Someone (not the tenant) wanting to pay the rent?

Someone (not the tenant) wanting to pay the rent?

0:02 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago 16

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Hello all, we had an email from someone advising us that the husband of one of our tenants had died he provided a copy of the death certificate. He told us that he would be paying the rent.

We responded by stating that we could only receive payment from a lawful tenant named on the agreement, and he replied that he would still be paying. When we rang to speak to the tenant the ring tone was from abroad (she is Hungarian) we left a message but are still waiting for a callback.

This person is now asking to be added to the tenancy agreement, we do not know who he is and are not sure how to proceed.

We would be grateful for any advice,

Karl


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Comments

Small Portfolio Landlord

10:55 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

The simple answer is to ask him to pay the remaining tenant and she can then pay you. Once that's established, you can then consider the new addition to the agreement and do your refencing without being timebound.

Freda Blogs

11:05 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

I believe (but am not 100% sure) that it would be a dangerous move to accept the rent from someone else, as you are implicitly creating another tenancy to this unknown person. Rent should only be accepted from the the estate of the deceased.

Judith Wordsworth

11:09 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

If he is the executor of the man’s estate then what’s the problem. As executor he has a legal duty to. It could be months before probate is granted.

Judith Wordsworth

11:14 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Small Portfolio Landlord at 10/11/2023 - 10:55
So the person has just lost her husband and you are expecting them to be able to immediately be on top of things financially.

If the person offering to pay if the executor there is no problem. Neither is it a problem if someone is paying the rent for this remaining person on the tenancy whilst they organise all the finances. It doesn’t make them a tenant as not on the tenancy agreement.

If they hadn’t offered to pay and the grieving person was behind in the rent would you serve a s8?

Darren Peters

11:22 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Just to be clear is the dead husband named on the existing tenancy agreement or just the wife? Is anyone else named in the Tenancy agreement?

I would not add this stranger to the agreement under any circumstances. Even if they were the Executor of a deceased tenant they would not ask to be added to the Tenancy. They would also present evidence of their Executor role.

But if I understand correctly, your tenant isn’t dead and has an existing tenancy so you can’t give some random stranger rights to the property without your tenant’s permission. And you don’t have to agree to do this regardless.

It may be a genuine friend of tenant helping her at difficult time so act with sympathy but not against your or your tenant’s interest.

You could respond to this third party stating that in the circumstances you are willing to end the tenancy immediately if the tenant agrees or they can transfer money to the tenant’s account for the to pay their rent as normal but you cannot accept money from a stranger due to money laundering regulations and you will not be creating a new tenancy or adding them to the existing tenancy under any circumstances.

Stella

11:57 AM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

It is a very sad time for this lady but be careful.
I would get advice from a good solicitor who is an expert in Landlord and tenant law before I took rent money from anyone other than the signed up tenant.
This could have unforeseen consequences where you would end up with a tenant you did not want.

Reluctant Landlord

12:22 PM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

DO NOT acept rent from anyone! You will unwittingly then enter a contract with ANY person paying rent and this could cause issues further on.
The existing tenant can pay you directly still and if they are the only other party ont he TA then there is no issue. If the remaining person cant pay the full rent then that's something you negotiate with them or ultimately service notice at some point as rent arrears will invariably follow.
Have absolutely no dealings with anyone other than the exitisting tenant on the AST and do not accept any rent from this person directly. Try and establish the relationship between the executor and the remaining tenant. At the end of the day the remaining tenant listed on the TA takes precedence for tenancy purposes here.
I assume it is an elderly wife/partner? Is she able (financially/physically/menatally) able to carry on the TA on her own?
Any dealings need to be with the remaining tenant and not with anyone else because SHE is named on the AST noone else.
You could write her a letter suggesting you meet her directly to talk though the situation and see what she wants to do. Remind here it is her duty to pay the rent (jointly and serverally liable AST??)and only rent from her can be accepted. She may be grateful of the clarity it brings herself and understand you are trying to help at a difficult time.

Darren Peters

12:32 PM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 10/11/2023 - 11:09"If he is the executor of the man’s estate then what’s the problem. As executor he has a legal duty to. It could be months before probate is granted."
He might not be the Executor. A death certificate is no evidence of someone's right to anything.
An executor would not ask to be added to a tenancy and they could easily pass the money to the tenant to pay. Trying to gain some control of the property rings all sorts of alarm bells.
For all we know this person could be fraudster or someone trying to have coercive control over the tenant. He could be trying to have access to the tenant's apartment for that purpose.
Regardless, the landlord has a contract with and duty to the tenant and cannot add some unknown stranger to an existing tenancy without agreement of the tenant.

As others have stated, accepting money can create a tenancy in the stranger's favour. What if the original tenant pops up and asks,
'who is this strange man in my house, why did you let him in? I don't know who he is'. By creating this new tenancy (simply by accepting rent) you have breached the contract with your original tenant as they no longer have quiet enjoyment of the property as you promised.

On a separate note, if somebody has your bank details, how do you stop them sending you money?

Seething Landlord

12:46 PM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

If the payment is being made on behalf of the surviving tenant to protect the tenancy while she is abroad and coping with bereavement, I struggle to see a problem. It should however be confirmed that he is acting as her agent and that payment is accepted on that basis.

Any change to the tenancy agreement is a different matter and would need the involvement of the survivor.

Happy to be corrected if any of this is incorrect, it's just the way I see it and how I would probably respond if faced with the same situation.

Karl Langley

12:47 PM, 10th November 2023, About 7 months ago

** UPDATE**
I believe that the person is already living at the address with another person not on the agreement. the original agreement was for four tenants, only the wife remains.
They have asked to be added to the tenancy agreement so that they can pay the utilities etc.
Today is the rent payment date. no payment has been received yet, if i called the bank could they stop the payment from being made? also if it was made could i email them a "disclaimer" something along the lines of,
"Thankyou for making the rental payment on behalf of the tenant,the payment will not infur tenancy rightsand all future payments must come from the lawful tenant"
thanks again, Karl

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