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Unauthorised subletting - taking a stand

B&D Reside Communications Team


The rise of online short-term subletting and the impact upon the community

Reside’s mission is to ensure vibrant, safe and peaceful communities for all residents whether you rent a home from us or own your home within one of the communities we manage.  

We recognise that anti-social behaviour and nuisance, whether from residents or visitors, can have a detrimental effect on the community. We will always work hard to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour.

Subletting is a source of nuisance and a breach of tenancy agreements

Unauthorised subletting can be a source of anti-social behaviour. The rise in the popularity of online letting platforms like AirBnB has led to an increase in noise and other nuisance for neighbours. 

We recognise that if you are experiencing financial difficulty then subletting might seem like a way of making some extra cash but unfortunately it has unwanted consequences for both your neighbours and for you.  

If you are renting, subletting your home without authority is a breach of your tenancy which we take seriously. If we discover tenants who are illegally subletting their home, we take legal action to regain possession of the property. This can be an expensive process, and we always claim the costs of the legal action from the tenant. It’s not worth risking losing your home. 

If you are a leasehold homeowner, the use of short-term letting platforms like Airbnb or is not allowed under the terms of your lease.  

At Reside we work closely with the council’s Counter Fraud Team and firm action is taken against leaseholders or renters who are identified advertising their homes on these sites.  

Getting permission to sub-let

There are some circumstances where, as a leaseholder, you may be able to sublet your home. If you are a leasehold homeowner and thinking about taking in a lodger or sub-letting a room in your home, remember these important points:

  • You must get our permission first. You will need to put any request in writing, and we will need to know the details.
  • Any income you get will affect your claims for housing benefit, JSA or income support, and your income tax liability. You should check out the situation with the relevant offices first.

How you can help tackle the cause of nuisance and tenancy fraud

The National Fraud Authority have estimated the cost of tenancy fraud to be £900 million a year across the UK. 

Kevin Key who manages the Counter Fraud Team at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, reminds us that, ”Although tenancy fraud which includes short term subletting on online platforms, is often perceived by the public as a “victimless” crime, the severe shortage of social housing and affordable housing means that it is the most vulnerable in our society - those on waiting lists for social housing - who suffer as a result. We urge anyone with information about a potential fraud to report it to us.”

If you are aware of a home in your building which may be being advertised on an online platform, or any other evidence of subletting, please contact the Counter Fraud Team – details on how you can do this are included below. 

Together we can tackle what is often a cause of nuisance for everyone and keep our homes and communities safe and peaceful.

Contact the Counter Fraud team direct

Email at or have a conversation, in confidence, with a member of the team by calling 020 8227 2666.