Unscrupulous landlords ‘exploiting’ rent-to-rent – claim

Propertymark says there are cases where landlords ensure the firm running a sub-let pays for refurbishment.

unhapp agent rent to rent

Unscrupulous landlords are exploiting rent-to-rent schemes leaving inexperienced agents who offer this kind of service exposed to large costs, Propertymark warns.

The trade body says some landlords pass on responsibility for refurbishing properties to rent-to-rent (R2R) firms.

Held responsible

Propertymark says it is aware of a case in where a property was sub-let without the proper HMO licence, and the R2R operator was held responsible for repaying rent to the tenant, even though the ‘superior landlord’ should have licensed the property.

Propertymark has responded to an investigation into rent-to-rent schemes by the National Trading Standards Estate and Lettings Agency Team (NTSELAT).

Unaware of risks

There is also a danger that a contract is weighed heavily in favour of the firm sub-letting a property, leaving the superior landlord unaware of the risks they could face, Propertymark says.

“We are concerned that schemes are marketed in a way which emphasises the chance to earn passive income, and plays down what is required from a superior landlord.

The owner may not realise that they have no control over who occupies the property.”

“Contracts vary, but the property owner may not realise that they have no control over who occupies the property or how much the property can be altered,” Propertmark says.

Some people are attracted by the prospect of a passive income without the responsibility of managing the property themselves.


Propertymark says most of its members have a good experience of rent-to-rent, but does make some recommendations for change.

Both the landlord and the R2R firm must be clear what each is responsible for before signing a contract, it says.

“We also believe that R2R schemes should sign up to a deposit protection scheme, establish client money protection, join an independent redress scheme, and be required to meet the same housing standards as traditional PRS properties,” it adds.

Read the full Propertymark response here

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