I have been asked for a 12 months rent in advance

by Readers Question

10:20 AM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

I have been asked for a 12 months rent in advance

Make Text Bigger
I have been asked for a 12 months rent in advance

I am a student that will be studying in the United Kingdom soon.Overseas Tenant

I really need some advice on whether I should rent the property that I found through a website.

The agent to that property is insisting on 12 months rent in advance and an extra 1 month rent as deposit. They also charge an additional £199 for a background check which I know it is a standard procedure but it usually only costs £150.

I really wanted to know whether it is normal for a tenant to pay an upfront of 12 months and whether the agent is reliable.

I sincerely thank anyone that can provide me any advice.

Jonathan Lim

Comments

Romain Garcin

12:22 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "14/08/2013 - 12:09":

Even if the agent has a segregated client account (and he should) the tenant does not know whether it will be used: I would think the agent should pass any payment to landlord immediately unless specifically agreed that he acts as stakeholder.

For tenants I think the risk with rent in advance is really of the landlord going bust, and the property being repossessed with the tenant being evicted.

If the tenancy agreement is properly worded, as soon as the tenant makes the payment for the n months rent in advance he has no longer any liability:
- If the agent goes bust and takes the money with him it is the landlord's problem.
- If the property is repossessed but tenant is not evicted (not sure whether lender can evict during fixed term tenancy) then it is the lender's problem.

Mark Alexander

12:26 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "14/08/2013 - 12:22":

I am 99% certain that a lender cannot evict during a fixed term tenancy.
.

Vanessa Warwick

12:27 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Should the agent go bust Romain, the money would be covered by insurance anyway from the accredited bodies, whether that be NALS, RICS, ARLA etc.

The SAFEagent logo is a signpost for consumers to those agents who have recognised client money protection in place and proper accounting procedures.

So these accreditations do give peace of mind to consumers* imho.

*Landlords and tenants

Mark Alexander

12:54 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Nice Tweet from SAFEagent, please RT


.

Mark Alexander

14:01 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

And another nice Tweet from NALs - they're watching us 🙂


.

David Sweeney

18:47 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "14/08/2013 - 12:26":

Sorry Mark, section 7(6)(a) says he can - so long as the relevant 'ground 2' notice has been served AND the tenancy agreement says 'ground 2' can be use

Romain Garcin

19:00 PM, 14th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "14/08/2013 - 18:47":

Indeed. Thanks Dave.

Bob G

16:37 PM, 15th August 2013
About 8 years ago

A friend of mine wanted to rent a property in London. She lived in Edinburgh. The "landlord" lived abroad.

This property had beautiful photos, and the rent was very cheap. Too cheap to be true. If anyone was wanting a property in that same area, they would take it as it was so cheap.

Anyway, this "Landlord" said that as he was abroad, he would want 6 months rent in advance before he even flew home to sign up the tenancy, just so that he was not wasting his time, and to make sure the tenant was genuine about wanting the property.

This friend asked for my advice and I am glad she did.
On carrying out some checks, it turned out that the "Landlord" had taken some pictures from an estate agent, advertised this luxury, too cheap to be true property, and then was trying to get money in advance because such bargains will not hang around long.

It turns out that this "Landlord" had nothing to do with the property, and it was all a scam. if my friend had paid this money, then when she went to the property no-one would have heard of her, and the so called "Landlord" would not be there.

Please do not pay this 12 months rent in advance.

andrew townshend

17:07 PM, 15th August 2013
About 8 years ago

no, do not pay it under any circumstances, sounds like a scam to me.

Mark Alexander

17:23 PM, 15th August 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "andrew townshend" at "15/08/2013 - 17:07":

If it is a scam and it has been advertised on Righmove or Zoopla by SAFEagent or a member of a professional body with Professional Indemnity Insurance I would be very surprised.

Both portals insist on their member agents checking ownership of the property before listing them. If the agent has failed to do this they are negligent and their PI insurance can be claimed upon. No decent letting agent in their right mind would take on that risk because if their PI insurance premium rockets or if they can't get it any more they will be thrown out of their professional body too. Imagine the negative PR when the local press get hold of stories like that!

Some might feel that your post is scaremongery. I would advise Jonathan to check the credentials of the agent, just as other established commenters here have suggested.
.

1 2 3 4

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER

Council takes responsibility? Guess again!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More