Potential Spanish tenant difficult to reference?

by Readers Question

10:47 AM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Potential Spanish tenant difficult to reference?

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Potential Spanish tenant difficult to reference?

I recently showed my vacant property to a family consisting of an English father and Spanish mother with 2 children. After a series of strokes, the father is now on disability benefit and his wife is his carer.credit history

They want to rent the house. The Spanish lady said she had not been in the country long and has been told she “does not exist” on the systems of banks and so would not show up on a credit search.

However, she had been a legal assistant in Spain and also, previously been a pharmaceutical assistant in this country.

Any advice on how to do any due diligence in this case. They seem a nice couple with polite children. (10 and 17)

Many thanks

Martin



Comments

Steven Burman

12:39 PM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Martin, if the lady has worked in this country she will have an NI number and will 'exist' as far as the tax/welfare system is concerned. If she is her husbands 'official' carer she will be in receipt of carers allowance paid by the government. This will amost certainly be paid electronically into a bank account - therefore she will have some kind of credit record. I would advise you to carry out a credit search as you would with any other potential tenant. If there is no record of her I would advise you not to accept them on this basis. No matter how nice they appear, you could be letting yourself in for problems in the longer term.

SB

Roger P

15:50 PM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

do it at your own peril !

Mandy Thomson

19:27 PM, 9th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Martin

I very recently posted on here about referencing international tenants, in my case a Romanian couple http://www.property118.com/recommendations-international-tenant-referencing/86546/ I suggest you read that thread, and take especial note about Landlord Stung's experience.

However, I believe you might find that the Spanish tenant referencing system is much more advanced than in Romania and certainly Abu Dhabi, and you will find several UK referencing companies to conduct the search.

For example, in Spain they have at least one tenant history checking site: ‘Fichero de Inquilinos Morosos’ (FIM) where you can conduct a search in English. The webpage I got this from is written by a Spanish lawyer and is very informative - perhaps you could contact the site? http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/legal/letting-in-spain-the-safe-way/

This site http://www.expatica.com/es/housing/Renting-a-property-in-Spain_103913.html aimed at foreigners renting IN Spain, states that tenants will normally be asked to provide:

Evidence of employment or ability to pay the rent;
tax identification number (if you are working);
passport or ID;
personal references.

On a general note, someone mentioned not trusting a potential tenant even if they seem really nice - this is certainly true. I know someone who has the tenant from Hell, but when you meet this lady she seems extremely pleasant and she's decent enough as a neighbour. However, she treats her poor landlord worse than dirt!

Ingrid Bacsa

1:37 AM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Hey, just slap a huge deposit; they WILL behave!

Mandy Thomson

6:28 AM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ingrid Bacsa" at "12/05/2016 - 01:37":

Rent up front, more than the usual one months deposit, is inadvisable - see Mary Latham's comment "...1/6th of the annual rent in advance is considered to be a Premium and changes to the terms of the AST so that a tenant can move out and put someone else in his place without the landlords consent. It also causes serious issues for Possession proceedings..." - http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/forum/discuss/community-forum/ll-fined-for-taking-advance-rent-from-tenant-help/#sthash.fTM71Y2V.dpuf

Bad tenants have also been known to simply withhold the last rent payment if they know it can be covered by the deposit.

Romain Garcin

7:53 AM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "12/05/2016 - 06:28":

Hi Mandy,

A premium is defined as consideration in addition to rent or a deposit in excess of 1/6th of the annual rent.

Rent in advance is not a premium, but a large deposit may indeed be one.

Roger P

8:26 AM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Martin, worldly advice - find someone else - a short term void/pain will save you money in the long term

Mandy Thomson

10:56 AM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Roger P" at "12/05/2016 - 08:26":

Maybe - but as the Spanish applicant can be properly referenced in her native country, this comes down to whether RGI would pay up in the event of a claim - I don't doubt for one minute that they'll provide cover for her IF SHE GETS A REASONABLE JOB, but as Landlord Stung found, this doesn't mean they'll necessarily pay out! Also, her comment, "I don't exist on the UK credit system" - just ignorance (highly likely) or was she hoping to circumvent referencing? How did she come across as she was saying this?

Then there's her husband. If he's only on employment support allowance (ESA) (or the UC equivalent) his income won't be very high or reliable, and housing benefit (assuming the couple are eligible if wife can get a good job) can be stopped if his ESA is stopped - whether this is justified or not. However, if he's been properly assessed (medically and otherwise) and his claim for a more permanent disability benefit is established, his income will be reasonable and secure. If his wife is his FULL TIME carer, the couple will almost certainly get housing benefit. (I know a bit about UK benefits, at least before UC through working for the DWP for a time)

You can get RGI for a tenant on housing benefit through companies such as Cover Sure.

Mandy Thomson

11:03 AM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Another option - what if Martin were to grant the family a short term let until they establish themselves in the country? If there aren't many serious contenders for the tenancy, this might help both parties.

Once the couple have their respective benefits established, and the wife possibly gets a job, Martin can then decide whether to grant a full AST or ask them to move out once the short term let is up.

Ingrid Bacsa

14:56 PM, 12th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "12/05/2016 - 06:28":

If you log the large deposit I have found the tenants always have this in mind and they are also aware that a third official party is involved!! It improved behaviour towards rent and the property generally on my experience. References are so so in comparison!

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