Allowing an existing Tenant to Sublet

Hi there,

We have a situation where a couple who let our 2 bed rental property under OpenRents Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement have split up. One tenant would like to move a friend in as they wish to stay however the new tenant does not pass the referencing and a suitable guarantor cannot be found for him that is prepared to sign the contract. The proposal is a change of tenant under the existing contract to remove the tenant that wishes to leave and add the new tenant. He cannot find a guarantor company willing to sign the STA either.

Would allowing the existing tenant to sublet to their friend be an option and if this is are there any issues with doing this we need to consider before agreeing to it. They cannot afford the rent on their own and really do not want to move. They look after the property, always pay their rent on time and are always respectful so if we can make this work for them without putting ourselves in a compromised position we would like to consider it as an option.

We would like to do it as an amendment to the existing contract if possible. Any advice from OpenRent and other Landlords who have done something similar / looked into this before would be much appreciated.

This doesnt sound like a good solution as neither can really afford the rent and there is an increased risk of arrears in future. As they are joint tenants one cannot just leave the tenancy or give notice. Its both or none.

Hi David,

Thanks for your advice. OpenRent have said a Change of Tenant under the existing contract can be done however the new tenant doesn’t pass the referencing because he is on a 0 hours contract and advise is to only let with a suitable guarantor in place.

I am inclined to agree with you that it puts us in a vulnerable position if we agree to this without a Guarantor. Tricky one as we do try and work with our tenants where we can.

I’m not a big fan of guarantors anyway. Many are badly worded or enacted and often unenforceable.

It all depends who was breadwinner, if the guy leaving was the sole breadwinner and the guy joining has no income then if I were you I would tell them it is a joint tenancy and as one party is leaving give them notice to leave.

I’ve accepted guarantors in the past but with the full expectation that having to chase payment through one would be quite difficult to say the least. However, they are effective in keeping a tenant true as the guarantor is most likely someone they really don’t want to let down. However, my preference would always be tha the tenants can afford the rent.