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Tenancy Agreements (England) | Tenant References and Guarantors (England)

Tenants with Criminal Convictions

10 Feb 2017 | 4 comments

I know some landlord insurance policies do not allow tenants with criminal convictions. To protect myself, is it advisable to have a clause in the tenancy agreement to cover the following since it is not possible to get a DBS or CRB check done on a potential tenant?

never been convicted of a criminal offence, apart from motoring offences and spent convictions (as defined under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act).
never been charged but not yet convicted of a criminal offence, other than a motoring offence
never been cautioned for a criminal offence.



  1. guildy

    I don’t think such a term would be a fair term and therefore unenforceable (in any event, what would you do if they had a criminal offence?).

    The time to ask the question is before the tenancy. Our application for accommodation asks the question and they must sign a declaration that all answers are true. In addition, we have a separate criminal record declaration.

    I think if they lied about having non on the application form, that would be sufficient that the insurance would have to pay out because you at least asked the question and they have declared it to be true. As you say, you can’t check yourself.

  2. quoc

    Rather than asking the question and getting them to sign the declaration on the application for accommodation, wouldn’t it be the same if it was just placed onto the tenancy agreement itself?

  3. guildy

    I think it’s a bit late by then if your position is that you won’t let a property to somebody with a criminal record on the basis the insurance may not pay out?

    What would you do if they move in and then after a week they say (or you find out) they have a criminal record and they’ve just noticed the clause?

    This is something that needs dealing with at the application stage so an informed decision can be made whether to let them in the property.

    If they have lied on the application form, ground 17 would be available to seek possession where the landlord was induced into granting a tenancy by a false statement of the tenant.

    Ground 17

    The tenant is the person, or one of the persons, to whom the tenancy was granted and the landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly by—

    (a) the tenant, or

    (b) a person acting at the tenant’s instigation.

    Without an application form, it would be difficult to prove the false statement was made.

  4. quoc

    That makes sense now. Thank you!

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