Help, family renting my house have separated

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  • Help, family renting my house have separated

    The family who've been renting my house for 18 months now have separated, the father (and rent-payer) has moved out, leaving the wife and children in the house. I've just been informed of this, and wonder what to do. I was told by the father who moved out that he intended to keep paying the rent until tha council started paying it, which should be in a month, and that the mother would like to stay in the house with the children for the long-term.
    Is it a good idea to have a single mother renting your house? Should I serve notice for them to move out?

  • #2
    I take it that this was a joint tenancy and therefore both of the joint tenants will be responsible for payment of the rent until the end of the tenancy.

    If you are contemplating granting a tenancy to the mother then it would be advisable to prepare a letter to the Benefits Office to be signed by your tenant giving the Housing Benefit Office the right to discuss the circumstances the proposed benefit payments with yourself as landlord.

    If Housing Benefit is paid to the mother the Benefits Office may want the tenancy in a single name. There could be a deficit between the amount of benefit and the market rent and so you would need to know how this deficit will be met.

    If you serve a Section 21 Notice (search these forums for more information on details) you will be in a position to require possession with an expiry date of two months. If however you grant a new tenancy it will be for six months.

    You can enter discussions as to whether or not a new single tenancy can be granted to the mother. This could be subject to guarantor arrangements and income checks etc. You must however ensure that the father, in writing, gives up any interest he has in the existing tenancy agreement prior to the granting of a new single tenancy. Stress that both tenants are jointly liable for the rent until the property is vacated or a new single tenancy is granted.
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


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