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A search on available property shows a room in one of my houses for rent. As I'm reading the ad with my mouth wide open I get a message apologizing for late rent & saying it will be sorted this week. This is a good tenant obviously going through problems. Not sure how to approach this or legal implications of it. Any advice???
In my opinion you need to stamp it out doesn't matter how good the tenant is if you let this slide before you know it there will be 20+ people living there and your house will be destroyed
Send notice of inspection under LL&T 1985 s11 immediately then go round after notice expires, ideally with witness: There could be 7 lodgers there already.Does the signed tenancy agreement prohibit subletting, guests, lodgers? If it doesn't he's doing nothing wrong.
Whilst I have learnt over 30 years not to be trusting, I do know that one or two of my tenants occasionally take in lodgers. If it's possible to do this I turn a firm blind eye, knowing that in reality it is helping good tenants when they are perhaps a bit down on their luck. My arrears have been negligible over my time investing and my tenants are generally with me for the long term (the longest one is 21 years and she does occasionally need a lodger). I always keep an eye on my houses to make sure there are not hoards of lodgers, but my market is generally professionals in decent family houses.
Perhaps have a good discussion with the tenant and point out the pitfalls (people they don't know, theft, insurance, etc.) and find out what is going on.
If your tenant proceeds (with your tacit approval), then do not get further involved. If your tenant sublets they merely create a licence which can be terminated on short notice. If you get involved with the "lodger" there is a danger that a landlord tenant relationship is created with someone you didn't intend to have as a tenant.
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I think the concern in this instance is that the tenant did not contact you and explain why they were sub-letting and asking your permission. That does not bode well imho.In the first instance, I would contact him and say that you have seen a room for rent and ask him to explain what is going on. You may then feel like taking a view or moving to eviction.
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
Thanks everyone for your replies. Just in answering some queries the house is in a good area & he has been a good tenant for 2 years - house immaculate & improved. My thoughts are that he has lost source of employment, gone through savings & now desperate. The AST does prohibit subletting.My gut says that this is someone in a bad patch & to give a bit of leeway, rather than someone on the make ( I could be wrong!). I'm disappointed they didn't make me aware of their intentions but then Im wary of in some way "approving" the situation & getting too involved in case it comes back to bite me as per Graham's advice.My priority is getting the rent paid...
In the location involved here - how many lodgers would be needed to cover rent on whole property - plus usual household bills?
In Home Counties it would need 3 lodgers to cover Rent/bills on say a 3 bed house.
Tenant if he has lost job can claim LHA - but there is a 3 month moratorium during which nothing is paid - as well as the notorious 2 months wait for UC to pay any monies after a claim is lodged.
I think as Vanessa says you really need to have a conversation with Tenant to fully understand the overall situation - then deal as necessary.
I would turn a blind eye for a while, and see if rent is paid ok.
Do an inspection in a month or so and see what state the place is in and who lives there. Judge things then, if your gut feeling is right things may sort themselves out without you giving approval for things you didn’t want to.
I have at least half a dozen tenants in my houses who act as a gang master and sublet extra rooms to their own kind, mainly friends of friends and 2nd cousins etc
They tend to be East European families, they are among my best tenants, pay the rent on time and look after the properties well
Chartered Accountant, FCA 34th year in public practice,
BTL since 1992
I have a flat that i bought in 2015 from auction with a tenant in situ. I know the tenant has sublet it ! His rent is always paid on time . Its not in the best condition and could do with a full refurb. Its funny because my tenant is not aware i know whats going on and does anything to stop me coming to inspect. In 4 years ive been in once when i first bought it as i never viewed it prior to auction . He pays market value and never bothers me . I think he is retired and living in poland at the minute !Probaly my best tenant !
He's your best tenant, probably you are his best landlord. He's paying you your rent and re renting for a profit. Only been in once in four years obviously you don't care whats going on as long as you get your rent.