Permitted Occupier – are backgound checks permitted?

Permitted Occupier – are backgound checks permitted?

0:02 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago 11

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Hello, I have had a request from a tenant who wants to move her boyfriend in. She has been there less than a year. She moved here for work from a fair distance away, professional and very nice. No issue at all with tenant/rent payments access or anything. Model tenant actually.

I know I have to right to rent check anyone if I grant them Permitted Occupier (PO) status, but can I also ask them for a previous landlord reference/other type character reference to get some idea of what he is like before I give PO consent?

Can I refuse consent to his formal occupier status if something untoward is discovered in the process? Do I approach this with him/her or them both?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,


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10:16 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Off the top of my head I don't see why not. If they had applied as joint tenants you would have individually checked them out at that point. It makes perfect sense that you'd apply same protocol when adding him to tenancy agreement. A chat with both of them would be only fair. That way it gives him the opportunity to raise any potential issues if indeed there are any.

LL Minion

10:28 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

i know it says there is no need to financially reference a possible PO as they wont be a tenant, but stil thinking that I have my property to protect and if he's got 'history' then I should not feel obliged to add him as a PO.

Mark Smith

10:29 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

If your tenancy agreement says she can't move someone in without your permission you can refuse if you wish.
I'd have a discussion with the tenant . Does she wish him to be a joint tenant or be added as a permitted occupier.
Make sure she and you - understands what the implication of each option are for the close of tenancy
(ie joint tenancy: they are both liable for full rent if either stops contributing - either party can give notice that end the tenancy for them both t and both are liable for rent until the last person moves out (unless a new agreement is made)
she probably does not want this unless the relationship is seriious and permanent for both of them.
permitted occupier: she remains solely liable for rent, he has no say in ending tenancy - and if she moves out but he stays she pays rent until he goes or is evicted !
This having ben done if she accepts it I would add him at her request - its almost impossible to police tenant relationships and any attempts will usually leadto a breakdown of goodwill.

LordOf TheManor

10:58 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Hi Mark
I would keep her very much onside and tell her that for you to formally recognise him - whether her choice as either a tenant or a permitted occupier - you would need to make the necessary background checks on him for your insurance purposes.

His referencing checks will come to affect her current good standing one way or another once they make your place their home. It's worth it for her sake as well as yours.

Formalising him means giving him full access to your property and the provision of keys.

Would you hand out your car keys to someone you don't know??


Judith Wordsworth

11:28 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

At least she’s asked you.

As a permitted occupier he will need to go on the Council Tax and she will lose her 25% discount. But not on any utilities, but they are not your concern.

I would also have drafted and signed a permitted occupier agreement and stating that he has no material interest or rights in the property and not governed by Landlord and Tenant legislation. He will not be a tenant.

Never ever accept rent from the permitted occupier even if on behalf of the tenant as that could be creating a tenancy and a landlord tenant relationship.

If the tenant vacates the permitted occupier must too. If they don’t the landlord can make an emergency application to the court for an interim possession order. If 24 hours after the order is served the permitted occupier has not left the property, the police may access the property and remove the occupier.,property%20and%20remove%20the%20occupier.


11:35 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

The Police may access and remove...
But will they not say they have 'more important matters like crime' to deal with? The impression I sometimes get is that they will say it's a civil matter unless they actually see A cutting B's throat?


11:46 AM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

With the exception of a right to rent check, which you should do, what other checks do you think you should make? There are no character references that I'm aware of in any of the formal referencing processes. You don't need information on his financial position, previous residence or CCJs and in my view it would be a breach of GDPR to require them. You are not entitled to require criminal record checks, so I'm at a loss to understand what you hope to get.

Southern Boyuk

12:23 PM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Reference checks, new ast. Protect yourself.


19:55 PM, 24th November 2023, About 7 months ago

There’s always the danger she’ll go somewhere else that suits. Do the checks, have them both sign a new AST which will give him a sense of responsibility. If he’s not willing to sign, well !!


10:37 AM, 25th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by LaLo at 24/11/2023 - 19:55
Why would you try to force an existing tenant into a legal and financial entanglement with someone who may be a new relationship. She's being very sensible by making him a permitted occupier. If he became a tenant she would be liable for any rent defaults from him and any damage he caused and if they split up she would be likely to lose her home. Its not appropriate for a landlord to push people into joint tenancies.

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