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I have a rental property which I let through a letting agency. The contract is due for renewal and the agents have advised that the tenant has asked if his cousin can be a permitted occupier at the property. They advised that 'As a permitted occupier, he would not be on the contract and would not be liable for the rent'.
I am concerned that if he is not on the contract, what happens if in future, I need to serve notice or if the tenant named on the contract defaults with the rent and does not vacate the property and I have to take action.
In addition, when I asked about Right To Rent checks, the agents said they do not need to do any checks and will just charge an admin fee to add this person's name to their system.
1. If the person is not technically a tenant and is not on the contract, where do I stand as a landlord and does this cause any potential issues for me in the future regarding serving notice and taking possession?
2. Surely the person would need to be ID checked to ensure they have the right to live in the UK?
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
The phrase permitted occupier has no legal significance at all. It is an invention of estate agents. A tenant can invite anyone in to stay as a guest (unless and this is unusual the tenancy agreement forbids it and even if it does this is probably an unenforceable term). A permitted occupier is just someone the tenant allows to stay with them. They gain no rights at all to live in the property beyond the permission of the tenant.
He has no right to be there you do not need to serve any notices on him only on the tenant.
Right to rent checks do not apply as he is not renting.
You might think that the best thing to do is to say that you are not cocncerned about this and if the tenant wants a guest to stay then that is up to him.
Al the above is correct law unless the tenancy creates some special status around the phrase "permitted occupier".
Hello, are you saying that it is best that the person is not added to the contract and I do not need to worry about this because he has no rights?
What happens in the event that the tenant defaults rent payment and vacates but the 'guest' does not vacate and I need to take further action?
If the phrase 'permitted occupier' is not a legal term and has no bearing on the tenancy itself, why are the agents making a note on their system and charging an admin fee to the tenant for doing this?
He has no right to stay and can be summarily evicted. You can not use force so if he doesn't leave you can just change the locks when he isn't there.
They do it because they are estate agents.
Thank you. Please can you explain what you mean by summarily evicted. Does this mean I would not need to undergo the standard eviction process of serving notices and legal action etc?
In the worst case scenario, he doesn't leave the property so locks cannot be changed, what would be the procedure then?
No you can wait until they are out and then change the locks. No notices etc.
Everyone leaves at some point. Using force to evict is illegal so it is necessary to do it when they are out.
If they never ever leave you may need to get a court order. It is much easier to change the locks when no one is there.