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Not sure how to answer tenant’s question

(233 Posts)
Silverflake Wed 04-Dec-19 07:51:28

I’m renting my flat out from today, the tenants (couple, 2 bed flat) are moving in this afternoon. I’ve not been a landlord before so this is all new to me.

I’ve had a message from the letting agent today: “The tenant reached out to us asking once they move in and been there for a couple of weeks how it would work with having friends over and if you allowed them how long it for them to stay?”

I’m not sure how to answer this. I rented myself for 20 years and it wouldn’t have occurred to me to ask this - I had friends or relatives to stay on odd occasions for a night or two, maybe every few weeks.

I wouldn’t want people staying there all the time as I have to think of my neighbours downstairs (small block of 4 flats) and additional noise. And wear and tear on the flat to a certain extent I suppose? Do I even have the right to specify this though? And if so, what is reasonable? Are they trying to get me to agree to a certain amount so that it becomes a regular arrangement/partial sublet thing and then I can’t complain at a later date? Or am I overthinking it?

WIBU to say they can have one or two people to stay no more than once a week? Really not sure what the done thing is here so any advice would be great, thanks

lastqueenofscotland Wed 04-Dec-19 07:53:47

How would you police it?
It’s an odd question to ask and usually people would just let a mate crash on the sofa without asking. The fact they are asking would have me wondering if they planned to air bnb it to be honest

Weescot Wed 04-Dec-19 07:53:59

They should be able to have friends over for as long as they like as long as it’s not permanent. It’ll be their home. I wouldn’t even have asked you tbh

AtillatheHun Wed 04-Dec-19 07:54:31

Sounds like they want to sub let / air bnb. Say infrequent short term visits from friends and family are fine but expressly exclude any commercial arrangement such as but not limited to air bnb

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 04-Dec-19 07:55:14

I would worry that they might be subletting

Flossyfloof Wed 04-Dec-19 07:55:33

Legally, I think they can have guests for 21 days? The agent should be advising you on this - and it should be in your contract. If I were you as they have asked, I’d say “I’d really rather you didn’t”. Take advice from the agents though, that’s what you’re paying them for.

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Wed 04-Dec-19 07:56:07

That's weird, I rented for a year and wouldn't have thought to ask this, I think the main question is how long they can stay for - you're right to be concerned about sub letting imo. Also I presume they're paying their own utilities so guests wouldn't leave you out of pocket?

StrongTea Wed 04-Dec-19 07:58:06

Wonder if they are thinking about Christmas visitors?

bokkleorandoove Wed 04-Dec-19 07:59:44

I would re-iterate the tenants’ responsibilities rather I.e no subletting and they are responsible for all guests and any damage or excessive wear and tear that may be caused by additional guests in the house.

I would be reluctant to agree any formal timescales in case there is any dispute later on and they say it was something allowed by the landlord

Silverflake Wed 04-Dec-19 07:59:58

Yeah I agree I wouldn’t even have asked when I was renting! Either they’re being excessively cautious (I think this is their first private rental and were living in council housing and with family before) and are just trying to make sure they’re not breaking any rules by having mates to stay sometimes, or they’re planning on trying to sublet. It’s thrown me a bit.

So if I were to say, like pp suggested, short term and infrequent visits from friends/family only and not for payment is ok? No more than one or two nights a week?

Legally can I specify this?

GU24Mum Wed 04-Dec-19 08:00:08

They are either very diligent and don't want to do anything not specifically authorised or are trying to get you to sign off on sub-letting by the back door.

I'd ask the tenants (via the agents) to set out what they mean in practice and if that's OK you can approve that and say that anything more than that needs to be re-approved. Or you can say no if it's more than you would accept.

If it's, say, a one bed flat, there's a huge difference between one single tenant and tenant plus OH and two friends semi-permanently in the living room - you'll potentially have far more wear and tear.

Winterdaysarehere Wed 04-Dec-19 08:00:34

Could be much worse op.
They could be asking permission to keep 2 micro pigs....
Suggest unless you get reports of anti social behaviour or noise it's fine?

Silverflake Wed 04-Dec-19 08:01:52

Sorry missed a few posts there, I didn’t know about the 21 days

Flossyfloof Wed 04-Dec-19 08:02:25

Why aren’t you asking your agent?

Musicaltheatremum Wed 04-Dec-19 08:02:27

Why am I just rolling my eyes at the phrase "the tenant 'reached out' to us" from the letting agent ?????!!!!! 😂😂

Silverflake Wed 04-Dec-19 08:03:35

Micropigs grin

Yeah that’s a good idea about mentioning if there are no reports about noise etc

DollyPomPoms Wed 04-Dec-19 08:03:39

I would be concerned they were thinking of arranging ‘long term’ stay for a family member that would otherwise not be able to rent alone for whatever reason. I don’t think you need to answer without further information. Ask them what they mean and to provide an example. Also check your insurance.

lifeisgoodagain Wed 04-Dec-19 08:04:09

Say no subletting is allowed and the maximum number of nights a friend can stay is 14. If they wish for a "friend" to stay longer or pay rent they need to vary the lease!

Silverflake Wed 04-Dec-19 08:04:34

I will discuss it with the agent (or ‘reach out to them grin) but as the agent asked me in the first place I thought I’d get some advice first

Medievalist Wed 04-Dec-19 08:05:03

Hmmm - in your shoes I might respond to to the letting agent and ask them what the norm is and say you find it rather an unusual request - especially one to make on moving in day.

Could you post on the legal board to see how best to respond? Like you I'd be worried about what words to use in my response in case they came back to bite me at a later date.

And you don't need to give them an answer today of course.

MzHz Wed 04-Dec-19 08:05:53

Does the agent know what to advise? If not, let that be a red flag to you to know that they’re not very experienced and may be shaky on the law

Also... “reach out”???? fangry

I make it a point to not answer any queries that use such lame terminology

EmpressLesbianInChair Wed 04-Dec-19 08:06:16

Why am I just rolling my eyes at the phrase "the tenant 'reached out' to us" from the letting agent?????!!!!!

You’re not the only one!!!

As a tenant it would never occur to me to ask my landlord if I could have friends / family to stay over, so I think asking for clarification is a good idea.

Inliverpool1 Wed 04-Dec-19 08:07:38

When it comes to eviction day - hopefully never - but we’ve all thought that, you go not want a surprise extra body with proof they’ve been living in your flat for 3 years. It gets very very complicated.

HugoSpritz Wed 04-Dec-19 08:08:21

I think they intend to have a lodger and are framing it as a guest! Don't agree to a lodger. If you meed to evict the tenants at any point you would need separate proceedings to get rid of lodgers or any other people living there

Silverflake Wed 04-Dec-19 08:09:05

Ok thanks yeah I’ll ask the agent about the law and the contract/tenancy agreement (which has been signed by all parties) and ask for clarification from the tenants as to what they actually have in mind

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