New Tenant – something not quite right

by Readers Question

15:37 PM, 21st February 2017
About 4 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 Her ex sounds like a pretty bad sort (infidelities, controlling) so money may be withdrawn, it’s very common.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.


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michael fickling

10:06 AM, 23rd February 2017
About 4 years ago

Had a guy pay me six months in advance. He then moved someone else in.That someone being a person i wouldnt have let to . He ( supposed tenant ) never took up residence It cost me..both fiancial and stress and the "unofficial" tenant also caused considerable upset to the neighbours. You clearly have a "gut" feel on this...but there are ..also ...flags. here check not great...finances maybe not great longer term....and the somewhat unusual desire to go 6 mths in might consider the mantra.." if in doubt walk away ". Another tip which both mark and i have mentioned previously is to actually visit prospective tenants at their current home...before ( maybe in order to ) do the before sign up. Its very possible when doing so to find stuff and see stuff that makes you walk away..just in time. Saved me a probable nightmare on at least one occasion.

David Price

10:17 AM, 23rd February 2017
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "23/02/2017 - 09:56":

There is another important aspect in that single, generally unemployed, under 35's cause the most antisocial problems. Let me make it clear that this is not a general observation just one pertinent to the demographic to whom I let, or in the case of under 35's do not let.

Dylan Morris

21:04 PM, 23rd February 2017
About 4 years ago

So you have a prospective tenant who:

1) only works part time
2) reliant on tax credits
3) only just split from husband so no history of receiving maintenance from him
4) ex appears to be a bad one
5) failed the credit check

Definitely a very poor quality applicant. House is in Surrey so presumably a decent rental area ? Surely you can find a better tenant than this ?

Would have thought given the current strong demand for rental properties you'd have a big long list of applicants to choose from. How are you advertising through an agency ? Is it on Rightmove ?

My advice would be to steer well clear of this lady and try to find somebody who has a good income, good credit record and history of renting or paying a mortgage. Good luck.

Simon Hall

15:58 PM, 25th February 2017
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Price" at "22/02/2017 - 14:11":

Excellent piece of advice David! I concur with your notion in its entirety!

Philip Edwards

13:18 PM, 26th February 2017
About 4 years ago

I let my property in the South-East through an agent. I had a choice of two tenants, a lady who purported to be a company director and a fireman. I chose the former, who then, as well as a deposit, paid six months rent in advance.

The tenancy renewal was due to have taken place in November, and I expected to hear from the agency which deals with the renewals. Having heard nothing by mid December, I contacted the agency who told me that it had become a periodic tenancy, and that I had to deal directly with the tenant. Two months later, and having received a whole plethora of exaggerated complaints from the latter, she's £550.00 in arrears, with a history of a bounced cheque, and the promise of a standing order to tackle the arrears not being honoured after the first payment. I wish I'd chosen the fireman!

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