Mr. Paul Shamlina, of Landlord Action, has many years’ experience dealing with the issues of sub letting and overcrowding. They are often part of the same problem and he has some great advice for landlords on the subject…
His first recommendation is to foster a good relationship with neighbors and caretakers around the property. It is these people that will notice if there is anything fishy going on, and they are much more likely to keep you informed if you have a good relationship with them. Vigilant observers are your friend!
As I said in the last post, it is a very bad idea to approach the sub tenants for money directly but Mr. Shamplina has this to say on the matter:
“I would suggest that if they (landlords) are happy for them (sub tenants) to remain, they cut out the middle man by going through the proper procedures to have the tenancy negated, then draw up a new tenancy for each resident. Under no circumstances should they accept payment of rent until the matter is sorted.”
I could see the cutting out of the middleman part of that advice being very satisfying.
The last piece of advice that Mr. Shamplina has to offer concerns avoiding getting into this situation in the first place. Only deal with people with photo ID. This is not foolproof, of course, but a lot of these false tenants are involved in organised crime so they will not be keen for you to know who they really are.