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Adding a tenant

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163 views 1 replies latest reply: 29 September 2017

A friend and I just moved into a 2 double-bed flat on a Assured Shorthold Tenancy, and are looking to bring my flatmate’s boyfriend into the flat as an extra tenant, as he has just found a job where we live. While viewing the property, my flatmate’s brother (who viewed the property) asked if this would be possible, and was told that he could be added, and the rent would be unaffected – we would not have signed if they had said no at this point.

Our letting agency have now said that this would not be possible, for two reasons:
The landlord does not think there is “suitable space” for three people to live in the flat (the flat has a decent sized living area and 2 double bedrooms, as stated)
To include three people would mean applying for a HMO licence, costing ~£500 (this could be added to our rent, if necessary)

Based on this, can we 1)contest the landlord’s/letting agency’s decision to add a tenant? 2)get out of the tenancy as we were led to believe there was prior consent to add a tenant?

Thanks in advance.

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Hello Tom, 

You have two big problems here: 

1) You believed what your agent told you (verbally) while viewing a property. Your agent obviously realised that this is a make or break factor for you so they didn’t hesitate to tell you what you want to hear, in order to take the property. 

They might not have meant to mislead you and, maybe, generally believed it wouldn’t be a problem.

2) You trusted a letting agent’s word on a critical factor for renting a property. It’s very important to you. Then, why didn’t you bother talking to the landlord directly and making sure you get the “OKAY” that actually matters. 

3) You signed a contract with the intention to move-in a third person into the property but didn’t bother to ask for a clause to be added to the tenancy agreement.

I’m not trying to blame YOU for the agent’s 180 degree turn. HOWEVER, if you had been proactive to ensure you get the terms that are important to you INTO the lease, before signing, you wouldn’t be in this situation. 

Now, you need to figure out some way to negotiate with the landlord, so the requirements for letting your roommate’s boyfriend into the property are met. That most likely means paying more money.  Otherwise, everybody loses (except the landlord, because they have you on the lease anyway).

Otherwise, everybody loses (except the landlord, because they have you on the lease anyway). You and your roommate are stuck into the property paying the full rent yourselves (you definitely counted on the 3rd person moving in and sharing the expenses). And, the boyfriend has a job, but nowhere to live and getting a place on his own will be expensive.

Just to make sure It’s being said – YOU CAN’T KILL THE TENANCY. You signed the lease with whatever terms were included. Anything beyond those (and the official legislation) is at the discretion of the landlord to permit, or not. 

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