Having someone new in your investment property is a big deal – that’s why landlords need to be especially careful about sub-let requests.
There are instances when your tenants might ask your permission to sub-let the premises – perhaps because they need to move immediately for work or they’re going on holiday and want to subsidise the rent.
In NSW, there are regulations around sub-letting and owners should always be especially careful when reviewing these requests.
As a landlord, is my consent required?
Before a tenant can su-blet or transfer any part of the premises, they must first gain written consent from the landlord.
If tenants sub-let without consent, the landlord can take action through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Sub-letting decisions are completely up to the landlord – if you say no, your tenants cannot then go to the Tribunal for extra consideration.
On what grounds can I say no to a request?
According to Fair Trading NSW, landlords cannot ‘unreasonably say no’ to a tenant’s request to sublet any part of their premises. For example, if a tenant wishes to take in a new co-tenant (such as their partner) you cannot say no without a justifiable reason.
You are completely within your rights, however, to ask for the new co-tenants references, review their rental history and to require a formal application.
Can I charge my tenants more for sub-letting?
Landlords aren’t allowed to charge the tenant for allowing sub-letting or a transfer, unless expenses are incurred, which is unlikely.
Some landlords believe that because there are new co-tenants in the premises that they should be entitled to more incoming rent, but this is not the case, according to Fair Trading NSW.