Tenant requesting Keys

Question to experienced landlords.

I got a French tenant who passed reference with flying colours and rented a two bed. Before agreed to the tenancy, she was asking if she can have her mom comes over from France to live here weeks or months intermittently and therefore requesting 2 keys. I said no, 1 key 1 tenant 1 tenancy and if two tenants we will need them referenced. so she agreed just herself and got 1 key.

a few months into the tenancy when she tried to copy a new key without notifying me as some newbuild’s key these days are registered even copying them, the company notified me to chose accept or reject, which i rejected.

Then she angrily called a few days later saying she need a second key as her mom is coming over.

My rookie understanding of the rules are you can’t just house anyone especially not from the UK and whoever lives in your property need to get registered, but it is not quite a clear cut.

so what shall I do? give 2 keys one for her mom to live there from time to time knowingly it is a tenancy for 1 person?

Also, the complication to the manner is, neighbour was telling me there has been a guy living at her place most of time, for whatever reason. I am guessing subletting, just friends or sharing accommodation or housing illegal or ineligible tenant, who knows… if legit she would of told me.

Should I care?

I would always supply more than one set of keys. She is entitled to have family stay in her home. The bloke may be another separate matter.

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Unless this were to become the principal address of her mother you have no Immigration Act obligations. She has been described by the tenant as a guest and if you take this at face value then its perfectly reasonable and a landlord should have no objection. If you are concerned that her mother will become a permanent resident, you should insist on a right to rent check and perhaps review the rent when the tenancy becomes periodic.

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Ask the tenant who this person is, dont disclose everything you know and see what you are told.


well i did ask before and she just said a friend visiting. :S

if i continue to ask why it has been so long, i think it would make tenant uncomfortable

I would say about the right to rent and get her to sign a letter , then if there is a problem your covered.
It may well be perfectly correct or not , cover your backside


If bills are included in the rent and she is asking from someone else to live there then you are entitled to ask for a rent increase to cover that and need to know.

I think however it is reasonable to allow relatives to stay so long for weekends or a few days.

However “weeks” and “months” is a different matter and somewhere between 7-14 todays most landlords would see them as “living there” . A 14 day holiday would be OK if pre-agreed and approved by the landlord. I would insist on getting them included in the tenancy agreement as joint tenants after this (and this does mean a right to rent check ) - I would not ask for a reference as well as should the girl leave unless her mum also vacates she effectively becomes the mothers guarantor.

If you are not happy an extended stay you can give notice - either section 21 - or you can do so
because the tenant is not abiding by the terms of the contract (assuming you specified 1 tenant only and no subletting)

If your limit is 14 days you should make this clear to the tenant and that they wil need to be on the contract for longer than that .

I would give permission for a tenant to make and keep a spare key (at their own expense) but on condition all keys become property of the landlord and that the tenant may not give them to a third party without your consent in writing for the duration that another person may hold the keys. I would not unreasonably hold that consent - but make it very clear that consent was needed .

As Landlord you have a right to know anyone who is resident in the house - but not to discriminate against them .

If you use the open rent contract (rent now) then it should contain the line The tenant agrees “Not to grant any licensees, take in any lodger, paying guest or person staying on either a permanent or
semi-permanent basis without the prior written consent of the Landlord.”

Most courts would agree that anything over 14 days would be semi permanent unless there was a written agreement to the contrary - and I certainly would consider anything that was longer than the period of the tenancy or at which rent was paid to be “permanent” .without an agreement to the contrary.

Get everything in writing - and ensure that you ask that any written request for visitors specifies in writing that no rent or or money will be taken by them or contributed by theirguest for the guest’s board and lodging. This will protect you from losing insurance cover if your policy prohibits sub letting.


As landlords we can’t dictate a tenants lifestyle apart from the terms of the contract - and our only enforcement is to terminate the contract.

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