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Undeclared partner, applying for new flat.

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857 views 2 replies latest reply: 18 February 2015

Hi, two years ago I was living with my girlfriend in surry whilst she was at uni. We had a joint tenancy. When my partner finished uni we were in a rush to find a new place back back in Kent and we were both unemployed. All we could find was a small apartment which was listed as being for a single person only. Our only option at the time was to have my girlfriend take the flat in her name and for me to live there secretly.

All has been fine but now we both have jobs and would like to move to somewhere better. So now we have the problem that the new letting agent will want to know where I have been living for the last two years.

I want to be on the tenancy this time but I’m worried that if we apply they will ask for a reference and our current agent will find out I’ve been living here. They could evict and possibly sue us. If we tell the new agent that our current agreement is only in my partners name will they mention me when they ask the current landlord for a reference?

Should we just be honest with the new agent? Will our past deception harm our application? 

This problem is too complex to google, your advice would be appreciated, thank you.

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Hi Scott

I’m not a lawyer but I’m not sure on what basis you could be sued? Certainly not by the agent as your agreement is with the landlord.  Essentially, it sounds like you’ve been a sort of lodger or a subtenant? I’m sure the tenancy prevents this without the landlord’s permission and so would give the landlord grounds for evicting you both if the landlord/agent finds out, that’s likely to be the main issue you face – unless there’s something specific in the agreement about non-single occupancy? What does the agreement say about lodgers or subtenants?

In terms of what the new or old agents are likely to do it’s almost impossible to predict their reactions as you’re asking – some agents may not think this is worth making a fuss over, others might be less lenient. Remember that agents really only want to make sure that you’re going to be able to pay the rent in the new place and be a good tenant that won’t cause them problems so as long as you can prove to the new agent you can afford the new place and you have a landlord reference for your girlfriend you might be ok – after all, you could have been living at home with your folks during that time in which case you wouldn’t have a landlord reference for yourself anyway.

No it wasn’t a very good idea and you should have told the landlord and agent you were living there too and been put on the tenancy but as you’re about to leave, personally, I think it might be more hassle than it’s worth to tackle this now (but I’m not a legal professional or renting expert). If you want some professional advice on this then I would speak to Shelter, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or take your agreement to a law centre

Don’t panic though (you sound a bit like you are!), normally these situations can be resolved.



Thanks Alex, we are a bit more relaxed now.

Our current agent has a reputation for being strict and the agreement says no one else can live here. It’s a tiny apartment.

I think we’ll just be honest with the next agent, they probably come across this type of thing all the time, right?

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