I have noticed this behavior and would like to know if it is by design.

In the case of a subsite with detached permissions, if a user uses the access denied form to ask for permission and the subsite owner gets the relative email, i have noticed that the link in the site settings called 'pending access request' is not accessible by subsite owner. It is accessible by site collection owner. Is this normal?

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This is fixable, in my experience it was only surfaced by migration from on prem to the cloud.

First, check the default access groups on the subsite by going to /_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx and making sure the default groups are set as desired.

Then, open SharePoint Designer and click on All Files. Right click on Access Requests and select properties. In the Customization section, click the link "Permissions for this list". This will take you to the permissions page. Make sure your owner group is listed as with Full Control.

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