Management
Caution tape

9 signs your tenant may be subletting

By Richard Frey

Property damage, out-of-control parties, drug dens, brothels and crime are just a few of the dangers of unauthorised short-term subletting. Here’s how to tell your tenant is subletting.

For tenants the extra cash may be handy, but as the property owner you’re left footing the bill for any problems, and your insurance often won’t cover it.

So how can you tell if your tenant is subletting? Here are some signs to watch for:

1. Your tenant is often out of town on work

Renting is expensive, especially in Australia’s main cities. If a tenant isn’t around to use what they’re paying all that money for, they may see Airbnb as an easy way to get their money’s worth from your property.

2. Your tenant is often on vacation

During peak periods, a two-bedroom unit on Airbnb can command $500 a night in some areas of Sydney. A week of that easily pays for a Bali holiday. If your tenant is on vacation a lot, they may be using your property to make holidays pay for themselves.

3. Your tenant is nervous during property inspections

If there are bedrooms they don’t want you to enter or they want a lot of warning period before inspections, these are both danger signs. Bedrooms are often spruced up for guests, and with a schedule full of incoming guests they’ll find it hard to accommodate an inspection.

4. When you visit, it looks like a bed and breakfast

Look for the things you see when you stay at a good BnB or hotel. If you see maps and guides for the local area, or tea and coffee makers in the bedrooms, this is a dead giveaway.

5. A single person is looking to rent a large property

Why do they need so much space? They’ll be doing something with all those extra rooms, and subletting is an easy way to make extra cash off them, especially in areas with lots of young tourists (e.g. Bondi Beach, ManlyManly, NSW Manly, QLD).

6. Someone with money is looking to rent a small property in a popular area

They can do better, why aren’t they? They might be looking for a side business subletting your investment property online.

7. Complaints from neighbours

It pays to be friendly with your property’s neighbours or other tenants in the building. They don’t want an Airbnb party house on their block, and strangers increase the risk of crime. Ask them to keep an eye out for strangers coming and going with luggage.

8. Rent terms that are too good to be true

Finding a place to rent in Sydney is tough, and many tenants offer above the going rate. But if a tenant offers to pay lots upfront or a very high weekly rent, they may be expecting to make it back by subletting.

9. They ask to break the lease, then change their mind

If they ask to escape a lease and then back out once they hear about the break fees, chances are good they’re moving on anyway. These folks will sublet to avoid paying double rent.

None of these signs by themselves is proof, but the more signs you can see, the more likely your tenant is subletting.

To catch unauthorised subletting, you can look online, but searching for your properties every day is exhausting, not to mention pretty hard to do (Airbnb, like most subletting sites, doesn’t show exact addresses or have alerts for new properties). And Airbnb is just the tip of the iceberg; there are dozens of websites you need to check.

One tool to check multiple websites is BnbGuard, which analyses listings of short-term accommodation websites and compares them to an owner’s property.

NEWSLETTER
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About the Blogger

Richard Frey

Richard Frey is the cofounder of BnbGuard, Australia's first sublet monitoring service.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Why I still buy in Sydney
Property market update: Sydney, July 2018
Sydney rental market slowing, latest research finds

AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

What makes a good investment suburb?
Two components of good investment research
How Greta purchased four properties in a year

AREAS MENTIONED:

Redcliffe
Port Macquarie
Loganlea
Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together
object(stdClass)#1300 (52) {
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As the investment market tightens are you looking to learn something that will help you realign or readjust your property goals? In this episode of The Smart Property Investment Show, first time on the podcast Lisa Porter joins host Phil Tarrant to talk about the gems and wisdom associated with her modest portfolio of ‘only’ six properties.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2939) "

Listen now as Lisa and host Phil Tarrant discuss how her property journey started in the UK, with the purchase of a rough unit in a lower-socio suburb of South London. Lisa breaks down how that first purchase provided her greatest lesson, one she still applies today - turn off the noise, don’t worry too much about the peripheries and just get on with it.

The pair also discuss how property has given Lisa so much extra value in her life, not just building an asset base and heaps of enjoyment, but it also how it changed the trajectory of her career. Women, she says, shouldn’t be fearful of being proactive and taking control of the direction of their family’s financial future.  

 

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Walking and talking property investment with Lisa Porter – therapy, empowerment, education and inspiration

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