Additional gentleman friend?

by Readers Question

16:16 PM, 4th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Additional gentleman friend?

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Additional gentleman friend?

I have a tenant who is a single lady on a fixed 12 month agreement who has lived in the property for 2 years. My husband called at the property early this morning to look at her shower and she told him she was happy for him to let himself in as she would be at work.gentleman

When he arrived she had left for work but her “gentleman friend” was there and it was obvious that he had been staying there. My husband asked him politely if he was now living there and he replied that he was staying three or four nights a week.

My question then is, do I need to delve further with my tenant to find out if he is living there so I can adjust the tenancy agreement or do I say nothing. What are the implications of somebody else living in the house for half the week? Any advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks and happy new year to you all!

Ashleigh landlord



Comments

Harriet Buckley

9:21 AM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Assuming the rent is being paid and the property is well maintained I wouldn't worry too much about this. The alternative is expecting tenants to tell me when they do or do not have a boyfriend - not something I need to know about really.

Gary Dully

9:47 AM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Harriet Buckley" at "05/01/2016 - 09:21":

Well I agree with Harriet to a certain degree, but there is always someone or something that will eventually mess up a Landlords life, if not made part of your tenancy agreement.

Here are a few examples.
1. LHA claimants who take in a 'guest' and haven't disclosed it to the council.
2. Tenants getting single person relief on their council tax.
3. Tenants subletting
4. Guests telling a court they are a tenant, when you turn a blind eye and accept rental payments.
5. Guests having an accident and claiming on your public liability insurance and telling a loss adjuster they have been living there with your knowledge.
6. A guarantor refusing to pay for a change of contract that they didn't agree to.
7. A prisoner or immigrant on the run, (it's happened to me with an arsonist)

I could go on, but you should bear in mind, that if it could happen, it probably will.

Get them on a tenancy agreement if you can with the guarantors agreement.

Mandy Thomson

11:27 AM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "05/01/2016 - 09:47":

I agree, Gary, I think the most likely issue is if the tenant is claiming LHA where the rules have no definitive definition of when a partner is simply staying over regularly and when a partner is actually living there (the main reasoning being that the partner is likely to be making significant contributions to the household upkeep).

However, Ashleigh has not mentioned the tenant being on benefit, and I'm also inferring from the post that the relationship with this tenant is otherwise good and free from other problems - in which case, I would leave well alone.

When I was a lodger, and my live in landlord (who had also been a long term friend up till that point) suddenly and very tactlessly raised an objection to my boyfriend very occasionally staying over, I was far from pleased, although of course in that situation I had to comply with her wishes.

Your tenant is only obliged to seek your permission if her boyfriend actually wants to move in permanently, otherwise it's her own affair, but if she is claiming LHA she needs to be very tactfully made aware that her boyfriend being seeing to be possibly living there COULD raise questions with the local authority as neighbours often report cases where they suspect someone might be claiming fraudulently or there's some sort of grudge.

Gary Dully

13:34 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "05/01/2016 - 11:27":

Yep Mandy, I'm sure you were offended, but what if your then boyfriend had been a criminal or had approached your landlady with some sort of sexual aggression or would leave the toilet seat up or down or keep missing and hit the floor?

Boys tend to be a bit messy in front of a WC and don't like washing up.

Your live in Landlord had an uninvited additional lodger and I can imagine their seething anger as he ate her chocolate biscuits.

LHA and U.Credit are the ones to watch.

But what about when he hides drugs under the floor?
Why not throw in a pet snake, cat and flea infested dog just to complete the mix?

I have been stung by an arsonist hiding from the Police for 5 months under a false ID, they wanted to know what checks I had carried out and I had to fake a heart attack and plead insanity.

This was an executive detached house - no DSS or LHA.

Thankfully the original tenant backed me up by telling the Police I had no knowledge of her guest. (She had no knowledge of his past either).

He was on the run and the Police told me, that he would probably get another 8 years. They were looking to prosecute me for aiding a criminal. He was the nicest 'Guest' I had ever met. (You just don't know)

Get some checks carried out and offer to get him on a more permanent legal footing.

Mandy Thomson

13:50 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "05/01/2016 - 13:34":

Hi Garry

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with your dreadful tenant, but from what Ashleigh has said, I have no reason to believe her long term tenant is anything but a perfectly decent person, which strongly suggests (but obviously doesn't guarantee) that her boyfriend is too - especially as he has not made his presence felt until now. If the tenant had wanted to keep her boyfriend a secret, why allow the landlord access and allow the boyfriend to be there at that time?

As for the event I encountered as a lodger, my friend/landlord knew my boyfriend reasonably well, and really liked him as person (without any obvious envy of my relationship with him). She also knew very well that he was a gentleman and we would not help ourselves to her food or fail to clean up after ourselves. However, as a live in landlord, she did not have to justify any reason to ban him or even evict me, but where a tenant under an AST living in a property they have exclusive use of is concerned, they are entitled to their own private life as long as they don't breach the terms of that AST.

Mandy Thomson

14:06 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "05/01/2016 - 13:50":

Further, I meant to add that your tenant's guest was an occupier who was living full time at your property (albeit unofficially) whereas Ashleigh's tenant's boyfriend just stays overnight regularly (which happens in committed relationships).

In the situation you were in, I don't see how you could be held responsible for someone living at your property unofficially provided you were seen to be carrying out regular inspections - however, the police are not very clued up on landlord/tenant matters.

This is effectively saying that every time a tenant has an overnight guest they must clear it with their landlord, or if it's a homeowner, they must get their mortgage provider's permission? This is the UK, not the UAE.

Ian Ringrose

14:30 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Going forward the "Right to Rent" check will have to be done on anyone living in a property even if they are not on the AST, Big fines and jail time for a landlord if the checks are not done!

As the LHA I don't know how "living their" is defined compared to visiting for a few days.

Mandy Thomson

14:50 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "05/01/2016 - 14:30":

Good point, Ian. However, when right to rent becomes law throughout the whole of England on 1st February, it will not apply to existing tenancies and licenses (yes, it affects lodgers too) - for the time being, though I gather this is likely to change at some point in the not too distant future.

Chris Byways

14:53 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "05/01/2016 - 14:30":

Another grey area is when it becomes sublet in the RtR checks?

I have a tenant who was in when I bought the self contained HMO flat, pays on time, looks after the place reasonably, never reported any problems, has his young teenage daughter stay at times, etc, but another lad comes and goes quietly and quickly I have noticed when working in another flat.

The T/A does not permit it, and I do not want to rock the boat, unless I am at risk from what may well be a casual visitor.

Is it up to me to ask if he is claiming single Ctax occupancy? I hope not.

Am I rifght in thinking RtR checks don't apply to existing tenants? Or do I have to get a translator to ask excellent Polish tenants, and baby, if they have a right to be here?

Mandy Thomson

14:57 PM, 5th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "05/01/2016 - 14:30":

Where LHA is concerned, the tenant and the occupant would be informally interviewed then further investigations, interviews under caution etc carried out if the local authority suspected fraud.

In the absence of evidence of fraud, it's ultimately down to the LA's discretion as to whether a claimant is still entitled to LHA.

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