How long can a girlfriend stay in property and not be on the tenancy agreement

I have just had a new tenant who is the only one on the tenancy agreement. Now his girlfriend and their 2 children have come over from Romania. He wants his girlfriend added to the tenancy. He is asking about government benefits for her and asks just to have her on the tenancy agreement.
I know she would fail referencing.
I don’t want to add her.
But can she live in the property as a visitor.
The tenant is in month 2 of a 6 month contract.
The tenant has given me a copy of her right to live in UK.
Please advise.

You don’t have to add her to the agreement and I wouldn’t. Unless they marry, she will not get rights of residence at the property. Now that you know she is living there, you need to do a Right to Rent check on her and any children over 18. If she fails, you will need to serve notice on him and probably inform the Home Office.

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You have to take into consideration the possibility you are being scammed here. You seem to suggest the current tenant will be off the AST, replaced by his “girlfriend”. In other words, this guy has approached you, got the tenancy, now wants to transfer it to someone else, who would probably have failed the credit checks, etc. You have no idea if this is really his girfriend or if they are really his kids, if they were, then why would he want himself to be taken off? If I were you I would say no, leave him as the tenant. Check your contract for what it says about visitors, it is normally OK to have visitors but not semi-permanent or permanent visitors. You are probably heading for a dispute and an eviction at the end of six months so if I were you I would be making sure all your ducks were in order here and you act firmly but inside the law.


Thank you Graham for your advise. I will keep the original tenant on only and not have the girlfriend on the tenancy. I will look forward to the end of his 6 month tenancy. Thank you.

Thank you David for your advise. I have done the referencing on the original tenant and I will not have anyone else be added to the tenancy. I also contacted Citizen’s Advice who said it is a grey area as to how long a visitor can stay without being on the tenancy.

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You need to read what your AST contract says. Mine (standard Openrent) reads “semi permanent or permanent visitors” are not allowed. What does yours say? He has already told you these people are moving in on a permanent basis, if they have nowhere else to live (in this country at least) then it would be at least semi-permanent.


Looks to me like he’s working. He wants to bring his family over get them on the tenancy & him off it so they can claim benefits illegally with him living there on the sly.


Thank you Stuart.
I agree, it is not right so I have told him the girlfriend will not be added.
I haven’t had a response.
If he wants to leave I’m happy with that.