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Millions of Ghost Tenants in Private Rented Sector

September 2, 2014 | Landlord News  

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Millions of ghost tenants secretly living in the private rented sector could be a big problem for buy-to-let landlords in the UK, according to an online letting agent. Both landlords and letting agents could be put at risk due to the new immigration legislation, which could result in hefty fines.

It is claimed that there are at least three million ghost tenants – people living in rented homes but are not listed on the tenancy agreement and are living there without the landlord’s knowledge or consent – living in the UK’s 4.5 million buy-to-let properties. According to research, many tenants are not aware that other adults living in the property who are not listed on the tenancy agreement can cause legal problems.

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More than half of letting agents are said to have found ghost tenants living in rental properties when they have visited for inspections. With up to 85% of illegal immigrants choosing to live in private rented accommodation, landlords need to be aware that the problem exists.

Landlords are advised to look out for signs of ghost tenants, such as excessive wear and tear to the property, more rubbish than expected, and evidence of additional sleeping arrangements.

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