Tenant just arrived from British Virgin Isles

Tenant just arrived from British Virgin Isles

9:19 AM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago 9

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A lady and her daughter have just come into UK from British virgin isles and wants to rent house for a year, she is willing to pay the whole year up front with deposit. Tennant just arrived from British Virgin Isles

My quandary is … she has no UK bank account as yet because she is living in hotel and guest house. She has British passport and she is doing a masters at a uni in London.

I can get conformation of that but otherwise no other ID. She says she is an attorney.

Its sounds good to have full year up front but what do you think?

I would do a full tenancy agreement.

I feel like, ” its to good to be true” but then again I get ” gift horse and mouth”

Help please, I need opinions.



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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:24 AM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Christine

Passports and confirmation from the University is a very good start.

If your prospective tenant is an attorney this should also be provable, it certainly is for UK solicitors and barristers. Have you tried a Google search based on her name?

FCC Paragon do international tenant referencing, have you considered contacting them? They also provide rental warranties so may be able to structure a deal subject to satisfactory referencing.

If you do offer a tenancy then I strongly recommend that you explain that you will be doing a "snagging inspection" after the first 4 to 8 weeks. If she's targeting your property as a cannabis farm this will undoubtedly put her off.

Does she have a driving licence, bank statements or a credit card? If not I would be very suspicious.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Christine McCluggage

10:00 AM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/09/2014 - 09:24":

Thank you for your comments Mark, after sleeping on it, and having a bad feeling for some reason!( and everyone says go with your gut feeling 🙂 I have emailed the lady and said we wont be able to accept her as a tenant. I have just never come across anyone offering the full year rent up front! And it was very tempting but far to good to be true.

Thank you again


Mike W

14:43 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Christine,

Luckily I have never had your problem but a solicitor friend did have such an experience two years ago. Person was from Hong Kong and was studying at local uni. He decided to take the deal and it worked out ok.

I guess I feel sorry that UK society has had to become skeptical. This is no criticism but I wonder how you would feel if you were genuine and were turned down all the time?

I wonder, as a landlord how these sorts of issued could be better handled? Perhaps the university acting as a guarantor? After all a genuine student may actually be eligible for uni accommodation? Any thoughts/suggestions?

Sharon Betton

14:52 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

How would I feel if in the prospective tenants shoes? Probably bad, but then, I would be turning up with so much proof of the situation I would be likely to bore a prospective landlord to death. I am in agreement with Mark - this has been the modus operandi of many cannabis farmers, so stress you do regular inspections. Just a thought - tell them part of the inspection involves checking the electricity meter - if this seems to have increased a lot over a short-time, there may be something to worry about. There may be little evidence of cannabis farming in the living area, but they may be using the loft and the increased electricity usage may be the only clue.

Neil Woodhead

14:54 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

This method is common practice with Non UK Passport Holders. They cannot get a Bank Account without a permanent UK address.....chicken & egg scenario. Put them through a full comprehensive profile check provided by many professional reference Companies.

You could also try to get employer to take on a Company enancy or act as their Guarantor

Neil Woodhead

14:55 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sharon Betton" at "03/09/2014 - 14:52":

Sharon professional canibis growers bypass the meters!!

Ian Cognito

15:17 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

Coming over to the UK WITH HER DAUGHTER sounds a bit odd to me. How old is the daughter? Where will she stay during the day? Who will look after her?

Assuming that this all stacks up OK, then, if the lady can prove her ID, and the university can confirm in writing the course she is studying and for how long, it is likely to be a bona-fide enquiry. If so, then the offer of paying 12 months rent up-front is simply recognition that monthly payment will not be acceptable in the absence of UK credit references. Also, bear in mind that the cost of accommodation may well be dwarfed by the cost of studying.

I would want to know how long she has been in the UK, when she will be opening a bank account, how she will be traveling to the university, where she has been working/studying in the Virgin Islands.

Sometimes it's not just the answers that are given but HOW someone answers. This is where gut feeling really comes into play.

Christine McCluggage

18:00 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike W" at "03/09/2014 - 14:43":

Thanks all for your feedback.

I was in the mind of Sharon Betton, If it were me I would have had loads of paperwork to back up what i was saying. It is unfortunate that we are very skeptical but the law is so complex you have to be careful. also this is my Sons home and not a buy to let. To answer Ian Cognito, The daughter was 10, she had a son who is 22 , she arrived with her sister in law who was also looking for property for her and her family, she also came over from BVI it was all a little to easy and a bell just rang! I asked if she had tried Letting Agents and she said no she wanted a private landlord. Thank you all again.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

23:15 PM, 3rd September 2014, About 10 years ago

I agree, so if the readings do not change that's also a red flag.

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