Mysterious Bulgarian Blonde ‘Loves’ My Flat!

by Joe Bloggs

9:24 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Mysterious Bulgarian Blonde ‘Loves’ My Flat!

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Mysterious Bulgarian Blonde ‘Loves’ My Flat!

We have recently had quite a few changes of tenancies and have had lots of enquiries from Rightmove etc. However, the vast majority are scammers such as rent to rent and sub letters. Most scammers are easily weeded out over phone.  However, had a strange meeting last night with an attractive blond Bulgarian lady and her friend. She was very persistent to get a viewing, sold us a sob story about her experiences being ripped off by agents putting rent up after she put down deposit, loved the flat, it is a great flat with views over Olympic park, and wants to move in straight away. Mysterious Bulgarian Blonde Loves My Flat

The problem is nothing stacks up, i.e.

  • she produced payslips showing take home £3.5k pcm and this also showed on her bank statements. She brought these papers to the viewing but her English is fairly poor.
  • She says she works for a building company solely sourcing Bulgarian builders. The company has no website and has only been trading 9 months.
  • She says she works in canning town but couldnt remember the name of the road.
  • She says she currently shares a room in Stratford with her Mum who is a cleaner (seems a big jump from sharing a room to £1,650 pcm flat).
  • She will be sharing the flat with her Mum (who is in Bulgaria so we didn’t meet her) and she has taken time off work to fulfil her mums cleaning contracts.
  • She came along with a Scottish friend who says he is married to a Bulgarian woman who is a friend of our potential tenant. He says he also works in the construction industry and told me he lives in the same area of Hertfordshire as where the tenants employer is based. I Googled this during our meet and discovered he is the director of the company she says she works for! When I quizzed him on this he denied it.
  • They clearly tried to disarm us by flattery and holding simultaneous separate conversations.

Has anyone come across this pair or any ideas what the scam is? There have been brothels in the block before so this is my first thought. Must say they weren’t too good at deception. My wife was suspicious from the off especially as she had two mobiles. Only got them along out of curiosity and to create a buzz for another viewing.

This is not meant to be any slur against Bulgarians who in my previous encounters are absolutely fine!

Regards

Joe



Comments

Mark Alexander

9:29 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Joe

Rhetorical question; if she had been 30 years older and twice the body mass index would that change anything?

Do you have better candidates?

If you would like to consider this tenant why not insist that both she and her Mum are joint tenants? Get them both professionally referenced and if you can buy RGI then you're part way there.

Why not visit her Mum's flat and talk to her landlord? How much does Mum earn?

Most Bulgarians speak fluent Russian so if you need an interpreter please let me know (telephone only), you're too far away from me.
.

Gary Nock

9:43 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Joe

Totally agree with Mark. Get them "comprehensively referenced" which is financial, employment and landlord references. But I must say your suspicions are well founded I think. And the pilot scheme in certain areas including where I am in West Midlands of getting copy of passport and any visa documents would also be a good idea. Doesn't matter if they are EU citizens. You still have to verify. In a previous life Facebook and other "ahem" adult sites were searched to find houses of ill repute. Invariably we would find the same individuals working from various rented properties totally without the knowledge of the landlord. The landlord would evict and even before they had been kicked out there was a new profile with a new name but the same person and usually mobile number. Just google her mobile number and see what comes up.

Joe Bloggs

10:56 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "10/06/2015 - 09:29":

hi mark,

many thanks for offer of help. no, we dont want this tenant as we would trust our instinct and the facts ahead of any referencing or RGI. even if we met the mum and she checked out whose to say what will really happen to our flat...and rent? we may be a bit paranoid but would rather leave the flat empty than be taken for a ride.

we would still be unwilling to take her even if she was less attractive as the main issue really is the fact that they have not been honest, she earns more than is believable and is 'employed' by a shell company.

we always insist that all persons living permanently at the property are on the TA as joint and several tenants, and that would have included the mum.

the other candidate from last night phoned this am wanting the flat. he is an IT guy from india and seemed a much better bet. however he proposed renting half the flat! or being allowed to sub let!!! GROAN. where have all the straight forward tenants gone. its only a 2 bed flat so nothing unusually big (attracting the scammers).

the reason for the post was really curiosity as to what the scam is...sure there is one! they are a strange pair, i.e mid age scot and young bulgarian. perhaps its a love nest but why expensive 2 beds?

Joe Bloggs

11:05 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "10/06/2015 - 09:43":

hi gary,

thanks for tip.

nothing suspicious appears when googling, but she has at least 2 phones. we always get copy of passport (and see original). we did have some russians on forged lithuanian passports so not foolproof.

Alan Loughlin

11:10 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

go with your instincts, walk away.

Shakeel Ahmad

11:20 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

I have a feeling that this lady could be a "hooker".

I would not entertain her !!!! The other side is that if she does not pay her rent at least you can be paid in kind if you are so inclined. Many Landlords don't have this alternative available to them.

No document in the world can replace gut feeling.

Mark Alexander

11:53 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "shakeel ahmad" at "10/06/2015 - 11:20":

I find your comment distasteful. Just because she is attractive, blonde and foreign does not mean she's a prostitute!

She could be, so could any tenant, so why not give her a fair chance?
.

Jamie M

11:58 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Run like hell, its a scam

Mark Alexander

11:59 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jamie Moodie" at "10/06/2015 - 11:58":

How do you know?
.

Chris Sheldon

14:13 PM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

The easiest way to go about this is to leave personal opinions aside and look at the facts:

1. She has produced bank statements and payslips showing she is paid £3500 per cm two corresponding documents have been presented which would suggest this is legitimate
2. The company has no website but has been located at companies house as the director has been found suggesting the company is legitimate
3. She doesn't know the road which she works on. This raises a red flag but could be overlooked due to language barriers.
4. It is a big jump from sharing a room to a £1650 pcm flat but she has only been working for 9 months at the company and would suggest she moved from Bulgaria to do this, this would be worth researching
5. The fact her Scottish friend is her boss and denies it raises the biggest red flag of all. This doesn't make sense!

The appearance of the tenant in question is irrelevant. On the face of it she would reference up based on income and you would be able to take out RGI insurance subject to employment contracts etc.. therefore limiting your liability substantially to damage to the property.

If you could get to the bottom of the Scottish friend/Boss i would consider them for a tenancy subject to RGI insurance.

However, if you have a bad feeling about them straight away it is often very difficult to look beyond this point and ultimately you are the only people who have met the tenant.

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