Tenant wants to move Partner in

Hi everyone, just wondered what the latest advice would be:

My tenant of 7yrs wants to move her partner in. She says they’ve been together 3yrs & he’s been renting in another town for 5yrs. Presuming he checks out, I don’t want to have to issue a brand new AST due to paperwork implications but wondered if there’s a ‘simplistic’ amendment/addendum all parties could sign?
Note: The AST/Inventory etc ageed 7yrs ago so lots has changed :frowning:

I want them to have joint & several liability but without the ball ache of starting from scratch
Many thanks :slight_smile:

I would advise you to start again and tolerate the …ache

Start it as as a new tenancy deposit etc etc
It will be worth it if it all goes south in the future

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Boy and girl apart ok. Live together can be a whole new ball game and break ups are common .New lease . All the best.

I think the best course of action is for you to write to her allowing him as a permitted occupier. That way, you don’t have to re-start any tenancy and if they break up, she can just ask him to leave and not lose her home, (which wouldn’t be the case if he is a joint tenant). If you do this just make sure you don’t accept any rent direct from him. It has to come from her.

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Thanks everyone,
Yes, I do agree it would be much cleaner & technically robust to start afresh. However, this feels overwhelmingly complicated - so much has changed since Oct’14. It was even pre EPC & I wouldn’t know where to start with the inventory after 7yrs of ‘wear & tear’ :worried:

I’d been thinking about drafting an amendment to add a new tenant but think I much prefer the idea of a ‘Permitted Occupier’ you describe David. Is there a preferred format to use?
Appreciate the tip about rent too :+1:

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You can just write her a letter allowing him as a permitted occupier. If she says that she wants him to become a tenant then explain to her the risks if anything should happen to their relationship.

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Thaks Dvid, this sounds ideal but what would the position be if the tenant wants to leave but the Permitted Occupier wants to stay/refuses to leave?

I’ve had a little ‘google’ but finding conflicting info:-
a) Original tenant still has liability as they have not left with vacant possession, and
b) If tenant leaves the named PO automatically becomes the new tenant & liable.

I can see flaws in both of these scenarios so not convinced either is actually correct? :thinking:

Can anyone shed any light on the position?
Many many thanks for any help as I’m quite confused right now

The permitted occupier would be a trespasser and could be removed with reasonable force or a court order, (no notice required). The tenant would still be liable for the rent whilst he was there.

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You’re lucky she even asked for permission to move him in.

I agree with David 122, far simpler to retain the existing tenancy agreement, and allow the partner as a permitted occupier. Nothing changes under these circumstances, and your proven / trusted long standing tenant is still the lead / responsible tenant.

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Thanks guys! :+1: The AST reads:-

Not to assign, sub-let, part with possession or share the occupation of the Property or any part or parts thereof nor permit the same to be used or occupied by any person or persons other than the Tenant nor take in any lodger. Nor permit any visitor to stay for a period of more than three weeks within any three month period.

Based on this wondering if I should still permit occupant via a stand alone letter or raise an amendment to AST? I’m thinking of the following wording:-

The Landlord and Tenant hereby acknowledge and agree [PO Name] is a permitted occupier of the Property for the term of this tenancy under the care and control ot the Tenant. For the avoidance of doubt, the Landlord does not recognise them as a Tenant.

Thanks again for all contributions, I’m so very grateful !! :grinning: As I said before he prospect of closing/starting a new tenancy was overwhelming :worried:

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The AST clause is probably unenforceable unless it’s caveated with something like “without the written consent of the landlord which will not be unreasonably withheld”.

Your permission para is fine.

Perfect…thank you!! :grinning: :+1:

Let’s just hope he turns out to be ok - I intend to get him to complete an ‘application’ form first so I can check out some basic info. Even with a PO letter I still don’t want a complete raving looney under the roof, thanks again

I have done this often and just issued an addendum to the AST. I would ensure you have gone thru the health and safety stuff and spell out they will be jointly and severally liable for all costs. However in this case you seem to be long term so a new AST might be a better way to go. Rules change all the time and a lot has changed in the past few years.

Sidney1, that would be giving the person a tenancy by the back door. Once a contract is in force, an addendum may have no legal affect on it.

Lesley247, be careful how much you do with someone who has no tenancy rights. GDPR allows you to demand such information from a tenant, but I dont see the same justification from someone who has no status beyond being a guest. What you must do is check his Right to Rent and ensure you don’t accept any rent from him.

Sidney1 - I would have thought what you describe in effect makes them a Tenant having joint & several liability. Making them a PO does not give them any tenancy rights.

David - Interesting point! I had intended to obtain as much background as possible via an application form (ID, landlord ref, employent/salary, etc) but I guess I need to weigh up the opposing risks. It just feels fundamentally wrong to let a complete unknown through the door :thinking:

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Well it is of course your tenants place whilst they’re renting and you wouldn’t be able to compell him to give that sort of info. It may seem odd when you own the place, but that’s the nature of landlording.

I am in the same situation with my tenant wanting to have the partner move in. I was advised by OpenRent to start from scratch with a new ASL. The advise was that all adults over the age of 18 living at the property should be named on the tenancy agreement. I am also having a reference check done on the partner. Doing further research it is also strongly advised to make sure an inventory inspection is carried out.

Sometimes landlord insurance or mortgage lenders insist on all adults being named tenants, but if this doesn’t apply, there is no reason why they have to be. Some landlords prefer to have more than one person to sue in the event of a problem, but this is not really a good reason in my book. I prefer not to complicate things by imposing a legal straightjacket on a new relationship.

Quick update: I’ve still not met the new guy yet - hopefully this weekend or next.

Having taken on board everyones comments I asked my insurer for their advice (it’s not a Landlord Policy but a legal package/upgrade on my own residential insurance) :
a) a PO is an acceptable way forward, a simple letter will suffice & they recommend all 3 parties sign,
b) do not accept rent directly from PO,
c) the normal eviction process would apply but should I be left with the PO only I need to issue a ‘Notice to Quit’, then if they fail to vacate apply directly to the court, warrant etc. So basically the same process but skipping the Section 21 bit.

Of course, we never want to be in this position but knowing the steps is reassuring.

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They’re correct on everything except evicting the permitted occupier. No notice would be required as his legal status if the tenancy ended would be trespasser. He could be removed without a court order and with reasonable force, but if in any doubt or wishing to avoid confrontation, you would apply immediately for the court order.