Tue 07 Apr 2015
Lettings News: sub-letting: whose property is it anyway?
Ahmed Khalil of Khalil Properties wonders if George Osbourne’s recent proposal to make sub-letting easier for tenants really does “break down barriers”, or if it instead erects yet another obstacle for landlords to navigate.
New budget proposals threaten to remove sub-letting restrictions
Sometimes bombshells are dropped very quietly – so quietly that you miss them. This is the case for many landlords who focused on the recent budget’s failure to support the Energy Saving Allowance, but did not notice its small print on sub-lettings.
George Osbourne discretely tucked away the proposal to make it illegal for tenancy agreements to contain clauses that prevent sub-letting on page 51 of the Budget Red Book. The proposal itself is couched in the language of freedom (“break down barriers”, “create opportunities for sharing”) but it actually threatens to remove the right of landlords to control who can, and who can’t, live in their property.
A nightmare in the making
For those who understood the implications of the proposal, shocked disbelief was an understandable reaction.
The precise details of the policy are vague and ministers have refused to be drawn on what they may exactly entail. But the thrust of the policy is clear: landlords should no longer be able to determine whether a tenant can sub-let their property.
What could sub-letting as a ‘right’ mean for landlords?
The problem is that, rather than solving conclusively any problems, the proposal actually looks set to open up a whole can of legal worms. Who is responsible for a property if the tenant sub-letting leaves the house but the sub-letter stays on? How does sub-letting fit in with immigration checks that landlords are now legally responsible for? What safeguards are there against unscrupulous tenants putting up partitions in the property and sub-letting to as many people as they can?
What can landlords do?
The best response to such silent threats is to make a noise. The policy is far from finalised and still needs a lot of detail adding to it before it makes the statute books.
Many landlords are now understandably looking to take advantage of ways that can make their property investment and management easier. This is exactly what our Rent Guarantee Scheme does. Under this scheme we take the stress and strain out of managing your properties. We lease your property and guarantee you rent for the period, regardless of whether it is occupied or not. We find the tenants and handle all day-to-day maintenance issues for you.
What could be easier? You enjoy the fruits of your investment and we deal with any bombshells the government may drop.
That’s peace of mind.
For more information about the Rent Guarantee Scheme and an easier way to realise the value of your investment, call Ahmed Khalil on 01273 573960, visit Khalil Properties at 124 Lewes Road, Brighton, or find us online at www.khalilproperties.co.uk