Changing AST to new tenant?

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    Changing AST to new tenant?

    Hello all,

    I have recently rented out my property to a tenant using AST 12 months agreement (started beginning of February). This was all arranged by a local estate agent (Let Only). The tenant moved in and been paying the rent so far so no issues here however his girlfriend and two kids have moved in with him based on the following T&C:

    7.1 No one is allowed to live in the property except the tenant and his or her immediate family.
    7.2 The tenant agrees that the property is let on the condition that it is occupied by no more than 3 occupiers including children unless those occupiers form a single family group. If the tenant wishes to have more than 3 occupiers living in the property from more than one family group, then the tenant must get the landlord's written consent.
    7.3 The tenant must not transfer the tenancy to anyone else.


    Does girlfriend qualify as his immediate family?

    Anyway, I received a text from the tenant stating that he has now split from his girlfriend and moved out of the property but she's still living in it. He would be happy to move back in but not until she leaves or he'd like to transfer the tenancy agreement onto her. She wants to stay at the property as well and says that she can afford the rent (she apparently works) however she would fail background checks because her ex-husband left her with debts etc. so her credit score is poor. I asked her why doesn't she ask the local council to find her and her kids a property - the answer was: "I owned a house before etc. I don't want to live in a council house".

    She also sent me an email asking about my bank details so she can pay the rent however I refused advising her that the AST is with the named tenant so I expect the rent to come from him - after all I don't know who she is and thought that if I did accept money from her I would basically agree to her living there.

    Also, although the property was advertised as pet friendly, the AST did say no pets are allowed without landlords permission and I know they have or had two dogs there but I didn't make a big fuss out of it although I could use it as a breach of contract (if it comes to it) but don't really want to go S3 or S21 route (yet?) and suggested that they could either apply for joint tenancy or he becomes a guarantor of the new AST with her but since I'm not that experienced I'd like to ask you guys what you think and how can I best approach this situation?

    Many thanks

    All the best

    #2
    Issue a Section 21 notice now to the original tenant. Is deposit protected etc.? Do not take rent from the woman. End the tenancy with the mail if you can by surrender then boot others out as they have no right to be there. Sounds a bit scammy to me.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      The original tenant is still the tenant and is liable for the rent (and everything else the tenant is liable for in the tenancy agreement).
      He can't serve notice until the fixed term ends (unless there's some kind of break clause) and that's going to be a lot of rent.
      Make it clear that you'll be suing for anything unpaid and that you won't accept rent from anyone else.

      Removing the girlfriend and her children is his responsibility (he's the one with the right to the property, which includes the right to exclude other people).

      You can't use a s21 notice yet, so I'd suggest starting looking at all the clauses he's in breach of and serving a s8.
      It's in the tenant's interest not to oppose it, and if they don't, you might find that the court is sympathetic to both of your situations.

      An alternative is to agree the end of the tenancy by surrender and then go to court for a possession order against the girlfriend as a trespasser, which means you can use high court enforcement officers to repossess (which is quicker than using county court bailiffs).
      I don't favour that route, because it lets the original tenant off the hook for the rent, which tends to mean they're not on your side anymore.

      The worst case is that you agree a surrender and he moves back in.
      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).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
        Issue a Section 21 notice now
        12 month tenancy started in February, so S21 notice would not be valid.

        Comment


          #5
          What do you want?

          Is she the tenant's (ex-)girlfriend, or is she his wife (or possibly civil partner as well)? Makes s big difference. How sure are you of your answer here?

          The tenant is liable for the rent until the tenancy ends. I don't imagine there's a break clause that either of you can use yet, so that only leave surrender as an option. No, don't accept rent from her unless she is (currently) married to the tenant, or you may end up accidentally granting her a tenancy while the other tenancy is still ongoing.
          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.

          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by djkprojects View Post
            Does girlfriend qualify as his immediate family?
            They are almost certainly a single household, and so not creating a HMO.

            Comment

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