Landlords... do you really know who is renting your property? You may have breathed a sigh of relief when you secured tenants and they passed the referencing checks but once you have handed over the keys, only regular inspections will determine if the person that signed the original tenancy agreement is still living in the property.

A new piece of research suggests as many as one in three tenants are currently subletting without the landlord’s knowledge and one in four admitted they were thinking about subletting in the future.

London Residential looks after a large portfolio of rental properties on behalf of landlords and we cannot emphasise enough that regular property inspections are the best way of detecting (and deterring) subletting.

Priya Patel, Head of Property Management at the North West London letting agents, says: “We act as a pair of professionally trained eyes for our landlords, conducting regular property inspections with subletting in mind. We recognise the small tell tale signs that there are extra, unapproved occupants - people who will not have passed our stringent referencing checks. A professional management service is invaluable in this respect, especially for landlords who are located miles away from their buy-to-let or for those who don’t have the time to make regular inspections.”

Landlords have to be more careful than ever, says Patel: “The rise of Airbnb and similar schemes can prove irresistible to tenants and if a landlord isn’t carrying out regular checks, activity like this can go unnoticed. What will be evident is the extra wear and tear, and potential damage to property. Asset protection is high on the list at London Residential so we remain vigilant throughout the tenancy.”