Tenancy in one persons name only?

Tenancy in one persons name only?

10:47 AM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago 29

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I’ve had a couple of tenancy applications recently each involving a couple where they’ve requested the tenancy be taken out in one of their names only. It transpires that in each case, the person they want to leave off the tenancy has poor credit history which explains a lot. The other applicant on each respective application has a satisfactory credit history and salary which easily meets the affordability criteria.

I’m personally not comfortable with only one applicant signing the tenancy for the following reasons:
1) If the couple split up and the person who’s on the tenancy decides to leave thereby leaving the unnamed person on the tenancy in the property, what legal recourse would I have to evict if she couldn’t pay the rent, particularly as their credit history is poor and she isn’t even mentioned on the agreement?
2) Even though the named applicant may have a good credit history and can afford the rent, his partner may have access to his funds (e.g. joint account) thereby presenting a risk of non-payment of rent.

Maybe I’m being overcautious but would welcome any thoughts from other members.


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Rosanne Turvey

12:06 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

I have come across this before and have found that the person who does not want to have the credit check done or have their name on the contract has also been evicted from other properties. This is a way they seem to be getting around it nowadays.

Reluctant Landlord

12:08 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

AVOID! Clearly tenant ONLY asking to avoid the credit history of the partner being taken into consideration. If the partner cannot pay the tenancy on his/her own and there is a split between them you can't risk this as you will be left potentially with the one tenant who can't pay.

In a joint tenancy both are jointly liable end of. If one cannot afford it = no joint tenancy!


12:10 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

It may be that one is claiming a single persons benefit

david porter

12:13 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

You are smack on the money to be cautious.
People with bad credit history are not afraid of repeating the problem.
So having the good guy as a tenant is the rigth thing to do.
Are they married ( and to each other)?
However if you are strigent with your criteria will you fall into the trap of havig a void
and if so are you comfortable with that?

David Judd

12:29 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

If the credit check for 1 person comes back saying he can pay the full amount, then I would rent to him. The contract is in his name and therefore he is responsible. However be careful, should he sublet, or persons not named on the agreement, they could become sitting tenants and be a problem leading to eviction issues

Ann Shaw

12:31 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

It always amuses me when a prospective tenant informs me 'I will be the only one going on the AST'. Like it is their divine right to call the shots! Never accept this type of tenant. Regardless of the other parties' potential bad credit, how would you serve a s21 to a tenant who is not on the AST agreement? There are all sorts of legal headaches here. I always insist on credit referencing for each tenant on the AST, as they are jointly and severally liable for adhering to the AST, especially with regards to payment of the rent. Life is hard enough in this game, don't give yourself more heartache by entering into something which will most definitely give you a bad headache later down the line. Just to add, ALWAYS control your tenancies, never let a tenant dictate who, what, when, where, and why.

Reluctant Landlord

12:38 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

...oh and yes - as they have already said they want to rent as a couple but only want one named on the AST then if you do enter an AST with the one who can afford it you know the other will move in regardless.

If there is ANYONE over 18 at the time of a tenancy then they are on the AST. If they cant accept that then tell them to look elsewhere .

Yvette Newbury

12:39 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

I have experienced this in the past and told the tenants it would only be possible if the credit worthy person acts as guarantor for the other, and that they are the person who will pay the full rent each month (allowing them to ensure they obtain the rent from the partner - if they don't they are liable for the full amount anyway). However, that only works if the credit worthy person earns enough to cover the whole rent in the first place.
If the non-credit worthy person leaves first, then no need to track them as, again, the credit worthy person is liable to pay the full rent.

Graham Bowcock

12:56 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

Simple rule - if there are two tenants (partners/husband and wife/friends) then they both get named on the tenancy agreement.

Both parties should be referenced. If one perhaps has a shortfall in income, but the other could cover the whole rent then you could proceed with the tenancy (boith being named of course).

We have rules for a reason.


12:59 PM, 28th March 2022, About 2 years ago

A very experienced property manager told me that he got well heeled parents if possible, especially with students who would not want dad on their back for their default! Parents of whoever is signing the tenancy and to guarantee any partner (by name) as well. Also do a credit check on both anyway?

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