AST- minimum age for T; letting to a minor possible?

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  • AST- minimum age for T; letting to a minor possible?

    hi, this may sound a bit naive so sorry if it does people!! but i was wondering, as im new at being a landlord and of course want to do it correctly and fairly.

    1). Is there any age limits to accepting a tenant into your property?
    2). If so, is it different if they are taken on with another person (i.e. if a couple, rent out two seperate room in a property, both of differing ages)?

    Its just that someone asked me about it and after i explained the deposit and months rent , he changed his mind! But i was thinking it was a good question that i was not sure on!

    Does that make sense! I hope so.

    Thanks in advance people.

  • #2
    Minimum age at which a person may be bound by a contract is 18 - there is no upper age limit (insofar as letting property anyway)

    A couple, over 18 years old, same or different surnames, related or not, married or not, both men, both women, or one of each sex but BOTH jointly renting a property to which they have exclusive use is a normal tenancy. If one is under 18, then only the over 18 may be lawfully contractually bound.

    Two people - any category as above, one renting one room, other renting a different room, sharing rest of the house goes into HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) teritory and may have to be licenced by council, have fire alarm etc.

    Does that answer your question?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
      A couple, over 18 years old, same or different surnames, related or not, married or not, both men, both women, or one of each sex but BOTH jointly renting a property to which they have exclusive use is a normal tenancy. If one is under 18, then only the over 18 may be lawfully contractually bound.

      Two people - any category as above, one renting one room, other renting a different room, sharing rest of the house goes into HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) teritory and may have to be licenced by council, have fire alarm etc.
      Last time I advertised for tenants for my 2-bed house, I had two lads apply jointly, and at the time I wondered whether I was in HMO territory (the house is not an HMO). Another couple of prospects were a girl and a bloke; and it emerged later on that they were platonic friends who'd want a room each. Again, HMO? Neither of these couples were suitable prospects anyway as it happens, and I let the place to a single person in the end.

      Got me thinking though... if I was to let to a gay couple sharing a bedroom it wouldn't be an HMO, would it, and that would be fine... but if the prospects were straight, and wanted a room each, then it's HMO time?

      So, does this mean that part of my telephone interview for any couple responding to an advert - regardless of whether they are an MM, FF, or MF pair - should be the question, 'Are you in a sexual relationship'?! And if you aren't, I can't legally rent my house to you?!'

      Comment


      • #4
        THanks ...but......

        Many thanks DavidJohnButton and Ericthelobster.

        It is interesting to learn what you have both said. I didnt really know and now i know a bit more! And yes Eric it does seem a bit strange sometimes.

        However its still a bit confusing, not because of what u both wrote but just more questions have just popped into my head!

        1) a 4 bedroom house, let out, individual rooms to seperate and individual people is a HMO right?

        I ask because i have different people with different contracts as they do not have 'Exclusive use' of whole house. (They share lounge, kitchen n bathrooms only. Bedrooms are theirs alone). Other wise i would have put them all on 1 contract ! (probably wud have been easier for me)!

        2) A couple can share a room as long as the rent for that room is payed right? If room is £44 pw, is that what they would pay? Any alternatives to this?

        3). i refused a couple but am wondering, guy was over 20, girl was under 18, what is the standing on the 'under 18' rule?
        (Other than she could not be legally bound as David explained).

        Thanks so much, just id rather be clear. Your help is appreciated and enlightening!
        T.m.

        Comment


        • #5
          Eric, if I read David right, then an HMO means exclusive use of one room to a person and that rented as such. Providing that tenants sign an AST agreement and do not want to rent each room separately then their private lives are their affair.

          Comment


          • #6
            Tenant found to be <18 yrs old

            Hi - I'm having tenant troubles, several problems which include the fact we only discovered that she was under the age of 18 (ie 17 yrs) when she signed the 6 month AST contract AFTER she had signed - is this legal??? Also she is 6 - nearly 7 - weeks overdue with rent, has not paid any council tax or water rates.

            We also know someone else looking to move in and who willing to pay us 3 months rent in advance if we can encourage the current tanant (!) to move out ... so we offered to write off the rent arrears to the current tenant if she would ... just go ... leave !! Alas! she has simplyy dug in her heels - because she is so young and inexperienced we have spoken to her family and her mother confirmed the tenant is free to return to the family home
            but the girl wont go and openly admits that she cant afford the rent !! ARGH

            SO please - all you with experience in these matters - If someone would tell in easy step one, two and three the best way to deal with this I would be really grateful - many thanks for your time

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that someone under 18 can't be bound by an AST. So I'm not sure you can take her to court.

              The question that pops in my mind is what kind of checks have you done prior to letting the property to her ? How can you not know her age ?

              Hopefully an expert will have a quick and easy solution for you but please do your checks properly next time, it would have saved you money and hassle.

              Comment


              • #8
                can an under 18 sign AST

                thanks for your reply - this is my first attempt at being a landlord and only when things began to go wrong did I discover all the things I should have known BEFORE signing a contract with tenant. I feely admit my naivity and stupidity, and I have reached the conclusion that I havnt got what it takes to be a landlord - ideally, I would like to get rid of this undesirable tenant and even sell the property ... some people have what it takes ... and I don''t think I have ! But for the moment, the eviction/repossession and how to do this through the courts is the main concern. (ps the girls mother was present at the signing of the contract and also provided the bond)
                thanks for any help anyone can offer
                V

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes! You're quite right you're in a bit of a mess!

                  As Jennifer rightly points out you cannot normally enter into a legal agreement if you are under 18, but if you do and there is no alternative then you have created a "contract of necessity", and the tenant would have to have a guarantor to undertake she complied with all the covenants. As Jennifer has said a tenant under 18 cannot be bound by the agreement but the guarantor can be. My initial feeling is that you could still have the mother sign a retrospective guarantor's agreement if she's willing as that is quite separate from the tenancy agreement itself. You need to take legal advice on this. One of the specialist solicitors on this site will help you for a fee.

                  Look at it this way as you state it's your first "attempt" at being a landlord. If your first attempt at driving a car was without any instruction, nobody with you, on a busy motorway in a downpour, and the car had no MOT, or lights, and bald tyres (I won't mention the loose nuts!) then you can see where I'm coming from. Unfortunately only when you have a nasty prang do you realise your mistake! What's more the next one is right behind you doing exactly the same thing.

                  However when all's said and done you shouldn't be put off next time as it can be rewarding and of course you'll get it right in future.
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you were induced to offer a tenancy based on the tenant's false statements (in this case that she was 18 or over, but then subsequently found not to be) then possession can be sought on this basis.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      An Option maybe..?!

                      Hi Valerie

                      Like u im still fairly new to being a landlord too. I too have had to ask for advice on some pretty simple and stupid things on here!! To my embarrassement, and as always, there are many people here that will STILL help you. They are all great.

                      I was just reading ur problem and something came to mind!

                      I actually read in a letting book somewhere that a landlord, (experienced author of the book) had a problem and so instead of makeing it worse, he even offered to pay the tenant to get out!
                      I know it sounds a bit extreme but i dont know, its just an idea i suppose.

                      I have not had to resort to that and i hope i never have to!! Even though i too needed info n help desperately too in past.
                      Its Probably waiting for me just around the corner too!!!

                      but i wonder if its worth it for the peace of mind.

                      Sounds extreme as i say, and although many may not agree with this idea..could be an option. i think! Could it!!?

                      If anyone else thinks this is totally wrong or illegal or whatever..please reply to this as i am learning still and any information is always helpfull and very usefull.

                      Thanks.
                      T.m.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a question (I'm not sure how it works in the UK) that maybe lawstudent or someone with the knowledge can answer:

                        The girl being under 18, aren't her parents responsible for her actions ? Can the mum just sit there not taking responsibilities ? Or can she go and get her daughter and force her back home ?
                        A bit like if kids break things in the street and the parents have to pay for the repairs ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Letting to a minor?

                          Hello,

                          I wonder if someone could help me, who has a good knowledge of the legal aspect of residential letting. I am considering an application for an AST from a 17 year old girl with a baby, whose mother is willing to act as guarantor. The financial situation is weak, but the girl is applying for local housing allowance.

                          My question is how to formulate the tenancy agreement so that it will be legally safe for both parties, given that the girl is too young to contract for a tenancy. I do not know the wording needed or who should sign what.

                          Any helpful comments would be appreciated.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You can indeed have an AST in the minor's name as it would be her only or main residence, but her mother could (and should) be her guarantor (as could anyone else 18 years or older). You must have a valid guarantor to protect yourself. This means if rent is unpaid or the tenant breaches any of her obligations then it's the mother you must go after, as you can't enforce the tenancy against a minor.
                            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                              You can indeed have an AST in the minor's name as it would be her only or main residence, but her mother could (and should) be her guarantor (as could anyone else 18 years or older).
                              ARE YOU SURE??????

                              A minor cannot be a legal tenant because it is legally imposible for a minor to hold a legal estate in land therefore the AST be invalid.

                              And as Direct stated how can you inforce a rent guarantee doc the mother signed to guarantee the rent in the contract, if the AST the minor signed is not worth the paper it is writen on?

                              mmmmmmmmmmm?????????????????????

                              Comment

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