Tenant moving additional adult in who is her husband.

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    Tenant moving additional adult in who is her husband.

    Hi, I have just met my new tenants who moved in last month on a 6 month standard AST. They were found for me by an agent on a tenant find service. The tenants named on the tenancy are a woman and her adult son. They passed all necessary checks and are down as joint tenants on the AST and with the deposit. It is a three bedroom house.

    Upon meeting them for the first time I am introduced to the female tenants husband. He is living in the house and I had no knowledge of him at all. She casually explained that the reason for them moving was because they needed a bigger house now her husband had come over from [another country].

    I have the standard wording in the agreement: "Not to assign, sublet, otherwise part with possession of the Property or let any other person live at the Property without the prior written consent of the Landlord which cannot be unreasonably withheld and must be given within a reasonable time."

    I was so shocked I did not do anything for a day or two and I am now seeking advice. The agency advised that as I was only on the tenant find scheme that basically I was on my own, but the agent advised that the gentleman should go though all their checks for £150. I'm now reticent to give them any further business and if checks are needed I will do them myself for a smaller charge.

    Online research suggests I could add him as a permitted occupier, or do a new AST with him on it, or make him her lodger, or basically ignore the issue as they have the right to quiet enjoyment and as they are married a judge would be unlikely to not allow it. I am seeking advice on this please. I will be there in a couple of days and I intend to ask for his documents to check for the Right to Rent as I understand that whatever his official status I am obliged to make sure he does indeed have that right. Although, my research also suggested that if he were her lodger then it would be her responsibility to check that. The .gov website suggests it is mine. The country he has come from is non EU so I have my fingers crossed for a visa!

    As it seems like this was the plan all along do I have any redress with the agency at all? I suppose if the tenants never mentioned another adult then I would not.

    Oh, I also checked my insurance and I can't see anything about everyone needing to be named. I feel though that by choosing the 'ignore' option I am somehow leaving myself open to issues down the line.

    Any and all thoughts more than welcome. It is annoying that I went through an agency to have everything watertight legal and just weeks into it I have this situation. Many thanks in advance.

    #2
    There's not even a breach of contract here. The husband have right to occupy the property by being married to a tenant. More specifically, under the Family Law Act 1996, so long as his spouse remains a tenant, you can only evict or exclude him with the leave of the court.

    You should check with the relevant telephone helpline whether you need to do a Right to Rent check, or should had done a better job making reasonable equiries before granting the tenancy.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

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      #3
      There is technically a contractual breach, but there's no loss (because the tenant has a right to allow their husband to occupy despite the contract), the term is probably unenforceable (because it's illegal) and you would have had to give permission had you been asked (becuase the law requires you to allow occupation it couldn't be more reasonable).

      It is however annoying.

      If you take the view that the husband is nothing to do with you and as you haven't been asked for consent, you are not responsible for the husband living there, the issue of right to rent is probably the wife's.

      I think I would probably explain to the wife that you are very unhappy that she has deliberately misled you, that, had you known there were going to be three residents that you would probably have been fine with that, but she has acted in bad faith and cost you money (there will be more wear and tear and your costs with the agent will be greater). I think I would give informal notice that, once the fixed term ends, that the rent will increase to compensate for the greater costs. And then do the right to rent checks.

      If the tenant can show that they told the agent, that would be another thing.

      If the tenant is receiving benefits, the motivation might be suspect.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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