Visa question

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  • Visa question

    Hi

    We have been renting a two-bed flat to two very nice tenants for the last 12 months. We have offered to extend their contract without an increase in rent, as we are keen to keep them.

    One tenant has emailed me today saying that they would like to extend the tenancy, but she would like her fiance to move in with them. The other tenant is fine with this.

    My question is this: her fiance is American and will be coming over on a fiance visa, and won't be working for the first 6 months, as he's not legally permitted to until they're married.

    Would you recommend omitting him from the contract (and therefore making his partner responsible for his share of the rent), or adding him to the contract?

    Are there any other issues I need to be aware of? It's a two-double bedroom flat, so can't see that it's going to be a multiple occupancy issue.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    It sounds like you have a perfectly acceptable and working contract already in place. There is no benefit to you in changing this. You've already acknowledged that this fellow won't be earning for at least six months, so why add any rent liability onto him. Also, if he defaulted, you're certainly not going to chase him to the states for the debt.
    Leave it with the partner - her choice to have him move in, therefore her problem.
    Can't answer the HMO issue as it's not my ballpark.
    I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

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    • #3
      If it is a joint tenancy, there isn't a "share" of the rent.
      They all owe "all" of the rent.

      I see no benefit to you adding a foreigner to the agreement at this stage, only scope for misunderstandings.
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurasplog View Post
        Are there any other issues I need to be aware of? It's a two-double bedroom flat, so can't see that it's going to be a multiple occupancy issue.

        Thanks in advance.
        It will not be an HMO as they will be related sharers (conjugal/married) comprising only one household.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


        • #5
          Why go to cost of formally extending T, you don't want to increase rent, so automatic SPT should suffice for all. Yank tech an unknown quantity, and couples do split, move elsewhere, so automatic SPT may be pref, 2 months LL notice for female T spouse, 1 month on her part. See how it goes.
          3 people, 2 engaged, shouldn't attract HMO interest IMO.

          Comment


          • #6
            The OP and their tenant want to extend the tenancy for another fixed term and has indicated they already have an agreement for this in principle so I don't think a statutory periodic tenancy would be suitable (unless there are other circumstances we do not know about).

            I'm going to take the opposite approach from the other posters on this thread and ask why you would not add the extra tenant to the agreement. You have another person you can sue for the rent and by including him on the agreement you also bind him to all the obligations that the other tenants owe. It's free for you to add another name to the agreement and you have someone else to chase should the tenants default so the potential benefit more than outweighs the cost (enforcing English judgments in US State courts also isn't that hard, just make sure you include a governing law and jurisdiction clause in your contract).

            If the couple splits (and if they're engaged this would seem a risk not appreciably larger than for a married couple) you can redraft the tenancy very easily.
            Disclaimer:

            The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with bhaal. There is no reason not to include the newcomer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                I agree with bhaal. There is no reason not to include the newcomer.
                I would say "There is no reason that I can see".
                There are reasons.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a very similar situation with a Canadian couple. She was over on a student visa, the fiancee had a holiday visa. I just left her on the tenancy. No problems at all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks all. There is no cost to adding the new tenant to the agreement, as we issue the contracts ourselves.

                    We would need to issue a new contract anyway, because the original contract was only for a 12-month period, and will expire soon.

                    Thanks all for your help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How about a compromise; note the newcomer as a "Permitted Occupier" which acknowledges his occupancy but not his tenancy rights.

                      It will not be an HMO as they will be related sharers (conjugal/married) comprising only one household.
                      I believe it will be if the original two tenants are unrelated!
                      I used to be indecisive but now I'm not quite sure!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                        It will not be an HMO as they will be related sharers (conjugal/married) comprising only one household.
                        If current tenants are already related it will not be a HMO (ie remain 1 household).

                        If current tenants are un related, it wlll go from:

                        2 individuals forming 2 households (not HMO) to
                        3 individuals forming 2 households (HMO)

                        RE post #10, you don't need to issue a new agreement, the law (section 5, 1988 Housing Act) creates a periodic one anyway.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks. So the current two tenants are unrelated, and the third person will be related (eventually by marriage).

                          Looking at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/homeandc...ards/dg_189200, it seems this now forms an HMO.

                          Providing the council has no additional stipulations in terms of licensing, what does this mean for a landlord's responsibility?

                          Laura

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well there is this:
                            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2.../contents/made
                            and this:
                            http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...cense-required

                            so (subject to licensing requirements) it's not too onerous.

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