do I have to tell my landlord i'm pregnant?

(26 Posts)
plantsitter Wed 28-Jan-09 11:15:23

I have done a search on this and can't find anything so sorry if it's repetitious.

I'm due to give birth on Monday. We moved into our flat 4 months ago and the year-long contract has a break clause after 4 months i.e. pretty much now. I thought we might have to tell the landlord about the baby because of his buildings insurance but I'm not sure - and am a bit concerned that if he doesn't want a baby in his house he will serve us notice. I can't handle this with a newborn!

Does anyone know if it's a legal requirement? There is nothing about it in the contract. We did tell the agent when we were looking I was expecting a baby but the agency is crap and I'd be surprised if they'd passed it on or even considered it, tbh.

Thanks in advance

OhBling Wed 28-Jan-09 11:16:30

I have no legal answer for this. But I cannot for one minute imagine that whether you have a baby or not is in the slightest bit relevant to your landlord.

newmumof2 Wed 28-Jan-09 11:45:01

if there is nothing written in the lease then you shouldn't have any problem. a baby shouldn't affect his buidings insurance i wouldn't think, otherwise every new parent, renting or houseowner would have to contact their insurers!

when i was 3 months pregant with ds1 we moved into rented and didn't declare i was pregnant, later on our landlord saw i was pregnant but was fine and few times he visited after he asked about the baby....

i wouldn't worry, we rented a 2 bed so it was our choice how we used the 2nd bedroom..

good luck and congratulations!

newmumof2 Wed 28-Jan-09 11:46:44

btw, i am also a landlord myself and if my tenants (a couple) got pregnant i wouldn't mind. surely these things happen! don't worry, enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 28-Jan-09 11:47:34

I didn't and even my twattish landlord had no problem.

He even asked to see the baby once.

Unless you are planning on giving birth tto a puppy and have a no pets clause, it no business of your landlords.

If you claim HB you should tell the council though as you will be entitled to more after the baby is born.

WEESLEEKITLauriefairycake Wed 28-Jan-09 11:48:27

I also don't know the answer to this but I have rented before when it specified no children and no pets so if the landlord specified no children surely he could serve notice?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 28-Jan-09 11:49:46

But surely its against some sort of dicsrimination law to give notice just because your tennant has become pg?

WEESLEEKITLauriefairycake Wed 28-Jan-09 11:54:32

if that were the case they wouldn't be allowed to advertise no children, no pets, no dss hmm in the first place.

Conract-wise it can't be any different to getting a dog, you're changing the contract by having a baby if they specified no children when you signed your contract.

If they didn't specify I'm sure you'll be fine.

Gorionine Wed 28-Jan-09 11:58:51

I do not know about legal issues but if it reassures you, we moved with two children in a two bed semi 5 years ago and had two more children since. the estate agents comes every 3 month for routine inspection, and not once did they comment on the fact we had two more Dcs than when we moved in. I think as long as you treat the place approriately there is no reason why you should worry.

Reallytired Wed 28-Jan-09 12:02:36

If you have told your letting agency then there shouldn't be a problem. Your letting agency is acting for your landlord.

In the early stages of a tenancy a landlord can serve notice for whatever reason he/she likes, depending on your contract. You don't even have to give reasons, or it can be something simple like just wanting to sell the property. I think the problem with discrimination is proving it.

Ie. you can evict a tennant with two months notice for being too irrating, even if they pay their rent on time. We came very close to evicting a tenant who phoned us at 4.30am in the morning to complain about the colour of the carpet.

We had a tenant who had a baby and we really weren't that bothered. The only concern I would have would be health and safety and knowing what the landlord's responsiblites were. Ie. would we be liable if the baby fell down the stairs, or is that the parent's responsiblity.

PortAndLemon Wed 28-Jan-09 12:03:38

If there isn't any "no children" clause then you don't need to tell them.

Gorionine Wed 28-Jan-09 12:08:00

Rellytired Why would you be liable if the baby of your tenent falls down the stairs? Unless you specifie that you do not want them to fit stair gates...

plantsitter Wed 28-Jan-09 12:22:18

Thanks for replies. Wonder if I am just finding things to worry about.

Reallytired Wed 28-Jan-09 12:24:23

I want my tenants to be happy and healthy. We are nice landlords and usually tenants stay in the flat quite a long time. Our last tenants even left us a box of chocolates which was a real shock.

Toddlers have inquistive fingers and what is unlikely to hurt an adult could hurt a crawling baby.

Properties often suffer wear and tear and it can be difficult to know what needs repairing unless your tenant tells you. For example if a baby pulled a kitchen cupboard off its hinges and hurt himself because the screws were loose then whose fault is it?

Its why our letting agent inspects the property to spot things that need attention. I couldn't really care less how tidy the tenant is, but I want them to be safe.

We live in a suing happy world, where many people would be prepared to sue their own mother.

Gorionine Wed 28-Jan-09 12:36:22

I agree with you ,Reallytired,that we live weird times and people sue anybody for anything and it is very sad. I admittingly did not think about that, but as a tenant, it would never cross my mind to make my landlady responsible for one of my children's fall or fingers in the plug . I would however, bring it to her attention if let's say the wiring was faulty or slates where falling of the roof if you see what I mean. You seem as nice a landlady as ours and she will also get chocs when we live!

sorrento Wed 28-Jan-09 13:20:12

Reallytired, you must have fantastic agents then, our spotted a hole in the wall caused by tenannts moving furniture at the 6 month inspection, wrote it down but failed to tell us, now would we have agreed to another 6 months had we known how they were treating our property, I think not.

OP I wouldn't worry even the no children term is up for discussion and a baby isn't going to damage the property like my three monkeys might so I'm sure you'll be fine for the first year at least, by which time you might want more space anyway.

plantsitter Wed 28-Jan-09 17:48:30

Sorrento surely you took it/will take it out of the tenants' deposit when they left/leave? Accidents happen. Your tenants might even fix the hole before they leave but if they pay their rent on time surely it's more hassle for you to find and vet the new tenants and do the cleaning and fixing that I'm sure you like to do for new tenants' arrival than chuck them out?

Reallytired if my landlord were as nice as you sound I wouldn't worry about telling him! Sadly he is not. I take your point about suing but surely you'd only have a case if you'd informed the landlord repeatedly of a problem? Not that I would sue anyway unless something happened that was as a result of real negligence on the landlord's part. And I'd consider myself responsible for my own child's safety anyway.

Simplysally Wed 28-Jan-09 17:54:59

I wouldn't think so - I was pg in a student house and only told the landlord as I wanted to give notice I'd giving up the room and not renewing the lease. I don't think they would have cared if I'd kept a troupe of performing monkeys in my room as long as I paid my rent on time grin.

Reallytired Wed 28-Jan-09 19:25:07

"I don't think they would have cared if I'd kept a troupe of performing monkeys in my room as long as I paid my rent on time "

That would be my feeling on the matter.

I think that Sorrento has been very lucky as a landlady if one hole in the wall is worst the tenant has done to her property.

Our worst ever tenants had social services wanting to take their kids into care and the tenants smeared poo on the walls. One of the tenants also got jailed for attempted murder. There were bloodstains all over the kitchen and it was really expensive to clear up professionally.

I can cope with the odd hole in the wall especially as we usually redecorate between tenancies. As our flat is small I prefer to have a single professional as a tenant. We also charge quite a high rent so it has to look good to justify the rent.

When you have a rental propety you have to be emotionally detached from it and treat it as a business. A rental propety is not the landlords home, even if the landlord lived there in the past.

I'm a landlord and my tenant is pregnant (she hasn't told me this but it's obvious now). It hadn't occurred to me that I should be in the least bit annoyed, so I can't see why your landlord should be. As far as insurance is concerned, companies just want to know how many adults live in the property. I don't think children affect it at all.
Try not to worry and good luck with the birth. smile

Gorionine Thu 29-Jan-09 08:10:28

Reallytired, I definitely agree with you on the fact that the landlord should not be attached emotionnaly to his property. We had that with our first landlady and it was a nightmare, always there checking the windows were clean and mostly turning up unannounced. It left me traumatised (really). After the horrible experience, we moved a block down on the same street five years ago and never had a problem since, as the estate agent and the landlady that we had the pleasure to meet are both fab. saying that, I still have panic attacks (the real thing, not an expression!) in the three days preceeding an inspection also nothing has gone wrong at all yet.

Reallytired Thu 29-Jan-09 09:55:41

Its against the law for a landlord to turn up unnannounced. A tenant is entitlted peaceful enjoyment of a property.

My husband and I became landlords by accident seven years ago. My son had just been born and we were desperate to move out of our tiny flat and get house. Unfortunately our flat was taking longer than antisipated to sell. We therefore decided to rent it out.

We have been tenants before and know what its like. I have had good landlords and bad landlords. For years we were caught in the rent trap of not being able to get enough of a desposit for a mortgage.

One landlord was a nightmare, he kept coming round every week to fuss about his flat as well as trying to "convert" me to Christianity. Yet his christian ideals did not extend to doing any maintaince or returning my desposit at the end of the tenancy. Infact I only got two thirds of my desposit back after threatening to take him to the small claims court.

I worry about all the new buy to let landlords who don't want to sell their properties in the credit crunch. I wonder how many of them have actually thought through their responsibilites or the true costs of having a rental property.

I think as a landlord or a tenant I recommend you choose an ALRA registered letting agent. A good letting agent will make sure that the landlord complies with the law, the deposit is kept in a secure account and proper safety checks are carried out. I also think a good letting agent is a good barrier between either the tenant or the landlord taking the pi$$.

Gorionine Thu 29-Jan-09 12:48:40

She was also a neighbour, so at times, very hard to restrict access to the house to her. I think what shocked me the most in our mishap with her was the fact that I had always thought of her as a friens as well as a landlady and I certainly will not make the same mistake again!

But anyway as I said, our current letting agent and landlady have been great for the last 5 years. LOL at the landlord trying to convert you, we had a gas man like that but we would only see him once a year for boiler check so not to bad!

Thank you for the tip about ALRA, as we are planning to move to a bigger place soon!

Simplysally Thu 29-Jan-09 16:57:15

My landlord got rid of his agency after I was installed in the flat as they decided to manage it themselves but they do seem quite reasonable (so far). I would prefer an agency to act as a buffer between us though as RT says.

Gorionine Thu 29-Jan-09 18:53:07

sounds familliar! beware! that is how the nightmare started for us!

Flatliners Fri 16-Dec-11 12:35:49

In October last year, when 6 months pregnant as a single mum renting an apartment in a prestigious area of Wimbledon, I wrote to my Iranian landlord's (based in NY) agent in Wimbledon village to ask them to enquire with him if he had any plans to sell the property before the end of my tenancy several months later. I received no reply and called the agent (not part of a nationwide network so I thought I could trust them) who laughed at the question and said 'of course not'. In the meantime, the one and only toilet in the apartment became blocked yet again and sewage continued to build up as if there was a blockage deep within the plumbing which was getting worse. I was worried that if the sewage pipe problem worsened to the point where there was no function whatsoever I wouldn't be able to have live-in help at the time of the birth. Many phone calls and letters to the agent and landlord later I was told by the agent that the landlord flatly refused to fix the sewage pipe as he now planned to sell the property and if I wanted to fix it I should arrange to have the toilet, bath and washbasin removed in order to send a camera down the drain to examine the source of the blockage and I should arrange the works and pay for them myself as I must be throwing sanitary towels down the toilet (categorically denied by myself). Citizens Advice bureaux, Shelter and Merton council said they couldn't help and a hospital midwife declared that tenants had greater rights than landlords.Finally,a letter from my GP appears to have been the spur that drove my landlord to begin major plumbing works to remove the cracked pipe, two weeks before the birth of my child. In the meantime, the landlord's brother, in an act of inexplicable cruelty, lied to me just before work began, and claimed that I would have a monthly periodic tenancy after contract expiry (when baby would be 6 weeks old), allowing me 4 weeks notice to quit from the landlord. 7 days before the birth, he posted a notice to quit, requiring me to leave on the day the lease ended. No amount of pleading through the brother or agent would change the outcome. Instead, when my son was 10 days old I had to leave him with my hired help and travel around South West London urgently looking for a home for us. I was repeatedly shown properties which later mysteriously went to another tenant or else required a full 12 months guarantee or even had water flowing through the ceiling of the main bedroom. Agents even had the neck totell me that landlords would not rent if there was a baby. In the end I had to drive on 60 mile round trips into Surrey to see if i could find somewhere for us to live and had to pay a fortune to rent a 3 storey house from which we had to move 7 months later in order for me to return to work and my son stay with a good childminder. Has any other single parent had such an experience? How can English law utterly defy logic in denying basic protection to tenants who are rendered vulnerable by circumstances?

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