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fsl
29-06-2010, 11:48 AM
I have an interested party in a rental property and although I was under the impression that you had to be 18 to sign an AST I have just read that an adult can also sign to hold their tenancy in trust until they reach 18. I am the LA and wanted clear advice to provide my LL and whether anyone has had experience of letting to under 18 and what the worst case legal implications are if they stopped paying rent and could you take both T and signed adult to court?

jeffrey
29-06-2010, 12:01 PM
1. A minor (M) cannot hold a legal estate or interest.
2. So M cannot be an Assured Shorthold Tenant.
3. If L foolishly lets to M, L become a trustee for M. L loses the ability to act (as L) contrary to L's duty as M's trustee. See post #3 on my thread http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=28357 for a salutary example of the pitfalls!
4. Best for L to let to only M's adult relative; and to allow T to share occupation with M.

fsl
29-06-2010, 12:13 PM
But if the M's adult representative cannot live at the property then they (T) would technically be leaving the property empty for 30 consecutive days?

So best stay clear?

edit: and thank you for the quick initial response

jeffrey
29-06-2010, 13:07 PM
No. T is not leaving it vacant if a minor is in residence.

Lawcruncher
29-06-2010, 13:27 PM
1. A minor (M) cannot hold a legal estate or interest.
2. So M cannot be an Assured Shorthold Tenant.


1. Agreed.

2. Not agreed. As you have said in the tread alluded to above:

If someone (X) grants a 'tenancy' but is not lawfully competent to do so, then (in favour of T) X is bound by it.

"[T's case] depends upon his establishing that his agreement with [X] has the legal effect of creating a relationship of tenant and landlord between them. That is all. It does not depend upon his establishing a proprietary title good against all the world...It is not necessary for him to show that [a vendor] had conveyed a legal estate to [T]."

The relationship of landlord and tenant is based on tenure and does not depend upon a legal estate existing.

jeffrey
29-06-2010, 14:05 PM
2. Not agreed. As you have said in the tread alluded to above:

If someone (X) grants a 'tenancy' but is not lawfully competent to do so, then (in favour of T) X is bound by it.

"[T's case] depends upon his establishing that his agreement with [X] has the legal effect of creating a relationship of tenant and landlord between them. That is all. It does not depend upon his establishing a proprietary title good against all the world...It is not necessary for him to show that [a vendor] had conveyed a legal estate to [T]."

The relationship of landlord and tenant is based on tenure and does not depend upon a legal estate existing.
Don't agree. True, someone without title who lets is bound so far as T is concerned. However, that applies only on L's side of things.
On T's side, someone incapable of holding a legal estate cannot hold a tenancy at law.

Snorkerz
29-06-2010, 14:22 PM
No. T is not leaving it vacant if a minor is in residence.Surely it would not be an AST as the rental property would not be the (adult) tenants primary residence.

jeffrey
29-06-2010, 14:22 PM
True, but it would still be a valid non-1988 Act letting in the adult's name.

fsl
29-06-2010, 14:53 PM
Thanks for the replies. So, pardon my ignorance, would you be able to draw up an agreement with the same rules and regulations as a standard AST, but it would be seen as a standard contract and dealt with under standard contractual law?

Also the other issue is that the 17yr old wants to claim HB, and if the parent is the T then are the council likely to issue HB to the M seeing as they wouldn't be the T.

jeffrey
29-06-2010, 15:18 PM
Thanks for the replies. So, pardon my ignorance, would you be able to draw up an agreement with the same rules and regulations as a standard AST, but it would be seen as a standard contract and dealt with under standard contractual law?
Yes. Even if the Tenancy Agreement claims itself to be an AST, it's not unless T resides there as only/main home.

Springfields
05-07-2010, 22:37 PM
My memory is a little shakey on this however I had this circumstance a while ago with a 17 year old single mother. on taking legal advise we were informed that whereas the tenant could not hold a contract for the property she could live in the property if she had the landlords personal permission and could sign an agreement but not an ast. The term licence comes to mind. As this as such gives no legal right for the tenant to live in the property but gives permission the landlord then takes more responsibility for the tenant than he would wish to and as there is no ast it becomes blurred with the guarator and what they sign to protect the rent.

jeffrey
06-07-2010, 11:41 AM
And L cannot sue such minor for the £££ (not a 'rent' but, at most, just a 'licence fee'). So why let?