Clearing the Air With SAPA
Subletting is an industry that may be met with mixed reactions. The concept may seem strange, renting out accommodation that is already for rent. Reactions vary from confusion to fear. Yet, in London, it is a huge part of everyday life for many. To work, and live, in the capital is expensive, but sublets make it a viable option.
Many call into question the ethics of the practise. To some, the idea of cramming as many people into a house as possible is what comes to mind. To others, the idea of someone renting out accommodation they own is concerning, at best. Incidents of tenants who offer their accommodation for short-term rent on sites, such as Airbnb, has hardly helped morale in the industry.
And yet, there are plenty of people who generate a decent income, without exploiting their tenants or their landlords. There are people within the industry who strive to do what they can, with a strong ethical grounding and an agreeable scenario for everyone involved.
Many of the worries and concerns about the shared accommodation industry arise from the lack of regulation. As it is a new, burgeoning industry, there was no real body to help sort the trustworthy from the questionable.
By applying for the SAPA certification, the landlord, subletter and tenant would be aware of the standards required. This creates a guarantee of quality that is sorely needed within the industry.
This is in line with new government reform aimed at the subletting industry. In a statement back in March to Guardian Money, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Tenants should be able to ask for permission to sublet their home without expecting a blanket refusal in every case – but landlords should also have the right to know who is living in their property.
“Our proposals would mean a tenant could ask for this permission under the model tenancy agreement, with landlords having the right of refusal offering reasons for that decision and within a reasonable time frame.”
Additionally, it would help provide protection for both the subletter and the landlord in issues where neither side can settle on an agreement. By stepping in as a third party, SAPA can help settle the debate on the firmest, legal grounds. Examples such as the Leo Cassini case reported on in March 2015, where the actor was evicted from his tenancy after subletting his apartment on Airbnb, would become easier to deal with.
As new precedents are set, and the concerns surrounding the subletting industry are settled, landlords’ scepticism will lessen. Subletting is a powerful new industry. With SAPA’s help, it can only grow stronger as the air of confusion is cleared. Bringing together landlords, subletters and tenants with open and clear standards will benefit all involved.
Image Source: Landlord News