Check if you can sublet your home

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

Subletting happens when a tenant lets all or part of their home to someone else - they’re known as a subtenant.

The subtenant will have exclusive use of the space they rent and you could only enter it with their permission. 

The advice on this page is about subletting your whole home.

If you only want to sublet part of your home

You should check our advice on getting a lodger.

The rules about subletting your whole home usually depend on your landlord and what your tenancy agreement says about subletting.

If you sublet your whole home, it’s easier for your landlord to evict you - even if you’re allowed to sublet.

If you rent from a council

You’re not allowed to sublet all of your home - if you do, your landlord can evict you.

If you rent from a private landlord or housing association

You should think about whether subletting is right for you. If you move out of your home so you can sublet it to someone else, it’s easier for your landlord to evict you - even if you’re allowed to sublet.

If your tenancy started before 15 January 1989, you might have to follow different rules about subletting - you should talk to an adviser.

If your tenancy started after 15 January 1989, you should check what your tenancy agreement says about subletting your whole home.

If your agreement says you need your landlord’s permission, they should say yes unless they have a good reason. For example, if getting subtenants would make the property overcrowded your landlord could say no.

If your agreement doesn’t say anything about subletting 

If your tenancy doesn’t have a fixed end date you’ll need your landlord’s permission to sublet your whole home. If they say no, they don’t have to give you a reason.

If there’s a fixed end date for your tenancy, you’re allowed to sublet your whole home. You don’t need your landlord’s permission but it’s usually best to let them know. If they don’t want you to sublet your home, your landlord can get a court order to end your tenancy, evict your subtenant and stop you from moving back in.

How subletting could affect your income

Talk to an adviser if you’d like a 'better-off calculation'. This is a calculation that would help you work out how any additional income would affect your entitlement to benefits or tax credits.

Universal Credit

For people on Universal Credit (UC), the rent from a subtenant is not treated as income. This means whatever amount you charge a subtenant, it will not impact how much UC you get. 

You can find out more about Universal Credit.

Housing Benefit

If you get Housing Benefit (HB), income from your subtenant might affect your benefit.

Other benefits and tax credits

Any income from a subtenant might affect your entitlement to other benefits and tax credits. 

You can find out more about benefits and tax credits.

Income tax

You won’t have to pay income tax on the first £1,000 you get from subletting each year.

You might need to register with HMRC and submit a self-assessment tax return to make sure you’re paying the right tax. You can check if you need to send a tax return on GOV.UK.

Your responsibilities as a landlord

If you sublet your whole home to someone else and you move out, you’ll create an assured shorthold tenancy. Your responsibilities will be the same as most private landlords.

You’ll need to give your subtenant a tenancy agreement. You can find out what to include in a tenancy agreement on GOV.UK. If you need help to write a tenancy agreement, you should get legal advice. 

You can check your responsibilities as a landlord on GOV.UK.

Checking immigration status

You have to check the immigration status of the people you sublet your home to.

You’re responsible for doing the immigration check even if your landlord knows you’re subletting.

If you sublet your home to someone you know or suspect doesn’t have the right to rent, you could get: 

  • a fine for £10,000 or £20,000

  • an unlimited fine

  • a 5-year prison sentence

You can find out how to check a subtenant's right to rent on GOV.UK.

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