Letting to sole tenant or to him plus girlfriend too?

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  • Letting to sole tenant or to him plus girlfriend too?

    Hi, I don't think this has been posted before, but a small question...

    A friend of mine is thinking of renting his property to a gentleman who would also like his girlfriend to live there as well. (Both are over 18). Whilst it sounds like a good idea to have her name on the tenancy as well, is this essential and are there any obvious ramifications with just having him named as a tenant and not her.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    No, it's not! The property can be rented to the gentleman who is the only name on the lease. As such he is solely responsible for paying the rent and other outgoings. His girlfriend then lives there as his guest, they can come to any agreement they want with regard to her contribution to the household costs, and as she will have no rights whatsoever, he can change her at will if they fall out!

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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
      No, it's not! The property can be rented to the gentleman who is the only name on the lease. As such he is solely responsible for paying the rent and other outgoings. His girlfriend then lives there as his guest, they can come to any agreement they want with regard to her contribution to the household costs, and as she will have no rights whatsoever, he can change her at will if they fall out!

      P.P.
      Or, better still, name both as tenants. That way, they are jointly and severally liable for whole rent- protection for L in case one of them walks out on the other.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        Or, better still, name both as tenants. That way, they are jointly and severally liable for whole rent- protection for L in case one of them walks out on the other.
        But is that necessarily the best way forward? Particularly if the girl doesn't pass the normal tenant criteria in terms of income. references whatever. If the bloke walks out leaving her behind, surely the LL would be in a much better position to evict her as a squatter than as a tenant?

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        • #5
          But what about all the clauses in standard tenancy agreements against subletting without landlords permission. I thought that that was precisely to avoid the situation where someone could be given permission by a third party (the tenant) to live in your house - and thereby acquire rights which you were not party to.

          I would be uncomfortable with people living in the house with whom I had no formal agreement. If the bloke walks out on her, she isn't necessarily a squatter - she could be his tenant/lodger (not yours) - potentially muddy waters.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MDM View Post
            I would be uncomfortable with people living in the house with whom I had no formal agreement. If the bloke walks out on her, she isn't necessarily a squatter - she could be his tenant/lodger (not yours) - potentially muddy waters.
            Well the agreement with the original tenant will specify that he's not allowed to sublet, as you say. But there's a difference between a sub-let tenant and guest, and indeed if you tell your tenant he can't have guests (regardless of how long-term) then as I understand it that constitutes the dreaded "interfering with quiet enjoyment".

            I don't know what happens legally if it emerges that the hypothetical ex-tenant had sublet to the hypothetical girl without your consent... would that actually give her more rights if the LL wanted her out, than if she hadn't sublet? Would be interested to know.

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            • #7
              Sub-letting means the original tenant would move out and the new tenant take over the tenancy on a sub-lease, so if the girlfriend stays she can be a permitted occupier. Anyway they're bound to fall out!
              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.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                Anyway they're bound to fall out!
                Paul_f
                Keep existing job. Probably better if you don't apply to be an agony aunt!
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whilst we are on the subject of lodgers;

                  A standard agreement (OFT friendly) I have, does not include a 'no lodgers' clause. Is it 'unfair' (OFT) to put 'no lodgers' on the agreement? .


                  Because of the potential of turning a home into an HMO when 3 or more people are in occupation, a landlord may need to restrict the number to 2 people in his property. The clause for 'no subletting of any part of the property' is not sufficient protection.
                  All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                  * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

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                  • #10
                    I think the standard covering clause is "no lodgers without the landlord's written consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld." Then it is not an unfair agreement. It would be reasonable for the landlord to expect the lodger/subleasee to pass the same checks and standards as applied to the tenant and to have no right of tenure beyond the the end of the tenancy.

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