What should I do if my tenant asks if their partner can move in?
It’s not uncommon for landlords to initially agree a tenancy with one person and then find that later down the line their partner is asking to join them. As a landlord, this can cause some worry; they may have a great working relationship with their single tenant and not ever have met their partner.
When deciding whether to add a second name to the contract, it is worth weighing up how much you would like the original tenant to stay in situ. There is a high chance that if you refuse their request they will look for somewhere else to live for the both of them.
Similarly, turning a blind eye to a second person living there can come with other potential problems, however tempting this course of action can be. It is usually recommended that anyone over the age of 18 who is living in the property is named on the tenancy agreement regardless of whether they are the ones paying the rent or not. If they are not named then there is no contract in place with them, leaving the landlord with no protection and effectively meaning they can’t be held liable for any damage or problems they may cause at the property.
If you do decide to go ahead and consider adding the second person to the contract then we would usually recommend conducting the same references as you did on the original person. Once a credit check, financial reference and previous landlord’s reference has been completed you are in a much stronger position to assess whether they can be added to the contract. In this case, usually the previous landlord’s reference is the most important as the rent is already being paid by the first tenant. A previous landlord’s reference will help you assess whether they have looked after their previous property adequately.
Remember, if you do decide to add them to the contract you will either need to draw up an addendum to this effect or issue a new tenancy agreement in both names, depending on the type of contract you have in place.
If you have any questions on this process or if you would like any advice, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team on 01737 416516 or firstname.lastname@example.org