The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says that there are 3.3 million unofficial tenants in the UK, a number equivalent to one in ten rental properties. It is believed that three quarters of them have been subletting for over six months. Direct Line say that nearly half of residential letting agencies have discovered these ‘ghost’ tenants in a home after checking their managed properties.
Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC, said, “We recently came across a three-bedroomed flat which we visited mid-tenancy as the landlord was concerned about the tenants. It quickly became apparent that up to 30 people were living in the flat – co-workers sleeping in shifts – when only one couple were on the tenancy.
“With so many people living in a confined space, wear and tear in the property and damage was magnified … In total, the damage was estimated to be more than £10,000, which had to be funded by the landlord.”
She warns that this is a growing problem, and advises landlords and agents to regularly check that the tenants listed on the agreement are the only ones living in the property.
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