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Question

England | Start of a Tenancy (England) | Tenancy Agreements (England)

granting tenancy prospect on universal credit

18 Jan 2021 | 1 comment

Dear Guildy,

I have a prospect tenant that is recieving universal credit he was interested in my room but said for universal credit to pay his rent he would have to show them a valid tenancy agreement, I would be open to accepting this tenant but granting and issuing a tenant contract with out first receiving any monies down does not appear to be workable to me, I know your not allowed to discriminate but i take a month in advance and a month deposit plus credit and reference checks before granting a tenancy any feedback on how one can make tenants on universal credit feasable and workable method would be appreciated, please?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    It is not discrimination to follow your normal requirements. You are perfectly entitled to inform them that the first rent plus deposit will be required before keys are handed over. It’s only discrimination if you treat someone on Universal Credit differently to others.

    It’s unlawful to take anything more than one weeks holding deposit before a tenancy agreement is granted under the Tenant Fees Act. You can however make it clear that keys won’t be handed over until the first rent plus deposit is paid and this would need to be done on whatever start date was agreed. If they’re unable to do this, you shouldn’t grant them a tenancy. We would also strongly suggest a they provide a home-owning guarantor.

    On the Tenancy Builder, you’re able to produce a draft agreement. You could send that across for them to look at before anything is formally agreed and ensure any communication continues to say “subject to contract”.

    See here for tenant fees.

    Link to new Tenancy Builder.

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