Rent to one person, then tenent finds buddy up? How to approach and be safe

Hi ,got girl who wants to rent 2 bed flat on her own and then find her flat mate on her own by budding up. Now she is upfront with me in terms of getting her referenced, works at bank, willing to take full responsibly for the flat and rent until she finds flat mate ect.

If she checks out fine, goes through full ref process deposits ect…how do i ensure new person is ok before they move in? Do i interview them and approve and put them on same ast amended afterwards or dos one not bother if main tenant is taking full responsibility?

Have not had this situation before, although girl is open about it i just want to take extra careful steps…please cna somone advise. Thanks

You are willing to have someone in your place who you have not chosen or referenced ? what if tenant number one leaves and the other stays?

1 Like

The idea is if tenant wants to buddy up it only proceeds of i approve and ref them myself and meet them…

You dont know that for sure. Its just what you’ve been told. However, there is a good chance that its true. The issues for you and them as I see them are:

  1. Can she afford the rent on her own for the long term? What if she can’t find anyone, or anyone suitable?
  2. Are you willing to go through a full check out process, end of tenancy and new tenancy process, with all the admin required if she does find someone?
  3. If not is she going to effectively be the the landlord of a lodger? Does she know the regulations?
  4. What conditions are you going to impose? Eg that you fully reference the new tenant? If so, what happens when you’ve rejected the third tenant in a row?
1 Like

if she brings someone in without your saying ok .Problem

1 Like

Are you taking the buddy as a tenant or a permitted occupier?
The rules are different.
Tenants are subject to reference checks and will need to be named on the AST so you will have to start again with deposit, serving documents, contract etc.
Permitted occupiers are not subject to reference checks.
Permitted occupiers should be named on the contract and there should be a clause referencing them ( see Tessa’s contract for wording).
Either way you can charge £50 inc VAT or reasonable amount to change contract if your original contract has a clause referring to said charge.

Permitted occupiers have no legal rights. They can be asked to leave at the drop of a hat by the tenant and they have no say.
All communication should be with the tenant only.

Rent must never be accepted from the permitted occupier (otherwise they have become a tenant).
Permitted occupier should leave and return keys when tenant departs. They cannot stay on and police can be called to remove them.

Both parties should sign to these clauses.
Right to rent should be done for PO and tenant.

I was just in a similar situation. My solicitor was not keen on the concept of PO. If they have contributed to utilities they can argue they are a tenant and it all becomes a big mess.
You will need to discuss the reality with both parties, especially the PO so they are not under any illusion. That is, they have none of the legal rights of a tenant. If you are not sure discuss it with the NRLA or your own solicitor and google permitted occupier.

Tessa’s contract accommodates PO.

Lady that is keen to take on the 2 bed would take care of all bills, her name of contact, full deposit paid by her, full referencing and credit checks done via open rent on her and ast with only her name on. Now that is to start with so she then proposes to find second tenanther self and manage them her self,what im thinking is fine if she wants to find somone she is keen to live with but then i would bot want this to even have a remote possibility of becoming a mess. I was keen to only accept that person once met them, and done referencing and credit check on them and if they pass then to amend current ast to add them on and take half deposit from them and refund half of first tenants bevause they would have paid for full deposit at start. Is this the cleanest way to do this?

I need to have full control over who lives there, not via a tenant r2r as mentioned.

Also would be suggestion above offer best protection to both tenant and mysefl?

She would be in breach of her ast but yet a porblem if its without me approving, not something you can prevent at that point or is there

It is your property you can do what you want. So tell her that. You can charge her to start again and make that clear in writing. This is a permitted fee if the clause is in contract.
If that is the case you need to treat it as a new tenancy and start all over again.
Serve documents to both, right to rent for both referencing for both and refund deposit and start all over again with deposit in both names. You scratch everything from the first tenancy and start afresh as if it were new tenants.
If she brings in occupier without your permission you are stuck with a potential sublet situation which means you need a clause ( see Tessa’s contract) to cover you if the original tenant leaves leaving you with a sublessee as getting out a sublessee is hard work as they did not sign a contract with you so they are subject to statute and not your contract .

If this was me I would want my cards on the table at the beginning of the AST. If your tenant disobeys the contract it will be a mess.
Do you have other candidates?

You can’t add someone to a contract/tenancy that is currently in force. You would be starting again. It may well be fine, but you should consider what your actions would be in response to the above scenarios.

Thank you AA. Well the girl seems to be up for any arrangement i wish to impose as long as I am happy so I am willing to put whatever clause in there to ensure what we agree is in writing. I just have not come across this proposal before, I know people do it illegally I just do not want issues with new tenant or the whole sublet situation, I want it secure and simple need the new person on contract so what you say makes sense. So if I get above suggestion, we start AST with first tenant with all the checks and ensuring clause stipulates if new person is to move in the whole tenantcy has to start again is that right? where is Tessa’s example please, I may have missed it? Thank you

I have had another viewing but waiting for reply…I got over 2 months still to go until current tenant leaves I am just doing it in advance

If there is a change in tenant start everything again like it was a new tenancy. Refund deposit , making sure tenant cleans house . And then start from scratch

Tessa’s contract is the Landlord Law contract
I am not au fait with open rent’s contract so you may want to read it to see if it covers sublessee