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View Full Version : 16 yr OLD TENANT - Yay or nay?



moi
04-04-2008, 08:23 AM
I have been approached by my letting agent to ask if I would consider a 16 yr old tenant whose mother would act as guarantor. I have never let a property before but have recently refurbished a flat and need to get it let as I can't afford to keep paying the mortgage on that as well as my own home.

Apparently the girl works as a chef in a pub - but I am still concerned as to how a 16 yr old would manage esp with all the bills too! Also, it rather worries me that her mother is so keen to find her somewhere - is she merely trying to get rid?!

On the contrary, she could be a tenant for a few years which would be useful as of course she can't get a mortgage until she is 18.

Has anyone had any experience of such a young tenant? what would you advise? Any particular pitfalls?

All advice appreciated.

Thanks guys!

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 08:54 AM
A minor cannot hold any estate or interest in land. Any attempt to grant her a tenancy is therefore void.
Better: grant tenancy to her mother and, in it, authorise daughter to reside (as permitted occupier).

kayak
04-04-2008, 08:57 AM
We automatically turn away any tenants under 18 years old, unless of course they are living with an adult.

This isn't to say that you should turn her away however.

Would she be able to pass the referencing if you remove her age from the equation.

For example, we need a proved income of at least three times the rent to accept a tenant without a guarantor (amongst other things).

Even with a guarantor we require the tenant to be earning at least twice the rent as a guarantor is a back up, not someone to pay the rent.

If you were to go ahead I would check that the guarantor is fit to be a guarantor and not just a piece of paper if it comes down to it. We require our guarantors to be UK home owners with no CCJ's.

Hope that helps to some extent!

John
http://www.MaverickPropertyManagement.co.uk

kayak
04-04-2008, 08:59 AM
Hi Jeffrey,

Can you grant a tenancy to someone who is not going to live in a property.

We sometimes have clauses where we have people as permitted occupants but they are always on the condition that the main occupant is actually resident.

Interesting to see the legallities in minors holding a tenancy agreement.

Kind regards,

John

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 09:06 AM
Hi Jeffrey,

Can you grant a tenancy to someone who is not going to live in a property.

We sometimes have clauses where we have people as permitted occupants but they are always on the condition that the main occupant is actually resident.

Interesting to see the legallities in minors holding a tenancy agreement.

Kind regards,

John
You CAN let to a non-resident T. However, that tenancy would not itself be an AST [see s.1(1)(b) of 1988 Act] although T could grant an AST - or, if occupant incapable of holding tenancy, merely a licence- to permitted occupant.

You'll then ask, "Well, why can't L grant such licence?"
Answer: a minor is not capable of being bound by most contracts (even non-land) unless 'for necessaries' e.g. food or clothes.

On the other hand, if mother grants licence to daughter:
a. you as L can enforce tenancy (inc. rent) against mother as T; so
b. you're not concerned whether daughter does or does not pay the licence fee (rent equivalent) to mother.

Mars Mug
04-04-2008, 09:08 AM
She isn’t a miner, she works in a pub.

I would question who is going to be paying the rent because I am amazed that she managed to leave school and instantly become a ‘chef’? In my experience people who work in pub kitchens are on minimum wage and limited/variable hours, at 16 years old in that line of work she can't be earning a lot?

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 10:04 AM
She isn’t a miner, she works in a pub.
Great joke. Perhaps she served only mineral water, or coke! Is she a minor celebrity?


I would question who is going to be paying the rent because I am amazed that she managed to leave school and instantly become a ‘chef’? In my experience people who work in pub kitchens are on minimum wage and limited/variable hours, at 16 years old in that line of work she can't be earning a lot?
Yes, rent payment is vital. However, even a solvent parent's guarantee won't help if the minor pub-working daughter cannot hold the tenancy.

kayak
04-04-2008, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the good explanation Jeffrey - appreciated.

Kind regards,

John

moi
04-04-2008, 11:07 AM
Huh?! Sorry I'm still not entirely sure!


Just wondering if it would breach my lease to allow a 16yr old to live there tho I don't think there is an age restriction.

So for clarity please- the mother would have to have the tenancy agreement in her name but then would allow the daughter to live there - would that be classed as subletting?? Not sure if I can do that?

So any tenancy agreement with the daughter would not stand up in court? If that's right I am not too pleased that the letting agent suggests that as they are not protecting my interests.

They are ready to pay the deposit and so I don't want to turn away the chance of a tenant but don't want to do something potentially difficult either.
Apparently the girl has been renting with a friend who is moving abroad. She has a reference from a previous landlord sayong rent was always paid on time and she is the best tenant he has ever had.

Please help - I need to decide!

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 11:12 AM
Look: living there is not the problem. A minor cannot hold the tenancy and you could not sue her for rent: these are the problems.

moi
04-04-2008, 11:37 AM
Thanks for your help there Jeffrey.

Letting agent has advised they will put the tenancy agreement in her father's name with the daughter as a permitted tenant. He earns £60k and they will credit check him.Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

kayak
04-04-2008, 12:15 PM
I'm guessing from what Jeffrey said that you need to make sure that it isn't an AST, which stemmed from my question of if you can draw up a tenancy agreement for a non resident tenant.

It is plausible that your letting agents may try to draw up an AST.

I am just going off what Jeffrey said but it may be worth reading his posts carefully.

Kind regards,

John

attilathelandlord
04-04-2008, 12:19 PM
Frankly I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Why isn't she living ith her parents? You'll end up with a trashed property most likely.

Would you lend a 16 year old your car (assuming it were legal)? If not why on earth are you giving her a property.

moi
04-04-2008, 13:23 PM
Have spoken to her mother who advises she is very independent and is 16 going on 25 and very responsible.

I don't understand re - the tenancy agreement. Can someone help? I was told to make sure when I let it's an AST. Are you saying it shouldn't be? The father will have the tenancy in his name as he is on a large income and she will be the permitted tenant. I understood it should be AST as this means you can get a tenant out when there are problems.

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 13:28 PM
Have spoken to her mother who advises she is very independent and is 16 going on 25 and very responsible.

I don't understand re - the tenancy agreement. Can someone help? I was told to make sure when I let it's an AST. Are you saying it shouldn't be? The father will have the tenancy in his name as he is on a large income and she will be the permitted tenant. I understood it should be AST as this means you can get a tenant out when there are problems.
Again: daughter CANNOT hold any sort of tenancy. You know that now.

Father (or mother) CAN hold a tenancy. However, it won't be an AST unless he/she uses the property for his/her own only or main residence, as I thought I had explained. Daughter can reside there with him/her or alone, true, but not as a tenant- only as as licensee of the father/mother T.

ryouga
04-04-2008, 13:56 PM
Actually a few years ago I was sued and lost though I was 17 when I moved in and 17 when moved out with no guaranteur and the contract wasnt even signed!

That was a student let though and was supposed to have a contract for the house though it said rent per person not as a whole.

He stole my rent book and claimed I never paid last 3 months and as I had no proof he won! as said I was 17 when moved in and 17 when left.

moi
04-04-2008, 14:03 PM
Yes I understand not legally binding for 16 year old. I understand the tenancy agreement would have to be in parent's name BUT what sort of agreement should it be then?

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 14:25 PM
Yes I understand not legally binding for 16 year old. I understand the tenancy agreement would have to be in parent's name BUT what sort of agreement should it be then?
It could look very similar to AST (but explictly stating that it's not one) or you could even use an AST as such- e.g. in case parent ever does move in with daughter (although it's more likely that she'll be joined by a cohabitant). No matter what the document states:
a. a letting to a non-resident is outside the Act; and
b. a letting to an under-18 is void unless by way of licence (which L couldn't enforce anyway).

moi
04-04-2008, 15:04 PM
Letting Agent says he is drawing up an AST as if let to her father and her together and co-residing. Says no need to look deeper than that.

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 15:12 PM
Letting Agent says he is drawing up an AST as if let to her father and her together and co-residing. Says no need to look deeper than that.

That's OK, except thst there's no real point putting minor's name on it.

moi
04-04-2008, 15:34 PM
OK thanks Jeffrey for your help. I think it's sounds ok now. I see what you mean with the minor's name though and will mention this to the letting agent. Perhaps not the ideal age but there is an element of doubt with any tenant and I can't afford to turn a tenant away. I will agree subject to meeting her and her parents.

Thanks again.

attilathelandlord
04-04-2008, 15:46 PM
Keep us updated, but I bet you'll live to regret this. I'd rather have a property empty than let to a 16 year old.

jeffrey
04-04-2008, 15:54 PM
Keep us updated, but I bet you'll live to regret this. I'd rather have a property empty than let to a 16 year old.

However, many of us wouldn't regret having a 16-year-old barmaid for a little while at least!

moi
04-04-2008, 16:17 PM
Keep us updated, but I bet you'll live to regret this. I'd rather have a property empty than let to a 16 year old.

Maybe or maybe not - I do believe in giving people a chance. Would it really make any difference if she was 18? I could get a really scruffy middle-aged person. Prior to my purchase, the property was in a dreadful state, absolutely filthy - thanks to someone who appeared to be a 'perfect' tenant. That's the thing...you can just never tell.

johnboy
04-04-2008, 17:00 PM
So if you let to someone on a AST who was going to turn 18 in say 2 months time the AST would be invalid. But would it then become valid after their birthday or would it still stay invalid because it started out invalid.

A question for jeffrey i think

jta
04-04-2008, 17:07 PM
A minor cannot sign a contract of this nature, the magical 18th birthday does not transform the contract into legality. BECAUSE it was signed as a minor

jeffrey
06-04-2008, 20:30 PM
So if you let to someone on a AST who was going to turn 18 in say 2 months time the AST would be invalid. But would it then become valid after their birthday or would it still stay invalid because it started out invalid.

A question for jeffrey i think

If you let to an under-18, the letting is VOID. It won't magically resurrect itself a couple of months later, as birthday present for T.