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Sub-Letting Rule Change Hidden in Budget

March 21, 2015 | Landlord News  

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Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget has piqued the interest of homeowners and first-time buyers, but there’s a devil in the details as far as landlords are concerned. On page 51 of the Budget Red Book, it says: “Building on the recommendations of the independent review of the sharing economy, the government will: make it easier for individuals to sub-let a room through its intention to legislate to prevent the use of clauses in private fixed-term residential tenancy agreements that expressly rule out sub-letting or otherwise sharing space on a short-term basis, and consider extending this prohibition to statutory periodic tenancies.”

If landlords are not allowed to prevent tenants from sub-letting rooms in their property, a number of problems could arise. If the landlord can’t block the entry of a sub-tenant, then that throws up issues of damage, parking, and overcrowding. Such conditions could easily breach insurance and mortgage terms.

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And what happens if the landlord wants to evict a sub-tenant with a Section 21? Will the Deregulation Bill amendments block landlords from carrying out a ‘revenge’ eviction?

What about the soon-to-be enforced immigrant checks? Will the landlord be penalised for not checking the immigrant status of a sub-tenant?

RLA chairman Alan Ward said: The measures on sub-letting are a nightmare in the making and smack of ‘back of the fag packet’ policy making.”

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