Subletting your leasehold property

keys-subletting-tenancy-agreementWe’ve put together some frequently asked questions about subletting your property if you are a leaseholder.

Can I sublet my leasehold property?

Yes.


What is the difference between subletting & taking in a lodger?

A tenant is someone you rent your flat to when you are not living there. A lodger is someone who shares your home.

You have the right to take in lodgers or rent your flat to anyone you want. You do not have to ask our permission, but you must let us and the Council know.


What do I need to do if I sublet my property?

Your lease says, if you sublet your property, within 21 days of the sublet date you must:

  • Tell Lewisham Council, in writing & send a cheque for £85 payable to London Borough of Lewisham to: London Borough of Lewisham, Head of Law, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford, London SE6 4RU

Please make sure to include the following information when you contact us:

  • Details of your letting agent or the names of your subtenants
  • Your contact details including, a postal address, email address and mobile telephone number. It’s very important that we know how to contact you in the event of an emergency.

I have a mortgage on the property, do I need to let my lender know?

You must get the permission of your mortgage lender if there is an outstanding mortgage on the property. This includes if you have a Council mortgage.


Does subletting affect my insurance policy?

You must make sure the property is insured. You will need to tell your insurer that you plan to sublet.


Am I responsible for the safety of my tenants?

Yes.


Do I need to service my gas appliances?

Your lease says you are responsible for keeping your gas appliances safe.

You must:

  • Make sure gas equipment you supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • Have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety service on each appliance and flue.
  • Give your tenant or letting agent a copy of the gas safety check record before you let the property, or within 28 days of the check.

You can benefit from discounted rates with our contractor Quality Heating Services.

Take a look at the Gas Safe Register website for more information on being gas safe.


What about any electrical items?

Any electrical equipment you provide must be in a good and safe condition and have at least the CE marking, the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law.

Installations and inspections should be carried out by a NICEIC qualified electrician.

For more information and advice for landlords, take a look at the Electrical Safety First website.


What are my responsibilities under fire safety legislation?

When you sublet your property, you become a private landlord so it is your responsibility to comply and keep up to date with all relevant fire safety legislation.

You must provide:

  • At least one smoke alarm on every storey of the property which is used as living accommodation.
  • A carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used.

We recommend:

  • Providing fire extinguishers or blankets, particularly in kitchens.
  • Servicing fire extinguishers in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

For detailed fire safety advice for landlords, take a look at the Residential Landlords Association website.


Who is responsible for paying service charges and major works charges?

You are. Under the terms of your lease, as the leaseholder you remain responsible for paying any charges due.


What about anti-social behaviour & nuisance?

You must make sure that any tenancy agreement with your tenant insists they and their visitors behave in a way that does not cause a nuisance to other residents..

If your tenant creates a nuisance, it is your responsibility to take action to stop them from doing so. If you don’t, we may take legal action against you.


How can I become an accredited landlord?

Landlords and agents can join the London Rental Standard by becoming voluntarily accredited through the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

For more guidance on what you must do if you rent out your property, see the LACORS guidance for home owners.  LACORS is the body which co-ordinates local authority regulators.


Are you a subtenant or looking to rent from a home owner?

For useful information about what your landlord must do to if they rent out their property, take a look at the Department of Communities and Government website.