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Mis-sold A Lease?

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Over the years I've never had a problem taking on a housemate to share the rent. I always asked upfront if having a lodger/sharer was a problem and it never was. The landlords response was usually: 'As long as you keep paying the rent by standing order' or 'Yes, whatever' or 'Just let me know'.

I'd have the lease, and housemates paid me and all fine and dandy.

A few months ago we rented a new place. Slightly expensive, but we would rather have had the better place and rented a room than getting a tiny shoebox flat. This time it was through a letting agent. I asked the usual, 'Is it ok to get someone else to share later? We'll continue to be soley responsible for paying the rent.'

This time they said something about the sharer having to be added as a 'permitted resident' on the lease for £45. Ok, whatever, I thought - if that's their system I'd rather be upfront than feel I was subletting on the sly.

So I find a nice sharer, tell them they can have the room, and phone up the agents to do this 'permitted resident' thing. Now a wall of suspicion - 'Are they contributing to the rent? We'll need a new tenancy agreement for 70 and then the 47. Er, we'll have to ask the landlord. Um, er... I'll call you back'.

Well, even though I've phoned them twice they haven't got back to me after a few days. They also haven't sent anyone round to look at a slight maintenance problem with the house, despite saying they would. Basically, they come across as lazy sods who just make up crap off the top of their heads to get the sale.

They sharer moves their stufff in soon and moves in properly in a couple of weeks. Our tenancy agreement says we cannot have a lodger without the landlords permission. We've met him once and he seems like a regular, friendly chap so maybe we should ask him. However, if he for some reason doesn't want us to share the whole thing blows up in our faces:

The letting agents have introduced new spurious charges, and are being very cagey about us sharing, even though it was no problem before. If we contact the landlord (have address, no number) and for some reason he says no to the lodger then what?

Basically, we didn't want a rental that cost this much to carry the rent solely by ourselves - which is why we double-checked that sharing was ok before taking on the lease. Should we risk contacting the landlord only for him to say 'no way, jose' or just take on the lodger and be damned, saying to the letting agent 'You told us we could have one, we told you WHEN we had one and now you don't get back to us and sound cagey'.

Essentially, if they turned nasty, we could always say we'd have been mis-sold the lease. I feel a bit naive for believing their nonsense (they all seem thick as hell), but I'd never had a problem with doing this stuff in the past. I'm also wondering how this might affect our new sharer who seems nice - a personal pride makes me feel bad it could end up with them getting messed about.

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If I remember correctly Arla's standard terms are that you have to have seperate leases with every tenant.

A lot of landlords who rent through agents say no to room renters in the same way that they say no to pets, kids and smokers.

Get any change in standard terms down in writing, sadly, even if it's by means of a memo to the Letting Agent before taking the tenancy.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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