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changes in tenancy

(18 Posts)
beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 14:41:08


My OH put his flat up for rent through an agency. They found him a tenant and he was given the impression that it was just one man. It soon became obvious that the man had a wife, then we discovered he had 2 small children (Under 4) ... the flat is an upstairs, two bedroom flat - very small with no access to the garden.

They moved in and seem lovely.

My OH has now received a complaint from the people below because of the noise. It turns out that the wife has had a baby shock. Seems she was about 6 months pregnant when they took the flat on. They (the neighbours) are not complaining about the baby but the noise of the two older children we think.

My OH is going to have a word about the noise but I am (and I think he is) fairly concerned about having a family that large in such a small place. The flat was a brand new conversion when he bought it and he always had a good relationship with his neighbours before he moved out to live with me.

He only gave them a 6 month tenancy, would it be wrong to tell them that the tenancy will not be renewed do you think?

TillyScoutsmum Mon 04-Aug-08 14:42:55

If he doesn't want them as tenants for any reason, then he obviously has a legal right to not have them. Just bear in mind that the tenancy just doesn't automatically come to an end - he needs to serve them with 2 months notice (obviously to end no earlier than the tenancy end date)

DwayneDibbley Mon 04-Aug-08 14:44:28

Message withdrawn

LIZS Mon 04-Aug-08 14:47:44

He can give them 2 months notice with no explanation. Given their circumstances it might be nice to be flexible over dates in case they struggle to find another place if he does so. Is the flat leasehold or freehold? Are there any restrictions within that on occupancy (presumably he sought permission form freeholder to let it )?

beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 14:54:17

I think it's freehold but am not sure about permissions. Perhaps his mortgage company would have needed to give permission?

I think they are ok, decent people it's just that keeping a pregnancy quiet from the agency and us and increasing the amount of people living there from 4 to 5 without a word seems a little unfair on us and on the neighbours, not to mention the fact that they basically weren't even honest about being a whole family to start with!

I think perhaps I am trying to help in a situation where there's very little I can actually do!

TillyScoutsmum Mon 04-Aug-08 14:57:51

He doesn't need a reason not to renew their tenancy though, if he doesn't want to. He's under no obligation at all (regardless of whether they're good tenants, decent people or anything else)

nervousal Mon 04-Aug-08 14:58:09

if I was about to rent a flat I don't think it would be any of the landlord's business if I was pregnant? Re not being honest to start with - did they ever actually tell you that it was going to be just one man - you say your husband "got the impression" of this? Have they ever outright lied to you? Does the contract mention the number of tenants??

I'm just thinking about it from their point of view - 3 young children and potentially about to be made homeless?

beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 15:05:30

Hiya nervosal, I agree with you except for the fact that it's a very small 2 bedroom flat and they already had 2 kids who were not mentioned when the flat was first looked at etc.

My Boyfriend was told that a Man wanted to rent it, there was no mention of a wife until they both came to sign the agreement and we only knew about the kids after they moved in.

I think we were prepared to let it go as they are nice enough but now there's a baby on top and it really isn't a big enough flat for that many people.

Also - at the very begining the husband called and asked my boyfriend to pay for a BT line to be put in! The flat already has virgin and my Boyfriend was on the phone for ages trying to explain that he could not be expected to pay for their lifestyle choices and if he wanted BT he should pay for it himself. In the end my Boyfriend decided to split the cost with them.

I guess I am just concerned that he is being taken for a ride ...

I wouldn't expect him to make a family homeless but as they only signed a 6 month contract I assume they would be aware that they might have to look for somewhere else at some point?

beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 19:35:49

Have spoken to my OH and he says he doesn't want to give them the impression that he's about to end the tenancy but will speak to them about the noise and also the fact that they put the bins out on the wrong days (apparently the whole house - ie the two flats could get fined by the council) because it obviously needs to be sorted.

Hopefully he can do it in a way which doesn't cause any distress and is fair. On the other hand he is still saying that he thinks a tiny (think top floor of wat was a 2 bedroom terrace) flat like his is far too small for a family of 5.

TillyScoutsmum Mon 04-Aug-08 19:48:51

If he's concerned - perhaps he should arrange a Landlord's inspection - just to check everything is ok. Presumably if they're not wrecking the place and the noise thing gets sorted, then it makes not much difference to him how many people are living there ?

LIZS Mon 04-Aug-08 19:56:13

good idea tsm He could look at whether the flooring is sufficient to muffle sound. I thought there were recent buildings regulations about sound proofing flats but if there is hard flooring atm it might be better to have some sort of carpet or rugs. He could then ask about the occupancy and see if wear and tear is heavier than he had expected and perhaps needs to increase rent/deposit if they want to renew.

beanieb Mon 04-Aug-08 20:02:59

All good advice, I do think he should go round to see them to be fair.

It is carpeted, but I think it's kids bouncing balls, shouting etc. I did ask if they had specifically complained about the baby but he says no, which is good as i don't think there's anything anyone can do about a baby crying.

He lived in the flat himself (on his own) and it was ok, he had a good relationship with the people below. I think he's just worried about ruing that relationship.

Upwind Tue 05-Aug-08 05:45:42

How VERY DARE they? Imagine, tenants having a baby and renting with children!

Based on the information you have given, I would think your boyfriend an utter scumbag if he ended the tenancy after six months because the tenants have children. His wife signed the lease with him, so she was hardly a secret. Unfortunately, due to attitudes like those on this thread, many tenants don't mention children as it is harder to find a home to live in if you do. sad

If you are worried about the condition of the flat, arrange an inspection. Any damage can and will be deducted from the tenants' deposit. If you think the accomodation is too small for a family - consider that it was the best they could afford. Of course it would be better if everybody could afford to get on the housing ladder, but if they could you would not have anyone to pay you rent.

beanieb Tue 05-Aug-08 08:29:49

he may have to end the tenancy if they don't take note of the complaints though. It's not because they have children, it's because of the noise (Am still not sure if the noise is the children or them, I don't live below them) and he would have every right to end the tenancy at the end of the six months if he wanted to even if it was just because of the children.

Sadly he will have to take in to consideration the complaints of other people but he will deal with it sensitively. It's really unfortunate that the flat is too small and I hope that with 3 kids they will actually want to find somewhere better for their growing family. Somewhere with a garden perhaps. The flat is not expensive but it's also not particularly cheap and they should be able to find a much more suitable place for the same rent.

It has 2 very small bedrooms, a small sitting room, a tiny kitchen and an even smaller bathroom, and is NOT suitable for a family of 5.

Ultimately it's not my business, it's not my flat, but from teh very start my boyfriend has been decieved some what and now the amount of people in the flat is growing it is becoming more worrying for him and for the neighbours.


beanieb Tue 05-Aug-08 08:31:12

oh - and the wife did not sign the lease, she was just there when he did. My OH didn't really know who she was until she moved in and brought the children with her.

Upwind Tue 05-Aug-08 09:24:18

Why are you so desperate to please your boyfriend's former neighbours?

A family will generally make more noise than a quiet man living alone but, so what, that is the nature of flats. I live above a professional singer and can often hear the sound of her practising - tough. Noise is only unreasonable if it is excessively loud and late at night - think the regular karaoke parties a friend of mine is subjected to.

If they are just making noise the way normal children do, your boyfriend's former neighbours are being unreasonable and petty minded. Their feelings should be no concern of his unless he intends to move back in to his former flat in the near future.

tiggerlovestobounce Tue 05-Aug-08 09:29:53

A family of 5 will be exposing the flat to much more wear and tear than a single adult would.

beanieb Tue 05-Aug-08 09:49:09

I am not desperate to please them smile I am worried about my boyfriend making the right decision and dealing with this issue with sensitivity.

I admit that we were both worried about the situation when the family moved in as it came as a complete surprise to see there was a wife and 2 kids. To now hear there is a third child and get the complaints all on the same day has caused more worry.

My boyfriend counts the other tenants as friends, he and they bought the two flats at the same time and my boyfriend lived there for about a year before he moved in with me. It was never his intention to rent and he only did so because he moved in with me.

I accept that when he put the flat with the agency he should have been more particular about who he was prepared to rent to and probably should have said he only wanted a single person or a couple in there given the size of the flat. I feel a little like he was hoodwinked by this family. Seriously, this is not a spacious delux flat, it's a basic two bedroom flat in a small terraced house and is completely unsuitable for a family of that size.

I will encourage him to go round there in person and I hope that the family will be able to keep the noise down and put the bins out correctly. My gut instinct, though, tells me he should give them reasonable notice and look for new tenants because the flat is way too small for a family that size.

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