Tenant using Spareroom.co.uk to recruit sub-tenants - Cautionary tale

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    Tenant using Spareroom.co.uk to recruit sub-tenants - Cautionary tale

    I have a London property where my managing agent was surprised to find 3 individuals in residence during teh first quarterly inspection, as opposed to the sole tenant.

    It turned out that the tenant had advertised across several room sharing websites including Spareroom.co.uk as soon as they had the keys. They didn't advertise the actual property but one nearby and when a punter turned up at the designated rendezvous, the patter went along the lines of - "whooopsie, I've brought the wrong keys - hey-ho, this one's just around the corner - would you like to look at it anyway". "It" was of course my property. In this way, although my agents do try to check for sub letting, as it wasn't my property's address in the adverts, searching didn't show it up as being "on the market".

    The unauthorised sub-tenants were horrified (they had leases in the name of a different individual's name from my tenant) and left of their own volition (good luck in getting your deposits returned......).

    I've gone down the section 8 route but with the court delays, he 's had plenty of time to go out and repeat the process - BEWARE

    By the way, a "professional" referencing agency was used to check out the tenant in the first place. My agents and I were horrified when it turnsed out that their methodology was simply to send out a link to the email address for the employer and landlord's reference to fill in a web form and then they accepted whatever barely literate garbage they received from the web of deceit set up by the tenant who gleefully admitted to my agent that my property is his 8th and why couldn't he just look the other way.

    #2
    Wow that is sneaky. He will be a difficult one to mitigate against.

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      #3
      Inform your esteemed tenant (I suggest verbally only) you'll be reporting him to HMRC for his rent income & DWP likewise (bet he's claiming some benefit): But if he ends tenancy, with vacant possession, won't. See what he does.

      Whatever happens ...
      - no reference or only an honest, full one.
      - grass him up to both, maybe waiting a bit...
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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        #4
        Unfortunately most T's will pass referencing no matter how professional they may be, if the T say's they have been living at their parents or friends house how are you going to verify it.

        This type of subletting has been going on for years, may with the acknowledgement of the LL, as they get their rent, but don't realise the implications that suddenly they are operating a HMO when it dawns on them. There are always going to areas within property which are exploited by both the T (usually due to subletting) and the LL (who doesn't comply with any regulations and offers those desperate enough to be exploited for the privilege of renting), unfortunately these are the ones who usually get away with it, while the rest of us don't just because we have accidently protected the deposit on 31 days rather than 30 days or not supplied the T with a How to rent guide, which then throws the case out and delays the possession or worse you end up paying the T compensation and you still don't get possession.

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          #5
          Thankfully the tenancy was set up by the book, down to acknowledgement of receipt for "essential" items such as the energy performance certificate!

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