Subletting part of your home
Subletting happens when an existing tenant let’s all or part of their home to someone else who is known as a sub-tenant.
You must never sublet the whole of your believe home this is not allowed and is clearly stated in your tenancy agreement.
If this was to happen:
• You would lose your security of tenure.
• You can have your ‘contractual’ tenancy ended by service of a Notice to Quit.
• And if you cease to occupy your believe home as your only or principal home then you may commit a criminal offence of unlawful subletting.
Should you wish to sublet part of your home you must first obtain permission from believe housing.
What is a sub-tenant?
A sub-tenant (the type of tenant created when an existing tenant ‘sublets’ part of their home to another individual) will have exclusive use of some part of the dwelling house which the tenant can only enter with the sub-tenant’s permission. The accommodation being occupied does not need to be wholly self-contained and could be for example a bedroom with a lockable door and the sub-tenant shares facilities such as kitchen and bathroom with the tenant. Generally, a sub-tenant will be responsible for the preparation of their own meals.
If you are thinking about subletting part of your believe home there are some things, you need to consider and actions you need to take;
If you are an Assured (Shorthold) tenant you do not have the right to sublet part of your home and permission will not be granted.
If you are an Assured tenant you do have the right to sublet part of your home but must have believes permission to do this. Please note consent may be subject to reasonable conditions.
Note: We will only refuse permission where we have good reason to do so (see Process for further information).
Permission requests must be made in writing to believe either by letter, e-mail or via the believe customer portal.
If you are unsure as to the type of tenancy you hold with believe you can contact us on 0300 1311 999, via our customer portal or at www.believehousing.co.uk/contact-us for clarification.
On receipt of your permission request we will make an appointment for you with your Neighbourhood Officer to complete a tenancy visit at your home. During this visit we will:
- Check the information provided by you in relation to your request i.e. name(s) of person(s) you are looking to sublet too, their date of birth, national insurance number etc
- Check valid form of identification for the person(s) you are looking to sublet too
- Check that you have verified their right to rent in the UK
- Request any references (where appropriate)
- Answer any questions you may have in relation to subletting part of your home
Please note each permission request is considered on it’s own merits and permission to sublet part of your home will only be refused where there is good reason to do so. Examples of which may include;
- If you are proposing to charge rent to the sub tenant(s) that is higher than the rent of your home.
- If enforcement action is on-going on your tenancy because of breaches in tenancy conditions.
- If we have information to show that the prospective sub-tenant(s) has/have been involved in ASB, has/have unspent criminal convictions which would, had they been our tenant(s), be serious enough for legal action to be taken, had previous action taken against them or has/have been excluded from the housing register.
- If there are rent arrears or recharges for your tenancy or a previous tenancy held by the sub-tenant(s).
- Length of the sub-let; it is suggested that sub-letting should not be for longer than 12 months.
- Where the sub-tenant(s) does not have the right to rent in the UK.
Following the tenancy visit we will then consider your permission request and advise you of our decision in writing.
If you are going to sublet part of your property, then it is your responsibility to check that the sub-tenant(s) has/have the right to rent in the UK and you must provide your Neighbourhood Officer with evidence of this as part of the permission request process.
Should you fail to verify your sub-tenant(s) right to rent when subletting part of your property then you could face civil and/or criminal penalties.
For more detail on the right to rent and how to carry out the necessary checks please visit www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents.
We recommend that you get advice about how rental income or changing who lives with you in your home could affect your bills and benefits.
You should contact the Department for Works and Pensions and your Local Authority and let them know about any changes to your household. If you do not tell them, you may have to pay money back or they may prosecute you for fraud.
If there are 2 or more adults living in the property another adult moving in will not change how much Council Tax you pay, if you live alone and get the single person discount on your Council Tax you would have to pay full Council Tax if another adult moves in. Unless they are;
• in full time education
• in receipt of certain benefits
• already pay Council Tax elsewhere.
You should contact your Local Authority to find out if your Council Tax payments will change before subletting part of your home. If you do not tell them, you may have to pay money back to them or they may prosecute you for fraud.
Changes to your household composition may affect your home contents insurance policy.
You may need to:
• get a new policy.
• amend your existing policy i.e., change the value of goods you insure.
• tell your sub-tenant(s) that they need their own contents insurance.
Your current contents insurance provider will be able to give you further advice in this regard and we recommend you make contact with them before subletting part of your home.
You may want to do a background check on your proposed sub-tenant(s) before you agree to them moving in. This may include;
• getting a reference from their previous landlord
• checking if they can afford their rent
We recommend that you take independent advice when considering subletting part of your home and you may wish to have an agreement with your sub-tenant(s) that you both sign and agree to follow. If you want your sub-tenant(s) to leave your home you must give them a reasonable amount of notice and you are responsible for this. You may also need to get legal advice and/or take them to court to evict them if they refuse to leave.
• If your tenancy ends your sub-tenant(s) cannot continue living at the property
• It remains your responsibility to ensure the rent is paid in full and there is no breach of the tenancy agreement.
• You are responsible for the conduct of your sub-tenant(s) in accordance with your tenancy agreement. Should there be any breach of tenancy caused by the sub-tenant(s), for example ASB, then this would be considered a breach of our tenant’s conditions of tenancy and, if persistent, would be pursued against the tenant using enforcement action or, for serious cases, a prescribed statutory ground, for possession, under the Housing Act 1988.
• It will be your responsibility to remove any sub-tenant(s) that you no longer want in your home.
We hope you find this information useful, however should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 1311 999.