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Which tenancy agreement should be used for daughter and friends sharing a rented property at University?

Four joint tenantsThis is a question to the blog clinic from Rosemary :

My daughter is at university and I am buying a house with a partial buy-to-let mortgage for her to live in with 2 student friends.

The property will be furnished and they will each have their own bedroom but share a lounge, bathroom and kitchen.

My daughter will be paying a small rent but her friends will be paying the current market rent. They will share the utility bills. The fixed term tenancy will run from the 1st July to 30th June.

Please could you tell me which is the appropriate tenancy agreement for them and where I can obtain it? Thank you.

This is quite a common situation.  There are three main solultions.

1. If you want to retain control of the property and the people in it, you can give separate tenancy agreements to your daughter and her friends each for the rent of their own room and shared use of the common parts of the property.

Your daughter’s rent can be for less and the friends pay the full rate.

If you want to use this, you can get tenancy agreements for renting out a room in a shared house on my Landlord Law site in the tenancy agreements section.  I also wrote about this on this blog >> here.

2. Or you can rent it out to your daughter and all her friends jointly (ie they all sign the same tenancy agreement).

This will be less flexible than option one and it will be difficult to specify who pays what rent, as in a joint and several agreement all tenants are responsible for all the rent jointly.

3. If you are happy for your daughter to deal with it on your behalf, you can rent the whole of the property to her and authorise her to rent out the other rooms to her friends as lodgers.

Then she will be responsible for collecting the rent from them and paying it over to you.

If you want to take this option you will find lodger agreements >> here.

From what you say, it sounds as if option 1 is the way to go.

One thing I ought to mention however is that the property will be classed as an HMO (as there will be more than two people sharing who are not family) and so you will have to comply with the HMO rules.

You may even need to get the property licensed – this will depend on how large it is and how many students will be living there.

The rules are different in different areas, so the best thing to do is to speak to your Local Authority about this.  Ask to speak to the department which deals with Houses in Multiple Occupation.

We have some guidance on HMOs and the management regulations on Landlord Law which will help you understand your legal obligations.  See here.

We also have a Which Tenancy Agreement Guide >> here.

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3 Responses to Which tenancy agreement should be used for daughter and friends sharing a rented property at University?

  1. And it’s good to remember that in the event of any disagreements between your daughter and her chosen flatmates your tenants have rights and you must serve the proper notice, even if they’ve long stopped talking to each other. It regularly creates tension too, when one flatmate pays less than the others.

  2. Tessa just one thought and that is on the HMO angle and licensing.

    Depending not just on size and number of occupiers location may also dictate a licence is needed if it is in an area designated for additional licensing (all HMOs need a licence) or selective licensing (every rented property needs licensing!!).

    So these 5 could occupy a bungalow and need a licence if in a scheme designated area – and they are becoming far more common

  3. Exactly. Which is why I suggest that she speak to someone at her Local Authority who will be aware of the local situation.

    I did not go into a lot of detail as this is mainly a post about tenancy agreements.




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About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law. She runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 12th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google



The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.


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