Tenant wants partner and son to move in

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    Tenant wants partner and son to move in

    I have a three bed house rented to a Philippino couple with a young son and a friend of theirs. They have been good tenants and we've had no problems at all.

    The friend's husband and young son have been trying to get visas to come to the UK and have asked if they can live in the same house if and when they succeed.

    In principle I have no objection, but there are only three bedrooms and it will be a squeeze with two couples and two children. Obviously the biggest compromise is theirs, but I would like to know how this could impact me, what precautions I should take or whether I should just say 'no'.

    Is there any justification for charging a higher rent under such circumstances.

    #2
    It might be wise to check with your local authority environmental health department as to whether such a situation would make your property a HMO (house in multiple occupation) and if so what the implications of this may be.

    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jpfinney View Post
      Is there any justification for charging a higher rent under such circumstances.
      You cannot unilaterally change the rent set in a fixed-term AST. Section 13 of 1988 Act applies only to periodic tenancies.
      To avoid this problem, you could offer to allow-in the new arrival [the friend's husband] IF (but only if) T + he enter into a replacement AST at increased rent.
      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


        #4
        Originally posted by jpfinney View Post
        I have a three bed house rented to a Philippino couple with a young son and a friend of theirs. They have been good tenants and we've had no problems at all.

        The friend's husband and young son have been trying to get visas to come to the UK and have asked if they can live in the same house if and when they succeed.

        In principle I have no objection, but there are only three bedrooms and it will be a squeeze with two couples and two children. Obviously the biggest compromise is theirs, but I would like to know how this could impact me, what precautions I should take or whether I should just say 'no'.

        Is there any justification for charging a higher rent under such circumstances.

        This is a hard one but if I were in your shoes, I will let them and charge them an Extra but this will be on the side which is different from what is on the AST - I suppose there are legal implications for this. Since you say they are good Rent paying People, you should not have a problem with it - Suppose the LAW will. It's your call in the end.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the useful advice.

          I will check with the council first regarding the HMO situation.

          I'd assumed that a new AST would be needed anyway as I wouldn't want anybody in the house who's name wasn't on the AST. This isn't a big problem and I can't see any objections being raised.

          If I'm making a new AST, this would be a good time to discuss a possible change to the rent amount, but I'd need to justify this rather than just using the situation to my advantage. Apart from the obvious increase in wear and tear and the possible extra work of dealing with an HMO, what other reasons could be to propose an increase in the rent? I'm sure that any drawbacks and costs will become clear afterwards but any advice on this matter before proceeding would be much appreciated.

          I know it's 'how long is a piece of string', but what kind of increase would be considered normal in these circumstances? Current rent is £750 PCM which is typical for this type of property in this area.
          Last edited by jpfinney; 10-10-2007, 12:33 PM. Reason: Typo

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpfinney View Post
            Thanks for the useful advice.

            I will check with the council first regarding the HMO situation.

            I'd assumed that a new AST would be needed anyway as I wouldn't want anybody in the house who's name wasn't on the AST. This isn't a big problem and I can't see any objections being raised.

            If I'm making a new AST, this would be a good time to discuss a possible change to the rent amount, but I'd need to justify this rather than just using the situation to my advantage. Apart from the obvious increase in wear and tear and the possible extra work of dealing with an HMO, what other reasons could be to propose an increase in the rent? I'm sure that any drawbacks and costs will become clear afterwards but any advice on this matter before proceeding would be much appreciated.

            I know it's 'how long is a piece of string', but what kind of increase would be considered normal in these circumstances? Current rent is £750 PCM which is typical for this type of property in this area.
            If these extra people will make it an HMO best to steer well clear unless you want to spend loads of money.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ah84 View Post
              If these extra people will make it an HMO best to steer well clear unless you want to spend loads of money.
              Having spoken to the council, I've been advised that if it's an HMO I'll have to deal with the tenants' council tax and will be required to provide an electrical safety certificate in addition to the gas one, but what other expenses are there likely to be?

              I'd obviously want to increase the rent to cover the extra work/responsibilities, but I'd also have two separate ASTs which could justify a higher overall rent.

              I'd appreciate some guidance as to what's reasonable regarding the increase to the rent.

              Comment


                #8
                HMO does not necessarily mean spending "Loads of money" at all.
                There are lots of classes of HMO basically anything more than one "family/couple unit means HMO..that does not mean you have to rebuild the prop !!!!!!!

                If it is a 3 storey building with 5 or more occupants then it is a "licensable HMO" which means you "may" have a pile of work to do ...zonal fire alams, extinquishers, fire doors, 30min rated ceilings and walls etc

                But from what you say , a 3bed, will require very little work (depending on age and condition of prop) your local council should have an info pack on HMO which will make all of this a lot clearer ...regs vary from council to council and are very dependant on the advice from the local fire officer....each property is judged on it's own merits.
                You will have to put at least 2 smoke alarms in ,probably and preferably mains not battery , but best to put then i all habitable rooms (intelinked so that if one goes off ..the all go off)

                You really NEED to speak to LC.

                Rent is going to be what the market will bear ....I have a very imilar house with 2 philipino families and 3 kids ....but i have them on 1 ast not 2..

                I have other HMO's tho ...and for single occupancy i charge £320 per room pm for double occ i charge £470 per room which seems to be acceptable.

                I have seen several threads questioning CT responsibility ....certainly in Cardiff it would appear that if you have 1 ast then (ast providing) the responsibility legally falls upon the T ....If you have more then 1 ast then you can declare T res in ast but in the final analysis it will fall on LL to collect/pay it if T defaults...

                Gas cert you need regardless ..but Electrical on a 3 bed prop not a requirement although for the sake of a couple of hundred quid you would be well advised to at least get a basic inspection (periodic) so that YOU can sleep at night knowing your prop and T are safe .....Yep LL do have consciences!!! (and a fear of being sued !!!)

                I heard of a 2 bed First floor (no garden) flat near to me where there were only 2 people on the ast and a non res LL ....there were 3 couples each with a child IN EACH bedroom ...it gets worse, as there was another couple with another child in the lounge ......9 in total ..they were perfectly happy in there (rent spilt 6 ways made it very cheap i guess!) but LL was not over impressed when he found out) they lived like that for nearly 2 years !!

                Different cultures !


                Simon
                A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                W.Churchill

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks Rodent1.

                  After all this it turns out that the third tenant doesn't actually want her family to move in. She just wanted a letter from me saying it's OK so she can give it to the embassy to get visas for them. Now she has this she's decided to move out in early November which means we have to find another tenant as the rent is too much for the others on their own.

                  However, the new tenant won't be related to the family so the information about HMOs is very important.

                  If I'm going down this route, I'll have to raise the rent to cover the extra costs etc., then divide the total by a percentage for each room based approximately upon the floor area, the remainder of the house being shared space. Sound like a reasonable proposition?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Something to consider. If their command of English is poor make sure you get an interpreter (which they should pay for) to protect yourself as they need to understand what the clauses within a tenancy agreement actually mean otherwise trying to enforce it might be difficult.
                    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


                      #11
                      Thanks Paul_f, but how do I go about arranging for an interpreter to protect my interests and expect them to pay the bill?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If they want the premises badly enough they will have to find a way to comply with your request otherwise I would suggest they look elsewhere. Get them to provide one. I expect that as you already have Phillipino tenants if they too don't understand the current AST then you could already have a problem trying to enforce it. Think about it - if you were presented with a legal document in say German -would you sign it and then be expected to be bound by its conditions if you had no knowledge of the language? A valid defence would be that you didn't understand the document and is likely to be upheld in the European Court of Human Rights I believe.
                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jpfinney View Post
                          Thanks Rodent1.

                          After all this it turns out that the third tenant doesn't actually want her family to move in. She just wanted a letter from me saying it's OK so she can give it to the embassy to get visas for them. Now she has this she's decided to move out in early November which means we have to find another tenant as the rent is too much for the others on their own.

                          However, the new tenant won't be related to the family so the information about HMOs is very important.

                          If I'm going down this route, I'll have to raise the rent to cover the extra costs etc., then divide the total by a percentage for each room based approximately upon the floor area, the remainder of the house being shared space. Sound like a reasonable proposition?


                          There is a good HMO forum on Landlordzone for any more HMO questions you may have, but your local authority is the best place for help, as each has their own interpretation of what is acceptable.
                          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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