Adding Someone Else to Tenancy - Please help!

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    Adding Someone Else to Tenancy - Please help!

    Hi, I could really do with some advice as I'm having kittens ATM.

    A year and a half ago I rented the council property I had bought to a neighbour, so I could move out without financial burden.

    It's an AST, in order to ease her moving in I waived a bond, allowed her to pay her 'month up front' in £50 monthly additions to her rent.

    Since that time she has run up about £500 in rent arrears, one whole month just not showing up and Christmas resulting in smaller payments etc., I haven't persued them and told her "don't worry about them" (more fool me).

    Now, despite this sorry list it gets worse, it turns out she has a fella living with her and apparently they want to get married. Not a problem in itself, but she asked me to add him onto the lease. At first I stumbled an "OK", but phoned her back the same day to say "no, thanks, it's not something I want to do". Then she called me around the house, they did a charm offensive and I felt a bit rail roaded, he offered to provide info on previous tenancies (quite what they're supposed to be proof of I don't know). SO I kinda nodded and agreed, went away and started to fret..

    The long and short of it is this: My tenant moved in with an absolute boatload of bonuses at my expense, hasn't kept up with the rent and now her 'fiance' (I've no proof they're getting married, only just met the bloke) claims that he needs to be on the tenancy for 'his will' and 'insurance' purposes. Am I being spun a complete lie to make me hogtie myself even further? I am extremely uncomfortable with this, the entire 'landlord' thing just isn't me at all, I really would like a little advice! (Do feel free to call me a fool too, I think I need to hear it).

    I sincerely hope this is a troll - if not, you are in a right old mess, aren't you?

    The tenant is clearly riding roughshod over you and taking the p*ss big time.

    My advice would be to get shot of these tenants ASAP... without wishing to be offensive, but judging by your lack of assertiveness I think you'd be best handing over the whole legal eviction process to a professional and referring any future communications from the tenant to them. If you get involved with it personally, it's pretty evident that you'll have no success and they'll wheadle their way into having you let them stay on.

    And if you let the place out again - use an agent! (God, did I just write that?? )


      Unfortunately, no, I am no troll. This has been going on for 18 months.

      If these tenants do go then the house is straight up for sale, as you say I just don't have one iota of assertiveness in these matters and am hopelessly mismatched with the situation.

      From your response I take it that it's a simple YES, they are trying to do me over (again). In that case I'll start writing the refusal letter from now (bank documents are already in the post so I can pick up exactly how is owed and suggest a plan for repayment).


        Originally posted by Julian_Jones
        From your response I take it that it's a simple YES, they are trying to do me over (again).
        Well, you know the individuals involved...

        My only query would be as to why the new fella wants to be put on the tenancy agreement. Can't see why a will or insurance policy would have anything to do with that at all. Why doesn't he just move in (oh, he already has) and be done with it? Isn't he concerned he would somehow take on his partner's debt? If there is some valid reason, have them pay off the arrears first and then say you'll think about it. (only think!)

        In fact, you can't just add him to the AST, you'd have to set up a new AST from scratch in both their names. And do you really want to go down that road? For a start, you'd be committed to a further 6 months minimum...

        The only possible light at the end of the tunnel might be that if there are now two of them living there (do either/both work?) then between them they might be better able to afford to pay the rent, but from what you say I wouldn't hold my breath.


          Quite why he feels the need to be on the tenancy is beyond me. This business about wills/insurance seems false anyway, he's already living there and claims to have done for eight months, does the 'marriage' really alter anything?

          From my (extremely limited) understanding, the AST has now 'rolled-on' meaning that it has expired and that my tenant now requires at least 2 months notice to vacate the property, is that correct? And that if I update the tenancy now, I reset it back to six? I should know this flipping stuff back to front already -.- It wasn't my wish to rent out in the first place, it's been a ton of bricks around my neck ever since - hence I avoided the subject rather than getting my facts straight.

          They are both in full employment, which makes matters worse. The property rent is below the local threshhold at only £300 PCM anyway - a one bedroom stinkhole in student dorms with a shared toaster and bathroom would cost £60 per person a week, they're paying £150 each per month for a two-bedroomed terrace to themselves.

          Another thing holding me back is the constant fear of bills associated with the house, it might well have risen in value (and the 3 years cool-off period where the council would reclaim at least some of their discount has now expired), but I've been over a barrel if the rent doesn't come in, I've no way of paying it off myself. I'm just that used to being on the back-foot to keep some rent coming in I've been a pushover.

          For a start they're getting a polite enough but to the point refusal letter RE: the tenancy, and in it mention of bringing payments up to date via installments. If they start messing me around or not cooperating I will contact one of the organisations listed here, dispose of the property quickly and get a fat cheque instead of a headache.

          Thanks for your advice, this subject has been hanging over me for too darned long.


            I wouldn't trust either of them as far as I could throw them.

            I would definitely give them notice - if they are more than 2 months in arrears at the time of issuing a S8 and again at the court date, you'll be able to get them out a bit quicker than with a S21 (I think) - perhaps someone else can clarify?

            I would certainly NOT enter into a new AST which binds you in for a further 6 months.

            However what I personally would do is box a little clever .. write the letter and say that you cannot give any consideration to issuing a new AST in both names unless all the arrears are paid in full, together with the bond amount. Only once you have received those arrears will you be able to consider it. I would not propose any installment plan - its up to them to suggest one to you .. and mark the letter WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

            If they want the property that much (and who wouldn't at that rent??) they might well decide to pay up to get what they want. In the meantime issue a
            S21 and get rid of them (hopefully after they've paid the arrears) - you can always tell them (verbally, not in writing) that once the arrears have been paid you'll withdraw it.

            I know it sounds a bit devious but hey! it's not illegal, and if it helps you get some money back ...

            and then sell.

            A word of warning about selling to one of these companies that offer to buy quickly from you .. most ask for an up front payment for valuation (which is "done" exernally") and then they offer you something ridiculous like 70% of the real value .. be very, very careful !! There have been a lot of complaints about this type of company.

            Lastly, you also need to tell them that you are also entitled to your privacy and not to call at your home again - if they need to get in touch with you it can be done by phone. That way, you won't feel so bamboozled by them.

            Good luck
            Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE


              Thank you too Pippay, your ideas are deliciously devious. I'm not 100% comfortable with doing that, to be honest, however it's a guarantee that the tenancy is not getting touched.

              I think it's just clicked. This guy has had previous tenancies and has probably forgotten more about rental than I know. If I renewed the tenancy then I'd effectively have chained myself to them AND their owed rent, giving them cart blanche to underpay me for another six months or provaricate over the outstanding, then clearing off when it suits them and leaving me with the debt and more time to witter. The whole thing's just a ruse to make me rush to change the tenancy and shoot myself in the foot, I think, rather than there being any other intent behind it.

              By refusing, highlighting the deficit and inviting them to respond, I'm effectively giving them the "cough up or sod off". The tenant can either honour the agreement or take her notice/get given the notice by a legal firm.

              UGH! Why didn't I ask you guys this a year ago..

              I'm gonna do the letter, ending as you've indicated (I'm assuming that's the correct way of doing these things every time, I'll be looking that up as well as getting my act together with the FAQs here on site).

              Incedentally, they hadn't actually come to my home, I'd been invited to the property to pick up more junk mail that keeps getting sent there regardless of how many times I've phoned the companies responsible for it. I'm going to set up mail redirects to solve that, and suggest in the letter that all future requests are done so by letter (unless it's an emergency, obviously). Vicious circles are for muzzling.

              Either it will right itself pretty quickly or it'll come to a head, but no more dodging the issue. With the relevant info (and aid from here or a specialist solicitor or whoever), I should have this sewn up. Thank you all very much, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.


                You'll get there ..

                the Without Prejudice is basically saying that they can't use the letter to argue that you agreed to renew after they paid the arrears etc .. also that it doesn't prejudice your right to take other action against them ( but you don't actually have to write that bit)

                Sending a WP letter protects you not them.

                If you need any more help , I'm sure everyone on here will do their utmost.
                Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE


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