Buried deep in the small print of this year’s budget was a measure making it illegal for letting agents and private sector landlords from including tenancy clauses that prevent the sub-letting of properties.

Tenants are now free to take in lodgers on a short-term basis,  without gaining permission from landlords or freeholders. The move is  part of the government’s new ‘sharing economy’ policy, aimed at  boosting the economy by allowing individuals and businesses to make better use of their assets.

New legislation will prohibit any clauses in a fixed term tenancy agreement or statutory periodic tenancy that demands a tenant obtains written permission to sub-let properties in the short-term. There is an indication in the budget that this prohibition may be extended to statutory periodic tenancies also.

The model assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) will also be amended to make it easier for AST tenants to share space and sub-let on a short-term basis. This will be in force by the summer, if the present government remains in power after the general election in May.