Tenant lied about her age

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    Tenant lied about her age

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm desperdate for help. I have rented my house out to a girl with 2 children who told me she was 18. She has only been in 3 weeks and it has now come out that she lied about her age and is in fact 17. I would never have rented her the house without a guarantor is i'd known this. Am I right in thinking the tenancy agreement is invalid as she is too young to sign a legal document and how do I get her out? how much notice etc?

    Thanks

    #2
    Yes you're in a bit of a mess. You obviously didn't do any proper checks on this person so you have brought it on yourself a little bit.

    A guarantor wouldn't have been much use either. I think you need proper legal advice under the circumstances.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      The grant of a tenancy to someone under 18 is not automatically invalid. The general rule is that a contract between an adult and a minor binds the adult but not the minor. A relevant exception is where the contract is for a necessary when it binds the minor. It has been held that a minor may be sued for payment of rent. So long as the tenant keeps paying rent and does not otherwise breach the terms of the agreement there is nothing you can do* - and indeed really there is nothing you need to do. Once the tenant reaches 18 the problem goes away unless the tenant repudiates the tenancy within a reasonable time.

      *For the record though ground 17 of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988 may be available. That gives the court the discretion to end a tenancy where it was granted relying on a false statement made by the tenant. You do though need to have provided for the ground in the tenancy agreement.

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        #4
        I do have ground 17 in my tenancy agreement so will use that to get her out. I am aware of the mess that I am in that's why I am asking for help. I am new to all this and will not be doing it again. I know I haven't helped myself but I can't go back now can I so only helpful advice would be appreciated. I'm stressed enough with the whole thing without being slated on here too.

        Comment


          #5
          Bear we all make mistakes - I made worse than yours when I started...

          Hope it works out, G17 is discretionary so it's up to the Judge if he grants possession order or not: With 2 kids in tow Judge may favour tenant. If rent is being paid & place looked after then maybe just wait until S21 which, if all other paperwork OK, should be guaranteed. Was there a deposit, was t protected within 30 days & has the PI been served?

          Having said all that a single parent of 17 with 2 kids would perhaps understandably be tempted to take dodgy steps to secure a place for her family, bit no I'm not condoning it.

          Cheers!
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            why do you want her out after only three weeks ? if rent is paid monthly then none would be due yet, I assume you took deposit and first month rent in advance? if she continues to pay rent when due and abides by the tenancy agreement, what's the problem? you don't suggest that are any other problems in your initial post, just the age issue?

            if you really want to make it clear that you know she lied, then go and see her, explain that you are not happy about her lies and have considered evicting her, explain you are letting her stay BUT any more infringements would be looked at less favourably, sort of a first warning (in writing aswell as verbally)

            and next time, if there is one, carry out proper checks, obtain sight of ORIGINAL age verification ID and ask for photocopy to keep in your records

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