Tag Archives: Tenant referencing

When to sign the AST and taking holding deposits Latest Articles

I have read that on no account should a landlord sign a new tenancy, unless he has vacant possession of the property.Even if good tenants have given notice in writing, it doesn’t mean they will actually move out on the day they say they will. On that basis it makes sense that new tenants should sign the new tenancy on the day of moving in. When to sign the AST and taking holding deposits

I have had problems in the past however, when tenants go through all the motions of wanting to take a property and then pull out, leaving us with lost rent and lost potential tenants.

What do others do to protect themselves ?

In Mark’s excellent Tenant Referencing Using Common sense’ he says …..”Once referencing is accepted …..we ask for the deposit to be paid to hold the property, we immediately protect the deposit….”

What is best practice if taking a so called holding deposit ?

When is a deposit just a holding deposit and not a tenancy deposit and should this ever/always be protected?

Can a deposit really be protected before a tenancy has been created (the DPS ask you to fill in the tenancy start date) ?

If the deposit was taken more than 30 days before the start of the tenancy wouldn’t it need to be protected and the Prescribed info served before moving in?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Many thanks

Mike


Free guide to finding the very best tenants Advice, GOOD Landlords Campaign Sponsors, Latest Articles, Legal, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment Strategies

My free guide to finding the very best tenants is now available as a PDF download, just see the form at the bottom of this article. Free guide to finding the very best tenants

In the PDF I explain what my family do to find the next perfect tenant, right from the day an existing tenant let’s us know that they want to move out.

In all the years my family have been landlords we have only had to go to Court twice to seek possession, this is despite having granted over 1,000 tenancies. We have not had one single tenancy deposit dispute referred to arbitration or the small claims courts. Perhaps we have just been lucky, however, I prefer to think this has something to do with the way we apply common sense to our letting and tenant referencing process. We do not let to all tenant groups but if you use this as a template for your future letting and tenant referencing I’m very confident that you will have a lot less problems in future. Our target markets are mature professionals (over 30′s), working families with children of school age and baby boomers. We don’t let to youngsters and we don’t target the benefits market, however, if we did nothing much would be too different, save perhaps for the types and locations of properties we invest in.

Access to the guide to finding the very best tenants

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Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense Advice, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Common sense tenant referencing was pretty much the only option available when I first became a landlord and started letting property in the late 1980’s. Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense

In this article I am going to explain what my family do to find the next perfect tenant, right from the day an existing tenant let’s us know that they want to move out. More often than not these days, tenants think they can serve notice with just a phone call, email, facebook or text message – more about that later. Continue reading Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense


Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords Buy to Let News, Latest Articles

Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlordsI am a non-exec Director of Letting Supermarket, an ARLA member letting agency which we have been recommending to Property118 readers since the end of 2012.

The feedback received from landlords we’ve referred has been superb with savings of 50% or more being reported when compared to other ARLA member letting agents. Continue reading Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords


Can I charge tenants for extra admin if they are in arrears? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Can I charge tenants for extra admin if they are in arrears?Following the news from Property118 last week regarding “no win no fee” debt collection for landlords I have been re-thinking my strategy. I have a question though, can I charge tenants for extra admin if they are in arrears?

This is my thought process. Continue reading Can I charge tenants for extra admin if they are in arrears?


Debt Collection for Landlords “No Win No Fee” Advice, Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Legal, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

No win no fee debt collection for landlordsI have negotiated a “No Win No Fee” debt collection service for landlords.

It constantly amazes me how many landlords post stories on our forums of tenant debts which landlords have mentally written off. Stories range from rent arrears, tenants who have absconded whilst in arrears to horror stories of damage caused by tenants to landlords properties which the tenants have never bothered to pay for. Continue reading Debt Collection for Landlords “No Win No Fee”


Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent - one packageHow difficult can it be to advertise property to let on all the major rental portals, reference the tenants properly and guarantee the rent and legal expenses in one package with money back guarantees?

It shouldn’t be difficult should it?
Continue reading Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package


Lettings package exclusively for Scottish Landlords Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Lettings package exclusively for Scottish LandlordsScottish landlords want at least three things from their tenants:-

Rent paid on time
Respect the property
Respect the neighbours

There are many ways to find these perfect tenants and to insure against the risks of any problems. The cost of full property management in Scotland has been increasing as agents are having to pass on costs landlords previously paid by tenants. Continue reading Lettings package exclusively for Scottish Landlords


Some good News for Landlords in Scotland at last Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property News

Good News for Landlords in Scotland at last

I keep in touch with what’s going on in the lives of my fellow landlords North of the border via my friends at the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and via listening to members of the Association, many of whom joined SAL on my recommendation.

Members of SAL tell me landlords in Scotland are feeling the pinch of all the new regulations. Letting Agents fees are rocketing to offset the premiums they used to charge to tenants and many of the online portals have pulled out of working with Scottish landlords altogether.

Just because I don’t own any properties myself in Scotland doesn’t prevent me from keeping an eye on the market to look out for solutions though, my ancesters are Scots so I know that every penny counts.

The new regulations might be a pain in the neck for some (OK most!) but as they say, as one door closes another one opens.

I’ve been discussing the challenges with several of my contacts and one of them, an online letting agent (member of the Scottish Association of Landlords and ARLA), has decided to buck the trend and create a brand new product for Scottish landlords whilst their competitors are exiting the market in droves.

This is an overview of their product and I would be very interested in your feedback, especially if you own and let properties in Scotland.

Scottish Landlords Letting and Rent Guarantee Package

  • Advertising of your property on all the major property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location etc)
  • Tenant referencing
  • Dealing with Deposit Protection
  • Rent collection
  • Legal Expense Insurance Cover and Rent Guaranteed for 12 months up to £2,500 pcm and £25,000 in total (with an option to renew each year)
  • Eviction Proceeding costs covered

What’s more, you remain in control. You do the viewing so you get to look your prospective tenants in the eye and decide whether you want them living in your property. This also helps keeps costs down 🙂

The outcome of a tenancy is set at the beginning I think you will agree? However, on top of the increased regulation in Scotland and the associated costs being passed onto landlords, rent arrears, which are every landlords worst nightmare, are increasing too.

One bad tenant can leave you unable to pay your mortgage with prospects of losing your property and possibly bankruptcy. Worse still the court system can take well over 6 months to achieve eviction!

Add to that extortionate lawyers fees and damage to the property, is it any wonder that rent arrears and rising costs of compliance are the biggest fear amongst Scottish landlords?

The rent arrears situation is getting worse.

Arrears are increasing, courts are closing and the process of re-gaining possession of your property is taking longer and longer…

Is it any wonder that “professional rent dodgers” are having a field day?

Things are now about to change for the better for Scottish Landlords though 🙂

The rent guarantee insurers are happy to partner with the agent offering the above scheme due to their unparalleled tenant find and vetting procedure which provides for low risk letting.  

The bottom line is that if the tenant does not pay – you still get paid, and you still save money :-)

Given that 10% of tenants are in arrears amounting to thousands of pounds, and you get rent protection and legal cover, you’d expect a hefty premium wouldn’t you?

Not so – because of this letting agents bulk buying power already established in England and Wales, all of the above can be offered for a full year for just £247 + VAT. Compare that to the fees that your letting agent charges!

It get’s better though!

The deal even comes with a Money Back Guarantee!

If your property is not “Let Agreed” within 30 days you can cancel your instructions and have a full refund.

It’s a meaningful guarantee too, not from some two bob business operating from a bedroom, these agents are qualified members of ARLA and are also members of the Scottish Association of Landlords.

So, why take the risk with your property when you can use this service and get complete peace of mind at such an incredible price?

To find out more please complete the form below.

Oops! We could not locate your form.


Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent - one packageHow difficult can it be to advertise property to let on all the major rental portals, reference the tenants properly and guarantee the rent and legal expenses in one package with money back guarantees?

It shouldn’t be difficult should it?

What will happen to landlord confidence when such a package is available do you think?
Continue reading Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package


Online Letting Agents Review Buy to Let News, Landlord News, landlord's log, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Online Letting Agents ReviewI’ve been using Online Letting Agents to advertise my properties for a few years now. For me they are the most economical way to market my properties on the major property portals.

Earlier this week I tried a relative newcomer to the market which, I have to say, looked a bit to good to be true. However, as it cost me nothing to use the service I decided to give it a go.

I instructed them to market this property for me on Tuesday night and within a few hours it was listed on Rightmove, Zoopla and many of the other major property portals. It didn’t cost me a penny! Continue reading Online Letting Agents Review


Advanced Rent – is this the ultimate assurance for landlords? Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Tenant referencing has now evolved to the extent that insurance companies are prepared to underwrite the risks associated with the financing of Advanced Rent payments, allowing landlords to secure payment of up to six months rent up front. The insurance company underwrites the entire cost of the Advanced Rent and collection of monthly rent payments from the tenant. Continue reading Advanced Rent – is this the ultimate assurance for landlords?


Landlord Possession Claims Increase Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Market News, Property News, Tenant Eviction

Landlord possession claims increase as rent arrears are at their highest level for four years. The Government’s quarterly court statistics show that in the second quarter of 2012 there were 25,422 landlord possession claims that led to an order being made.

Since 2010 orders made in England and Wales are up by 8% with Gloucestershire and Hampshire being hardest hit with both suffering increases of 29%. Figures from Templeton LPA show there are now 99,000 tenants in arrears of two months plus, which is the highest level since 2008 and a 15% increase on last year. Continue reading Landlord Possession Claims Increase


Universal Credit Debate Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Universal CreditThe Universal Credit, due to be introduced in October 2013, is a new scheme which aims to simplify the benefits system by combining all in-work benefits( jobseeker’s allowance, tax credits, income support, employment and support allowance) into a single monthly payment rather than combination of a number of benefit payments as is currently the case.

The single Universal Credit payment will be paid directly to the claimant who is then responsible for passing on rent payments to their landlord. Continue reading Universal Credit Debate


My first intentional property investment part 3 Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Just two years after buying my first intentional property investment I owned 9 more. Buying that first one was like finding a magic lantern for my buy to let mortgage business. The Genie that popped out to grant me my wish gave me the confidence I needed to share with other prospective landlords how I got into the business and how I had overcome my nagging doubts. I was still relatively wet behind the ears but I knew more than most, especially the newbies who were starting to get interested in this new “buy to let” phenomenon. You see, when I purchased my little flat nobody had heard of the phrase “buy to let” as it hadn’t been invented. When ARLA created that phrase in late 1996 the media really grasped onto it and buy to let was in pretty much every newspaper every day. Continue reading My first intentional property investment part 3


Property118 Landlords Newsletter – Issue 112 Newsletter

This week’s edition features Ben Reeve-Lewis at the Property Investors Show, a challenge from Mark to Tony Robbins, Vanessa Warwick tackles tenant referencing and Neil looks at some completed finance deals. There’s plenty in the news too with regulation, Newham

Continue reading Property118 Landlords Newsletter – Issue 112


Never mind “The Mouse That Roared” … how about “The tenant that mooooo’d!!”? Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Guest Articles, Lettings & Management

When it comes to being a Landlord, whether you self-manage or have a fully managed service, tenant referencing is a major priority and never a task to underestimate the importance of.

A “bad” tenant should be avoided at all costs. They can stop paying the rent, damage your property, and their anti-social behaviour can cause problems with neighbours and other tenants alike that could have on-going “loss of rent” implications. Continue reading Never mind “The Mouse That Roared” … how about “The tenant that mooooo’d!!”?


Buy to let did boom in 2011 – it’s official! Buy to Let News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Market News

Buy to let really did boom in 2011 – with the total up 12% on the previous year as 692,766 homes were rented out.

As buy to let rampaged to a new high, home sales dropped back by 12,000 in the year to 769,077.
The trend was for buy to let to increase each quarter through the year – with the third quarter showing the biggest rise of 14.46%. Continue reading Buy to let did boom in 2011 – it’s official!


Systems thinking for the PRS Buy to Let News, Guest Columns

An article written in ire is not usually a good thing generally but my ire this time has been growing for some time and based on sound and constructive principles that I think many P118 readers, especially those who know me, would share.

An article in the Daily Mail published in 2008 reported on a Merseyside based Estate Agent, Sutton Estates, who started putting up boards on houses of people owing rent, saying “Rent dodger lives here”. What made me even angrier was a tweet that went out this weekend from an industry professional urging everyone to read it because it was ‘Very funny’. Continue reading Systems thinking for the PRS


Insuring against the risks of non-payment of rent Buy to Let News, Financial Advice, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Tenant Eviction

Tenant Referencing comes in many guises but in this article I am going to focus on how landlords can outsource a major piece of due diligence and pass the risks of tenants failing to pay rent onto an insurance company by purchasing Rent Guarantee Insurance “RGI”.

The concept itself is very simple. The insurer performs checks on the tenant which allows them to establish that rent is affordable and is likely to be paid. The insurance company then insure against the risks to the landlord in the event of non-payment on the part of the tenant. This is what happens if the tenant stops paying rent if you have purchased an RGI policy and followed the correct procedures:- Continue reading Insuring against the risks of non-payment of rent


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