Question

Girlfriend wants to move in – misc Qs.

by | 3 Jan 2017

I have a tenant on an AST, fixed term for 6 months from November 2016, thereafter, periodic.

His parents are guarantors.

His US girlfriend will be staying with him as a visitor in a couple of weeks’ time, but they are now asking if she would be able to move in permanently. She will be a student for 10 months at a local university..

Am I correct that the steps to follow are:

  1. Get girlfriend to complete tenancy application.

Do I have send her EPC?

  1. Do background checks. Get right to rent information. Get someone to look at her passport/ID in her physical presence.

If willing, can the University do that for me as my agent?

  1. Reissue completely new guarantee? Necessary?

If so, do I have to get them to reapply on application form?

  1. Reissue a completely new tenancy in both names, with all accompanying documents as before (prescribed info, how to rent, Smoke Alarm etc already included in standard AST. Also crim record declaration and management regs with relevant parts of headlease that they have to abide by).

Guarantee and AST to begin before she visits him?

Does smoke alarm have to be rechecked?

(Condensation, fire assessment and legionella assessment docs are in the flat but I could email them to her also.)

Do I have to re-do inventory and get her to sign?

  1. They sign, witnessed where necessary, send to me, I sign and send to them.

  2. Once tenancy started, unprotect deposit and re-protect. (If I unprotect it before tenancy begins, they might change minds and then deposit would be left unprotected – ?)

Am I correct that Guarantors guarantee the rent and other tenancy obligations, not the person, as it were, so if tenant left and girlfriend remained, tenant’s parents would be liable for her breaches?

I have asked head landlord about it and will probably be told I will have to pay another fee to them.
Can I charge girlfriend any fee?

Sorry this is long but it seemed good to have it all in one place. Thanks!

Answer

6 Comments

  1. guildy

    I answer below each point:

    Get girlfriend to complete tenancy application.

    Do I have send her EPC?

    Do background checks. Get right to rent information. Get someone to look at her passport/ID in her physical presence.

    Yes to all above

    If willing, can the University do that for me as my agent?

    Only if you have a “written” agreement that they will do it. Best to do yourself.

    Reissue completely new guarantee? Necessary?

    Yes, I’m afraid so – it’s a whole new tenancy (not a renewal).

    If so, do I have to get them to reapply on application form?

    No

    Reissue a completely new tenancy in both names, with all accompanying documents as before (prescribed info, how to rent, Smoke Alarm etc already included in standard AST. Also crim record declaration and management regs with relevant parts of headlease that they have to abide by).

    Criminal record is optional and would only be needed from new tenant. Otherwise, yes to all.

    Guarantee and AST to begin before she visits him?

    This doesn’t matter. A guest with your consent is okay. However, the sooner the better.

    Does smoke alarm have to be rechecked?

    Yes

    (Condensation, fire assessment and legionella assessment docs are in the flat but I could email them to her also.)
    Do I have to re-do inventory and get her to sign?

    There is no need to send any tenants fire or legionella assessments – just any documents arising from the assessment (e.g. legionella guidance). I think because you’re so near the beginning of the original tenancy that if she will just sign existing inventory that should be sufficient.

    They sign, witnessed where necessary, send to me, I sign and send to them.

    If doing this way, leave undated and only you fill in dates on tenancy. Would be best if can arrange to meet all persons at one go. Can do guarantor remotely first if you prefer. You could also consider electronic signing.

    Once tenancy started, unprotect deposit and re-protect. (If I unprotect it before tenancy begins, they might change minds and then deposit would be left unprotected – ?)

    Agreed

    Am I correct that Guarantors guarantee the rent and other tenancy obligations, not the person, as it were, so if tenant left and girlfriend remained, tenant’s parents would be liable for her breaches?

    Correct

    I have asked head landlord about it and will probably be told I will have to pay another fee to them.

    This is likely as it’s a new tenancy, not a renewal.

    Can I charge girlfriend any fee?

    If agreed by the new tenant

  2. Danny

    Many thanks for this. A few supplemental Qs:

    Could existing tenant do ID check as my agent?

    Could existing tenant do smoke alarm check, ditto?

    If parents declined to be the only guarantors under these circs, could girlfriend also provide her own guarantors, that is, in addition to current ones?

    If so, same document OK or would there have to be two guarantee docs?

    Deposit becomes the property of both of them? If current tenant is lead tenant, he would decided what happened to it at end of tenancy (as between the pair of them)- correct?

  3. guildy

    That wouldn’t be possible to use existing tenant to do ID check. Even if possible, you would need a written agreement between you both enabling them to do the checks.

    Again, they would need to be officially your agent and I don’t think this would work because they would not be acting purely in your interest. They have a conflict of interest so don’t think it would ever be possible for them to be your agent.

    You could get an additional guarantor although this complicates the issue (for example which one do you go after?). You would need two guarantee documents because there’s only room for one on ours but that just adds to the confusion! We always prefer just one guarantor where possible.

    Correct to the deposit questions.

  4. Danny

    Thanks very much. Very helpful.

    Old tenancy runs from the 4th of month, and rent is payable on 4th of month. I can do ‘check-in’ on 31 Jan. Smoke alarm has to be checked on first day of tenancy so I shall have to start new tenancy on 31 Jan. Correct?

    Tenant will have to change standing order to 31st.

    So I will have to refund rent already paid for those last 4 days of old tenancy.

    To calculate daily rate, would I divide monthly rent by 31? Or multiply monthly rent by 12 and divide by 365? (Rent is payable per calendar month.)

    • guildy

      I would make the start date of tenancy 31 January but our tenancy agreements allow you to have a different rent date.

      In the section that says first FULL payment of rent, you would put 4th February 2017 (and thereafter 4th each month). That way nothing needs changing in respect of rent.

      You should ensure the end date you choose is 3rd of a month so that when it ends and goes periodic, the rent days match the periods.

  5. Danny

    Thanks very much indeed and I now see that, had I read the tenancy builder more carefully, I would have seen instructions about the dates on that.

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