New Tenant – something not quite right

by Readers Question

15:37 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

New Tenant – something not quite right

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New Tenant – something not quite right

I have a three bed house in Surrey with a new tenant moving in on the 28th.dunno

She seems like a genuine person. Has just split with her husband, has two kids, house is very near the school. She is working part time and is relying on Tax Credits and the maintenance money from her ex to pay the rent.

She has also said she wants to pay six months’ rent in advance (never had that before).

But the credit reference has come back saying that she is medium risk and they have declined her.

Openrent has stated that next action should be to request a guarantor (which I thought I had to be honest). But am not sure.

The last tenant was a single mother relying on her ex partner to top up her money and although she struggled every month and was often late paying, she always did pay and was a lovely tenant. We’ve stayed friends actually.

I am not sure with this one though. There’s something telling me that she’s a much bigger risk. Her ex sounds like a pretty bad sort (infidelities, controlling) so money may be withdrawn, it’s very common. Also, why would she pay six months’ in advance? Do her rights as a tenant change after six months?

Any insights would be gratefully received. I am usually extremely flexible with prospective new tenants and have always trusted my instinct (only got burnt once and it wasn’t too bad) but I’m not sure with this one.

Pam



Comments

Neil Patterson

15:40 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Pamela,

I am not saying that this is the case, but the common denominator in Cannabis Farm cases is nearly always paying upfront.

Have you asked yet why the tenant would like to pay this way?

Jan Martin

16:22 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

If you have 6 months rent upfront and a decent deposit plus a good referenced and credit checked guarantor then thats ok short term but sounds like the lady may well be claiming benefits after the 6months.If you dont take housing benefit then maybe you should say no .
sounds like you are picking up vibes and you should listen to your gut feelings .

Gary Dully

16:58 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

Cannabis farms start with a 6 month rental advance, so be careful.

I'm on my 2nd.

The first one started in a wardrobe and the second one involved my roof trusses being taken out and the roof started to dip.

Stop laughing you lot!

Pamela Potter

18:11 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

She's a mother with two young kids going through a divorce. I more inclined to think it's what Jan says and she's going to be claiming benefit after six months. The ex husband sounds like a nasty piece of work so I wonder if there's a suspicion he's going to stop the child maintenance.

Cautious Landlord

8:05 AM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

Never ignore your gut instinct - it will cost you more in the long run. No tenant is much better than a bad tenant.

John Constant

13:50 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

"No tenant is much better than a bad tenant" - you're not related to Theresa May by any chance?.

Graham Bowcock

13:53 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

Dear Pam#

Gut instinct is worth a lot; if you smell hassle now then don't get involved.

On a more positive note I took a new tenant in last year when she left her husband and she paid 6 months rent up front. To her it was a commercial decision and moved her up the (long) queue of prospective tenants. She knew it may be difficult to secure a house quickly so her offer made sense when I talked it through with her. I have done it several times, but only when I am entirely happy there are no skeletons in the cupboard. I still get references and do everything as normal.

Graham

David Price

14:11 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

Beware of six months rent in advance, it may be considered a deposit by the courts and then you would have to pay the tenant 18 months rent as a penalty and return the original deposit.
I collect £10 a week top up from DWP tenants and one judge considered this to be a deposit and denied a section 21 eviction. Judges can be perverse.

Jamie M

14:30 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

If it smell like fish it's fish 99% of the time. Run!

denis knockton

14:39 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

In central London, we get up to 2 years rent in advance from wealthy foreigners as well as foreign students. They do it to get a better deal and secure the property. It's fairly common. In your case, I agree with the other comments - something fishy. As a general rule, if it does not feel right, always walk away.

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