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England | Joint and Several Tenancies (England) | Start of a Tenancy (England)

boyfriend as permitted occupier?

25 Sep 2021 | 1 comment

We are about to renew the tenancy agreement (AST) with our exisiting tenant. She would like to have her boyfriend move in with her. The boyfriend is a student and would not be able to pay the rent and therefore would fail the financial part of the referencing – she would continue to pay the rent herself. Is it better to list him as a tenant or a permitted occupier? I would like to avoid a scenario where the tenant moves out and the boyfriend stays behind and is not able to pay the rent and then is protected by tenancy laws, therefore I thought a permitted occupier would be better?

Many thanks in advance!


1 Comment

  1. guildy

    We always prefer names on the tenancy to match adult occupiers where possible.

    The problem is, if she left and he remained and was only a permitted occupier, what notice should be served and what court order required for someone who’s not shown as a tenant? It’s also possible that the partner could argue the permitted occupier status was a sham and in reality was a tenant all the time (a little like trying to give someone a licence when in reality they’re a tenant).

    The Housing Act specifically says that where there’s joint tenants, only one needs to occupy for it to continue as an AST and as such, if one left everything would continue and rent payable by both until possession obtained.

    There are occasions when permitted occupiers are suitable (for example adult children living with parents) but otherwise, in our view it should only be used in rare and specific circumstances.

    Therefore, our view is to do a new tenancy with the new names.

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