Tenants Daughter comes of age – on or off the AST?

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Tenants Daughter comes of age – on or off the AST?

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Tenants Daughter comes of age – on or off the AST?

I have a good tenant; he pays on the dot, is happy where he is and wants to stay on long term.

He is a single parent and has a teenage daughter that has recently come of age. His AST is up for renewal and we are both happy to renew.

The daughter doesn’t seem to be in any kind of permanent work so presumably is wholly dependent on the father (for paying the rent etcetera).
2 Questions for the community;
1) Should I include the daughter on the new AST?
2) What is the risk in not doing so?

I’m sure there are many ‘What ifs’ to consider (and here’s a few of mine)
• What if the unexpected happened to her Dad?
• What if she got a boyfriend who wanted to move in?
• What if she became pregnant?

I’m sure the answer to these and many other scenarios will come out of the comments addressing points 1 & 2 above.

Thanks in advance to the community for their thoughts

ClaudioOnoff

Comments

Neil Patterson

3 years ago

I am sorry if this is a stupid question, but how old is the daughter now.

Is she still in full time education?

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "29/10/2014 - 10:38":

Hi Neil, the daughter is just 18 and is not in work, education or training to my knowledge (I think she does nails for a few old dears for pin money, but that's about it). I'm mindful that this situation could be fluid - I'm not fully on top of their domestic affairs or her ambitions/drivers.
Cheers!

Neil Patterson

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Claudio Valentini" at "29/10/2014 - 10:45":

I am sure you will get more expert advice than mine on this field, but I see no reason why she should not be added to the AST for your protection.

Chris Sheldon

3 years ago

Hi Claudio,

There are a few things to consider here. If the tenancy ever went into arrears the daughter is currently unemployed and therefore adding her to the AST serves little purpose other than having another person to take to court, as of today she has no way of paying which means that she will be given a ccj and you would receive your money in small amounts over a long period of time. Something landlords generally speaking aren't overly fond of. However, she may get a job in the future but you should only realistically make a decision based on the facts in front of you.

If the unexpected happened to her father you would have a similar situation to the above whereby you have a tenant with no income living in your property, she would probably seek accommodation from the council assuming she has no relatives to live with which means they would not look to rehouse her until you had served notice for possession on her meaning you will most likely be looking at 3 months rent arrears.

If she became pregnant she will at least have some income from the state eventually.

Im looking at this from a very cynical point of view and whilst i apologise for casting a dark cloud over what appears to be a good tenant it is better to prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised than give them the benefit of the doubt and suffer later.

If i was in your situation, when i renewed the tenancy i would add the daughter as a permitted occupier thus meaning she is entitled to occupy the property whilst her father is a tenant, but does not have the same rights as a tenant, therefore if the father left the property then she has no legal right to stay.

Hope this helps a little

Romain Garcin

3 years ago

One thing to keep in mind is that "adding her to the AST" is in fact creating a brand new tenancy with a brand new tenant.
So you need to consider how to handle any deposit, and how to handle any inventory/schedule of condition.
In addition this would reset the clock in the sense that they'd gain protection from s.21 eviction for 6 months, though that's probably not important here.

I've never been clear on the benefit of specifying that someone is a permitted occupier.

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Sheldon" at "29/10/2014 - 11:32":

Dear Chris,,
Excellent!
Thanks for your comments and I'm with you on this.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best! Meanwhile, and just for my education;
Do you know as a 'permitted occupier' what rights does one have to stay on in a property if the named tenant 'goes away'?
And what is the correct process to regain possession of a property inhabited by a 'permitted occupier'?
Best Wishes
Claudio

Andrew Turner

3 years ago

Given that the existing tenant's tenancy is up for renewal, I would recommend including the daughter as a joint tenant in the new agreement.

If you were ever required to serve notice to recover possession of the property, it would be a much clearer and more straightforward process if you were dealing with two named tenants, rather than one named tenant and one 'permitted occupier'. The status of 'permitted occupiers' is notoriously vague and County Court judges can make life very difficult for landlords who are recovering possession from such occupiers.

Good luck.

Andrew
Hughes Paddison Solicitors

Reply to the comment left by "Andrew Turner" at "29/10/2014 - 12:08":

Thank you Andrew and to Romain for the previous contribution/comment.
So given that the deposit and the inventory schedule was handled two years ago at the outset of the original tenancy and renewed again last year, would creating a new tenancy that includes the daughter require refunding the original deposit and then re-protecting it again?
I have changed management companies in the last year, so the new AST would come from the new management company. Do I need to get the AST, Deposit (and to a lesser extent, the inventory schedule) all under the same roof?
Best Wishes
Claude

Chris Sheldon

3 years ago

@Romain We mostly use a permitted occupier in line with rent guarantee insurance where one person, for whatever reason is unable to cover the correct portion of rent i.e. couple with a child one working one not. This allows us to get cover on the tenancy whilst permitting the non-working partner occupation

@Claudio Strictly speaking the tenant does not have a right to stay on, they were only permitted occupation whilst the tenant was in occupation. Therefore if the tenant was to leave the property suddenly the tenant would still be liable for the rent and therefore responsible for the state of the property and the normal route should be followed to evict the tenant.

If, as an example, the tenant had gotten into arrears and agreed to leave the property on a certain date (obviously fully documented with a surrender of tenancy), left but in effect gave the occupier permission to stay on, firstly you have not received vacant possession of the property and the tenant is still liable for rent and secondly the eviction process is very quick and covered under the criminal justice and public order act. You would have to make an emergency application to the courts for an interim possession order. If from 24 hours once the order is served the tenant has not left the property the police have the right to access the property and remove the occupier (if it reached this point i would advise taking a locksmith with you as the police aren’t renowned for being gentle when it comes to gaining access). A final hearing would follow 7 days from that date and then a final possession order if the tenant cannot present a valid defence.

It is unlikely that it would reach this point as most occupiers would leave when the tenant left, it is however very important not to demand rent from the occupier as an occupier under the terms of the tenancy agreement is not responsible for this and it could be perceived in law that by accepting rent you are in fact creating a new tenancy with the occupier and thus giving them the same rights as a tenant on a new contract.

Andrew Turner

3 years ago

You would not need to refund the deposit and then re-protect it. You simply need to liaise with the existing tenant and the deposit protection scheme to ensure that the terms upon which the deposit are held are updated to reflect the new tenancy.

It makes practical sense for your new management company to be in charge of the issuing of the new AST (although I would get the AST quickly checked over by a solicitor as there are all types of badly drafted ASTs floating around out there) and the carrying out of the inventory check and schedule of condition.

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