Agreement for friends to live in my house

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    Agreement for friends to live in my house

    I cannot find a definitive answer to my question by googling so here goes.

    I have a house that I wish to allow a family who are close friends to live in while I live abroad as UK non-resident. I am trying to work out what sort of contract I should make between us.

    I don't mind whether there is a rental fee or whether I allow them to live for free. What I am concerned about is that with reasonable notice I can retrieve my property when I return to the UK after about 2-3 years.

    It is quite an old house and the wiring would need a full check if I wanted to make a tenancy agreement with them so I'd rather avoid that. I was hoping that some sort of non-tenant, excluded or permitted occupier or other informal agreement could be made between us. Council tax and utilties etc are not really an issue either although it might make a difference who pays these from a legal perspective.

    Many thanks for any advice.

    Tippy


    #2
    It’s been said many times that it’s a bad idea to let to friends or family.
    That being said if your electrics are iffy then it might be an idea to invest in getting them fixed for the safety of your tenants and your own peace of mind.
    A written contract is a good idea as it. Sets out who is responsible for what.
    Any deposit you take must be protected in a recognised scheme.
    Are you sure the tenants will move out when you want your house back? A lot of landlords are selling up so there are fewer houses for rent and rents have gone up in many areas. If your tenants are paying no or very low rent will they be happy to move out into a place where they’ll be paying rent?

    Comment


      #3
      I imagine that it's going to take a while to get your head round this, but there is no guaranteed way to achieve what you want.

      You can either rent your property to your friends or you can retrieve your property when you return to the UK.
      You can't do both with any certainty.

      There are mechanisms that would allow you to lend someone the property or to rent it out, but when the time came for the property to be returned, you would depend entirely on the cooperation of the occupants to return the property to you, otherwise you would have to go to court to get your property back.

      Even if you lend it to the family for no rent, which would mean it wasn't a tenancy in the normal sense, it is possible that their paying council tax and looking after the place would equate to rent, which, again, would mean that they were tenants with considerable rights. So you would be dependent on their cooperation when you wanted to recover possession of your home.

      Whatever the arrangement, you would be responsible for the occupants' safety in the property, so you can't devise an agreement that takes that liability away.

      You might want to talk to a solicitor about the least risky route forward, but it's hard to see that anything other than a conventional letting arrangement with the notices that are necessary to allow you to make use of Ground One of a Section 8 notice and then you are depending on the relationship being sustained when you want to make your friends homeless.
      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 Tippy View Post
        I don't mind whether there is a rental fee or whether I allow them to live for free. What I am concerned about is that with reasonable notice I can retrieve my property when I return to the UK after about 2-3 years.
        You can't achieve that. Sorry. Rather leave it empty -- which is what Shelter - the charity that bizarrely claims to help people without shelter - wants you to do.

        Comment


          #5
          You need to treat this as any other rental, with a contract, prescribed information, all the certificates & rent. If you want to help your friends set the rent low, but do this as anything other than proper rental will probably result in problems.

          Comment


            #6
            Agree, avoid fiends & family. But IF you insist, the full AST, all documents, ensure rent is above minimum limit.

            You'll appreciate even if all paperwork correct (** ) - many find they ain't - eviction, if tenant choses to remain when you ask them to depart (as is their right..) the likely timescale from serving s21 is say 6 months. So don't expect you can come back to UK& move back in right away.

            ** If paperwork not correct you may find it's impossible or v v difficult to evict.
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

            Comment


              #7
              In this case, you would be advised to avoid using section 21 notice to restore possession, assuming it's not been abolished in 2-3 years' time.
              Section 8 Ground 1 is designed for this scenario and should be simple enough to regain possession, even if the occupants are being difficult.
              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


                #8
                If there still is s8g1. We haven't seen even draft bill....
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  If there still is s8g1. We haven't seen even draft bill....
                  Very true.
                  So far the suggestion seems to be to extend s8, while losing s21.
                  It would be a shame to lose something that seems to work well - but, you're right, it is the government!
                  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


                    #10
                    I suggest that the electrics are checked professionally in any case.

                    Do not dream about doing this project informally.
                    Good luck.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      They could be your friends but people do change. Do not let to friends if you want to keep them as friends.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I would also add that if your out of the country, make sure you sign up the property for any alerts with the land registry, better safe then sorry.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Well you have heard the opinions of a great many very experienced landlords........ you are taking a very big risk with this, you say you don't need the money, so why take the risk ? Leave it empty and come back to it still....... empty, there is zero guarantee they will move out, friends or not.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                            Agree, avoid fiends & family.
                            Good advice, I ALWAYS try to avoid fiends 😁

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                              Avoid fiends.
                              Sound advice. You need an exorcist to get them out.

                              Comment

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