Tenant has moved in a friend w/o Landlord's consent?

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  • Tenant has moved in a friend w/o Landlord's consent?

    Asking on behalf of a friend -

    She rents out her house through an agency on a 12 month AST. Her tenant was reference checked and needed a guarantor which was fine.

    The tenancy expires in August and she has arranged with the agency to advise the tenant in due course that they won't be renewing the tenancy and to serve the relevent notice to repossess as she wants to put the property on the market for sale.

    To date the notice hasn't been served although the tenant knows that the tenancy won't be renewed.

    The agency have had a call from the tenant to say her friend has moved into the property as of last week because she had lost her job (the girl thats just moved in) but had found a new one but needed time to get back on her feet. She will be staying until the end of the tenancy.

    My friend's agency has told the girl that this should have been raised as a request to the Landlord (my friend) prior to the girl moving in and in any event she will need to be reference checked and added to the agreement by way of a codicil. The agency have told the girl that the reference cost will be £20 (what the company they use charge them, no profit to the agency) and that they will make no charge for the documentation and admin time which I think is pretty reasonable ?

    Anyway the original tenant is raising hell and saying that their budget is too tight to afford the £20 and why does the landlady want references when there is only three months of the agreement left!

    My friend is concerned that if the tenant's friend doesnt do the references and sign the codicil that the agent wont be able to serve a valid notice and or/ there may be implications if the original tenant vacates and her friend refuses to leave?

    She will of course be contacting the agency later to discuss these concerns as they have been very helpful thus far but if anyone had any experience of a similar situation it might put her mind at rest / and /or give her background info to make an informed decision I would appreciate it - its a bit out of my knowledge field!

    Essentially whats the worst that could happen?

    The tenancy agreement does say not to 'assign underlet charge or part possession with the premises' but do any of these apply since the tenant's friend (as we understand it) is not making a contribution towards the rent.

    Regards

  • #2
    Contribution or not, T has parted with possession of part of the premises.
    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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    • #3
      I have also posted here and have received advice that my friend may be better to let the situation pan out?

      forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2460405

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Moromir View Post
        My friend is concerned that if the tenant's friend doesnt do the references and sign the codicil that the agent wont be able to serve a valid notice and or/ there may be implications if the original tenant vacates and her friend refuses to leave?
        If LL serves notice on the current T, and obtains a possession order, and it is enforced by a bailiff, the bailiff will evict whoever is still occupying the property, whether that is T or T's friend.

        It's a bad idea to add the friend to the tenancy agreement, because if a new joint tenancy is created, then LL cannot obtain a possession order sooner than six months after the date the new tenancy commences. The deposit would also have to be re-protected against the new tenancy before a s.21 notice could be served. The guarantor would not be liable for losses in respect of the new tenancy. In short, wholly disadvantageous to LL.

        I don't know whether adding a 'codicil' would, in fact, create a new tenancy, but even if it didn't, there is no advantage to LL whatsoever.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          Contribution or not, T has parted with possession of part of the premises.
          How? T has not given the friend exclusive possession of any part of the property. The friend is surely just a guest?

          Comment


          • #6
            Who said 'exclusive'?
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
              Who said 'exclusive'?
              How can T part with possession whilst retaining rights of access?

              Comment


              • #8
                Easy, if that's what the documentation provides. Even a long-leasehold does just that.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  Easy, if that's what the documentation provides. Even a long-leasehold does just that.
                  I meant retaining full rights of access, as in T can freely wander in and out of the room the friend is using, or store her clothes in the wardrobe in that room, etc. The sort of behaviour one associates with having a guest to stay; an arrangement which is generally undocumented. Moreover, there may not even be a spare bedroom; perhaps the friend is sleeping on a sofabed.

                  This being the case, in what way has T "parted with possession of part of the premises" by allowing a friend to stay/sleep at the property?

                  Comment

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