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Alrobbo
09-02-2008, 17:08 PM
Hope someone can advise me - my new tennant wants to move his girlfriend in at the end of this month - is it advisable to make the tenancy into a joint agreement or leave it as it is - an individual tenancy. As I am relatively new to this any help would be gratefully accepted - thanks

Ericthelobster
09-02-2008, 17:52 PM
Hope someone can advise me - my new tennant wants to move his girlfriend in at the end of this month - is it advisable to make the tenancy into a joint agreement or leave it as it is - an individual tenancy.This has come up quite a few times in this forum and I think the general advice is to do nothing; the visitor is the guest of the tenant, who is the person you have the relationship with. She would have no legal right of residence if by any chance your tenant were to quit the property leaving her behind.

One issue is that if you do want to set up a new tenancy regardless, then what happens if the girl doesn't meet your criteria for becoming a tenant - eg, if she's unemployed and has 17 CCJs? Are you then going to tell your existing tenant she can't move in? And if so, what will you do when he ignores you and goes ahead? Or if you decide to compromise your standards and accept her as a tenant regardless, then if they then did split up and she stayed behind, you'd have a potential nightmare sole tenant on your hands, ie with rights.

fallenlord
09-02-2008, 19:47 PM
Hope someone can advise me - my new tennant wants to move his girlfriend in at the end of this month - is it advisable to make the tenancy into a joint agreement or leave it as it is - an individual tenancy. As I am relatively new to this any help would be gratefully accepted - thanks

For balance, I would disagree with Ericthelobster. The central point is determining whether she is a guest or permanent resident.

I assume that when you say he wants to "move" his girlfriend into the house she is to become a permanent resident rather than a "guest"? If that’s the case I would carry out your normal references on her and if she is suitable/meets your criteria then I recommend adding her to a new tenancy so she becomes jointly and severely liable for the rent and responsibilities laid out in your TA.

If she wants to become permanent it is also possible that the terms of your BTL mortgage or landlords insurance may require her to be listed on a TA (assuming she is over 18).

If she doesn’t meet your criteria (say she’s unemployed or has 17 CCjs) then you could:

(a) decline your tenants request (which is likely to be ignored). If she does ignore it and she moves in then her boyfriend risks his own tenancy
(b) do nothing, allow her to move in and hope for the best.
(c) add her to the tenancy agreement and then serve them both notice to quit after 4 months
(d) You could add her to the tenancy using a licence agreement, and depending on how far through the present TA you are it could mean that you are able to serve notice quicker than (c)

Unfortunately, (or fortunately for that matter) landlords/agents cannot choose tenants new partners but I do think that in these situations you must be proactive in protecting your interests

I typed this response on Word and did a spell check without really taking any notice - the programme changed CCJs to something completely inappropriate and I almost missed it when I re-read it! If I had left it then it would have been definite grounds to refuse her I think!! :-)

Bel
10-02-2008, 08:38 AM
For balance, I would disagree with Ericthelobster. The central point is determining whether she is a guest or permanent resident.

I assume that when you say he wants to "move" his girlfriend into the house she is to become a permanent resident rather than a "guest"? If that’s the case I would carry out your normal references on her and if she is suitable/meets your criteria then I recommend adding her to a new tenancy so she becomes jointly and severely liable for the rent and responsibilities laid out in your TA.

If she wants to become permanent it is also possible that the terms of your BTL mortgage or landlords insurance may require her to be listed on a TA (assuming she is over 18).

If she doesn’t meet your criteria (say she’s unemployed or has 17 CCjs) then you could:

(a) decline your tenants request (which is likely to be ignored). If she does ignore it and she moves in then her boyfriend risks his own tenancy
(b) do nothing, allow her to move in and hope for the best.
(c) add her to the tenancy agreement and then serve them both notice to quit after 4 months
(d) You could add her to the tenancy using a licence agreement, and depending on how far through the present TA you are it could mean that you are able to serve notice quicker than (c)

Unfortunately, (or fortunately for that matter) landlords/agents cannot choose tenants new partners but I do think that in these situations you must be proactive in protecting your interests

I typed this response on Word and did a spell check without really taking any notice - the programme changed CCJs to something completely inappropriate and I almost missed it when I re-read it! If I had left it then it would have been definite grounds to refuse her I think!! :-)

I've never heard of option (d) before; a tenancy and a licence agreement side by side controlled by the Landlord. Could you explain in detail what happens here? Ie does a new tenancy have to be created for the tenant first. Have you used this method?

I can understand that the tenant can have a licence agreement with his girlfriend...that she is his lodger and pays him a share of rent, but the tenant pays the LL all the rent.

Colincbayley
10-02-2008, 08:40 AM
I've never heard of option (d) before. Could you explain in detail what happens here? Ie does a new tenancy have to be created for the tenant first.

I can understand that the tenant can have a licence agreement with his girlfriend...that she is his lodger and pays him a share of rent, but the tenant pays the LL all the rent.

You can not add or delete a tenant from an AST by way of a licence. Only by a deed of variation.

Bel
10-02-2008, 08:44 AM
You can not add or delete a tenant from an AST by way of a licence. Only by a deed of variation.

Thats what I would have thought...lets see what fallenlord says about it.

johnboy
10-02-2008, 08:51 AM
What about a section 6 notice? I havent ever used one but i know it is used for changes to a current contract but dont know if it can be used for adding extra tenant.

Thoughts anyone

fallenlord
10-02-2008, 10:03 AM
I've never heard of option (d) before; a tenancy and a licence agreement side by side controlled by the Landlord. Could you explain in detail what happens here? Ie does a new tenancy have to be created for the tenant first. Have you used this method?

I can understand that the tenant can have a licence agreement with his girlfriend...that she is his lodger and pays him a share of rent, but the tenant pays the LL all the rent.

Sorry, i wasnt very clear - I meant add her in the sense of their being some accountability, and not drawing up and adding her to a new agreement. I suggested a license agreement as one option only if her references prove to be bad and Alrobbo is faced with a situation where the girlfriend moves in hoping to be a permenant resident and disregarding his wishes. Under these circumstances a license may be sufficient to comply with insurance/BTL mortgage requirements and would avoid the need to issue new 6 month contracts which would delay any oportunity to serve a S21.

We issued a license agreement recently albeit a slightly different situation. Parents had moved out of a house and wanted their daughter to move in. Parents were excellent, daughter was questionable. The license allowed us to keep the parents on the TA for added security and also avoid having to register the deposit with a scheme.

http://www.brent.gov.uk/phiu.nsf/61b63a407eca7a438025663c0065cadd/b7f2052da2b00b8780256ca7004768e1!OpenDocument#What %20Is%20A%20Licience%20Agreement%3F

Bel
10-02-2008, 14:07 PM
When a landlord starts to issue licences, unless he lives there, there is likely to be trouble, as the Street vs Montford case says that it doesn't matter what you have written on the agreement that matters, it is what happens in reality. By giving the girlfriend any sort of agreement and taking rent from her, she would be a tenant.

In the case you describe. (with limited info); if the girl decided to play merry hell I don't think you would be able to evict her without going through the full s8 s21 notice procedure; I think she is a protected tenant as her parents no longer live with her; she is effectively a sub-tenant of her parents, even if a written agreement says otherwise.

jeffrey
10-02-2008, 14:11 PM
What about a section 6 notice? I havent ever used one but i know it is used for changes to a current contract but dont know if it can be used for adding extra tenant.

Thoughts anyone
Section 6 (of 1988 Act) applies only in order so that L can state tenancy conditions revised during periodic tenancy that follows expired fixed-term tenancy between same parties.

Alrobbo
10-02-2008, 15:04 PM
:eek: Thanks fallenlord - very helpful - think I may take your advice - also to ber very very careful with spellchecks!! LOL - Alrobbo
For balance, I would disagree with Ericthelobster. The central point is determining whether she is a guest or permanent resident.

I assume that when you say he wants to "move" his girlfriend into the house she is to become a permanent resident rather than a "guest"? If that’s the case I would carry out your normal references on her and if she is suitable/meets your criteria then I recommend adding her to a new tenancy so she becomes jointly and severely liable for the rent and responsibilities laid out in your TA.

If she wants to become permanent it is also possible that the terms of your BTL mortgage or landlords insurance may require her to be listed on a TA (assuming she is over 18).

If she doesn’t meet your criteria (say she’s unemployed or has 17 CCjs) then you could:

(a) decline your tenants request (which is likely to be ignored). If she does ignore it and she moves in then her boyfriend risks his own tenancy
(b) do nothing, allow her to move in and hope for the best.
(c) add her to the tenancy agreement and then serve them both notice to quit after 4 months
(d) You could add her to the tenancy using a licence agreement, and depending on how far through the present TA you are it could mean that you are able to serve notice quicker than (c)

Unfortunately, (or fortunately for that matter) landlords/agents cannot choose tenants new partners but I do think that in these situations you must be proactive in protecting your interests

I typed this response on Word and did a spell check without really taking any notice - the programme changed CCJs to something completely inappropriate and I almost missed it when I re-read it! If I had left it then it would have been definite grounds to refuse her I think!! :-)

PaulF
10-02-2008, 19:16 PM
Sorry but - the best thing is do nothing until the end of the fixed term then revise the situation otherwise you're getting in too deep

Surrey
10-02-2008, 21:37 PM
I, too, go with the "least said, soonest mended" approach.

Imagine if they decide to split up, what sort of mess would there be trying to sort out who moves out? If they're both on the tenancy agreement then there are complications you don't need. If she's just staying as his guest then it's clear who goes and who stays. Ok, so that might be a bit tough on the girlfriend, but that's life, and your let is a business and so needs to be treated as such. (I appreciate that's exactly what you're trying to do, before anyone leaps on me for being nasty.)

Actually, I think your tenant is being very reasonable in letting you know, and fallenlord didn't mention option (e) that someone else came up with, which is to let the current agreement run to its course and see how it goes. If you then think she would be a reasonable risk and both the tenant and the girlfriend want her to be added to the agreement, then perform the usual checks (at her cost) and either amend the agreement by a deed of amendment (if you want the tenancy to continue as a periodic) or issue another AST. The choice whether to go periodic or not is not under discussion here and is a separate matter.

If you decide to add her to the agreement immediately, then do your usual checks (at their cost) and also charge them a reasonable admin fee for the extra work you have to put in to either update the existing agreement or prepare a new one.