Is it not an idea to get landlords paid for their time and administrative effort?

Is it not an idea to get landlords paid for their time and administrative effort?

14:40 PM, 22nd June 2022, About 2 days ago 11

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I lose a lot of time (especially being an HMO landlord) with referencing tenants. Both referencing companies and tenants seem to expect all this to be done for free!

It costs landlords time and money, checking when the tenancy started, filling out the forms, and another interruption/job to do on top of all the others.

Tenancy referencing companies do not pay landlords for this … and even act quite heavy-handed at times as if it is a must that this is done – and insist that this must be done immediately.

Is it not an idea to rectify this situation and get landlords paid for their time and administrative effort?

Also, I have clauses in my agreements that state that if a reference is required, a tenant should pay a fee of say £ 25 for that – but I never charge that for fear of it being illegal (although I feel it is not).

J

 



Comments

Pamthomp33

15:42 PM, 22nd June 2022, About 2 days ago

You cannot charge tenants for referencing or for preparing agreements. This law came in a couple of years ago. You can, however charge for changes to existing tenancy agreements ie if a single person wanted a partner to move in or equally if a tenant's name needs to be taken off

LordOf TheManor

20:27 PM, 22nd June 2022, About 2 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Pamthomp33 at 22/06/2022 - 15:42
Hold on a minute.....

After the tenant has left your property and comes back to you for a reference down the line..... is that also NOT allowed?

Any landlord housing students must get a fair few of these requests. I do. I'm often the only person they have for a reference when entering professional employment for the first time and looking for somewhere other than 'digs' to live.

No, I haven't charged anyone to date - but that's not to say the thought hasn't crossed my mind. If I want a reference from my accountant, the expectation is that it's available in return for payment. As references are increasingly 'the key to a door' these days, let's say I'm alert to the reality of things to come.

For ex-tenants of good standing, the non-charging element relevant to a current tenancy must surely fall away when it comes to their needing a future reference from a landlord from their past life, don't you think?

DSR

9:07 AM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 22/06/2022 - 20:27
Good point. If I was asked for a reference from a GOOD ex tenant and asked for payment then like you say the next LL they go to might well use this to build into their refencing cheques.

What if a BAD tenant came to you and offered to pay you for a reference too? Would you agree?

I see some LL's saying yes, then where does that leave the rest of us? Hmmmm... food for thought.

The Forever Tenant

9:29 AM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

From a tenant point of view, it feels like getting a reference is one of those things that is just expected as part of your role as landlord. I would hope that your records are sufficient enough that giving the details you need would be a 10-15 minute job.

If you make it look as if you are wanting to charge for every little thing considering the current public perception of Landlords, all you are doing is adding onto that perception.

Added to to thought that as tenant, I don't want you to have to be bothered for a reference in the first place. It's a requirement of my next Landlord or Letting agency that you provide one so if you would be charging anyone, it should be them, not me.

Graham Bowcock

10:21 AM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

Our ASTs have a clause requiring tenants to pay if we have to provide a reference, but quite honestly it's strightforward enough that we never charge in practice.

Landlords are not obliged to provide a reference and could provide something very basic (e.g. Mr Smith was a tenant), as many employment references now seem to be.

It's just part of being a good landlord. Bear in mind that we are also seeking references on prospective tenants, so there is some karma if we all get it right.

Darren Peters

11:15 AM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

I think all these additional costs have to be factored into the rent in advance.

Jo Westlake

11:29 AM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

The one thing that would be a big time saver would be if the company requesting the reference stated the period the ex tenant rented from us and the monthly rent. They always ask us to provide that information which is what takes time.

We probably remember the tenant, know he always paid on time and left the property in a good condition.

Judith Wordsworth

12:34 PM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

You could, if you are a company, pay yourself, or if not put it down as administrative expenses.
But if working from home you get tax relief for hours pw you use your home as an office

Suresh Parikh

12:39 PM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 22/06/2022 - 20:27
I charge only when the records have been archived: not the current Tenant.

Freda Blogs

12:42 PM, 23rd June 2022, About 2 days ago

As landlords we see this from both sides - when we want to obtain a reference from a previous landlord for a proposed new tenancy, and when we are subsequently approached to provide one for a previous tenant.
All too often the requests for references made to us are so perfunctory - a couple of ticks on an email form - which can usually be done very quickly and in a couple of minutes from memory. I agree it can be more of a pain when further details are sought, but I suspect it's still more trouble than it's worth to charge for doing it. I just regard it as doing a favour for a fellow landlord.
After all, we were in that Landlord's position once, and the information was important to us at that time (and we wouldn't want to pay for it!).
It can also be annoying if the reference request is so brief and prescriptive that we don't have the scope to write anything more if the tenant has been very good or very poor. That begs the question as to how much value some of these references really are, but that is a whole other topic.

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