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Fraudulent tenant(s)?


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Hello all

Due to a very busy period I decided to use a letting agent in March to find tenants for a vacant property. They did so, very quickly and all went very smoothly.

Due to how well they performed I gave them another property to advertise a couple of weeks ago which does not seem to have gone so well.

They rang me and discussed a prospective tenant who appeared to tick all of the boxes. The references and checks all came back okay, and the tenancy was offered & accepted by a single, middle aged gentleman, who was unable to provide a landlords ref as he had been living with family.

The new tenancy began on 5th June and we tried several ways to get hold of the tenant to introduce ourselves. Eventually, after leaving a note in the letterbox of the property we received a phone call from a young man and we arranged a time & date to meet at the house.

We did not get to meet the man whom the tenancy had been given to, however we met his 'sister' and her adult son, neither of whom are on the tenancy agreement, nor have had any checks done against their names. It seems that they have moved from a rented property in a different area to the last address given by the tenant himself.

We went to see the estate agent to see if we had all of the facts and to see whether they were aware of these two additional people, and they said that there was basically nothing more they could do, other than to charge each person £90 for checks to be done plus £45 each to be added to the agreement. They did advise that we should issue a section 21A notice to give notice at the end of the 6 month term.

Whilst I appreciate that this can happen to anyone taking tenants I am suprised that the agent is not taking more responsibility and wondered if anyone has any advice?

I have tried to contact the tenants to arrange to visit them, but as yet there is no reply. I will offer to do the checks for them at a cost of £29.32 each (as opposed to £90 each) though they will have to pay to be added to the tenancy agreement.

Has anyone else come across this situation and of so what advice do you have? They seem like very nice people and are of African descent, with the son being a law student....

I'm feeling very nervous about this and not sure if I will put my trust in an agent again.


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Hi mad maz,

I don't think the Section 21 advice, given to you by the estate agent, has been very helpful but I would also add that it is probably not the agents fault if the reference checked tenant has decided to sublet or move other people into the property!

You need to understand who is actually living at the property before deciding on a course of action. Who pays the reference fees is the least of your problems and is probably academic given they have moved in (so even if they fail tenant referencing it dosn't change the fact that they have the keys to your property).

Is the original tenant living there or not? How many people over 18 are living there? Are the working? Are they at college? Are they on benefits? Are they able to pay the rent? Do they propose to pay the rent? Are they going to damage your property?

I would immediately trigger a management inspection at the property and DEMAND that all tenants are present at the inspection. Threaten to change the locks if they do not attend the inspection as it is important you find out what is going on ......

As well as a Section 21, you could also serve a Section 8 (under Ground 17) which states that the tenant made fraudulent statements which duped you (and the agents) into granting them a tenancy.

I am not a great fan of the legal process though as it can take many months to get things resolved and you might be better forcing the face to face meeting instead ! Tell the estate agent that you expect them to attend as well .... given that you have paid them a fee to introduce these tenants and manage the tenancy.

Best Wishes


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There are certain sections of the community that recognise the weakness in the property letting laws in the UK and these people with will take full advantage of that weakness knowing full well that the landlord will be left to pick up the pieces and take any fianacial loss that may occur.

I have to say that I think your letting agent has let you down badly and has hardly provided the service that anyone would expect.


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Well, I visited the Tenant/s yesterday and it appears that the original applicant (named on the tenancy) has allowed his sister to move in 'temporarily' as she has suffered some racial abuse etc at the property where she was living. The intention is for her to either move back to her oroginal property at some point in the near future, or for her to find somewhere else to live, at which point the original applicant will move into our property.

I have stressed to them that if it is her intention to remain in the property, whether it be short term or longer term, she must be added to the tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement actually state that no subletting, or taking in of lodgers is allowed so I think that we are within our rights to insist that she is added to the agreement.

I am not sure whether they are giving me a 'sob' story or whether they are genuine, but I still believe that we need to protect ourselves by adding any occupants to the tenancy agreement.

I have handed them a latter advising of the course of action they need to take if she wishes to remain at the house, and the letter also states that if they have failed to rectify the situation in 7 days, we will take steps to take possession of the property (section 8 notice).

When we left them yesterday they were going to 'think about it' and let me know by tomorrow whether she will be staying or leaving.

I offered to do the tenancy reference checks and draw up a new agreement (rather than using the agent who charges a fortune) at a total cost of £30.00, but they are still quibbling about it. The lady seems to be very reluctant for us to do searches on her, supposedly because she doesn't want anyone to find out where she is, because of the harrassment she has suffered.

If she decides to stay and does not agree to be added to the tenancy agreement, I will issue both a section 8, and a section 21A notice.

Many thanks for the replies on here - it always helps to have support, and understanding.


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I'll take a guess that this lady will not pas a credit reference check or she does not have the right to be living in the UK - or something similar.

May I suggest you keep a close eye on the property and the inhabitants and carry out regular inspections just for your own peace of mind.

Good luck with this one,


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Hi Maz,

My advice to you is to seek legal counsel, as the law, unfortunately is not very kind to Landlords. I have a tenant of disrepute who was offered to me on a platter of gold, because the greedy agents whom I had done business with prior, had not carried out proper checks. Unfortunately, the tenants know the law, there is no shortage of websites reminding tenants of their rights, squatters or otherwise.

You might find yourself in a long legal battle if you do not serve the appropriate notice, the judge will throw your case out just because you did not serve the appropriate notice, laving you to start from scratch.

The process of evicting tenants is a protracted and painful one.

I used the services of LANDLORD ACTION, I am not trying to plug them, they treat you like a reference number, if you are looking for sympathy, they are not the right people, but if you want someone to do the job thoroughly, then you have the right people.

I advice you to speak to them and see what they have to say, it is always best to be proactive when it comes to dubious tenants because they WILL cost you more money than you wish to spend.

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