Undercover landlords: One in six renters sublet their home but a third keep it under wraps

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Sherlock And Sherlock
A third of subletters keep it from their landlord but it doesn't take much detective work for a fifth to get caught (Source: Getty)

Rents as well as house prices may be rising but tenants are not missing a trick, with more than one in six admitting to having sublet their home, new research today shows.

Insurance provider Direct Line for Business said 17 per cent of tenants surveyed said they have rented out part or all of their property to someone who isn’t on the lease agreement.

A quarter of people who sub-let their property didn’t check the terms of their lease to see if it was permitted, while over a third (34 per cent) had not informed their landlord of the decision.

A fifth (23 per cent) of those subletters who did not inform their landlord were eventually caught in the end, Direct Line said, and they did not always get off lightly.

In 11 per cent of cases the tenants named on the lease were evicted with six per cent losing their deposit in the process. Others faced a hike in rents, a fine or a formal warning.

“The average monthly rent across the UK currently stands at £739,” Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business said. “With the market having seen a five per cent increase in average rents in the last year, it seems that a larger number of renters are tempted to offset this expense by sub-letting their properties.”

Over the last two years, tenant eviction specialist Landlord Action has seen an 18 per cent increase in the number of instructions from landlords with sub-letting cases.

However, this hasn’t put off tenants from trying. Direct Line said 15 per cent of renters surveyed said they are thinking about sub-letting part or all of their rented property by advertising on property letting websites such as Airbnb.

Around 19 per cent of renters who currently sublet did so to someone they didn’t already know, although the survey did not specify how they advertised the flat or how many used home sharing sites such as Airbnb.

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