PDA

View Full Version : Private landlords - payment question



jack87
28-11-2005, 04:31 AM
Hi.

Me and a friend wish to rent a property in the very near future, preferably from a private landlord.

However, I have financial issues.

I am unemployed and I have no chequebook (although I will be temping again very soon).

However, my current account DOES have in a significant amount of money and I AM an online banker.

Without doubt, I could afford to pay a deposit and several months' rent in advance by direct payment and/or standing order.

Would most landlords be flexible enough to accept this, or is it cheques only?

Energise
28-11-2005, 11:19 AM
It should not be an issue at all, I think most landlords want paying by standing order.

MrShed
28-11-2005, 12:06 PM
Standing order should not be a problem. And, unless the payment method is written into the AST as by cheque only, you are entitled to pay by other methods. With regards paying several months upfront, you may have more of an issue with this perhaps, as generally landlords wish to get a guaranteed income per month to cover the mortgage. However, it probably isn't a big deal, as either the landlord will accept it or you will just have to set it to one side and make sure you don't touch it :p

davidjohnbutton
28-11-2005, 12:08 PM
1. Give the tenant one of your paying in books top pay in at a bank or in case of certain banks, a post office for credit to your account.
2. Provide your banking details so that tenant can use internet or telephone banking to transfer money from their account to yours.
3. Some tenants might like to pay by cheque every month.
4. Some might like you to collect cash every month.
5. Tenant can set up a standing order or for some agents that are able to collect this way, direct debit mandate.

MrWoof
28-11-2005, 19:47 PM
There is a problem with tenants paying by cheque or cash using a supplied paying in book. On the bank statement, the payment appears as the date, amount and a series of zeroes so if there is more than one tenant paying in the same amount on similar dates, if one misses a payment, which one was it? (without asking them both)

Energise
28-11-2005, 19:55 PM
My bank statements have the deposit slip numbers on them, and as an extra reference I make each tenants monthly rent end in a unique amount of pence.

jack87
29-11-2005, 00:07 AM
Many thanks for the replies guys!

I've ordered a chequebook just to be on the safe side, but would still rather pay with standing order!

In your experience, would our (me and my friend's) unemployment be an issue for most private landlords? We're well-educated individuals just looking to move to a new town and make a fresh start. We can certainly cover the rent and deposit for a while. Does the work situation matter significantly, or is it more to do with character and/or ability to pay? I'm just banking on a private landlord wanting their property filled so they can pay mortgage!

MrShed
29-11-2005, 03:58 AM
It goes almost without saying that employment status is important. Character does not pay the rent. Unfortunately(and I speak from experience) education and experience is no guarantee of a job, or at least a decent job. So yes, your employment status is going to be taken into account. I have a degree from one of the top ten universities in the country, and cannot so far get a job other than in a supermarket. :(

jack87
29-11-2005, 09:37 AM
Thanks for scaring the **** out of me, Shed! ;)

If employment is a major issue, then we'll both be in trouble. We planned on settling down in the area first, and then going to find work.

I'm hoping that private landlords will have a fair bit of leeway on this issue. Surely if they're being offered guaranteed money in their pocket, they must consider the offer strongly.

Well, fingers crossed anyway.

P.S. Also graduated from a top 10 university - will probably be joining you in the supermarket soon! God bless Mr Blair's vision...

MrShed
29-11-2005, 09:54 AM
Lol sorry jack! I mean, a tenant unemployed and showing the ability and the inclination to find a job will always look better. But if you currently have the ability to pay then obviously you should be ok....the landlord may just request a guarantor.

Ericthelobster
29-11-2005, 10:02 AM
I think you'll almost certainly need a guarantor to persuade a landlord to rent to you. (I'm afraid I would!)

If you can't come up with one, it's a bit of a catch 22 unfortunately; you need the job before you can rent a property but you need somewhere in the area to live so you can find a job...

Having said that, it's a pretty slack time of year - not many people are wanting to move house just before Xmas - so you might just find a LL desperate enough to risk it!

David

jack87
29-11-2005, 10:42 AM
Ah, a guarantor is not a problem.

My folks will guarantee me, even if it is just a token role (I have the money, but I can understand a landlord's concerns).

Another question, if you'd be so good to help me!

Bartering etiquette! What's the general rule of thumb here? When I was at university, I met with a landlord who owned a four bedroom property. Me and my TWO friends inspected the property and liked it, but asked for a general reduction given the fourth room wasn't to be filled. We eventually worked out a compromise where we would pay around 40% of the spare room's rent.

Question is, should we be upfront with any landlord about our determination to barter later down the line, or should we simply make the appointments, inspect the property, and then barter when we get down to serious talk? Any of you private landlords have experiences of this and, if so, what's your preference on etiquette?

MrShed
29-11-2005, 10:56 AM
I honestly don't believe there is a hell of a lot of room for bartering in rental. However, if you are going to, my tips:

- Barter when it comes to almost signing.
- I wouldnt really bother bartering unless the property is currently empty and/or advertised as "available immediately"
- Best time of year to be able to barter is December and January
- May be in a better bargaining position if you will commit to a longer fixed term.

The reason I do not believe there is a lot of bartering potential is because landlords margins are not as big as some people think. If you are able to barter, then generally speaking(although obviously not 100% of the time) the rent is currently higher than market rent, and you will probably be able to barter down to market rent, which obviously isnt really a "saving".

susan 2
29-11-2005, 11:11 AM
Jack - As a landlord all sorts of things make me decide for or against a prospective tenant. Certainly unemployment raises a big red flag.I have had some really super mature students in my flats with no worries. However once they leave college and have to find a job we have on several occasions had problems simply because they could not get employment. Much to their amazement usually! Experienced landlords tend often to go by their gut instinct and you have certain things for and against in your favour.
1. You have money put away for a bond and several months payment.
2. November/December is generally the worse time of the year for letting.
3.You can provide a guarantor
4.I presume you are over 21 and well dressed and polite- Believe me that goes a long way in a landlords eyes - well it does in mine!

Against
1. You do not have a job - are you prepared to take anything for the time being?
2. You want to barter the rent down. You might find some landlords would do this. However I would gently show you the door! It depends on how desperate he is to let and how long his void is.

I personally always insist on standing orders.Once my tenants are in their flat I do not want to visit them and they certainly do not want me around. Apart of course for maintenance.
Generally I think you have a good chance of getting a flat/house, just do not press to hard for a reduction. Best of luck susan

jack87
29-11-2005, 11:33 AM
Again, thanks for the replies!

I'm afraid it's in my nature to haggle! It depends on the circumstances, of course. If I feel the rent is a genuinely good rate for the property/area in comparison to others, I'll feel no need to barter. But if it is, as Mr Shed suggested, a landlord in desperate need of a tenant AND it happens to be a three bed house, then I hope that me and my friend can come to a win/win solution with said landlord.

Re: employment. Yes, I suppose I am happy to take anything right now! I have big plans further down the line (involve moving to America!), but those won't come to fruition for a while until my contacts have sorted out work permits and the like. So for now I'm happy to work to live.

And believe me, I will turn up IMMACULATELY dressed - no pleated trousers here!! ;)

I am a little nervy about this whole thing. We're desperate to get in before the end of the year and just get things started, you know?

A couple MORE questions (you patient people!):

1) If, let's say, me and my friend found a good property and landlord on the 10th December, would we be able to sign a contract which starts on the day we move in? Or are all/most contracts entirely month dependent i.e. would we have to pay the full rate for December despite moving in halfway through?

2) Can you recommend good websites and/or publications which deal exclusively with private classifieds and NOT agencies?

Many thanks again!

MrShed
29-11-2005, 11:36 AM
Dunno about your second question im afraid. But your first one....a rental period can start on any date. So you could move in sign contract and have your rent payable on the 10th of each month, for example.

RichieP
29-11-2005, 20:41 PM
If it were me, I'd happily take you on if you wanted to pay for 6 months up front, unemployed or not.

Bartering would put me off if I had lots of time, as I did with my flat. I turned people down who tried that, but if it were getting towards a void or a long period void I'd consider it.


2) Can you recommend good websites and/or publications which deal exclusively with private classifieds and NOT agencies?

Where are you looking to rent?

caroline7758
29-11-2005, 22:30 PM
Ironically, if you are simply unemployed, or a student, and have some money, you will be more "acceptable" to many landlords than if you are "on benefits", as many seem to have a blind spot about this. We rent out two houses, one to a guy who has been on benefits the whole time (so we get the housing benefit paid directly to us regularly every month) and one to a couple who were both working, but since one of them has lost her job they now have huge arrears and we have had to serve them notice.The former keeps the house immaculate and the latter live like pigs.