What to do if my tenant has moved their partner in


Where do I stand if my tenant has moved a partner in?  Is my tenant allowed to move their partner in?  Can a tenant legally move someone else into a rented property?

The answer to this question all depends on the tenancy agreement.  If your tenancy agreement states very clearly that the tenancy is a ‘single occupancy’, the landlord can definitely start proceedings to evict the unwanted party.  The legal tenant has broken the rules of the tenancy, and the courts will back the landlord.

If, however, the tenancy agreement does not state clearly the exact rules regarding the number of people allowed to live at the property, it will be far more complicated to evict, and will probably have to go through the courts.  It could be a lengthy and stressful process!

As a landlord, it’s important to have a think about the implications of this breach in the tenancy.  Does it really have a negative effect on your property or income?  If, for example, your property has a double bedroom but has been rented to a single occupant, is it worth disrupting the apple cart just because they have moved a partner in?  Presuming the ‘unofficial’ new occupant is a good person and you have no reason to worry, it’s probably best to leave the situation until the end of the tenancy.  You could add the extra tenant when the agreement comes up for renewal.

On the other hand, if you have a bad feeling about someone extra that has moved in, or if you believe something unlawful is going on, for example, drugs or sub-letting – perhaps it is worth seeking legal advice on what actions you can take.

In order to avoid situations like this, it’s essential that your tenancy agreement is comprehensive from the outset.

Here are some things that should be included in any good tenancy: -

  • Names and addresses of all tenants and landlords
  • The type of tenancy – is it single occupancy/ double occupancy?
  • The date the tenancy began and the duration of the agreement
  • Details about whether other people are allowed to stay at the property, including specific details about which rooms and who can stay
  • The amount of rent that is payable each month
  • Whether the rent can be increased, by how much, and how often
  • What the rent payment includes, for example, council tax? Ground rent?
  • What services the landlord will provide, such as what will be maintained, service charges, and exactly who is responsible for what
  • How much notice the landlord/ tenant must give to end the agreement (there are statutory rules about this – See our blog titled ‘How to evict your tenant legally’)
  • Any other specific details that need to be mentioned to cover both parties and make the agreement run smoothly

The more detail that goes into this agreement, the less likely the landlord is to come across problems and issues with discrepancies and ambiguous wording further down the line.   Take time to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’ with your tenancy agreement and seek legal and professional advice to ensure you have every base covered.  Once you have a ‘blueprint’ agreement in place, it’s easy to amend it to suit other tenancies.  It’s most definitely worth paying for a professional or rental company to oversee this stage as it will pay off in the long run, and you, the landlord, will have peace of mind.

Are you a landlord?  Have you ever come across this situation and how did you deal with it?  Are you a tenant?  What are your thoughts on this article?  Have you ever been a victim of a badly written tenancy agreement?  We would love to hear your opinions and stories.

We are happy to help with any questions about tenancy agreements, whether you are a client of ours or not.

Send us an email to lettings@pmslettings.co.uk  or pop into our office in West Street, Chichester for a nice coffee and a friendly chat.