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Apart from 'what would you like if the positions were reversed?' you can be in big trouble for not telling the truth. The fact that you would have him back is good news for him.
tell the truth, add the explanations that you gave in mitigation. Hopefully the new place will take up a smaller percentage of his earnings, and so once he has paid off arrears he can build up some savings for the next time. (because everyone loses their job at some stage)
you should probably also state that there is a family connection.
Help please I have been asked to provide a landlord reference to a lettings agent for a tenant. The tenant in question is my DH cousin. He is currently in arrears (1300) but is making over payment to correct for this. This arose as he lost his job and was unable to pay full rent for a short period of time. He is paying a reduced amount of rent from the original tenancy agreement due to losing employment for a period of time.
He has given us notice last week and intends to be out sometime in the next few months. He has a new fridge and washing machine which he is likely to leave behind in lieu of some of the arrears.
The reference asks: "How much was the monthly rent?" (varied) "Was it paid promptly and in full for the period of the tenancy" (No) "Would you relet to these tenants?" (Yes) and some other details I have to answer and then sign this and return it.
I do not want to jeopardise his new property but do not want to risk any problems from his future landlords. Any advice or suggestions greatly received.