Newly separated mother with children?

Newly separated mother with children?

9:22 AM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago 12

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I have just had an enquiry for my rental property from a lady with 2 children who is about to separate from her husband. They are currently in rented property.

As the decision has only just been made, there is no formal legal agreement between them in terms of how much maintenance he will be paying her and her income alone is very limited given the fact she has young children to look after. She does have someone who could act as Guarantor though, but I suspect that as her situation is somewhat ‘fluid’, and that referencing will be near on impossible.

I would be interested to know what others have done in this situation – maybe 6 months rent up front with only a 6 month agreement to start might be an option but I am interested to know what your thoughts are as there must be quite a number of people in this position.

Many thanks




Mike T

10:32 AM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Hi Pam, we have experienced marriage/partnership break-ups of tenants . Some had been with us for a few years and had a good record with us. But all things change when the tenants circumstances change. They can become desperate and understandably have to protect themselves and their family. The landlord is often their last concern. I'm sure many 118 members have had similar situations. However, Pam, you would be going into this forewarned, yet unsure of what the future might hold for you and your tenant. NOT a good idea, I remember 118 members advice that 'we are not a charity'. Exercise caution, get RGI (doubtful in this instance) 6 months rent in advance ?? Seek advice on that in the light of maximum deposit restrictions. Wait for another, better prospective tenant . Good luck with whatever course you take

Tony Hodge

10:40 AM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago

I had a similar situation. Mother and grown up daughter leaving husband/dad with no credit history or anything else. My agent and I took them at face value as they seemed a decent, honest folk. They appreciated their situation as no other letting agent would touch them without credit history etc. They volunteered to pay 6 months rent upfront as a good will incentive.
They have been my tenants for nearly 2 years now and definately the best tenants ever keeping the house & garden meticulous. Have faith in your perceptions.

Hardworking Landlord

11:40 AM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago

I have been in this situation before. I would not accept 6 months rent upfront as a way of countering the increased risk (if that is what you see) because your additional security reduces as you get further into the tenancy and are holding less money. In the past, I would have taken a 3 - 6 month deposit which of course would be protected for the tenant in a deposit scheme and so is safer for the tenant, and landlord. Unfortunately now this is illegal, and so I would not be able to take a tenant with a possible higher risk.

Rob Crawford

12:59 PM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Hi Pam, you seem like a nice compassionate person and possibly easily influenced to take this tenant on. However, you need to make a business decision with an emphasis on "risk"! Would she pass a referencing & credit check assessment (no)? If the husband is still in their current rental, can he afford to pay that rent and contribute to yours? What benefits can she expect and when would she receive them? I feed that you would be taking an unnecessarily high risk. Do you have any other candidate options? If so are they lower risk? Even if you don't have any other candidates it will probably be better and possibly cheaper, to wait for a more suitable candidate.


14:04 PM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago

sorry far too much of a risk. I'd avoid. Business head on I'm afraid. Too many unknowns. 🙁

Jay James

22:54 PM, 30th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Have a long hard think over the next day or so about Rob Crawford's comment two above. His last sentence is the most telling.

Michael Barnes

20:24 PM, 3rd October 2019, About 3 years ago

Provided the guarantor is acceptable and related, get them as a named tenant on the agreement.


10:34 AM, 5th October 2019, About 3 years ago

If there is a guarantor, make sure the agreement is drawn up properly by the referencing agency or lettings agency if you use one. And the guarantor must be informed that they are liable for the rent, if they agree. If they are reluctant or you have other doubts then your question is answered. I think the question is really how do they intend to pay? If the financial settlement has not been agreed then there is no guarantee of any income from that source. The father may only be liable for child support, he may not be bound to support his ex.

I have never heard of a guarantor being named as a tenant, since this isn't the case. Perhaps other posters have?

You need a great deal more information from the agent and if in doubt, wait for another tenant.

Michael Barnes

22:40 PM, 5th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 05/10/2019 - 10:34"I have never heard of a guarantor being named as a tenant"
A recent innovation.
- G can be pursued under the tenancy agreement, so avoiding problems with G Agreement being declared unenforceable for some reason.
- G continues when tenancy becomes periodic; there are doubts that that is the case with a G agreement for spt.
- If T stops paying rent or causes damage, then G can issue NTQ and T should be out in less than 2 months (faster than S8 or S21).
The G is not expected to live in the property, and should own their own home.
LL needs to ensure:
- G is aware that they are liable for the rent if T does not pay.
- G is aware that G's liability continues into any periodic tenancy (spt or contractual).
- G is advised to take legal advice before agreeing.
- Property would not become a HMO if G were to live there with T.
- Property would not be overcrowded if G were to live there with T.

Darlington Landlord

13:42 PM, 6th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 05/10/2019 - 22:40
Could Guarantor as tenant cause problems with a single occupant council tax discount? or do the council accepet they are not actually resident

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