Permitted Occupier – or not?

Permitted Occupier – or not?

10:58 AM, 8th March 2021, About 3 years ago 21

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A single lady tenant was given an AST in 2005 and many years later her daughter moves in. Although she never asked permission we are aware she now lives there with her mum. No issues at all with them. Rent all on time, in fact, model tenants, they look after garden etc treat the place very well.

Fast-forward to now, the daughter just informs me mum has lung cancer. While I am not party to any more detail than this, reading between the lines of communication it seems like the lady is pretty ill (she has asked permission for a key lock safe to be put on the outside wall to let carers in – we have agreed and are going to supply and it for her as a gesture of goodwill)

Question what happens on tenant demise? While I am clearly NOT wishing this, they need to be made aware of the consequences of this. At this stage, I am unsure if the daughter can carry on paying the rent (she was made redundant in Nov/Dec). I will not be offering her any direct contract unless she can prove she is financially viable (as I would any new tenant).

What is the legal position here – is she an official Permitted Occupier, even if there is nothing on the contract or any formal recognition of such? Ideally, we hope that she is sensible enough to realise if she can’t pay the rent then she needs to move on herself, but what if the worst happens, and she refuses to leave?

Do I have to go through the S8 route, even if she is not listed on the AST?

Many thanks

Reluctant Landlord

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17:38 PM, 8th March 2021, About 3 years ago

So a tenant can move whoever they like into your rental house without asking, or getting any permission and then you can potentially get stuck with someone in your house, whose name you do not know, who has not had any right to rent checks, creditworthiness or referencing checks done on them, who is not paying rent and who doesn't move out and who can trash your property in the time it takes you to get them out. Surely that can't be right?

(I'm not talking about this ladys daughter, I'm talking generally).

Graham Bowcock

17:44 PM, 8th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by TheSwan at 08/03/2021 - 17:38
That is quite correct and always has been. Effectively you are letting the tenant their home and they have an entitlement to occupy as they see fit, and with whom. Most agreements have a ban on lodgers and permitting third party occupation, but in practice it's hard to prevent it.

Ultimately the contractual relationship is with the named tenant so they are responsible for the actions of others who may frequent the property, in terms of damage, etc.

Reluctant Landlord

19:30 PM, 9th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 08/03/2021 - 17:44
....which is not a problem until something like this happens and the person left in the property is essentially 'status unidentified'. A case I think of treading carefully, but remembering to have Plan B, C, D and E as a backup if the poop hits the fan.
I used to think going the legal route was always the right way - clear and open, everyone knows where they stand and the right decision will be made on reasonableness when all factors taken into consideration.
Burnt fingers? I'm down to stumps now. I have very little respect for the law that turns your own property ownership rights into mush and continually backs up tenants rights at the total disregard of any fairness.
This makes me mad and makes me feel like a criminal - I now actively do not seek legal redress even when I know that I am right, because the claimant in these situation is ALWAYS the looser. Even if you get a possession you still have to chase for arrears, more money more time...

Dylan Morris

10:15 AM, 10th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 09/03/2021 - 19:30
Can’t see how you can take legal action when you probably don’t even know the name of the rogue occupier. Assuming tenant has left the property then the occupier has no rights to reside. They have no tenancy. Surely this is trespass and the Police should throw them out ? The law was amended a few years ago so “squatting” no longer applies to residential property. If the Police don’t want to get involved then we are essentially a lawless state.

Edwin Cowper

12:43 PM, 13th March 2021, About 3 years ago

So far, no-one has raised the issue: who pays the rent? If the daughter currently pays it, or pays it before death, then has a tenancy been created in her favour jointly with mother?

Mother dies. Daughter occupies and pays rent. Isn't there a danger of creating accidently a new AST? You don't need formal terms You don't need anything to create one apart from obviously a Landlord and a Tenant. They can be created by conduct not necessarily in writing. The tenant will have the provisions implied by law as to Landlord's repairs, and eviction and termination


13:40 PM, 13th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 10/03/2021 - 10:15
"...the Police should..."

Good luck with that.

Yes, they police SHOULD do all sorts of things but in my experience what they actually do is to try very very hard to avoid any responsibility at all for doing anything whatsoever in the context of issues raised with them by a landlord.

Dylan Morris

14:04 PM, 13th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 13/03/2021 - 13:40
Landlord goes into the property with a few lads from the rugby club as back up. Turfs the occupier out onto the street with belongings and then changes the locks. What are the consequences of this ?


14:06 PM, 13th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 13/03/2021 - 14:04
The short answer is:

Potentially very serious.

Dylan Morris

14:27 PM, 13th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 13/03/2021 - 14:06
Why what are the consequences ? Been reported to Police and they won’t take action. The occupier is there illegally, not a tenant has no rights to reside. What do you suggest the landlord does then ?

brian clement

0:42 AM, 14th March 2021, About 3 years ago

This happened to me last year. Had good tenant for 10 years. She fell ill and daughter moved in to care for her. 6 months later she died. Daughter remained in flat. I then found that the locks had been changed. She would fone agency promising to move out but did not. After a few months notices were put on her flat door saying she was squatting. After 2 weeks a TORT notice was put on her flat door giving her 14 days to leave and return keys. She foned agency saying she was off to see family lawyer. Soon after that she posted keys through agency door. She left the flat damaged but worse than that a dog had been locked up in flat and there was dog mess in all rooms. My advice to you would be to change the locks and get back into your flat while they are at the funeral. Good luck.

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