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Tenant wants to remove main breadwinner from tenancy agreement

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Author Topic: Tenant wants to remove main breadwinner from tenancy agreement  (Read 218 times)
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« on: May 27, 2021, 04:37:01 PM »

Hi. Just after some advice please. I have a property that is currently rented by a young family. The husband owns a small eatery and they have so far managed to make payments throughout the pandemic.

When the contract was first drawn up a few years ago, the sister of the husband was living with them and the contract ended up being in the names of the wife and sister. A few month ago the sister moved out and at their request I changed the contract to be in the names of the wife and husband.

I have just been approached by the wife (who I believe is a full time house wife), to make the contract just in her name. I still need to speak to her to find out the reason for requesting this but am wondering if her non-breadwinner status could potentially cause me problems with my mortgage and insurance providers as well as put me a greater risk if they were to default on rent payments. If so, would a guarantee by the husband help to mitigate against this risk or would this still be problematic for the mortgage provider?

Thank you foe your help!
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 05:44:10 PM »

We..... aren't psyhic. We can't guess what if any conditions your mortgagee and/or insurance providers may have imposed on you.

Guarantee makes no sense. If they're guaranteeing and living there, they may as well be directly liable.
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 11:24:49 PM »

We..... aren't psyhic. We can't guess what if any conditions your mortgagee and/or insurance providers may have imposed on you.

Guarantee makes no sense. If they're guaranteeing and living there, they may as well be directly liable.
hi thanks for your response. I guess I was just after some general advice as seasoned landlords (as opposed to psychics) as to whether or not you would do it if you were in my shoes or if there are associated risks with this. No special conditions imposed but I know questions around tenants are often asked in the context of both the mortgage application and insurance renewal. 

I am also not sure if this increases the risk associated with defaulting on rental payments.

Thanks
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 10:02:54 AM »

I am both psychic and a landlord,and I foresee trouble if you agree to her request.Firstly, guarantor agreements are pretty useless when it comes down to it.It's odd that the husband was not on the agreement,but the wife was? It sounds as if the marriage has broken up.Regardless of what your mortgage lender or insurer would say,you need your tenant to have a regular source of income that is sufficient. If she is intending claiming benefits,you need to decide if you are prepared for the hassle this could entail. Does she have children?
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 12:20:31 PM »

I am both psychic and a landlord,and I foresee trouble if you agree to her request.Firstly, guarantor agreements are pretty useless when it comes down to it.It's odd that the husband was not on the agreement,but the wife was? It sounds as if the marriage has broken up.Regardless of what your mortgage lender or insurer would say,you need your tenant to have a regular source of income that is sufficient. If she is intending claiming benefits,you need to decide if you are prepared for the hassle this could entail. Does she have children?

Thanks for your response  ;). Yes she does have a child. I still need to call to get more context but am wondering if this somehow relates to benefits or family credits rather than a marriage break-up. I wanted to equip myself with some ideas first before calling.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 12:33:31 PM »

There is nothing wrong in phoning someone up to ask them things... and then say you'll go away and think about it... you don't have to feel forced to answer the question there and then. You can even come back here with more context afterwards. They want something from you... there simply can be nothing wrong in telling someone that you find it strange that a rental contract (which has liability for rent) being in the name of someone who doesn't work somewhat odd.
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2021, 12:21:16 AM »

Thanks- youíre right. I will do that and come back here.
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 11:36:29 AM »

I spoke to the tenant. Turns out they are getting separated! 😫

The wife will stay in the property with the children and the husband has agreed to pay the rent still. The husband asked me to make the contract just in her name so that she can be entitled to benefits but I told him I wonít be able to do that and that we would need to have him on the contract as long as heís paying the rent. Not sure if they will continue to live there as he seemed to take it badly ......
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2021, 11:45:25 AM »

I did wonder if something like this was involved.I think you could get into bother if you enable them to do anything that could be benefit fraud.This sounds dodgy.Stick to your guns.
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2021, 11:59:50 AM »

There's no benefit fraud if it's declared. If he is paying the rent, then she probably just won't be entitled to UC housing element. She wants it in her name only so she doesn't have to get DWP to accept that they're not living in the same household while on a tenancy agreement together.

The problem for you the landlord is that there's no way for you to actually know if they're really seperated, or only pretending to be.
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2021, 05:05:31 PM »

I spoke to the tenant. Turns out they are getting separated! 😫

The wife will stay in the property with the children and the husband has agreed to pay the rent still. The husband asked me to make the contract just in her name so that she can be entitled to benefits but I told him I wonít be able to do that and that we would need to have him on the contract as long as heís paying the rent. Not sure if they will continue to live there as he seemed to take it badly ......


If it was me - I would insist that the ex-husband is named on the tenancy agreement. Only if he signs it is he liable for it. That will be your only recourse and security if he has signed the contract.
If the ex-wife has no income, i would not rent to her in her own name. Gaurantor is next to useless.

Think of this as a brand new tenancy, and apply what usual background checks and due diligence you would usually.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2021, 07:14:04 PM »

I spoke to the tenant. Turns out they are getting separated! 😫

The wife will stay in the property with the children and the husband has agreed to pay the rent still. The husband asked me to make the contract just in her name so she can be entitled to benefits but I told him I wonít be able to do that and that we would need to have him on the contract as long as heís paying the rent. Not sure if they will continue to live there as he seemed to take it badly ......

So it looks like his plan was to pay the rent for his family for a short while, then exit stage left? It doesn't feel like he intended to pay it ongoing and the family would just get whatever benefits as a nice little bonus. The risk here, now, I suppose is that he just stops paying rent... therefore they stop paying rent (through inability) but just stay put. This could be a headache.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 10:18:42 AM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2021, 10:08:31 AM »

Thanks all- I feel justified now on insisting husband remains on contract. I think it is genuine as wife was in tears when I spoke to her and seemed very distraught.

Husband was very reluctant to stay on contract and insisted that wife would lose benefits if his name remained but I feel this is too much of a headache.

Looks likely that Iíll lose the tenant but this is probably better than the alternative.
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2021, 10:28:14 AM »

In a way (not being expert in these matters) you wonder if it makes sense.

For instance, if the woman is living in a property with her children and the father is nowhere to be found... basically, is living elsewhere and isn't paying anything... then you would think that the Local Authority would provide her with the benefits needed. This isn't a situation where a woman and her children are being evicted physically from the property and turning-up at the Council's offices looking for a B&B. Surely their first port of call shouldn't be the Landlord to finagle the system, somehow... it should be to the Local Authority department that deals with such things? Shouldn't they be making an appointment, explaining the situation to a Human Being who can then explain to them how it works... I suppose with the intention of the woman receiving the benefits needed (hopefully!) to remain in the home? The fact that a tenancy exists is surely a situation that arises a lot?

It's not some uniquely special circumstance, is it? The woman needs to find out, off her own back, whether it's possible for her to start receiving assistance so that she can start paying you rent herself (well, all of us, I mean, but that's not the focus of this). Right now, it certainly feels like assumptions are being made... but, then again, maybe I am doing that right now. I just can't imagine that relationships don't break down every day and those folk don't rent... of course they do... so there's likely a procedure established for this. It may be that any housing benefit portion of UC received isn't enough to cover the rent they are liable for... but maybe the person moving out will be happy topping it up... or maybe you will be happy accepting a bit less, knowing that you've not ended up kicking a single mother out of her home.

And, then, at the end of the day... it could all be a big con attempt. Who knows?

If she was an acceptable Tenant before... then she'll be even more acceptable with the best paying customer in the country behind her.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 10:30:14 AM by Hippogriff »
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