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Renting to a friend - tenancy agreement

(13 Posts)
JustTryEverything Mon 24-Nov-14 10:18:21

I am planning on renting out a flat I own to a friend and we both want to ensure there is a formal tenancy agreement in place. A quick google has revealed a few options but I was wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations - both on the tenancy and just generally? Do we need a solicitor involved or not?

I have known her for nearly 20 years, have lived with her for a couple of years on a shared tenancy and have absolutely no concerns about anything. I was renting it out via an agency so have gas safety up to date and have a landlord insurance policy in place - anything else I need to think about?

Moniker1 Mon 24-Nov-14 10:48:38

Not usually a good idea. You don't know what the future holds. But def get a solicitor involved.
Maybe noisy neighbours might move in next door, maybe there is a leak from the flat above which damages her stuff, maybe faulty freezer, she has probs with partner who moves in with her and refuses to leave, maybe her alcoholic brother needs a place to stay and moves in etc etc
Everything is a bit more complicated if the tenant is a friend.

HaveToWearHeels Mon 24-Nov-14 11:52:50

You do not need a solicitor, just a good tenancy agreement, that is within the law so you are able to get her out legally should the need arise.
I personally wouldn't ever let to a friend or even anyone I knew, but I know some people find it more reassuring, I just like being emotionally detached from my tenants.
A solicitor really can't put anything in place that a tenancy agreement won't cover you for, along with the relevant insurance (which you seem to have covered).

Teeb Mon 24-Nov-14 11:58:34

It's not something I'd choose to do either, but if I did I would do everything absolutely as I would for any other tenant. Full inventory pictured and dated, deposits paid and put in schemes, contract etc. in this matter you aren't friends, you are tenant and landlord so treat the relationship formally as such from the beginning.

cestlavielife Mon 24-Nov-14 12:00:01

she may be fine - but you don't know about present or future boyfriends etcetc. do it all as tho she were an unknown person, AST, deposit etc

wowfudge Mon 24-Nov-14 12:40:01

I would be tempted to use an agency to manage for you - to collect the rent, carry out inspections and so on. Yes it will cost you, but it creates a bit of distance and someone else can be the bad guy if there's ever an issue to resolve.

Unexpected Mon 24-Nov-14 12:47:32

Why not continue to use the agency? I think it is better for both parties. Using the agency means you don't have to get involved if something goes wrong in the flat or if, for any reason, your friend doesn't pay her rent. No matter how well you think you know someone, at the end of the day you can't predict the future. Suppose your friend loses her job and doesn't pay rent for three months? Can you afford to be at that loss? Also the agent will continue to inspect the flat, will you feel uncomfortable going around there every 6 months and telling her that she needs to ventilate the place better or ensure that the doesn't damage the wood flooring? From her side, if things need repairing, she will probably feel much more comfortable telling the agency that the heating system is rubbish than trying to tell you!

JustTryEverything Mon 24-Nov-14 17:36:04

Thanks everyone for your replies. I have thought very carefully about this but now I'm worried again!

The main reason I wanted to avoid using the agency is because she has just moved back to the UK and does not have the immediate cash up front required for a formal agency agreement eg 2 months rent plus deposit plus admin and credit check fees. So although she has a job, it would take her a long time to save the relevant cash. We had agreed on a month's rent as a deposit plus rent payable up front but not payable until she moves in (February by the time I have given notice to current tenants).

How do I go about putting this deposit into an assured scheme??

A lot of the problems mentioned by pp could equally happen with any tenant and using an agency does not protect me against that - agreed that they would ultimately be the ones writing the letters / dealing with eviction etc but my rent is not guaranteed by them so I'd still suffer financially.

If I can do this to help out a very dear friend, I would really like to and thanks for the suggestion about photographed inventory - that's exactly the sort of thing I'd overlooked!

DontGotoRoehampton Mon 24-Nov-14 17:45:39

watching with interest as similar situation...

specialsubject Mon 24-Nov-14 17:58:23

using the deposit schemes are simple, pick one of the three, register and follow the instructions. Also give her the prescribed information.

BUT you must have legal expenses insurance even if you decide to chance without rent guarantee. If she goes mad/takes up with the wrong bloke/falls out with you and stops paying, you must have legal cover to get her out. So find out what is needed for that.

if she is a good person she will entirely understand.

also remind her to get contents insurance for her stuff.

JustTryEverything Mon 24-Nov-14 22:03:02

Thanks special, I will check out my insurance policy and make sure it covers legal stuff.

HaveToWearHeels Mon 24-Nov-14 22:07:26

OP you are right, just do all what you would do for any other tenant, using an agency will not prevent things going wrong. Just cover yourself in case they do. Good tenancy agreement, protect deposit, full inventory and the right insurance as special says.

specialsubject Tue 25-Nov-14 10:12:43

oh yes, and I'm afraid you also need to get malicious damage insurance as you would with any other tenant (she probably doesn't need to know about this!) Again, this is not just for her but for anyone she may import.

with most people you never need it, but the wreckage that could be caused means it is essential.As a tenant has a right to be in the property, other insurances don't cover it.

be aware it is not in all landlord policies.

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