The RLA’s Landlord Advice Team is on hand to offer free unlimited advice to members. Each week, we are featuring a call from one of our members outlining their problems and how the team helped them.
In the most recent budget, George Osborne announced £1,000 tax-free allowances for people making profits on short term lets. Unsurprisingly this has attracted the attention of a number of callers interested in Airbnb to the Landlord Advice Team.
This week’s case came from a landlord who had been approached by a letting agency in London with a ‘good tenant’ they already knew who always paid the rent on time.
Unfortunately, when the landlord was researching Airbnb he had discovered his own property was now being offered in full on a short term basis.
Intrigued, the landlord booked an appointment to go view the property where the tenant confirmed they did not in fact live in the property and in fact “owned it outright.” The tenant had also carved up some of the rooms to make extra spaces for more guests to occupy the property
Subletting is prohibited as standard in an assured shorthold tenancy and this tenant had clearly never asked for permission. Even so, the landlord was keen to find out if there was any real downside to letting the arrangement continue – or maybe even evicting the tenant and starting to do it himself.
Our call handler had to explain that his mortgage company would likely be very displeased if they found out about the subletting. Most require permission to do this and most would not allow subletting on short term leases. Furthermore as a breach of the lease the landlord was opening himself up to a demand to pay the mortgage in full immediately.
Upon hearing this, the landlord decided possession was the best course of action.
Rupinder Aujla, Landlord Advice Team manager said: “We are hearing about this kind of thing more and more from our landlords in London.
“We would advise members to take action immediately, as a tenant sub-letting illegally could breach the terms of their mortgage.”