Tenant wishes to move BF in - how to proceed?

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    Tenant wishes to move BF in - how to proceed?

    My tenant has written to me explaining that she wishes to move her boyfriend in to the 2 bed flat I let to her. She is 9 months in to a 12 month AST. The AST is in her name only.

    I have no major objection to them co-habiting, however I would like to increase the rent as a direct result of the new situation - can anyone please advise how do I proceed? For example:

    1) Can I make a new agreement with both tenants names? (I'm worried that if only her name is on the AST and he moves in, this could make for a difficult situation if they split up and she moves out).

    2) Can I simply raise the rent after a certain notice period, or only once the existing AST expires? (I am happy to give one months notice that the rent will increase but would rather not have to wait 3 months - which is the end of the exisiting agreement - to raise it).

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    #2
    Originally posted by janine1271 View Post
    1) Can I make a new agreement with both tenants names? (I'm worried that if only her name is on the AST and he moves in, this could make for a difficult situation if they split up and she moves out).
    You would do better to leave the boyfriend as her lodger, that way he has no rights of tenure, so long as you do not accept rent directly from him. Just leave the AST as it is. You could do a new joint tenancy when this one ends, or you could leave it to go into a statutory periodic tenancy, where all the terms remain the same except that notice periods are as laid down in the housing act.


    Originally posted by janine1271 View Post
    2) Can I simply raise the rent after a certain notice period, or only once the existing AST expires? (I am happy to give one months notice that the rent will increase but would rather not have to wait 3 months - which is the end of the exisiting agreement - to raise it).
    You must wait a minimum of a year before you can raise the rent, you cannot just decide that contract does not suit you anymore, you signed it, now stick to it. There are procedures for doing it correctly.

    Your tenant is within her rights to move her b/f in anyway unless you have some unusual terms in her contract with you.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Warning: if there is a new letting to T + BF jointly:
      a. deposit will need re-protecting; and
      b. the six-month rule- see s.21(5)- will start from scratch, as old T is not new T (so new letting is not a 'replacement tenancy as defined).
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        If you do end up getting a new contract for both tenants don't forget:
        references
        deposit protection
        rent guarantee insurance
        new inventory/ condition schedule
        etc

        Comment


          #5
          When my T asked a similar question, I suggested to her that we don't sign a new AST, and just keep things as they are. She was happy with this suggestion.

          I made clear (in writing) that she would remain fully liable for the rent during the term, and that none of the conditions of the contract had changed as a result of her boyfriend moving in. Frankly, it suited me not to have to change anything and I like just her being liable. I haven't raised the rent as a result (and didn't at the end of that period when she signed a new 6 months AST), but will probably make a small increase next April when she'll be due (hopefully) to sign a new 6 month contract. She's an excellent T so I may not even raise the rent then, even though she's already getting a bargain and got an extra person in at no extra cost.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jta View Post
            You would do better to leave the boyfriend as her lodger, that way he has no rights of tenure, [B]so long as you do not accept rent directly from him[/B
            If he did that, what would happen in the following scenario?

            January - BF moves in as tenant's lodger; tenant continues to pay rent by standing order
            March - Tenant and BF fall out, tenant moves out, cancels standing order, and disappears. BF sets up new standing order from his own bank account. All unbeknown to landlord.
            June - Landlord receives no rent, so calls round to the property to chase it up and finds out what's happened. On consulting his bank statements he finds that for the past three months he's been receiving the rent payment from the BF, not the tenant.
            July - BF (who is an unemployed former bankrupt with 17 current CCJs) is still paying no rent and LL wants to repossess the property.

            Under the above circumstances, hasn't LL been accepting rent from the BF and so has created a tenancy?

            Comment


              #7
              If you are happy with the BF and his refs if any. Why not start a new contract from now with both on as joint tenants and a higher rent. The old contract would then be invalid.

              But take note of what Jeffrey posted.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by janine1271 View Post
                I have no major objection to them co-habiting, however I would like to increase the rent as a direct result of the new situation
                Why do you want to increase the rent just because her boyfriend is moving in? Did you negotiate a lower-than-advertised rent because she was going to be living there alone?

                If not, then unless it's an all inclusive rent (i.e. CT & bills), I don't really understand what justification there is for a rent increase. Frankly, if I were your tenant and you tried that, I'd be looking for somewhere else to live on principle.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                  If he did that, what would happen in the following scenario?

                  January - BF moves in as tenant's lodger; tenant continues to pay rent by standing order
                  March - Tenant and BF fall out, tenant moves out, cancels standing order, and disappears. BF sets up new standing order from his own bank account. All unbeknown to landlord.
                  June - Landlord receives no rent, so calls round to the property to chase it up and finds out what's happened. On consulting his bank statements he finds that for the past three months he's been receiving the rent payment from the BF, not the tenant.
                  July - BF (who is an unemployed former bankrupt with 17 current CCJs) is still paying no rent and LL wants to repossess the property.

                  Under the above circumstances, hasn't LL been accepting rent from the BF and so has created a tenancy?
                  No, because T's tenancy has not come to an end.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment

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