Cafem asks: “In a few days I will be going to Asia for 5 weeks for an extended holiday. Can I declare myself moving out and then moving back in once I return?”
Question 12 – Can I Sublet My Flat While I’m Away – Shownotes
Today’s question comes from Cafem:
In a few days I will be going to Asia for 5 weeks for an extended holiday.
I appreciate that normally people have to continue paying rent and tax on a property that they intend to return to, however money is tight at the moment and I’m trying to squeeze as much money for the trip as I can.
Can I declare myself moving out and then moving back in once I return?
Thanks for your question Cafem. My immediate feeling to your question is that if money is this tight, should you be going for a 5 week holiday to Asia.
However, that major point aside, let’s tackle the exact question that you have asked.
If you are going away, you have a few options with your rent.
Move Out And Move Back In
Firstly, you could move out of the property before you left and then rent a new property when you returned. However, given the effort that this entails, the fact that you’ll probably have to pay letting agents fees for renting the new property, etc etc, this plan is far more hassle than it’s worth – especially as it may end up costing the same as your rent for 5 weeks. Additionally, you say you are going in a few days, and hence this is no longer an option as you’ll need to give longer notice.
Subletting & AirBnb
Another option may be to sublet. Subletting is where you simply rent out the apartment you are renting to another person whilst you are away. With the wonder of technology, there are now very efficient ways of doing this – the most established being through sites such as Airbnb:
However, there is a big stumbling block to this – your landlord! It is your landlord’s decision as to whether he will allow you to sublet the property whilst you are gone. Even if he is kind enough to let you (he probably won’t because what’s in it for him?!), you will be liable for any damage caused in your absence. If you do go with this, you will continue to pay your landlord, and the person you sublet to will then pay you.
However, you will also continue to be liable for the council tax whilst you are gone, and you’ll possibly have to pay income tax on your earnings from the sub-lettee whilst you are away.
Finally, if you are looking to do this, with you going in a few days, you’ll probably have to greatly discount the rent for the property compared to surrounding properties, and hence you more than likely won’t cover your own expenses.
Conclusion – More Hassle Than It’s Worth
All-in-all, I would advise that it’s much more hassle than it’s worth Cafem. Instead, you should concentrate on whether it’s a sensible idea to take a 5 week holiday around Asia whilst finances are so tight.
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See you next week for another 3 questions! Have a good weekend everyone!
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