‘Permitted Occupier’ status – new AST needed?

by Readers Question

9:25 AM, 7th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

‘Permitted Occupier’ status – new AST needed?

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‘Permitted Occupier’ status – new AST needed?

Short scenario – Tenant is asking for a partner to move in. I won’t offer a joint tenancy as the incoming person has not been in a job long enough to warrant this (still in 6 month probation period) and even then she won’t be able to afford the full rent herself.

The existing tenant has openly said she trusts her partner and is fully aware of this and the financial implications, and she can pay the rent now anyway and is settled.

IF, I decide to list the partner on the AST can I do this as an amendment to the AST (how would I do that?) or would I have to draft a new AST from scratch, so having to do all the paperwork that involves?

I am aware I cannot put up the rent to accommodate for this Permitted Occupier  (as this would be seen as charging her the ‘extra’ rent and that in itself is a minefield) so how would I go about this?

Or is it better to stay clear of this Permitted Occupier entirely – as someone once said ANY occupier that you are aware of and agree to is still an occupier and will inevitably be a legal process of some description to get them out if they do not leave at the same time as the actually named tenant?

Anyone had any experiences of Permitted Occupier and how to accommodate in an existing AST?

Reluctant Landlord


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Comments

Neil Patterson

9:38 AM, 7th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Be very Careful. Property118 is littered with stories about partners that landlords can't get rid of and cause anti-social issues.

You will have some proper records with a new AST.

Darren Peters

9:49 AM, 7th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I don't know if this is the 'right' answer but I would firstly reference-check the new person to see if there are any skeleton's in her cupboard. If she passes then create a new tenancy agreement with all the new documents. It's a bit of paperwork but not onerous. You can download template ASTs from the National Residential Landlords Association if you are a member.

That way everyone knows where they stand. They are both jointly and severally liable for the rent which is a benefit to you and they both have a proper tenancy without the risk that something isn't quite right. As you intimate above anything short of a correct AST may reduce your rights but probably not theirs.

I would be suspicious of any reluctance from them to have a reference check or new tenancy.

With respect to rent increase, you will have increased wear and tear with an extra person so that's up to market forces and your generosity.

Freda Blogs

9:50 AM, 7th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Darren just beat me to it. Definitely proper referencing as you would any other new tenant.

If you try to steer clear as you suggest, chances are the current tenant would move the new partner in anyway, so you would have less control than if the new partner was a tenant.

Dylan Morris

10:49 AM, 7th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Am I missing something here ? Can’t see it matters a jot about the incoming person’s income, job status, whether they can afford the rent on their own (which they don’t need to) or their credit history. The current tenant I assume is paying the rent satisfactorily based upon their sole income, so no additional income is needed to support the tenancy. Just add the new person by drawing up a new AST.

Darren Peters

11:27 AM, 7th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 07/10/2020 - 10:49
The reference check might find multiple CCJs against the new occupant for non-payment of rent in the past or damage to a landlord's property.

Given every new tenant could choose to stop paying and live at the landlord's expense for over a year it's a small price to pay (£28!) to try to mitigate against this.

I'm not suggesting a reference check on this person uniquely but on every prospective tenant. Ie not allowing the fact that the existing tenant knows the new tenant to be a substitute for normal due diligance.

Given that the landlord would pay for the referencing, I can't see the tenants having a problem.

The fact that the first tenant would pay for the second tenant is great up to the point that the first tenant disappears in the night and leaves you with the second tenant who can't pay but can sit it out for a year.

Frank

12:16 PM, 7th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I agree with Dylan. What ever could go wrong, probably will. Under any circumstances it is all well and good that the AST requires each tenant to be 'jointly and severally' responsible for the entire rent (not just their half, as so often tenants believe) but if either tenant moves out, and they have no funds, or they 'disappear' then the landlord is again the big time loser. A really solid, and well researched Guarantor could be a way forward.

Smartermind

12:20 PM, 7th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 07/10/2020 - 09:38Surely the tenant is entitled to live in the property without interference in her private life by the landlord. And if she had a child, the landlord wouldn*t be entitled to evict on that basis. Likewise if she decides she wants a partner to live with her, the landlord can*t interfere. At least she is offering to add the partner to the tenancy. If she is paying her rent and looking after the property, this is not really an issue.

Freda Blogs

13:17 PM, 7th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 07/10/2020 - 12:20
The tenant is looking to make a fundamental change to the terms of the tenancy by asking for another person to move in. ATS are contracts which both parties have to agree, so it is perfectly legitimate for a LL to want to check out the new person, as it is the LL who will have to live with any potentially adverse consequences of the new tenant moving in.

If a material change in the contact can be waived because it could be an infringement in T's private life, that would be a very rocky road to go down and a very serious infringement of LL's rights.

NEIL T

19:19 PM, 7th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 07/10/2020 - 11:27
Yes, Darren Peters, I've had that very same thing happen to me. It took many months to get rid of the second non paying tenant. Never again.

SamLondon

11:13 AM, 10th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 07/10/2020 - 13:17
I have a similar situation myself, but with a friend joining rather than a partner. With a new AST I assume the new tenant would need to also be added to the deposit protection?


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