Tenancy at Common Law

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    Tenancy at Common Law

    Hi there

    I have been approached about a flat I have available to rent by a site manager for a large construction company who wants to live near the site he is managing Monday to Friday, going home at weekends. When I did the viewing and he put down a holding deposit it was on the understanding that he would be the tenant, so the credit checks and the AST would be in his name.
    Having got a bit further down the line his company are now saying that they want to have the tenancy agreement in the name of the company, and the company will pay the rent. Having done a forum search I have found from one of Paul F's previous replies that this creates a 'Tenancy at Common Law'.

    On the plus side I have what seems to be an ideal tenant who will probably stay for 18 months.
    On the negative side I don't have one of these tenancy agreements, and being unfamiliar with the law pertaining to this type of contract I am wary of making a c**k-up on it.

    Does anyone out there have more experience with the pros and cons of this type of agreement, and where I can find a good copy of the contract if I do decide to go ahead on this basis?
    Also, if I did let to the company, can I restrict the use to this one person, or can they basically put who they like in there? It's a luxury flat, so to be honest whilst I am happy to let it to a suited manager I don't want to find they later move a bunch of 4 brickies in there. Apologies to all brickies out there.

    You probably wouldn't be able to have an AST anyway as it would not have been the tenant's only or main home which is a requirement of an AST.

    If you do a tenancy at common law there is nothing wrong in using an AST as a template but you should remove all references to the Housing Acts. You should also take into account that if you are doing a company let then you must use the company's registered office as their address on the tenancy agreement, not their local office. You also need to know the person signing the agreement has authority to do so and you should request a copy of that part of the company "Articles of Association" or "Memorandum" to show who may sign on the company's behalf.

    There is no "unfair terms" in common law tenancies to companies, and only applies to individual consumers.

    If in doubt use a knowledgable solicitor but make sure you get paid for the extra work by your client.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


      Thanks for the info Paul - can I ask for clarification on a couple of points?

      1) How is the only/main home part decided? My tenant plans to stay at the flat 5 days a week and will return to his family at weekends (he also says he intends for his family to occasionally come to stay with him at the flat). What would be the deciding factor here?
      2) Can you offer any guidance on the term of the contract as I notice from one of your previous posts you say it is not as restrictive as an AST ie minimum 6 months.

      Many thanks, Lisa


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