I have just rented out to a single tenant. ( moved in 14th October, she failed reference as she’d sold house, was living at airb&b, but paid me 6 month in advance)
After about 3 weeks, neighbour has called me to say there are 3 tenants living at the property.
I questioned her, she said her son and his girlfriend have moved in! As she has paid 6 months in advance (the Openrent AST is saying initial term is 7 months, ) so when is the earliest I can serve notice, Feb or March? using the break clause. Section 8 or 21,
Is there a break clause? I’d be serving section 21 before 14th Feb. There isn’t an earlier limit with s21.
What are you main concerns about the son and partner living in the property? Is there damage, illegal activity or issues with the neighbours? Do they intend to stay there long term? Does the property actually accommodate the size of the family? Are they over the age of 18?
If it’s literally because there’s a breech of tenancy that she’s moved more people in I would be keen to.
- Carry out a property inspection.
- (If all well) Ammend the tenancy to allow them as permitted occupants +/- notice).
Thank you for your advice Sara,
My main concern was;
As six months rent has been paid up front, are the son/girlfriend classed as guests? (they have been there for at least 3 weeks) I didn’t want to come accross as harrassing the tenant, just wanted to know if I could serve a s21 on feb 14th or march 14th, as the break clause in the openrent AST says initial term is 7 months.
Yes, they would be guests. Is this a property with more than 1 bedroom? If so then why are you surprised that the tenant didn’t plan to live alone?
Most single tenants will shack up with a partner
If they are using it as the sole residence then they aren’t guests.
With all due respect when I was working as an agent I have let 5 bed properties to couples and haven’t expected them to fill the property, just because they could. It isn’t an expectation, or a right, without permission it is a breach. You agree a contract. If you arent honest then it has implications.
The reason I asked OP if she had the space in the property to permit them was to allow them on the tenancy as permitted occupants. As part of the tenancy in an amendment. I believe this would probably be in her best interest.
In reality if something was to happen, and I dont want to scare OP, but something that required an insurance claim. She provides a single occupant tenancy for “A” then “B and C” say they live there… its a complete different ball game and could void her insurance.
My reasoning for a property inspection. Is to allow them as permitted occupants, allow them on the tenancy agreement, and allow an easier route should they refuse to leave at the end of the tenancy. No-one wants squatters. They may be decent tenants.
OP as for notice. You need 2 months notice @ 48 hours before 14th Feb you’ll be giving 3 months @ 48 hours before 14th March you’ll be giving 2 months. Whether hand delivered or posted (recorded and excluding weekends).
Thank you for your insight Sara,
I will follow your advice.
If they are not paying rent then they are legally guests and have no tenancy rights even if its their permanent home. The only exception would be the spouse or children of the tenant who would have rights under Family Law.
It may or may not be a breach of contract depending on what is written. However there is nothing magical about permitted occupier status. Knowing that they’re there and doing nothing amounts to the same thing.
She failed reference, you get what you deserve
sara f is quite right it can completely void your insurance so don’t put anything in writing to acknowledge they are there… yet
from a health and safety point of view have you explained how fire extinguishers work, escape routes etc (clashes with above point i know)
are these two people working? do you want to add them onto the tenancy?
i just served a section 21 to one of my tenants who ignored it and in truth there is nothing i can really do, the court process will take forever and the time and money is a black hole so i am just concentrating on getting the money until he is sentenced (don’t ask)
Bottom line is do you get on with the tenants and are they paying and treating the property ok? if yes just bide your time and maybe get them added to tenancy. if not be prepared for grief with an eviction process as a LAST resort