without the landlord's knowledge.

"If landlords do not put the right steps in place, then subletting could be taking place in your property for a long time before you can take any action."

He added that subletting can cost landlords thousands of pounds in maintenance and repair costs plus the void period in bringing the property back to a renting condition.

Mr Lyons said: "Regular inspection visits to the property can help identify the signs of subletting, such as the presence of people who are not named on the tenancy and additional rubbish."

Fees ban could see tenants owed hundreds of pounds

Meanwhile, it's been revealed that one of the unintended consequences of the Tenant Fee Ban has seen hundreds of tenants requesting rent deposit refunds.

Some of the tenants have paid eight weeks of rent as a deposit, which was requested by their landlord before signing their tenancy.

However, under the new legislation, landlords can only ask for a maximum of five weeks as a deposit or six weeks if the rental agreement is worth more than £50,000.

Repayment requests from tenants

Now, one tenancy deposit protection scheme says that they have received 2,500 repayment requests from tenants amounting to refunds worth more than £117,000.

Danny Zane, the managing director of My Property Group, said: "This is the tip of the iceberg and deposit requests have for many years been on the rise, and I'm certain there will be more requests as many tenants will not know about this or their rights."

According to figures published, the highest repayment so far has been for £3,300.