Tenant wants brother to move in

I have a woman and her mother living at one of my properties (3 bed house). They’ve been there 6 months with no issues. I am pretty sure her new boyfriend also lives there now but he’s not on the tenancy agreement, it’s just her and her mum.

She has asked me if it’s ok for her brother to live with them from August. He’s 18 and currently in Romania.

Fairly sure he’d fail the credit referencing, so what do I do?

As always, it is up to you!

Check your contract with the tenant(s):

  • will overcrowding occur, if so, say “No” to brother. 3 bed implies no over-crowding
  • this is subletting, if not temporary, so inform the tenants that they take on the full practical and legal responsibilities of a landlord, that in no way changes their responsibilities to you: see a similar situation at Tenant wanting to let a room

If not renting a room, they can stay with your written permission. You may need to undertake a right to rent check to cover your back.

Regarding the suspected boyfriend, I have the same situation, but cannot prove it, and my tenant is unlikely to admit to it. You should be able to pick this up via clues during a routine inspection, and may be fobbed-off by “only a visitor”. It could be the boyfriend, or the brother! Nothing you can do until you get proof and even then it must contravene a contract clause and you have to decide to turn a blind eye or lose your otherwise good tenants.

If the brother, the tenant is trying to regularise the situation, but not saying so: he may have stayed longer than expected. The same applies to a boyfriend.