Letting to son and girlfriend

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  • Letting to son and girlfriend

    My son and his girlfriend are about to move into a property which I own. I've always let this through an agent so I just want to make sure that I do everything properly.

    I need to give them a copy of the gas check and the EPC. I'm not asking for a deposit so presumably I don't have to do anything about the protection scheme. Is there anything else I need to do?

    Also, I'm wondering about whose name to put on the lease. Should I put both? I want his girlfriend to feel secure so her name needs to be on it but should I put both? She's likely to be moving in a couple of months before him so do I issue one lease in her name and then a new one in joint names when he moves in?

    What do I do about gas/electricity/water/council tax? The house will have been unoccupied for a couple of months so we must be liable for some of these costs. The LA has always sorted all this for us previously...

    Any advice much appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by suezq View Post
    Is there anything else I need to do?
    If property is mortgaged, check your mortgage terms and conditions to see if letting to family members is allowed.

    Originally posted by suezq View Post
    What do I do about gas/electricity/water/council tax? The house will have been unoccupied for a couple of months so we must be liable for some of these costs.
    You may be able to apply for a Council Tax exemption if property is unoccupied (and unfurnished - in my area) for up to 6 months.
    The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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    • #3
      I agree with what Tom999's said; also:
      Originally posted by suezq View Post
      I'm wondering about whose name to put on the lease. Should I put both? I want his girlfriend to feel secure so her name needs to be on it but should I put both? She's likely to be moving in a couple of months before him so do I issue one lease in her name and then a new one in joint names when he moves in?
      I can't see any reason for not putting your son's name on the lease too. If were someone other than your son moving in there'd probably be a case for delaying/issuing a new agrrement when he does move in, but if I were in your shoes I wouldn't worry. (I suppose the theoretical/potential exposure/risk is that if your son decided not to move in having signed the lease, and the girl stopped paying rent, then you could go after your son for the rent instead!)

      What do I do about gas/electricity/water/council tax? The house will have been unoccupied for a couple of months so we must be liable for some of these costs.
      Just make sure (personally) that all the bills are transferred to the new tenants' names from the start date of the tenancy, ensure you agree the meter readings with the incoming tenant, and pass these (personally) to the utility companies, so everyone knows where they stand. You'll be liable for any bills due for the void period (hopefully you have meter readings from when the previous occupiers vacated?)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by suezq View Post
        Also, I'm wondering about whose name to put on the lease. Should I put both? I want his girlfriend to feel secure so her name needs to be on it but should I put both? She's likely to be moving in a couple of months before him so do I issue one lease in her name and then a new one in joint names when he moves in?
        You can put both on the same agreement, it will be fine so long as it is the main residence for one of them.
        What do I do about gas/electricity/water/council tax? The house will have been unoccupied for a couple of months so we must be liable for some of these costs.
        Take a reading of the utilities on the day they move in. You will have a closing reading from when your previous tenants left if not, ask your agent. Phone the utility company with both figures and they will amend their records to show son & gf as new customers and bill you for the bit in-between.

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        • #5
          Is it a house or a flat? Is it freehold or leasehold (in L's ownership)?
          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).

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          • #6
            It's a house, freehold, no mortgage. It will be AST.

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            • #7
              Insurance cover on buildings and contents

              Check your insurance policy before setting up the Tenancy Agreement.

              In order not to void the policy, you may find that you are required to take up references on potential tenants, and find them satisfactory, before entering into an agreement [yes, even on your own son].

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              • #8
                With a parental guarantor (= L)?!
                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).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sad S View Post
                  Check your insurance policy before setting up the Tenancy Agreement.

                  In order not to void the policy, you may find that you are required to take up references on potential tenants, and find them satisfactory, before entering into an agreement [yes, even on your own son].
                  Thanks for this it was something that hadn't occurred to me. I've checked and there's nothing about references so I'm OK on that score.

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                  • #10
                    All bills and utilities are the owner’s responsibility during a void. My suggestion is to use utility companies that do not have a standing charge. For council tax consider claiming single person discount.

                    Reference and credit check the girlfriend if you think you want to put both his and her name on the tenancy agreement.

                    On the other hand you can let solely to your son, then his girlfriend would be treated as his lodger. He needs to sign a licence to lodge agreement with her (becoming her immediate resident landlord), preferably with a very short notice period. This would be my preferred option.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                      you can let solely to your son, then his girlfriend would be treated as his lodger. He needs to sign a licence to lodge agreement with her (becoming her immediate resident landlord), preferably with a very short notice period. This would be my preferred option.
                      But not if the girl's moving in 2 months before the son, though?!

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                      • #12
                        Sorry, read that a bit too quickly. Please disregard the last paragraph of post #10.

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                        • #13
                          Thank you all for your help, much appreciated!

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