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delb0y
11-12-2005, 18:26 PM
hi folks

just recently i spent 80 quid to get a tenant vetted with insurance costing me 80 notes .. i had no doubts it would come up okay but its failed seems the tenant has a ccj outstanding debt of £198 5 years ago.. her credit score was +287 and it said min is 180 ? which im not sure about ..

bascially i have spoken to the tennat and she did tell me she was married and her husband hadnt paid bills etc .. the rest of the checks were fine.. the conculsion i got from the refenence checking company was that this tenant isnt suitable for ur intents

Does this mean if i was to still take on the tenant and if they defaulted on rent i couldnt claim the rent from the cc ref checking company

Editor
11-12-2005, 18:53 PM
If your tenant has failed the checks then you will not be able to get the rent guarantee insurance and therefore you are entitled to a refund of the insurance element of the payment you made.
It's then up to you whether you let to your tenant - perhaps with a guarantor?

delb0y
11-12-2005, 19:28 PM
oh right i didnt realise i could get a refund for the insurence i shall email them now

thanks!

richandjo
25-01-2006, 10:14 AM
We're completely new to this and are hoping to rent out our first property shortly.

We'd like to source and vet our own tenants and wondered if there are any recommended, reliable companies (such as TenantVerify, advertised) to approach. Any ideas or recommendations, please?

Also, is there a source for a good 'standard' inventory document anywhere, please?

Thanks.

Richard

PaulF
25-01-2006, 10:33 AM
Tenany Verify are fine and are probably just what you need.

Writing a good inventory is a skill, and you need to write down a full description of everything, including decor (don't forget the ceilings!) fixtures and fittings, carpet curtains etc. etc. You should specify colour, size, patterns, scratches, marks, type of material (cotton, oak, vinyl, rubber, plastic, etc.etc). Don't forget to photgraph everything, and possibly video, make sure the photos are dated on the back and make sure the tenant signs not only every page of the inventory on the day he/she moves in but each of the photos too!

I have a feeling you are going to use a tenancy agrement produced by a company "off the shelf". They don't go far enough I'm afraid. If you want to invest in a very good one you can contact Adam Rollins at the NAEA and you can purchase a CD for I think £80 (maybe plus VAT) that you can amend as you wish. It also includes a free update concerning new legislation that will come in this year. You can use it as often as you like and is as "cast-iron" as you can get, especially for a novice. It's 23 pages long so is very thorough and will protect you pretty well. Contact Adam on 01926 417753 his direct line - you can ask him any questions you want. without committing yourself.

Bear in mind you will need to send the tenancy agreemnt to the prospective tenant at least 5 to 7 days before he/she intends to take up occupation as he/she is entitled to have sufficient time to refer it to a CAB or solicitor, otherwise if he/she were to sign it on the day of occupation, it might invalidate your rights to impose any restrictive covenants on your tenant.

richandjo
25-01-2006, 10:44 AM
Thank you, Paul.

Sounds like good advice regarding the inventory and, yes, your feeling is correct about the agreement. Like many people, I suspect, I thought one tenancy agreement was like any other.

I'll be happy to take your advice and contact Adam.

Many thanks, once again.

Richard

richandjo
25-01-2006, 10:49 AM
Paul,

Incidentally, is it permissible/standard to make a charge to the incoming tenant (whether they are successful in their application or not) for the vetting procedure and, if so, can it be in full or merely a contribution towards the total costs incurred?

Thanks, in anticipation.

Richard

Ericthelobster
25-01-2006, 16:45 PM
Incidentally, is it permissible/standard to make a charge to the incoming tenant (whether they are successful in their application or not) for the vetting procedure and, if so, can it be in full or merely a contribution towards the total costs incurred?I don't do so myself, but suspect I'm in the minority... it's certainly permissible, and never mind making a contribution to the cost, I reckon most agents (most or all of whom charge tenants for this) make a profit out of it!

richandjo
25-01-2006, 17:06 PM
Thanks, Mr Lobster.

That's the conclusion I was reaching, as I read more about agents. Looks like it's fairly standard practice to charge the tenant for their tenancy agreement, too.

Thanks for the reply.

Regards,

Richard

P.Pilcher
25-01-2006, 22:10 PM
I don't do it either, but am now seriously considering doing so from when the new tenant's deposit regulations start as a way of paying the administration cost that this will involve.

P.P.

MK Landlord
26-01-2006, 14:53 PM
The RLA do an excellent tenancy Agreement approved by the Plain English Society for, I think, £5. See

http://www.rla.org.uk/

Letsure and Homelet both do basic vetting for around £15 (you can check references yourself) or the full service for £35 ish

GuitarMan
26-01-2006, 17:55 PM
The RLA do an excellent tenancy Agreement approved by the Plain English Society for, I think, £5. See

http://www.rla.org.uk/

Letsure and Homelet both do basic vetting for around £15 (you can check references yourself) or the full service for £35 ish

Then why did I get charged £100 for vetting? Twice.

GuitarMan

ape4xblue
05-04-2006, 09:46 AM
Are there any Landlords out there who charge a fee for sreening a prospective tenant and if so what fee is reasonable? Also, are "TenantVerify.co.uk" good enough to use??

thanks
Steve

ape4xblue
05-04-2006, 10:39 AM
Any takers on my earlier thread please??

caroline7758
05-04-2006, 18:52 PM
I asked the same question a few weeks ago & got no response either- not sure why. So I went ahead & used Tenantverify. It was easy & quick but pretty basic- not sure it was worth the money, although of course if it had shown my tenants had lots of CCJ's etc I probably would have thought it better value!I didn't pass the cost on to my tenants.

Jonboy
05-04-2006, 21:00 PM
how much was it?

Tweedle Dum
05-04-2006, 21:06 PM
I haven't used a tenant screening company yet but I would most certainly be asking the tenant to pay for it. All letting agents charge the tenants. You could end up spending a fortune if you had to screen a large number.

Editor
06-04-2006, 09:12 AM
You don't have to look far to find the cost of tenant checks, just click the link: www.tenantverify.co.uk
There are many organisations offering this service all for very similar fees, and generally all offering a good service. Like anything you tend to get what you pay for - the cheapest is not always best - though there are sometimes exceptions to this rule?
It never fails to amaze me that some property owners are prepared to hand over assets valued in the hundreds of thousands of pounds to, in effect, total strangers without checking even the basics, without an application form and with the cheapest agreement they can find!
Go to your bank and just see the hurdles you have to jump if you try to borrow this kind of money!
You should always have your tenant complete a good Tenancy Application form: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/application.pdf
This ensures identity which is vital these days, as well as giving fool proof tracing information should they skip owing money. People have passed credit worthyness checks using false identities so be wary.
Personally, I never charge tenants for these checks - I feel it makes you look a bit of a cheapskate landlord if you have to ask an ingoing tenant for £15! I think it's a matter of getting things in proportion.

jayb
15-04-2006, 21:33 PM
I have found giving prospective tenants the 'Landlordzone' application form, complete with the authorisation to make a credit check seems to weed out quite a lot of possible undesirable tenants, as you never hear from some of them again!
I now also specify in my advert that a credit check will be made along with the usual ref and bond required. Seems to thin out the initial telephone applications even more!

ALIEN1X
20-05-2006, 22:58 PM
Hi,

I have a situation where the former tenanat owes rent and caused some damage, and has left the proprety. Both the tenanat and garentor are not responding.

So I have to except my loss, as it seem that the small claims proceedure will be costly to enforce, and I have to settle for the held deposit in lieu of rent which is less then what they owe me.

So how can I get them on bad credit list or somthing?

Landlords should be be aware of these people, the letting agent was just as bad for not being supportive/proactive they just was not too bothered.

Regards
Alien1x

davidjohnbutton
20-05-2006, 23:28 PM
The only way of getting either of them on a credit blacklist is if someone is running one informally for your area, or for the national credit bureau such as Equifax and Experian, you would have to sue and obtain a judgment which they would then pick up from the Register of CCJ's and will effectively blacklist their names for six years.

steve394
21-05-2006, 08:08 AM
I think i'd put more effort into trying to write and spell correctly rather than chasing rainbows!

As said above, the only way to proceed is through the courts.

sharemaster2
21-05-2006, 08:20 AM
Hi,

Landlords should be be aware of these people, the letting agent was just as bad for not being supportive/proactive they just was not too bothered.

Regards
Alien1x

Hi Alien1X,

Can you be kind enough to say what area you are and the name of the agents so that all other L/L in the area can be sure not to go near such agents. I have had such an experince and know how it feels when your Esate Agent that is supposed to act simply does not bother because they have already taken your money for the service they offered:(

ALIEN1X
21-05-2006, 14:14 PM
Hi,

Do not think I can name and shame giving names on this forum as it is not correct behaviour on my part, but have to take advsie on the obove post by'davidjohnbutton'.

All I can say they are ARLA approved, base all around the UK (could be a franchise) and make all sorts of promises.I have to chase them all the time for updates on recovering rent instead of them keeping me informed at all times as promised.

My main concern is trying to get the former tenant + Garentor on some kind of black list.

However, I can't go for CCJ,I have been advsied its not worth the hassle. I could face further costs then what I'm trying to recover.

I do know they have not paid council tax and baliffs have been round. I have seen a court summonds at the property but not in the tenants name?

Regards
ALIEN1X

pms
21-05-2006, 18:38 PM
Hi,

My main concern is trying to get the former tenant + Garentor on some kind of black list.

However, I can't go for CCJ,I have been advsied its not worth the hassle. I could face further costs then what I'm trying to recover.

I do know they have not paid council tax and baliffs have been round. I have seen a court summonds at the property but not in the tenants name?

Regards
ALIEN1X

Would I be correct in saying that if you eventully do manage to blacklist the former tenants that you also blacklist the property.Any thoughts

ALIEN1X
21-05-2006, 19:59 PM
Can I actually do this? As I do not want to get into any trouble.

Would like some tips in how to achive this, difficult with out CCJ etc.

The tenant payed no rent since Jan 2006 and left Apr 2006 + careless damages which was difficult to claim for.

This tenant was clever, as I could tell that the person has done this before.

Anyway I have given a few tips who the agent could be....see previous post.

pms
21-05-2006, 20:46 PM
Can I actually do this? As I do not want to get into any trouble.

Would like some tips in how to achive this, difficult with out CCJ etc.

The tenant payed no rent since Jan 2006 and left Apr 2006 + careless damages which was difficult to claim for.

This tenant was clever, as I could tell that the person has done this before.

Anyway I have given a few tips who the agent could be....see previous post. It is hard to advise on what to do.Having read the thread again you seem to be caught up in a"Catch 22" situation.If you go to court you run the risk of still losing out as it is your word against the tenants(and I don't say it in a bad way).It's possible if you did catch up with the tenant who know's he/she could have declared themself bankrupt so obviously you would lose out there.If you where using an agent it's quite possible that some liability has arisen there.Have you contacted the agent for a forwarding address etc.I do sympathize as it is a difficult position you are finding yourself in.Just trying to look at all the angles.

ALIEN1X
21-05-2006, 21:40 PM
Well,

Its all comming to an end soon, its all sod law,we all go thru some losses.

I'm now thinking of selling my propety? Just don't want the hassle like most landlords go thru. Very stressfull I find it, but normal for others.

My plan is to re-invest the sale- into a bigger/better family home, but means no rental income which is not my main income just investment on the side.

Good to Invest in property/Land for appreciation value- but not rent....what most developers do.

Ericthelobster
21-05-2006, 21:43 PM
Never having (fortunately) been in this position myself...

If someone in Alien1x's position decided he definitely wanted to secure a CCJ against a non-paying tenant, despite knowing that the financial outcome would not be likely to be any better than an order for the tenant to pay 50p/ month or whatever... what would be a ballpark cost for the landlord in terms of legal/court fees etc?

ALIEN1X
21-05-2006, 21:47 PM
Buy the way agents will never give a forwarding address....data protection act.....tenants are protected, again sods law.

On my AST it has the address of the garentor, but as a fully managed property all contact has to be via the agent. I don't want breach rules by going direct to the garentor.

pms
21-05-2006, 22:20 PM
Never having (fortunately) been in this position myself...

If someone in Alien1x's position decided he definitely wanted to secure a CCJ against a non-paying tenant, despite knowing that the financial outcome would not be likely to be any better than an order for the tenant to pay 50p/ month or whatever... what would be a ballpark cost for the landlord in terms of legal/court fees etc?

You make a good point that if it was in Alien1x's favour the tenant could plead poverty and be ordered to only pay 50p a month.The problem is that for what it cost in fees(which would outweigh the losses) would it really be worth it at the end of the day.Just looking at it realistically.I don't think a ballpoint figure could be given.A point to bear in mind is that before any proceedings could be issued an address would be needed to serve the summons.

Tootsie Roll
26-05-2006, 15:14 PM
Would I be correct in saying that if you eventully do manage to blacklist the former tenants that you also blacklist the property.Any thoughts

No - you would not be correct, it is a very common misconception though.

To the OP - Litigation can be expensive but you can pass all the costs onto your tenant and guarantor. Do you know what their personal circumstances are ? Presumably you thought the guarantor was a good bet financially - is he working, is the former tenant ? Really the only action worth taking is obtaining judgement and getting an attachment of earnings or possibly securing the debt on the guarantors house (if he owns it). The judge will decide how much they have to pay back based on their disposable income.

What did the guarantor's credit check look like ? If it was good they are not going to want you getting a CCJ put on it so will probably settle up before it goes that far - you would be amazed at how a county court summons focus' the mind ! It their credit check wasn't good then WTF did you take him as a gaurantor for ?

johnmac
12-08-2006, 11:09 AM
Hi all,

I'm desperately in need of advice. I'm just about to use Tenant Verify to do a comprehensive credit/reference check on my prospective tenants. I'm going away on friday for quite a while so I want to check the tenants in on Thursday. Tenant Verify say their service takes 2 working days. Is this normally the case? Or is there another referencing agency I could use where I could get quicker results?

Many thanks

Editor
12-08-2006, 14:15 PM
A comprehensive reference check involves contacting employers and previous landlords and it gives you a more in-depth fraud analysis. These people are not always easy to contact or they do not always respond quickly so it's impossible to guarantee the checks will be completed in under 2 working days! Many times these checks can be done in under 24 hours but this cannot be guaranteed.
However, if you are in a hurry, why not do a basic check which will give you a credit score on the individual and will confirm residence / ccjs etc and then do the follow-up reference checks yourself?

Beeber
12-08-2006, 23:48 PM
I've used Tenant Verify for their comprehensive checks on about half a dozen occasions and they've rarely met their target with my requests. As the previous poster has indicated, it's invariably delays from the people they need to contact.

Phalk67
06-05-2007, 14:14 PM
Me again,

Is there some form of information sharing scheme among landlords? A list of names we could consult before accepting a tenant? Has anybody thought of starting one? Or is it against the Data Protection/Privacy Whatsit Act?
Given my current experience, I'm very keen to discriminate against non paying tenants.

Cheers

CoffeeCup
06-05-2007, 16:03 PM
Have a look at this discussion I started some time back and I agree there really should be some sort of database.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=12923#post12923

Paragon
06-05-2007, 16:29 PM
I saw an advert somewhere re: a company that specilizes in listing potentially bad tenants. They maintain a list of court disputes and CCJ's for a starter. Can't remember what else they do.

I do know that letting agents in my specific area talk to each other about problem tenants and probably landlords as well. I imagine there is an unofficial list, probably not in writing however.

Poppy35
06-05-2007, 21:22 PM
wish there was one!

I know our referencing agency carry a tenant database so that everyone tenant they reference gets checked against this.

They are only put on this register if the agent trys to make a claim under a Rental Guarantee Insurance policy and they are in arrears.

In our town we also "share" dodgy tenants details with other agents. To be honest theres not many which is good.

Phalk67
06-05-2007, 21:56 PM
Thanks CoffeeCup and Paragon for your replies.

I did look at the previous thread and it looks like there should be something more comprehensive than just credit checks. As many people said, landlords often don't take legal action because of the cost and the slim chance of recovering their money. I also have very little faith in credit reference agencies, by the way. When I was a prospective tenant, I was rung by a woman who hardly spoke any english and asked ME how much I earned. Doh. She didn't bother with the head office although I'd provided the number. My current tenant only gave the name of the company she was supposed to work for, no address, no phone number and how could the estate agent claim she passed her credit checks I still don't know. No wonder it's been a disaster. I think next time I'll just check them myself.
As for the rent insurance bit, I don't think I'll bother, there's probably a massive excess, limited period coverage and God knows how many exclusion clauses. Sorry if I sound grumpy, I'm just stressed out with the whole situation.

Phalk67
06-05-2007, 22:10 PM
No offence meant to Poppy35!
I seem to have picked the incompetent letting agent who uses an equally incompetent credit check agency.

sharemaster2
07-05-2007, 18:50 PM
Thanks CoffeeCup and Paragon for your replies.

I did look at the previous thread and it looks like there should be something more comprehensive than just credit checks. As many people said, landlords often don't take legal action because of the cost and the slim chance of recovering their money. I also have very little faith in credit reference agencies, by the way. When I was a prospective tenant, I was rung by a woman who hardly spoke any english and asked ME how much I earned. Doh. She didn't bother with the head office although I'd provided the number. My current tenant only gave the name of the company she was supposed to work for, no address, no phone number and how could the estate agent claim she passed her credit checks I still don't know. No wonder it's been a disaster. I think next time I'll just check them myself.
As for the rent insurance bit, I don't think I'll bother, there's probably a massive excess, limited period coverage and God knows how many exclusion clauses. Sorry if I sound grumpy, I'm just stressed out with the whole situation.


I agree with you, All insurance companies want to take your money very quick and fast but to pay out is simply a nightmare all sorts of clauses and what have you, thire excuse, to protect against fraudlent claims.

alidee
01-10-2007, 15:01 PM
Have just been completing a basic online search on tenant verify site. am bit confused as one of the questions says - student let ?
The tenant im doing the search on is a student but its not primarily a student let property.the other tenants work. does anyone know what this question means ? are they talking about whether tenant is student or the property being a student let ? hope that makes sense.
Have tried calling tenant verify but keep getting answer phone.
Thanks

Alidee

johnboy
01-10-2007, 16:11 PM
what site isit??

alidee
01-10-2007, 16:32 PM
www.tenantverify.co.uk

kfarmah
02-10-2007, 09:33 AM
I used it, and you need to do one for each tenant.
I have a similar setup - joint tenants, and ones a student.
So the let itself is not a student let or HMO, but the occupation is student.

alidee
02-10-2007, 13:27 PM
hi kfarmah

thanks for replying. the property I have is an HMO with 2 students and a working person at the moment and 2 rooms yet to let. So what you are saying is the basic credit search from tenant verify just relates to the individual you are checking on eg student let question would only be yes if the person you are checkin on is a student ?

am i thinking right in that ?

many thanks

alidee

kfarmah
02-10-2007, 13:40 PM
Yes, I belive it refers to the tenant rather than the property, confirmed by the occupation section.

alidee
02-10-2007, 14:45 PM
hi again

so far ive only used the basic credit search which doesnt ask about the prospective tenants occupation. i guess what youre saying makes sense so thanks :)

alidee

kfarmah
02-10-2007, 15:12 PM
I used the comprehensive search and charged it back to the T (cheaper that and EA's application fee).

AuntyEm74
12-02-2008, 14:09 PM
Hello

A tenant who had been in my flat for a year moved out a couple of weeks ago and a new tenant moved in. After my old tenant left I realised she hasn't paid any bills - she was always late with the rent so I am not surprisd. They were all in her name and so her problem and I was just happy she had gone.

However my new tenant says she asked BT to put in a phone line (I don't think the old tenant had a land line) and BT asked for a deposit as "there's a black mark against the address". I didn't think they could "black mark" addresses anymore? I thought it was just people records were kept on?

Any ideas? Obviously I don't want a property I own to be credit blacklisted.

Thanks
Emma

Colincbayley
12-02-2008, 14:29 PM
You are correct. A credit report is on a person not the property. Your tenant will just have to speak to BT to advise of the situation.

AuntyEm74
12-02-2008, 14:34 PM
That's what I thought. I am sure the new tenant made it clear she has nothing to do with the old tenant so I don't understand why BT are taking this line?

Esio Trot
12-02-2008, 14:43 PM
That's what I thought. I am sure the new tenant made it clear she has nothing to do with the old tenant so I don't understand why BT are taking this line?

I suspect that they haven't done a credit check, just used their own records.

One of my business is the giving of small loans, and have been doing this on a small scale for a few years now (all legitimate with a credit licence etc). I get defaulters, and sometimes it is repeated in the same road/block. If I have done 3 loans to different people in a particular road/block and all 3 have defaulted, if another comes along living in the same road/block I would be reluctant to give a loan, even though there was no connection other than the address.

If BT have also had significant defaulters in the same road/block as your tenant, likewise I guess they would wish to protect their position.

attilathelandlord
12-02-2008, 14:48 PM
I've had a few of these now where, especially if a new tenant wants to take out a mobile phone contract, the companies are saying that there is a history of non payment of bills at that particular address. Whether it is the post code or the actual property, the mobile phone co's won't sign the tenant up. Maybe BT is going that way.

atearth
31-03-2008, 15:14 PM
Is there a UK Wide Tenant, Landlord and Estate Agent Blacklist?

Estate Agents should be blacklisted for not doing their work.

Tenants must be blacklisted for not paying rent, damaging property and breach of contract

Landlords must be blacklisted for breach of contract.

When blacklisted, only names shall be blacklisted and not property.

It will also act as a screening process to find the Tenants, Landlords and Estate Agents that are desired.

jta
31-03-2008, 16:34 PM
Should think that by the end of the first week you would be knee-deep in litigation.

Mars Mug
31-03-2008, 16:44 PM
And a long list of names which mean nothing on their own since many names are not unique.

What about the Data Protection Act?

johnboy
01-04-2008, 06:15 AM
Who police's it? One tenant view of a agent does not make them a bad agent they may have a axe to grind against them cos they didnt get all their deposit back.

Nice idea but impratical.

andyr
01-04-2008, 09:06 AM
I would have thought that you're much better off doing your best to get a CCJ ruled against them. Not so easy to shake that off.

Of course you could be unlucky, like me, and have a T who's reached a point where he doesn't care any more.

But at least any future LL will be forewarned.

porridge
04-06-2008, 07:42 AM
Have any of you got a list of pre tenancy checks to vet prospective tenants?, i.e. I remember reading on here that one of you mentioned they always asked for 6 months bank statements, it was part of a really good thread but I can't find it.

As a side issue, has anyone got any idea of the time period between submitting a request for a summary judgement for possession to actually getting a judge to grant an possession order?, is it normally a same day thing?.

kayak
04-06-2008, 13:41 PM
I use an external referencing company as I find it very time consuming and I find they offer good value for money.

Here is what they do: -

Credit check for CCJ's and bankruptcy
Employment history for the last 18months
Address history for the last three years
Character reference
Landlord reference (either current or previous)

If necessary, I reference the guarantors and just check they are a UK home owner.

I try and steer clear from bank statements as it doesn't really show any security as someone could move money around, spend it all etc. I do know a lot of agencies are happy with bank statements though.

Kind regards,

John

Ericthelobster
04-06-2008, 17:57 PM
Here is what they do: -

Credit check for CCJ's and bankruptcy
Employment history for the last 18months
Address history for the last three years
Character reference
Landlord reference (either current or previous)

[..]

I try and steer clear from bank statements as it doesn't really show any security as someone could move money around, spend it all etc. I certainly don't think that sight of a bank statement would replace any of the above list, all of which are good and necessary; however I'm sure it can help as an adjunct.

For a start you get to confirm the applicant's bank details which may prove valuable later if you're pursuing a debt; you can see the employer's pay coming in (which backs up other info and you can also see what date the account is at it's monthly peak should you ever need to hit it with a 3rd party debt order!). And yes, people can move money around to conceal problems to an extent, but at least you can rule out the applicants whose accounts are permanently 5K in the red.

kayak
04-06-2008, 18:00 PM
I completely agree - whilst we don't require sight of the bank statement we do take the bank details both for the S/O and to run the credit check.

We do sometimes have to resort to bank statements for self employed individuals with no accountant etc and then the points you mentioned are exactly what you are looking for, it is just a little less quantifiable!

Kind regards,

John

porridge
04-06-2008, 18:02 PM
I certainly don't think that sight of a bank statement would replace any of the above list, all of which are good and necessary; however I'm sure it can help as an adjunct.

For a start you get to confirm the applicant's bank details which may prove valuable later if you're pursuing a debt; you can see the employer's pay coming in (which backs up other info and you can also see what date the account is at it's monthly peak should you ever need to hit it with a 3rd party debt order!). And yes, people can move money around to conceal problems to an extent, but at least you can rule out the applicants whose accounts are permanently 5K in the red.


Hi Eric

I am sure it was your post about a month ago that I saw on another thread, pretty sure you detailed some excellent pre tenancy checks?.

Beeber
04-07-2008, 11:05 AM
Can anyone recommend a similar tenant referencing service offered by another organisation than Tenant Verify (Rentwise) to provide tenant screening following receipt of a tenancy application form?

Or for those that undertake the checks themselves rather than through a third party, any handy advice, hints/tips or links for a landlord to do the following?

- check Voter’s roll registration details at current address and previous addresses

- check County Court Judgment (CCJ) or Court Decree (CD) at current and previous addresses (if applicable.

- check Details of any Bankruptcy or Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or any other credit information of a detrimental nature.

- Verify current employment details

- Get References,from current/previous Managing Agent or Landlord

thanks

jeffrey
04-07-2008, 11:09 AM
MARAS is the only one of which I have experience. There are posts about MARAS, good and bad; try LZ MacroSEARCH facility.

Finch
18-08-2008, 10:28 AM
Anyone know how to go about doing this? I've got 3 foreign business students who want to rent my property - all seem genuine enough, but the usual credit checks etc. wouldn't work in this situation.

SEB
18-08-2008, 10:44 AM
Anyone know how to go about doing this? I've got 3 foreign business students who want to rent my property - all seem genuine enough, but the usual credit checks etc. wouldn't work in this situation.

Try this;

https://ref.homeletuk.com/referencing_pop_08.html

I've not used them but found out about this recently.

Finch
18-08-2008, 11:26 AM
Thanks, SEB. Have looked at the link and unfortunately it only applies to people in employment, not students. Has anyone else let to foreign students? I've heard that, in terms of their finances, they're generally a better bet than UK students, it's just the vetting procedure that's stumping me.

SEB
18-08-2008, 11:39 AM
Yes, sorry, I remember now that their service is for working folk, amongst other criteria.

Why not give Homelet a call - maybe they know of another agency/service that deals in that area?
I think though that you're going to want a UK guarantor or more than one (so that they can be referenced), or end up asking them to pay all the rent up front.

sam_ldn
18-08-2008, 12:59 PM
I have successfully rented to foreign students twice - on neither occassion did they have any UK credit history or the ability to provide a UK guarantor.

In both cases, they provided what documentation they could - including photocopies of their passport & relevant visas (I also asked to see the originals), confirmation from their college / university that they were students (ideally with proof that their course fees had been paid in advance), details of their own UK bank account and evidence of how they would fund their studies / life.

I also spent time with them showing the property and used this time to chat to with them and form an impression.

Finally they were asked to pay a six months rent in advance, as well as a security deposit.

In both cases I was comfortable with them so the letting went ahead. On other occassions, they couldn't / wouldn't provide they documents I requested and/or weren't able / willing to pay advanced rent and/or I wasn't comfortable with the applicants.

TenantsLuvMe
18-08-2008, 17:24 PM
Anyone know how to go about doing this? I've got 3 foreign business students who want to rent my property - all seem genuine enough, but the usual credit checks etc. wouldn't work in this situation.

If you are comfortable asking for and assessing documentation, such as those mentioned by sam_ldn, you may be OK.
If not, or if you don't know what you should be looking for, what are warning signs or alarm bells, you may as well be looking at a 3-yr old's painting.

The value of professional tenant assessments is in the information they may already hold on the people concerned and the credit-score like value they attribute to each person, to tell you what kind of risk each person represents.
This is not something that will be available for your applicants seeing as they are from overseas and students to boot.

I think you have to decide how you feel about the situation and if you feel you can do the assessment.

If you can get money up front, like 6 months or the whole lot, then you don't have to worry about the money side.
But the payment of large amounts of money brings in other questions about where its from and whether these overseas students really are overseas students.
Do you have confirmation from the college/university that these applicants are indeed enrolled with them?
If not, I would get this, preferably in writing by the admissions office.

jeffrey
19-08-2008, 08:54 AM
Do you have confirmation from the college/university that these applicants are indeed enrolled with them?
If not, I would get this, preferably in writing by the admissions office.
L will need the University's Certificate anyway, for Council Tax purposes- students who are so certificated are disregarded for CT.

electroniclogin
03-07-2009, 09:04 AM
Hi.
After 2 disastrous experiences with tenants acquired thru E/Agents, ive decided to find a tenant privately for a change.
I have a prospective self-employed tenant with his own small IT business, and would like to do the relevant credit checks.
Does anyone else have any good suggestions/tips for the quickest/most reliable way to do this?

1. Is it sufficient to use Experian, or should i pay a fee and use an 'agency'?
2. Am i within my rights to refuse to take a tenant on the basis of him being self-employed, or is this 'discriminatory'?
3. Can anyone recommend any good companies who provide 'rent indemnity' insurance for self-employed tenants?
4. Is there any way i can check the financial status of my tenants company?

Thanks for any tips anyone can provide!

P.Pilcher
03-07-2009, 10:55 AM
I (who always pay agencies to do this for me) would suggest that the most important document is the previous landlord's reference. An extensive interview with the prospective tenant is required at which you should ask him just about everything and explain that as you are giving him what is effectively care and control of an asset worth (probably) in excess of £100,000, you consider yourself entitled to ask such questions. You are also entitled to such things as banker's references and be suspicious if he seems to change banks frequently. References from some of his major customers and suppliers can also be requested. If he starts to loose interest when such things are requested, then so should you!

P.P.

bedlington83
03-07-2009, 12:20 PM
Is his business just a vehicle for supplying his services to clients under contract with him (and possibly his wife/partner) as its only employee(s)?

Sportingdad
03-07-2009, 14:06 PM
Personally I ask for a copy of Tax Demand and/or a copy of certified accounts, should they not be supplied along with a guarantor, then not for me.

TimJBart
07-09-2009, 18:29 PM
Hi,

I have agreed to rent a property today and the agent has asked for a letter from my current landlord, and my employer.

Can someone please advise as to exactly what these reference letters should contain as in the past the agency has just taken care of this for me?

Also, they have asked for my previous 3 month bank statements, which seem a bit overkill to me! Am I within my rights to hide all the transactions on the statement, leaving only the balance visible?

Thanks

mind the gap
07-09-2009, 18:36 PM
Hi,

I have agreed to rent a property today and the agent has asked for a letter from my current landlord, and my employer.

Can someone please advise as to exactly what these reference letters should contain as in the past the agency has just taken care of this for me?

Also, they have asked for my previous 3 month bank statements, which seem a bit overkill to me! Am I within my rights to hide all the transactions on the statement, leaving only the balance visible?

Thanks

Your current landlord (assuming he agrees to supply a reference) could usefully give you a character reference and some indication of how good a tenant you have been, plus something about your rent payment record.

Yes, the agency can reasonably ask to see your bank statements for the last 3 months. No, there is no point hiding the transactions since they want to see whether you are normally solvent and have some sort of salary going in on a regular basis. If you just show a balance, it means very little - it might even mean that you have just stuck a sum in for one day then withdrawn it.

smr
14-10-2009, 13:54 PM
Hi all,

My partner and I have good credit histories, no CCJs, criminal records, debts etc. but we are just worried about giving prospective letting agents and / or landlords our LL's address and contact phone number because we have fallen out with him and we fear that if he is contacted he will give us a bad reference.

We might not be in a position to get a guarantor either.

Any advice would be very greatly received.

mind the gap
14-10-2009, 13:55 PM
Hi all,

My partner and I have good credit histories, no CCJs, criminal records, debts etc. but we are just worried about giving prospective letting agents and / or landlords our LL's address and contact phone number because we have fallen out with him and we fear that if he is contacted he will give us a bad reference.

We might not be in a position to get a guarantor either.

Any advice would be very greatly received.


And your question is?

smr
14-10-2009, 14:03 PM
And your question is?

If the LA phoned up our landlord he would give us a bad reference out of spite because we're on bad terms with him. Would this stop us from getting a place?

mind the gap
14-10-2009, 16:04 PM
If the LA phoned up our landlord he would give us a bad reference out of spite because we're on bad terms with him. Would this stop us from getting a place?

Probably not, if you could supply a glowing reference from your previous LL (ie the one before last). All you can do is explain to the LA/LL what has happened and hope they are sympathetic. The absence of a guarantor may in itself be the greatest stumbling block.

In the end, as you will appreciate, market forces will rule. It's a bit like a job application. If an employer has a queue of applicants beating a path to his/her door, and they all have good references from present employers and loads of qualifications, s/he is unlikely to appoint someone who does not have any formal evidence of competence, nor a reference from their current employer.

Good luck.

theartfullodger
14-10-2009, 17:53 PM
If you have fallen out with your current LL it is possible he will give a good ref. just to get rid of you...

Cheers!

Lodger

westminster
14-10-2009, 19:02 PM
We might not be in a position to get a guarantor......

......If the LA phoned up our landlord he would give us a bad reference out of spite because we're on bad terms with him. Would this stop us from getting a place?

You'll improve your chances if you provide a guarantor. It's fairly likely your LL will tell the LA he issued a s.8 for arrears (as you mentioned in another thread) which isn't so easy to explain away, even if it wasn't on mandatory grounds.

Personally I wouldn't take on a T with any indication of previous rent arrears, because I wouldn't want to risk the hassle of possibly having to evict and possibly having to take the guarantor to court.

I'd also be cautious if I heard the prospective T was suing LL for failure to provide the prescribed information - I'd want to know full details so as to ascertain whether the claim was 'reasonable' or 'vexatious' (I mean IMO not by court standards). In your circumstances, I'd regard it as vexatious as the deposit is protected (albeit late) and although the prescribed info apparently wasn't provided you were informed of which scheme the deposit was protected by, therefore you have suffered no loss, and you have yourself stated that you decided to pursue the claim in a spirit of retaliation.


"So anyway, we've had enough of him threatening us with eviction notices for rent arrears and solicitors for "damage" to his house so we' decided we're going to take him to court for not protecting our Deposit"

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=16480&page=3

But as MTG says, it's ultimately down to market forces. I'd be more likely to take a risk if I were struggling to find a new tenant. But I'd actually rather reduce the rent to get a low-risk T than take on a higher-risk, potentially late-paying, potentially litigious and eligible for legal aid T.

Diversity
04-12-2009, 11:48 AM
Which one is best?

seems that RLA's service is £22 (if you're a member) vs Tenant Verify's which is £30.55 for a Comprehensive Search & Referencing with Risk Assessment

How about Maras? any ideas on cost?

Can anyone bullet point a list of pros/cons of each. Thanks

Diversity
04-12-2009, 12:04 PM
As per the title, I have an applicant keen on a room. However he's been abroad for 8 yrs, so would a reference check really be worthwhile?

My understanding is that checks usually only go back 6 yrs.

I have had one previous (8 month tenancy abroad) and one current landlord (7 months in London) he's put forward and both have come back with positive feedback.

He has only just opened a UK bank account and consequently has no recent bank statements. He has offered a copy of his new employment contract, which I has asked for

Anything else I should ask for, any other safeguards? And as above is a tenant reference worth doing in his case?

westminster
04-12-2009, 12:19 PM
I don't know how far back references go, but you might instead ask for a guarantor with tangible assets, and a larger than usual deposit.

Diversity
04-12-2009, 13:17 PM
I don't know how far back references go, but you might instead ask for a guarantor with tangible assets, and a larger than usual deposit.

Thanks for the advice. If the tenant was able to put forth a guarantor should I run a check on the Guarantor?

Usually I ask for 6 weeks deposit. What would be an acceptable larger deposit, 8 weeks?

HairyLandlord
04-12-2009, 18:21 PM
Tenant Verify, from the same people who run this site, offer assessment of overseas applicants.

Watch for their ads on this site and then just click on it.

westminster
04-12-2009, 19:31 PM
Thanks for the advice. If the tenant was able to put forth a guarantor should I run a check on the Guarantor?
Yes (although I have no direct experience of guarantor procedure) - but you need to have evidence that they are who they say they are, and have the assets they claim to have. If they claim to own property, I'd check on the Land Registry website.


Usually I ask for 6 weeks deposit. What would be an acceptable larger deposit, 8 weeks?
Yes, 8 weeks or whatever you negotiate with the tenant. (I occasionally have foreign students who pay 6 months rent in advance so it's not unusual to ask for significant money up front). Do ensure deposit is protected and prescribed information given to T.

Diversity
05-12-2009, 01:00 AM
Tenant Verify, from the same people who run this site, offer assessment of overseas applicants.

Watch for their ads on this site and then just click on it.

yes, i did see that, although i'm thinking a UK based guarantor might be a better route if things went bad


Yes (although I have no direct experience of guarantor procedure) - but you need to have evidence that they are who they say they are, and have the assets they claim to have. If they claim to own property, I'd check on the Land Registry website.


Yes, 8 weeks or whatever you negotiate with the tenant. (I occasionally have foreign students who pay 6 months rent in advance so it's not unusual to ask for significant money up front). Do ensure deposit is protected and prescribed information given to T.

6 months in advance! - heck wouldn't every LL love that. do you ask this based on the fact they have no credit history?. Is this usual practice when letting to foreign students?

HairyLandlord
05-12-2009, 02:36 AM
6 months in advance! - heck wouldn't every LL love that. do you ask this based on the fact they have no credit history?. Is this usual practice when letting to foreign students?

This request is not that uncommon if the tenants are not working and have no visible means of enough regular income.
Sometimes, the parents pay this all upfront for their children.

subjecttocontract
05-12-2009, 06:56 AM
Homelet with whom I get my rent guarantee insurance offer the service for overseas applicants. It just takes a little longer than for UK applicants.

Diversity
05-12-2009, 09:51 AM
This request is not that uncommon if the tenants are not working and have no visible means of enough regular income.
Sometimes, the parents pay this all upfront for their children.

i have never ;et to students. but if they cough up 6 months upfront thats great


Homelet with whom I get my rent guarantee insurance offer the service for overseas applicants. It just takes a little longer than for UK applicants.

how do you find it? had a quick look, do use Xpress or Advantage rent guarantee (no excess). is that a once off fee for 6 months?

subjecttocontract
05-12-2009, 13:22 PM
how do you find it? had a quick look, do use Xpress or Advantage rent guarantee (no excess). is that a once off fee for 6 months?

My letting agent arranges everything for me@ £40-£50 per 6 month let. It works brilliantly and pays the rent if the tenants default on their rent payments. Also included in the fee is for Homelet to carry out any associated legal work that might be required like issuing S8 notice, organising possession proceedings etc.

Its well worth the money in my opinion.

Diversity
06-12-2009, 06:35 AM
how do you find it? had a quick look, do use Xpress or Advantage rent guarantee (no excess). is that a once off fee for 6 months?

My letting agent arranges everything for me@ £40-£50 per 6 month let. It works brilliantly and pays the rent if the tenants default on their rent payments. Also included in the fee is for Homelet to carry out any associated legal work that might be required like issuing S8 notice, organising possession proceedings etc.

Its well worth the money in my opinion.

is there an excess of 1 months rent? also can landlords sign up to this direct. and do the tenants have to be vetted by them first? ie you can't insure with current tenants

i'll have to look at the site again. seems like a good deal

Laura85
08-02-2010, 19:00 PM
Hi!

Me and my partner are in the process of looking for a place to rent, we have found the perfect house through an agency.

I am a bit worried though, my partner has 2 ccj's on his credit file of which both total £278 for parking fines which have been paid off. He has a good credit score now which we checked on experian.

Just wondering what everyone thinks? Do you think he will pass the credit checks? Homelet is the company the agent uses.

Any advice Grateful.

Thanks

Laura

jrsteeve
08-02-2010, 19:08 PM
Worst case he'll need a guarantor or pay his share in full upfront. Can't give a definite answer on whether he'd pass though as it depends on when the CCJ's were satisfied as they stay on your credit file for 6 years if I remember correctly.

kayak
08-02-2010, 19:17 PM
Really he shouldn't pass the credit check depending on when they were so I think the best thing is to be honest with the LL/LA and see what you can offer to entice them to still accept your partner as a tenant.

tubbs
17-02-2010, 13:42 PM
hi ppl

A married couple and the wifes brother want to move into my empty flat, the agent described it exactly as above but it was the brother of the wife that actually viewed, nothing strange with that i thought. The scenario is, he is living with them whilst his property is renovated and he expects to be staying for approx 6 months, then the couple hope to stay on...... firstly, legally do all 3 have to be named on the contact? and secondly would i be foolish not to name the brother on the contract? I mean they cold have viewed as a couple and just moved the brother in without telling me etc? following on from that in the case of naming all 3 on the AST, again i would be foolish not to do internet tenant checks on all 3 or would some just do the married couple etc?

and just one last point, if i signed them all up for 6 months, then the brother moves out after 4, can we just do another AST for the couple which will replace the existing AST>

regards

jonathan

tubbs
18-02-2010, 08:23 AM
Hi

looking at taking some new tenants on myself, obv i dont know these people, apart from asking full names and current address (which is rented) to perform the checks on sites such as listed below, is there anything else I should be asking?

Also should I be asking for proof of address i.e. a utility bill etc, or is that me just taking it to the extreme thinking they could making up the address or even copying someones identity, would an estate agent just take the name/address for example or would they insists of proof.

http://www.lettingprotection.com/Products/Tenant-Referencing.aspx#

https://checkmytenant.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/checkmytenant.cfg/php/enduser/cci/tv_homepage.php

thanks

Laura85
18-02-2010, 08:39 AM
Well we got the house and were honest! So there is hope out there

Pepzofio
18-02-2010, 09:54 AM
It's up to you who you put on the AST, but only those named as tenants will be liable for rent/damages etc. If I were you I would put all three on the tenancy so that they are all liable for rent. Presumably they are all going to contribute towards the rent, so if it all went pear shaped the couple might resent it if you had chosen to make them soley responsible for the rent. (Whereas if they had approached you for a joint tenancy & subsequently moved bro in without telling you, they could hardly complain about this.)

If the brother chooses to move out early, I don't see any reason why you couldn't sign a new (joint) AST, as long as the couple want to, but you should make sure you end the first tenancy properly (i.e. written agreement from all parties to terminate early - I think there's a particular name for it - deed of termination or something? But I could be wrong) That way you guard against bro coming back and claiming that you illegally evicted him.

David Lawrenson
18-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Hi Tubbs
I have to say, do the referencing wrong or skip the detail and you will eventually get a bad tenant and lose a lot of money whilst you wait months for the slow court process to clank along and eventually get them out.
This is one of the most important things you will do as a landlord so dont mess it up or short cut it.
Here is what I ask for from employed tenants...
I tell them why we need to seek references and check documents.
I say "In the same way as when you apply for a loan, when you apply to become a tenant you will find that all professional landlords and letting agents in the UK will check to see that you can afford to comfortably pay the rent from your employment income.
We would normally expect gross combined tenants’ employment income to be about double the rental income for the property, though if your other outgoings are less than normal, we may be able to accept less.
To help evaluate this and other facts about you, it is normal to ask you to supply certain simple references and documents to us. And in addition to these we also ask for proof of identity – which is why we ask to see your passport."
I then explain more fully what references and documents we need to see. These are...
1. An employer reference showing long been an employee, the nature of your employment contract - e.g. permanent / temporary etc, their salary.
2. A Letter from a recent landlord. This must state: a) start and end dates of tenancy and rent amount expressed in amount per month b) whether this rent was always paid on time c) whether there were any arrears in rent d) your conduct generally e) whether they would recommend you as being a reliable, honest and trustworthy tenant. f) whether they would let to you again
3. A recent photograph of yourself (not a copy)
4. Sight of last 3 months original bank statements showing your address -this is a double check on thier income and to check if paid rent on time. If bank statement does not contain current address, we ask for last three months of an original billing statement which does
5. Sight of your passport
I also tell them that depending on circumstances I may also require the following:
1. If employer does not pay your salary straight into bank, sight of your last 3 months original pay slips.
2. If not a citizen of a European Union country, sight of your permit or visa entitling them to work in the United Kingdom.
The references and documentation listed above is required in respect of each tenant (if there are to be more than one tenant).
In certain cases, you as landlord may want to get a Guarantor before proceeding. Any guarantor must be a UK homeowner.
I also do a credit check (cost about £10) and follow up ALL refs by phone.

I hope this helps. I would strongly advise you to read up more on this. Get a good book on the subject of proeprty letting and read up on the net.

David Lawrenson
Topic Expert
www.LettingFocus.com
www.Twitter.com/LettingFocus

David Lawrenson
18-02-2010, 12:14 PM
And I would add, that even if you use a letting agent you should definitely check the references they get too and ask to see docs provided by tenant.

There are lots of good honest letting agents who will have your interests at heart (i.e. great tenants who will pay rent), but frankly there are also some letting agents (usually the 100% commissioned variety) whose only goal is the commission and who could not care less what sort of tenant you get.

Unless you know this letting agent and trust them, make sure you see the refs they got before you take the tenant on.
Remember, they are acting as your agent and they should be requesting permission from tenants to show you the reference report they get back and anwer any questions you have.

A recent client of mine had just used an agent who had not even bothered to ask for work permit proof even though he knew tenant was from outside the EU.

And at most events I do I ask the audience if they have ever had a tenant from hell. Hands always go up.
I then ask them if they got that tenant through a letting agent. 70% of the time they did and it always emerges that the agent had failed to check tenants references properly.
So make sure the agent is doing their job!

Good luck.

David Lawrenson Topic Expert
www.LettingFocus.com
www.LettingFocus.com/Blog.html

tubbs
18-02-2010, 12:29 PM
thanks for your indepth answer David, i have decided to do a 'Full Tenant Reference' from here http://www.lettingprotection.com/Products/Tenant-Referencing.aspx# , the form is quite comprehensive and covers various things including some of the things you mention, so i hope the fee i am paying this company is for them to check it all out correctly, it takes 72 hours. obvioulsy a landlords reference would indicate if rent paid on time, though i would suspect a landlord could be missleading if they wanted rid of a tenant say? i do like the bank statement idea for proof of they pay the rent regular and on time, and passport, but i dont want to appear to intrusive if you know what i mean. its certainly a lot more detail than i went into with my last tenants, they were a couple of people i already knew so i didnt obtain any references etc!

i think this online check is at least what an estate agent does so i'm sure i'll cover what they would for a fraction of the cost, i'm just sceptical of how much agents do for the money as i'm sure another agent were neglegent in vetting a previous tenant for another property. i must say you do seem to cover every angle, probably even more than i would pay an agent for, not sure if they look to see proof that they pay rent on time, just the usualt reference checks with landlord employer etc.

obviously i'm not as experienced in vetting my own tenants but that will increase each time i do it, and will feel more comfortable setting out my terms and what i require like yourself.

thanks

Cipher
18-02-2010, 12:46 PM
David,
Firstly a fantastic post that helps me no bounds, I noticed you repeated the word 'sight' when referring to passport/bank accounts. I normally ask for a photocopy do you not because of data protection etc?
Also do you credit check your tenant or only the guarantor?

jeffrey
18-02-2010, 13:54 PM
you repeated the word 'sight' when referring to passport/bank accounts. I normally ask for a photocopy do you not because of data protection etc?
Don't rely on a mere photocopy. It might have been forged or surreptitiously altered. I always seek a copy certified as a true copy by a solicitor or someone of equal status eligible to certify a passport photograph's truth as a likeness of the person known to the certifier.

Telometer
18-02-2010, 14:03 PM
I always seek a copy certified as a true copy

Or, better still, see the original passport and put a photocopy on your files.


documents we need to see. These are...
2. A Letter from a recent landlord.

What if the person doesn't have one of these. Will you therefore refuse them?

David Lawrenson
18-02-2010, 14:04 PM
In response to both of your posts, I only ever found one tenant who objected to me seeing bank statements.. she did not get the property, needless to say. Probably still looking!
Yes, you are right, landlords references are weak because frankly if one gets a tenant from hell and on a/c of that refuses to write a reference to get rid of him, that landlord will have a place in heaven... In other words, even the most honest landlords are tempted to do anything to get rid of a bad tenant including writing a nice reference.
If you ever get the tenant from hell you will understand how you could be suitably tempted!
If you were suspicious about validity of a landlord reference for a tenant you could always check that the landlord really owns the property on line at Land Registry. (Cost £4 I think, takes 5 mins)
Of course, you could ask for a ref from the landlord before their last one, if one exists!
But not all tenants will have previous private landlord refs of course and as part of my consulting work with local authorities and RSLs I have persuaded a few housing associations and local authorities that it would be a good idea to give past council tenants references proving they are OK and pay rent, as it is otherwise quite hard (with all the references required) for this group to leave the public sector housing and enter private tenancies.
Radical huh!
Finally, yes, guarantors should have to pass through all the same hoops and complete full checks on them too as would any other tenants.
Lots more in my book -see site!
Hope it all helps, now must now get back to work telling banks how to up their game on their buy to let mortgage strategies and products.
Finally, use the references as a tool, but don't ignore gut feel too.
And never accept sob stories from the person who "just has to move in today".. if you do you will live to regret it
David Lawrenson
Topic Expert
www.LettingFocus.com

jeffrey
18-02-2010, 14:34 PM
Don't rely on a mere photocopy. It might have been forged or surreptitiously altered. I always seek a copy certified as a true copy by a solicitor or someone of equal status eligible to certify a passport photograph's truth as a likeness of the person known to the certifier.


Or, better still, see the original passport and put a photocopy on your files.
Yes, that's what I do when it's possible; but many clients are not based locally, and Rec. Del. is none too reliable either, so a distant solicitor/equivalent's copy certification would do instead.

Poolboy
18-02-2010, 14:52 PM
I advertised a flat privately & got loads of enquiries. Once I said they were going to be vetted by the credit check boys 99% of the enquirers disappeared!

In fact when I said bring yr passport or doc to prove id to the viewing 98% disappeared!!!

Be v careful, scammers avoid agents as they are seen every day.

I am not an agent btw

tubbs
18-02-2010, 16:11 PM
I advertised a flat privately & got loads of enquiries. Once I said they were going to be vetted by the credit check boys 99% of the enquirers disappeared!

In fact when I said bring yr passport or doc to prove id to the viewing 98% disappeared!!!

Be v careful, scammers avoid agents as they are seen every day.

I am not an agent btw

the credit checks have not put them off so far, though its the brother/brother in law of the couple that will go on the contract, that has taken them away to be filled. i have asked that proof of id, examples of which are stated on the vetting form be either put through the door with the form (of the empty flat for me to pick up) or brought with the married couple when we do exchange and signing of contracts. in this particular case its the brother thats organising everything whilst they at work, he even paid the deposit to me today to enable the checks to be carried out. but i guess we'll see where the proof of id goes.

Ericthelobster
18-02-2010, 18:58 PM
Another tip is not simply to take employment information at face value. If you write to or phone up the employer, consider how you will be able to tell whether you've just been given the contact details for a friend of your (unemployed) applicant, or, at a large-ish company, the details of the bloke sitting in the next desk rather than the HR manager!

I always google details of a company; I'll make first contact not by asking to speak to the individual line manager named on the form, but somebody independent who I will ask 'could you verify that X is the line manager of Y' etc. Works very well!

Preston
18-02-2010, 20:24 PM
There is some discussion here

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=26102

on whether joint or sole tenancies are best, which may be of interest.

Preston

johnboy
19-02-2010, 07:56 AM
All adults living at the property should be on the tenancy agreement. If one then moves out at a later date and you are happy for the 2 to stay on just do a new contract but it may be best for the tenant who leaves to sign something surrending the tenancy so he cant come back.

jeffrey
19-02-2010, 10:21 AM
All* adults living at the property should be on the tenancy agreement. If one then moves out at a later date and you are happy for the 2 to stay on just do a new contract but it may be best for the tenant who leaves to sign something surrending the tenancy so he cant come back.
*- maximum of four.

Cipher
22-02-2010, 07:59 AM
The checks a landlord undertakes - can the cost of this be forwarded to the T?
If a T joins a letting agency they normally charge an Admin fee to cover this?

tubbs
22-02-2010, 10:33 AM
Another tip is not simply to take employment information at face value. If you write to or phone up the employer, consider how you will be able to tell whether you've just been given the contact details for a friend of your (unemployed) applicant, or, at a large-ish company, the details of the bloke sitting in the next desk rather than the HR manager!

I always google details of a company; I'll make first contact not by asking to speak to the individual line manager named on the form, but somebody independent who I will ask 'could you verify that X is the line manager of Y' etc. Works very well!

if i'm paying an onlie company to do these checks would things like this be taken into account?


The checks a landlord undertakes - can the cost of this be forwarded to the T?
If a T joins a letting agency they normally charge an Admin fee to cover this?

yes an agent would normally charge around £250, ceratainly about that for properties of approx £500 per month, but i would think a T is going direct to a landlord to save this, just as the LL would save on agents fee's, so you could either do it for nothing or charge a nominal amount.

tubbs
22-02-2010, 10:38 AM
hi people

planning on starting an AST on the 1st March, should be meeting with the T's on the 28th Feb to sort monies out, sign contract to start following day, and hand over keys. as i'd be handing over the keys the day before the AST starts, is this a bad idea or nothing worng at all with doing it.

i dont think any specific reson was given for the starting on the 1st, although if they get paid on the 1st it would be why, just is there any reason i should be worried handing over keys 1 before, although i'd have rent and bond of course?

thanks

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 10:49 AM
Until the letting starts, T has no rights or interest; so don't.

tubbs
22-02-2010, 10:49 AM
there seems to be no definate yes or no legal answer to this one (i think), more down to maximising the amount of people you could chase for unpaid rent/damages etc.

in the early discussion stages when i mentioned that all 3 people should go on AST then once the brohter leaves we can sign a new AST he seemed to think this would create extra hassle for his sister and her husband with the new contracts etc and indicated that they might just look for something more straight foward, also then said he may only be there for 2 months rather than initially 6 he mentioned.

therefore i decided just to go with the marreid couple on the AST and them two being referenced. I'm not too sure if i like this but want the flat let quickly and easilty, am i okay to go with this, after all they could move the brother in afterwards without even telling me if they wanted to? i'm not sure how i would add an 'approved occupier' to the AST so i'm just thinking the marreid couple on the AST and thats it, should i be worried about this at all or am i being too cautious, its not as if the named T's arent being checked, just the temporary lodger.

tubbs
22-02-2010, 10:55 AM
Until the letting starts, T has no rights or interest; so don't.

thanks...... i just wonder if this is a 'straight down the line' no or would some landlords just do it at times, though not a good idea?

i guess i could date the AST to start on the 28th of Feb then, as I think they will be workig on the 1st as its a Monday hence meeting sunday, but i have only one query about this, the form i downloaded from the net for reference puprposes, i put the 1st March down as tenancy start date, they will have signed these forms which i will then submit online, but if i start the AST on the 28th Feb not the 1st March could they argue well thats not we signed on the form so everythings invalid etc

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 11:04 AM
You could:
a. date the AST "28 February"; but
b. state in it that its term begins on 1 March.
Even were you to do that, why should T be allowed-in earlier than 1 March?

Poppy
22-02-2010, 11:04 AM
Only idiot landlords give keys to tenants before the tenancy start date.

tubbs
22-02-2010, 11:32 AM
You could:
a. date the AST "28 February"; but
b. state in it that its term begins on 1 March.
Even were you to do that, why should T be allowed-in earlier than 1 March?

my blank AST has both an execution date and commencement date section to fill in, so I guess this is point a & b you mention, though execution date is fairly meaningless if it all still revolves around the start date.


Only idiot landlords give keys to tenants before the tenancy start date.

i would of course not be handing over keys without the first months rent and bond up front though, but still a stupid thing to do though? I guess if so then i could change the date on the AST.

tom999
22-02-2010, 12:04 PM
*- maximum of four.There can be more than 4 tenant's on an AST.

The 5th and any additional signees would not be tenants with a legal estate in land, but they would be equitable tenants, who would enjoy the same rights and be subject to the same obligations as tenant's 1-4..



in the early discussion stages when i mentioned that all 3 people should go on AST then once the brohter leaves we can sign a new AST he seemed to think this would create extra hassle for his sister and her husband with the new contracts etc and indicated that they might just look for something more straight foward, also then said he may only be there for 2 months rather than initially 6 he mentioned.Not a good sign if he's changed his mind already. If letting to the brother, make sure full checks are completed. Signing another AST is not much hassle at all.


i'm not sure how i would add an 'approved occupier' to the AST so i'm just thinking the marreid couple on the AST and thats it, should i be worried about this at all or am i being too cautious, its not as if the named T's arent being checked, just the temporary lodger.You couldn't just add a new occupier to an existing AST, you would need to issue a new AST.

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 12:22 PM
Once you've created an AST, a later alteration may be forgery/fraud. Don't!

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 12:23 PM
There can be more than 4 tenant's on an AST.

The 5th and any additional signees would not be tenants with a legal estate in land, but they would be equitable tenants, who would enjoy the same rights and be subject to the same obligations as tenant's 1-4.
Nope! Even if L is debarred from booting them out, they cannot hold the AST- so they cannot be in the same position as numbers 1/2/3/4.

tubbs
22-02-2010, 13:02 PM
Once you've created an AST, a later alteration may be forgery/fraud. Don't!

sorry for confusion i didnt mean change the date after its been signed, i just meant i'd date it to start from the day i hand over the keys when they sign it, rather than changing the date afterwards which i think is what you thought i meant.

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 13:15 PM
If I've understood what I think you meant:
a. date it on the day when it starts (i.e. completion date = commencement date); and
b. hand over the keys no earlier than that.

Lawcruncher
22-02-2010, 13:33 PM
Is it really any skin off your nose if you hand over keys the day before a tenancy is due to start? Technically, unless there is a contra-indication in the agreement, the tenancy does start at the very first moment of the day anyway. Are you going to hand the keys over at midnight?

tubbs
22-02-2010, 13:48 PM
If I've understood what I think you meant:
a. date it on the day when it starts (i.e. completion date = commencement date); and
b. hand over the keys no earlier than that.

my contract goes...... This Agreement is made on ___________ (The execution date)

then goes on about between who and where etc.

then says....... Commencing on ___________ (The Commencement)

P.S. Bold parts are just guidance notes for filling in

the way i see this is that you can sign the agreement at any time, but the AST starts on the commencement date, on my previous AST using this form the two dates were different as the T's signed a fortnight before moving in, I'm curious as to why this first section is on there and whether i did it wrong last time, any contract i've had an agent do does not have an agreement date, just the start date.

Anyway in this case, if we make the agreement on the 28th Feb but to commence on the 1st March, is it okay to hand over keys on the 28th etc? or still hand over on the 1st March as the agreement date doesnt really mean anything?

i'm probably confusing everyone now including myself :confused:


Is it really any skin off your nose if you hand over keys the day before a tenancy is due to start? Technically, unless there is a contra-indication in the agreement, the tenancy does start at the very first moment of the day anyway. Are you going to hand the keys over at midnight?

no i wouldnt, you make a very good point here. If i did hand over keys the day before i'd be doing so 8-10 hours before AST starts, just the same amount of time the T would be losing if we met at 9AM to hand over.

tom999
22-02-2010, 13:56 PM
Nope! Even if L is debarred from booting them out, they cannot hold the AST- so they cannot be in the same position as numbers 1/2/3/4.These threads indicate that T's 5+ are equitable tenants with the same rights and obligations as T's 1-4:

Status of tenants 5, 6, etc. (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=13873):
Lawcruncher (post #1): "I think it must be the case that tenants 5 and so on are equitable tenants. Since the whole arrangement includes legal tenants I cannot see that for any practical purposes tenants 5 and so on have fewer rights than tenants 1 - 4."

Landlord using my signature 6 months later - liable? (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=17228&highlight=trustee+equity&page=2)
agent46 (post #11): "There can only be four joint tenants who hold a legal estate in land, but there can be any number of joint tenants in equity. Any equitable tenants will enjoy the same rights and be bound by the same obligations as the legal tenants vis a vis the landlord on the basis of the equitable maxim "equity looks on that to be done as having been done", so I don't think there is any scope for the tenant denying he was not a party to the joint tenancy using the Trustee Act argument alone."

Break Clause issues (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=24774&page=2)
agent46 (post #12): "Sorry Jeffrey, but that is wrong (the conclusion, not the citation of the 1925 Act). It is far too simplistic and completely neglects to take into account the workings of equity. In fact, putting it bluntly, I would go so far as to say it is a very "unlawyerly" analysis indeed. Also, IIRC, we've been through this issue, at length, several times on this very forum."

Lawcruncher (post #20): "In the case of a lease it is not so straightforward. This is because whilst estates are dependent on tenure, tenure is not dependent on estates. A tenancy exists where there is a relationship of landlord and tenant. So if L by deed grants a tenancy to T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5, whilst the legal estate (a term of years) is vested in T1, T2, T3 and T4, there is quite separately and as a matter of tenure a relationship of landlord and tenant between L and T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 because L granted a tenancy to T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5. So we can say that T5 is a tenant."

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 14:02 PM
1. First you want
a. T's deposit;
b. the first month's rent; and
c. the executed Counterpart Letting Agreement.

2. My view remains that only then should you hand-over:
b. the keys; and
b. your executed top-copy Letting Agreement.

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 14:04 PM
Well, only by someone (L or T) suing will the Courts ever decide who is right. Agent46 and Lawcruncher's view is justifiable but I still don't agree with it!
Note that each uses the "I think..." cop-out in their posts.

dominic
22-02-2010, 14:22 PM
Only idiot landlords give keys to tenants before the tenancy start date.

I cannot think of a reason why this makes a LL an idiot?

Provided:

a. the property is vacant;
b. you "check in" correctly,

at worst, you create a tenancy before the date anticipated in the tenancy agreement.

Am I missing anything?

tubbs
22-02-2010, 14:22 PM
1. First you want
a. T's deposit;
b. the first month's rent; and
c. the executed Counterpart Letting Agreement.

2. My view remains that only then should you hand-over:
b. the keys; and
b. your executed top-copy Letting Agreement.

yes i never intended on handing anything over until i have the bond and 1st months rent anyway, the plan would have been to hand over the keys and a T's copy of the AST only after receiving those at a meeting on the 28th of Feb, just the day before the contract actually starts on 1st March.

just a side note re the AST to save another thread, does the AST need to be witnessed when signed or just signed by the T's and the LL? I notice AST done by agents at other properties dont have a witness signature.

tom999
22-02-2010, 14:30 PM
Yes, but it's always good to get a difference of opinion.
Otherwise it would get rather dull. :)

jeffrey
22-02-2010, 14:36 PM
Does the AST need to be witnessed when signed or just signed by the T's and the LL?
No. an AST can be oral or written; unless it involves a Deed, signature/witnessing are to some extent optional (but still desirable).

dominic
22-02-2010, 14:38 PM
My understanding is that a "tenant" under a tenancy in the usual sense, is sometimes not the same as a "joint tenant" more technical legal meaning, the latter being the only on which more than one person (up to a maximum of 4) can hold a legal estate in land.

A 5th "tenant" may still be a tenant, although they are a tenant in equity.

P.Pilcher
22-02-2010, 14:42 PM
Personally, if it was more convenient for me to meet up with a new tenant a day before the official and agreed commencement date of an AST, I would be happy to hand over the keys a day early provided that all check in formalities had been completed and deposit and advance rent had been received in cleared funds. Also, if my tenant states that they will not be moving in for several days after the AST commences, I give this date to the local authority. Why should they have to pay council tax if their property remains unfurnished?
I understand that it is not necessary for AST signatures to be witnessed unless it is being signed as a deed. Many landlords (including me) however require witness signatures as it make the document appear even more legal and official in the eyes of some tanants!

P.P.

Poppy
22-02-2010, 15:58 PM
I cannot think of a reason why this makes a LL an idiot?
Because people take advantage.

Couple examples. The tenant may start using utilities when still under landlord’s name. Tenant removes/damages furnishings before inventory signed.

Please don't be in a hurry to make a mistake.

Ericthelobster
22-02-2010, 17:44 PM
if i'm paying an onlie company to do these checks would things like this be taken into account?I wouldn't imagine so for a moment; one reason why I prefer to do all the referencing personally. But you could always ask them the question?

tubbs
22-02-2010, 18:21 PM
I wouldn't imagine so for a moment; one reason why I prefer to do all the referencing personally. But you could always ask them the question?

so you wouldnt expect any difficulty obtaining this kind of personal information? i mean wouldnt the people at the other end of the phone think who are you i cant tell you that personal information etc etc? or is a simple explanation of you being a possible landlord good enough grounds that they give you such information?

one good thing about using on online company is the rent guarantee that they can offer me once they've passed the reference checks, around £90 for 6 months cover

chappers2341
22-02-2010, 18:36 PM
Why not just start the tenancy on the 28th and make it 6/12 months and a day. You can still state the rent day to be the 1st.
However I agree with Lawcruncher I fail to see what harm could be done by giving them the keys the evening before.

Preston
22-02-2010, 21:03 PM
These threads indicate that T's 5+ are equitable tenants with the same rights and obligations as T's 1-4:

Well, I think you will find that in various threads, including this one,



Landlord using my signature 6 months later - liable? (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=17228&highlight=trustee+equity&page=2)


even agent46 accepted that whether an individual is a (potential or actual) legal or equitable tenant can have a significant impact on their status, rights or responsibilities.

The same point has been conceded by other contributors in other threads.

It is important, therefore, to remember the "4 person rule" when working through problems of this type.

tom999
22-02-2010, 21:43 PM
even agent46 accepted that whether an individual is a (potential or actual) legal or equitable tenant can have a significant impact on their status, rights or responsibilities.Yes, and even Jeffrey agreed that for practical purposes there seems to be no difference between T1-4 & T5+, with one exception (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=179015&postcount=19).

Ericthelobster
22-02-2010, 22:19 PM
so you wouldnt expect any difficulty obtaining this kind of personal information? i mean wouldnt the people at the other end of the phone think who are you i cant tell you that personal information etc etc? or is a simple explanation of you being a possible landlord good enough grounds that they give you such information?Well of course they certainly shouldn't be telling me anything over the phone; if they won't do so, then fair enough, however if they don't mind breaking data protection laws I'm not about to stop them! It's usually the bigger firms (= anywhere with a dedicated HR dept) who are more clued up.

But if the purpose of my phone call is simply to ascertain the veracity of whether X is genuinely Y's line manager before I contact X directly for a reference, I rarely run into problems.

Circumstances vary as to whether I feel a verbal reference is more appropriate than a written one, or vice versa - but if I can only get a written one then so be it... I always get the applicants to sign a release form authorising this, and a copy of that duly gets sent to the referee.

jeffrey
23-02-2010, 10:23 AM
Famous last words- "I didn't expect..."

dominic
23-02-2010, 10:26 AM
Because people take advantage.

Couple examples. The tenant may start using utilities when still under landlord’s name. Tenant removes/damages furnishings before inventory signed.

Please don't be in a hurry to make a mistake.

All good points.

But, as a good LL, would you not be addressing these things anyway even if T was to move in on the appointed day? You just need to make sure the "switch" is a day earlier...

I did say provided you "check in" correctly...

I guess my point was more that I can;t see any legal difficulty.

chappers2341
23-02-2010, 14:20 PM
Famous last words- "I didn't expect..."

Fair point...

But they will have already handed over their deposit, and paid their first months rent, what could they not be legaly responsible for in the few hours before their tenancy begins that they will be ,the moment their tenancy starts.

jeffrey
23-02-2010, 14:28 PM
Unknown knowns.

tubbs
23-02-2010, 14:44 PM
Why not just start the tenancy on the 28th and make it 6/12 months and a day. You can still state the rent day to be the 1st.
However I agree with Lawcruncher I fail to see what harm could be done by giving them the keys the evening before.

all good answers thanks everyone, very good point i didnt think of here chappers, so i make the duration 6 months and 1 day, then just get the DD to go out on the 1st, either that or just go with handing over the day before.

tubbs
23-02-2010, 14:45 PM
thanks for all replies

chappers2341
23-02-2010, 16:50 PM
yep the rental period will still be the 1st to the 28th/30th/31st.

As Jeffrey says there are unknown knowns but I would think for such a small period of time the risks would be quite small

dominic
25-02-2010, 11:32 AM
The best solution seems to be to amend the commencmeent date of the tenancy in the tenancy agreement, - a manuscript amendment initialled by both parties should suffice.

tubbs
26-02-2010, 18:01 PM
hi ppl

I've posted about this case a couple of times, the T's are due to move in Sunday/Monday and I'm sure they have prepared things to move on Sunday.

I submitted T vetting forms online on Tue and on Thurs received an interim report for both T's stating that "On submission of satisfactory references we expect this applicant to achieve overall Grade A (suitable for Rent Guarantee). This will not be confirmed until all references have been received and verified."

Credit check/Income Verification/Electoral Roll all appear okay but the vetting company have yet to hear from the existing landlord and I today I asked for an update and said this "we have contacted them several times to try to expedite the reference return time, unfortunately we were unable to secure the reference by the end of today. We have received assurances it should be received by Monday 01/03/2010."

In this spot what would people do? I've highlighted my concern above as I intend to take out this service, but should they not get a good reference from present landlord then I could be stuck. I'm sure the T's will be inconvenienced should I put it off until I hear about the previous LL checks, any thoughts appreciated, could I just go-ahead as indications are that it shouldbe okay?

P.S. I have the current LL details for the form that was submitted online, I could even try and contact them myself on Saturday perhaps?

mind the gap
26-02-2010, 18:34 PM
hi ppl

I've posted about this case a couple of times, the T's are due to move in Sunday/Monday and I'm sure they have prepared things to move on Sunday.

I submitted T vetting forms online on Tue and on Thurs received an interim report for both T's stating that "On submission of satisfactory references we expect this applicant to achieve overall Grade A (suitable for Rent Guarantee). This will not be confirmed until all references have been received and verified."

Credit check/Income Verification/Electoral Roll all appear okay but the vetting company have yet to hear from the existing landlord and I today I asked for an update and said this "we have contacted them several times to try to expedite the reference return time, unfortunately we were unable to secure the reference by the end of today. We have received assurances it should be received by Monday 01/03/2010."

In this spot what would people do? I've highlighted my concern above as I intend to take out this service, but should they not get a good reference from present landlord then I could be stuck. I'm sure the T's will be inconvenienced should I put it off until I hear about the previous LL checks, any thoughts appreciated, could I just go-ahead as indications are that it shouldbe okay?

P.S. I have the current LL details for the form that was submitted online, I could even try and contact them myself on Saturday perhaps?

If it is only the current LL reference which is missing, I would let them begin the tenancy. You could indeed ring the LL this weekend if it would put your mind at rest. To some extent it will come down to gut feeling. If you feel the Ts are decent and honest, you will probably be right. After all, it is not their fault that the vetting company has been unable to obtain, or their current LL unable to supply, a reference when asked.

This is only a personal view - some LLs might not want to take the risk. Having said that, dishonest tenants can usually fabricate a 'current LL' if they want to, so I'm not sure it's the most important document really. Their cashflow/bank account would be more important, to me.

LLs sometimes give 'good' references to bad Ts simply to get shut of them, and 'bad' references (or none) to good Ts simply because they dispute the amount he tries to deduct from their deposit, for example. LL refs are not the be all and end all.

Poppy35
26-02-2010, 18:42 PM
you could let them move in subject to your receiving a verbal reference from the landlord however the vetting company will not allow a rent guarantee to be in force with the start date of the tenancy dated before the references are concluded.

tubbs
26-02-2010, 18:57 PM
thanks for the quick replies, its a management company actually so i doubt i will get them on a saturday but will try. i'm pleased to some extent that i didnt get 100% "no dont let them move in" responses as i dont really want any hold ups and i guess neither do they.

Your point is very good poppy about the guarantee, I 100% want to take this up, the vetting company do state that they have assurances from the LL that they will receive refs on the 1st which is when, should I let them move in Sunday, the AST would start. In that case I guess I would be okay for the gurantee, I get the 100% ok from vetting co 1/3/10, and the AST dated 1/3/10, as if I did it as soon as I got the refs back. However I'd be a bit stuck if there was some problem on monday with the LL refs, say the person was off sick at that company etc. :confused:

tubbs
26-02-2010, 19:04 PM
forgot to ask poppy "subject to your receiving a verbal reference from the landlord", what would i do hear, get them to sign a letter when moving in? Am to expect that they would simply move out though if the LL refs failed, I mean they would have an AST then, would this letter make the AST void, I could see this could get complicated??

mind the gap
26-02-2010, 20:14 PM
forgot to ask poppy "subject to your receiving a verbal reference from the landlord", what would i do hear, get them to sign a letter when moving in? Am to expect that they would simply move out though if the LL refs failed, I mean they would have an AST then, would this letter make the AST void, I could see this could get complicated??

I think Poppy meant let them move in on Sunday as long as you can get a verbal reference by then, otherwise make them wait until you can.

P.Pilcher
26-02-2010, 23:29 PM
Getting a dodgey tenant can cost literally thousands in lost rent, eviction costs and property repair. I NEVER accept tenants or authorise my agents to issue an AST until a complete reference report of a satisfactory nature is received. It is very easy for tenants to move in, and very hard to get them to move out again if they prove unsatisfactory. Time and time again, when I have had a void, I have had people contact me directly wanting to rent my property. No, they don't want to go through the agent (because it will cost them). Believe me, when you are losing rental income, it is so easy to say "yes" and this is a temptation you MUST avoid if you want to minimise tenant trouble.

P.P.

Poppy35
27-02-2010, 08:07 AM
I think Poppy meant let them move in on Sunday as long as you can get a verbal reference by then, otherwise make them wait until you can.

correct! :D

tubbs
27-02-2010, 08:26 AM
so i get the verbal today for example, let them move in sunday (AST in dated Monday as previously discussed), and hope that the vetting company checks are completed on Monday also to tie in with the AST date and therefore I can take the guarantee, otherwise should a problem arise at getting the checks completed I've missed out on the guarantee?

So on the strength on the interim report and a verbal ref over the phone fairly safe to go-ahead then, obv taking a punt on the guarantee side of things. Failing to obtain a verbal ref how about if I asked the T the bring last 3 months (or more) bank statements showing they have paid rent on time, would this be enough perhaps? Obvioulsy I'm trying to cover my back and look after my interests but also thinking of the the inconvenience to the T's, tho not my fault of course.

tubbs
27-02-2010, 09:20 AM
Getting a dodgey tenant can cost literally thousands in lost rent, eviction costs and property repair. I NEVER accept tenants or authorise my agents to issue an AST until a complete reference report of a satisfactory nature is received. It is very easy for tenants to move in, and very hard to get them to move out again if they prove unsatisfactory. Time and time again, when I have had a void, I have had people contact me directly wanting to rent my property. No, they don't want to go through the agent (because it will cost them). Believe me, when you are losing rental income, it is so easy to say "yes" and this is a temptation you MUST avoid if you want to minimise tenant trouble.

P.P.

would you not take an a T yourself even if you did T vetting as I am doing then? or is it the fact that they want to save the fees giving you an indication that they may not be ideal T's if they are worrying about paying an admin fee.

havensRus
27-02-2010, 09:40 AM
Getting a dodgey tenant can cost literally thousands in lost rent, eviction costs and property repair. I NEVER accept tenants or authorise my agents to issue an AST until a complete reference report of a satisfactory nature is received. It is very easy for tenants to move in, and very hard to get them to move out again if they prove unsatisfactory. Time and time again, when I have had a void, I have had people contact me directly wanting to rent my property. No, they don't want to go through the agent (because it will cost them). Believe me, when you are losing rental income, it is so easy to say "yes" and this is a temptation you MUST avoid if you want to minimise tenant trouble.
P.P.


would you not take an a T yourself even if you did T vetting as I am doing then? or is it the fact that they want to save the fees giving you an indication that they may not be ideal T's if they are worrying about paying an admin fee.


tubbs, I agree with P.Pilcher. Do not let them in until you are satisfied with ALL the references. It is tempting, but what difference will a day or two make? If they are in a hurry, find out why the hurry, and what the implications would be for 1-2 days delay. Don't take what they say at face value.

I have just posted on another thread here (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=26412), about my recent experience with some tenants. All but the LL ref had come back positive, and I had already written to them to agree a move in day/time, in anticipation of and subject to the LL ref being ok, and was based on what they themselves had told me. This couple had said everything was ok with current LL, no arrears, no problems, not on housing benefit etc.etc., and lied on their application form too. A pack of lies it turned out to be, and I only found out because I waited for the LL reference and spoke directly to LL. The couple were more than £2K in arrears, were being evicted via S8 possession order and had managed to defer baillif's appointment twice. They knew what they were doing... the CCJ had not been registered on their credit file yet.

For the sake of your sanity and pocket - wait.

On the question of admin fee, some agents charge exhorbitant rates, which does make it hard for some genuine people out there. I took on a young couple 3 weeks ago, the agent they had been with had charged £150 per person, plus inventory, plus ..... They had to have help from family. And agent wanted to charge another £150 to renew their AST at the end of the 6 months.

P.Pilcher
27-02-2010, 10:45 AM
Tubbs: havenRus has said it all! To be fair, I always check out my agents carefully and extablish the charges that they are going to require from my tenants as well as the "Find a tenant" fee they will be expecting from me. I only use very well established estate/letting agents with a high street presence and as I let my tenancies continue on a statutory periodic basis, I do not accept agents who insist on renewing AST's on a six monthly basis and (of course) charging for renewal.

If all other checks are complete on your potential tenants and you can speak to their previous landlord and obtain a satisfactory verbal reference then you should be O.K. Of course you need to be certain that the person you are speaking to is this tenant's former landlord! If there is a delay in obtaining a written reference, it may be because the former landlord is not prepared to give a reference at all, which should start alarm bells ringing.
With all the tricks that "professional" tenants can play, as havenRus has just posted, Landlords should be wary, and if it inconveniences slightly a good tenant, then regrettably, so be it. Tenants in general only have themselves to blame because of the sharp practices that some of them engage in.

P.P.

mind the gap
27-02-2010, 11:03 AM
Having read all this I am inclined to agree with P.Pilcher and havesRus now...I think I misread #1 as meaning that all the other checks had come back OK, whereas it seems they have not, yet.

However, it does beg the question of how useful vetting checks are, if they do not always reveal ccjs.

tubbs
27-02-2010, 11:04 AM
P.P........... all other checks on the interim report came back ok. if I had obtained a verbal ref today (which looks unlikely now they close at 1pm), with the formal to follow Monday, You'd say it should be ok to go-ahead for Sunday?

haven........ had you received the LL ref in writing and was that ok before you rang to clarify a point and then they spilled the beans, therefore they'd lied on the formal ref? or had you not heard from them at all when you called them?

mind the gap..... I've not yet a an official report from the vetting people saying all ok except LL ref, it was an interim report indicating that they expect the T to obtain grade A, but that was subject to getting all refs back, it goes on to list that they have verified income, no CCJ's etc, but I guess until they got the refs back they wouldnt say 100%.

failing to obtain the LL ref today, aksing for recent bank statements would surely show that they are not arrears?

tubbs
27-02-2010, 11:12 AM
this is the email I've had back so far......

LPS INTERIM REFERENCE REPORT

ORDER INFORMATION

Order: 0000112179 Date/Time: 25/2/2010, 15:26

Tenant: **************** E-Mail: 0

Address: ************
**********

GRADE
On submission of satisfactory references we expect this applicant to achieve overall Grade A (suitable for Rent Guarantee).

This will not be confirmed until all references have been received and verified.
CREDIT CHECK

The credit file shows no detrimental information is held on public records for **************.

The credit score for ************ is 539.
Credit Score is based on "CallScore" which is a credit risk assessment tool. CallScore provides a relative rank ordering of each consumer's credit risk enabling landlords to make a faster and more consistent selection decisions. The LPS deems a credit score of above 565 to be acceptable.

ELECTORAL ROLL
*************** was present on the Electoral.
INCOME VERIFICATION
Base Income: £****** Qualifying Savings: £Nil
Other Income: £Nil Qualifying Income: £****** Income/Rent Ratio: 9.41:1
Length of Service: 1 Y 9 M Permanent Employment: Yes
Employment to Change: No

Employer Comment: "None"

Based on the information received ************* should have sufficient continuing income to meet the rental commitment for the tenancy term.
We recommend that a tenant earns at least 2.3 times the monthly rent to achieve ‘A grade’ status (Income/Rent Ratio) and their employment history and future is secure.

GRADE A

PREVIOUS RESIDENCY

The Landlord reference has not yet been returned.

OTHER INFORMATION
The contents of this report are protected under the Data Protection Act. Failure to safeguard personal data can lead to prosecution. Please keep this report in a secure place and destroy it once it has been used for the purpose for which it was intended.
Should you be unsure of your data protection responsibilities, please visit the Information Commissioner's Office at www.ico.gov.uk
For enquiries relating specifically to this referencing report please contact us by email on admin@lpsreferencing.com, quoting the order number at the top of the report.
LetsXL Ltd is registered in England No. 4355737. Registered Address: LetsXL Ltd , First Floor, Williams House, Mochdre Business Park, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL28 5HE.

------------------------

I then had this email...................

We are currently awaiting a response from your prospective tenants landlord. This is the only item outstanding.

so I guess the other checks have all come back ok, but until they get the LL ref they have not turned round and said yep they are fine go-ahead, I guess if they failed the LL ref they would fail them all together though

havensRus
27-02-2010, 11:23 AM
haven........ had you received the LL ref in writing and was that ok before you rang to clarify a point and then they spilled the beans, therefore they'd lied on the formal ref? or had you not heard from them at all when you called them?



My written requests to LL always asks the LL if rent was paid on time, if there are any arrears, if LL would renew tenancy with them. It was the answers of "No, Yes, No" to those specific questions that caused me to call LL for clarification.

He was frank, and said he was glad I'd called, because there was only so much he could put in writing. He said knew he was probably prolonging his agony by being upfront, but he'd rather that, than me come back at him later for lying to me just to get rid of them quicker.

The Ts lied on their application form, period! And kept lying about everything being ok, and not being on benefits (woman was claiming, and had not paid it to LL). And just for completeness, by knowing their current address, I traced the court that dealt with the matter, spoke to the court office, got the case number, and confirmed every detail of what the LL had told me.

Even after I rejected them and told them it was because of the court order, they still claimed not to know about it!! How could they not know, when they'd been to court twice!! They were intent on maintaining the lie they'd started. P****d me off :mad: that they thought they could get away with it. Good riddance!!

That LL has my utmost admiration. I'm only sorry that there was no way I could legally hold on to the deposit the couple had paid and hand it over to the LL that they owed the money to.

tubbs
27-02-2010, 11:28 AM
My written requests to LL always asks the LL if rent was paid on time, if there are any arrears, if LL would renew tenancy with them. It was the answers of "No, Yes, No" to those specific questions that caused me to call LL for clarification.


so he'd told you in the ref anyway, I'm just hoping i get an honest ref from the current LL, they've been chased twice already, possibly not a good sign, but also could be simply a badly run housing management company, I've suffered with one of those previoulsy when asking to have a neighbouring property repaired.

it doesnt look like i'm going to get even a verbal ref today, so i must ask myself, and you all on here, would the T's last 3-6 banlk statements be enough to show that they pay the rent regular? therefore letting them move in, I guess thats the amin thing ofa LL ref to see they pay the rent.

havensRus
27-02-2010, 11:39 AM
We are currently awaiting a response from your prospective tenants landlord. This is the only item outstanding.

so I guess the other checks have all come back ok, but until they get the LL ref they have not turned round and said yep they are fine go-ahead, I guess if they failed the LL ref they would fail them all together though

And so it should be.

some referencing agencies requests leave a lot to be desired. I had this from one of them last week :



We would be grateful if you could confirm if the applicant has been a suitable tenant, paid their rent on time and has caused no problems during their tenancy.

We would be grateful to receive your response as a matter of urgency in order that we may finalise our report for the Property Letting Agency.


so easy to give a bland answer that can be taken for a good reference.

my response was "1. yes, mostly", 2. no, 3. late rent payments and arrears problems".

Then they emailed back asking if T was currently in arrears and if so how much?
What a shambles.

havensRus
27-02-2010, 11:46 AM
it doesnt look like i'm going to get even a verbal ref today, so i must ask myself, and you all on here, would the T's last 3-6 banlk statements be enough to show that they pay the rent regular? therefore letting them move in, I guess thats the amin thing ofa LL ref to see they pay the rent.

Its your call.

Poppy35
27-02-2010, 13:19 PM
how can they be grade A with a credit score of 539 when your company clearly state that a score above 565 is acceptable?

p_cas
27-02-2010, 15:07 PM
how can they be grade A with a credit score of 539 when your company clearly state that a score above 565 is acceptable?

Yes, I wondered that too, unless I misunderstood something.

Are you really so desperate to get these tenants in that you can't wait for the full credit check? Why? The tenants are hardly likely to go elsewhere now.

Also, I wouldn't rely on a verbal reference. If a LL gives an inaccurate reference you will have no comeback unless you have something in writing.

Wait for the full credit and reference checks to be completed. Don't try and rush it or cut corners.

tubbs
27-02-2010, 15:30 PM
how can they be grade A with a credit score of 539 when your company clearly state that a score above 565 is acceptable?

yes i had wondered that also, the other T's (there are 2) score is 544, I'm expecting the points system is a tally, so once they pass the LL ref there will be further points to add on, but I will check this.


Are you really so desperate to get these tenants in that you can't wait for the full credit check? Why? The tenants are hardly likely to go elsewhere now.

Also, I wouldn't rely on a verbal reference. If a LL gives an inaccurate reference you will have no comeback unless you have something in writing.

Wait for the full credit and reference checks to be completed. Don't try and rush it or cut corners.

I'm not desperate to get them in a day or two early, more one of the parties from their side drifts towards having to look elsewhere which I know they cant really do and get something quicker than an extra day I take.

Anyway I have decided to wait until all checks are complete, although the person organising (who will be living there for short period) for his sister/brother in law was a bit funny, I think its more the way her/she come across, the main T seemed more ok about it when I spoke to him

I think, they seem to think, that by staying in their existing flat for an extra couple of days past the 30day notice period they have served, that they are liable for another 30 days rent, I have said that they only have to pay for the extra couple of days they will be in, am I right on this aren't I?

tubbs
01-03-2010, 08:25 AM
hi people

property is in joint names, can I just puy my name on the AST or are both a must?

tubbs
01-03-2010, 09:37 AM
any thoughts on this? I need to proceed with a letting but partner is not here so just want to put my name on AST and sign it. thanks.

Lawcruncher
01-03-2010, 10:07 AM
You can put both names on (which is best), but you can sign for yourself and partner. (This assumes the tenancy is not for more than three years.)

Moderator1
01-03-2010, 15:56 PM
Five separate threads by same member have been merged here. Do not cause problems by starting continuation threads; use the same one.

rajeshk4u
22-04-2010, 13:26 PM
Is there a register of bad tenants?. I know that tenant referencing agencies do checks court records, but itis not always that landlords will take tenants to court. In 99.9% case my tenants, they do not pay the last month's rent, so I there is no deposit at the end of the tenancy.

So landlords such as me are at the tenants mercy on how they leave the property. So there is little incentive to keep the property in good condition on leaving. Often I find damage and things missing, rubbish, damage to furniture, iron mark on carpets, full set of keys not returned etc...

I don't bother taking ex-tenants to Court and usually end up writting this off since they don't leave a forwarding address...

I wanted to know if there is a register of bad tenants?

Do I need to put a clause in the AST that the landlord will share information?

jeffrey
22-04-2010, 13:31 PM
No, there isn't. This subject regularly recurs as an LZ topic, but of course it's entirely unworkable.

roryl
22-04-2010, 13:32 PM
Would it be possible to take more than a month deposit from your tenants (say 6 weeks)? That would give them an incentive to clean up since, even if they don't pay the last month's rent, they still have money that needs to be returned from the deposit scheme.

rajeshk4u
22-04-2010, 13:37 PM
Most tenants are shrewd and will not pay more then one month's rent!

Jaybee542
22-04-2010, 14:15 PM
I'm a little surprised you are in this situation. I have been letting property out for 10 years and have never had a tenant leave without paying the last months rent. I appreciate that it does happen, but I am surprised you are finding this in 99.9% of cases.

The only answer I can think of to your question is to charge more on the monthly rent to cover the putting right costs at the end of the tenancy.

Mrs Mug
22-04-2010, 14:40 PM
Most tenants are shrewd and will not pay more then one month's rent!

That's probably why 99% of your tenants leave without paying the last months rent, they see you as an easy touch.

Are you so desperate for tenants that you let them dictate the terms?

Imp
23-04-2010, 08:14 AM
From the tenant's perspective, the decision not to pay the last month's rent has been down to how much hastle it is going to be to get the deposit fairly refunded. If the landlord/agent has been good/responsive/fixes problems/easy to get hold of then the last month's rent gets paid.

If the landlord/agent has been difficult to get in touch with/treats tenants with an air of disrespect/appears to be money grabbing and refuses to pay for maintenance then the last month's rent might be with held.

That said, my last deposit took over 6 months to be refunded in full by the TDS due to an administrative error on the part of the landlord.

matthew_henson
23-04-2010, 08:35 AM
In 99.9% case my tenants, they do not pay the last month's rent, so I there is no deposit at the end of the tenancy.



Wow you have done a 1000 tenancies, that is an achievement, at least one of them did pay the last months rent :D

Mars Mug
23-04-2010, 08:43 AM
I don't bother taking ex-tenants to Court and usually end up writting this off since they don't leave a forwarding address...

Isn’t that helping to create the problem you describe?

If you have decent guarantors isn’t your risk reduced? Do you get traceable information from tenants at the start of the tenancy? What checks do you go through?

I suppose a register of bad tenants might become feasible when it also applies to bad landlords?

Ericthelobster
23-04-2010, 08:50 AM
Would it be possible to take more than a month deposit from your tenants (say 6 weeks)? That would give them an incentive to clean up since, even if they don't pay the last month's rent, they still have money that needs to be returned from the deposit scheme.That's exactly what I and many other landlords do.

I believe that in addition to what you've said, I think by removing the 'symmetry' of 'one month's rent' = 'deposit', you may further reduce the likelihood of witholding the last month's rent. Also, my deposit is the nearest round figure, not a precise mutiple of periods of rent; eg, monthly rent = £430, then deposit = £600.

Although over the years I've had to repossess from a couple of tenants who have been in arrears, I have never had anyone deliberately withold just the last month's rent in this manner.

Jaybee542
23-04-2010, 14:53 PM
Isn’t that helping to create the problem you describe?

If you have decent guarantors isn’t your risk reduced? Do you get traceable information from tenants at the start of the tenancy? What checks do you go through?

I suppose a register of bad tenants might become feasible when it also applies to bad landlords?


I can see the OP's point here. I have never liked the idea of pursuing a T for a few hundred pounds - it seems like it would be overly stressful, expensive and time consuming. Of course, I don't let Ts know that though ...

Mars Mug
23-04-2010, 17:34 PM
I understand his point also, but complaining about tenants not paying the last month’s rent and wanting a ‘bad tenants register’ at the same time as saying it’s not worth pursuing them for the rent is a tad contradictory.

Perhaps the answer is along the lines of better checks on the tenants in the first place, and guarantors? As others have said, they don’t seem to suffer from the problem of no payments in the last month, so what are they doing differently?

ishefromgabon
20-05-2010, 12:30 PM
I thought I should open a new thread.

My partner (as student) and I are trying to rent a flat now, we knew from the beginning we need £100 each as admin fee. Now we agreed with the rent, and signed holding deposit agreement which clearly states that we will need to pay £200 admin fee. Our agent then passed our case to another property management office which they work for; they are in very different manner, the latter is rude and impatient.
Now this new office called for extra £100 reference fee for UK guarantor as he said my partner's still student. We asked if that's case, why he would need charge reference for my partner then. He was trying all sorts of reasons like he still needs to know whether my partner's in debt, etc but I don't understand if you have a proper guarantor why that would matter.

Are they trying to rip us off? Is there any regulation towards student renting I could refer to?

We are now very confused about the flat which we liked very much, we wonder if we still should take it with such agent involved.

Advices are much much appreciated!

westminster
20-05-2010, 14:43 PM
Now this new office called for extra £100 reference fee for UK guarantor as he said my partner's still student. We asked if that's case, why he would need charge reference for my partner then. He was trying all sorts of reasons like he still needs to know whether my partner's in debt, etc but I don't understand if you have a proper guarantor why that would matter.
I don't think it's unreasonable to want reference/credit checks carried out on both tenant and guarantor. The tenant may, for example, have an extensive history of unpaid debts/CCJs which would indicate a possible 'problem' tenant - and regardless of the back-up of a guarantor, landlords prefer to have tenants with a responsible attitude.


Are they trying to rip us off? Is there any regulation towards student renting I could refer to?
Assuming this is a private rental, there are no special rules for students. You may find that the college/university has a housing advisor who could advise you as to the usual fees charged by agents in your area, and look at the paperwork you are being asked to sign.


We are now very confused about the flat which we liked very much, we wonder if we still should take it with such agent involved.

A rude and impatient manner is not a good sign, so you are right to be cautious. Would the agent be managing the property (i.e. dealing with repairs during the tenancy), or the landlord? Is the agent a member of a professional association such as ARLA (http://www.arla.co.uk/) or NAEA (http://www.naea.co.uk/)?

ishefromgabon
20-05-2010, 21:46 PM
A rude and impatient manner is not a good sign, so you are right to be cautious. Would the agent be managing the property (i.e. dealing with repairs during the tenancy), or the landlord? Is the agent a member of a professional association such as ...

Thanks very much again, westminster. I have checked and unfortunately the agents is neither, and he told us it would be them to manage the property. :(

They have offered us another contract which puts my partner as Named/Permitted Occupant to save the additional fee, is it a good solution for this matter if we still want to take the flat?

maxine
30-05-2010, 11:54 AM
I have received a reference request from a Housing Association for a former tenant of mine. This tenant left owing rent for which I have a ccj against her. She only paid rent on time 3 months out of 12. She left the property in an unlettable condition - dirty, damaged and with large amounts of refuse I had to pay to clear. She left large utility bills/credit card bills which were passed to collection agencies which, 4 months on, are still turning up at the property looking for her.

She also fraudulently obtained goods and credit in my name. She was arrested, admitted the offences and accepted a police caution. After she had left with no forwarding address I also discovered the police used to attend the property regularly due to disturbances there.

The reference specifically asks did she pay her rent on time and were there arrears which I feel pretty confident I can tell the truth with no comeback. However what is more ambiguous is it asks whether there were "management issues" and how she conducted the tenancy. I have documented proof to support that everything above is truthful and accurate so am I ok to pass this info on?

I also noted on her application which they handily enclosed with the reference request (and which has her current address on) she has put that she has never been known by a different name. I discovered this was not true when going through a lot of the rubbish she had left in the property. She held a tenancy in a married name with the local council and according to one letter I discovered was being taken to court for 5k in arrears. Would I be breaking any laws by passing this info on? I no longer have that letter to prove what I saw.

Would I also be ok in passing on her current address to credit agencies? I don't expect to ever recover my arrears as she is no longer working but the thought she will be having to hide behind her net curtains for a while while others chase her fills me with a warm glow.:D

islandgirl
30-05-2010, 12:07 PM
don't know about the rest but always pass on details to those chasing my bad tenants for money - I too enjoy the warm glow you mention!

P.Pilcher
30-05-2010, 12:27 PM
Although I beleive it is not possible to get legal aid for cases of libel, you can never be certain and in any case, if you say anything, be it perfectly true and can be proved in court or not, you run the risk of being dragged into court and being made to prove your allegations. As she has no money, your legal representation if you have to use that route and your own time will cost you.
No action can however be taken if you refuse to provide a reference, and there is nothing to stop you telephoning the potential new landlords to verbally inform them why a reference is not available.

P.P.

mind the gap
30-05-2010, 16:02 PM
Although I beleive it is not possible to get legal aid for cases of libel, you can never be certain and in any case, if you say anything, be it perfectly true and can be proved in court or not, you run the risk of being dragged into court and being made to prove your allegations. As she has no money, your legal representation if you have to use that route and your own time will cost you.
No action can however be taken if you refuse to provide a reference, and there is nothing to stop you telephoning the potential new landlords to verbally inform them why a reference is not available.

P.P.

I agree -although it may be tempting to dish the dirt on her (she has some cheek in even asking for a reference, doesn't she?!), it's probably unwise to reveal anything except the easily provable, or even better, refuse to give a reference at all. What referees are unable to say often speaks volumes! You could simply say 'Miss X paid the rent on time on three occasions out of 12 and due to the possibility of having to sue her for damage to the property, I am unable to give her a positive written reference at this time. Should you wish me to explain further, I would be happy to speak to you on the telephone.'

p_cas
30-05-2010, 19:12 PM
As you have evidence to back up what you say, there is nothing stopping you giving this info

• The tenant left owing rent
• You have a ccj against her
• She only paid rent on time 3 months out of 12

This should be enough. Personally, I wouldn't mention the fraud as it's not strictly relevant to a new LL.

westminster
30-05-2010, 19:18 PM
Firstly, *CONGRATULATIONS WOO-HOO* on finally getting shot of this awful tenant! I remember all your previous posts about her...sounds like her shopping sprees and holidays are over now.

I think the chance of her suing for libel is remote; she can't get legal aid for it, for a start.

Personally, I'd be less cautious than previous commentors. I would say enough to put off the HA, sticking strictly to the facts. I just don't see how any claim for libel could get very far if no opinions are expressed, and the statements made are a matter of public record; what solicitor would take it on, even the ambulance-chaser type ones? I wouldn't mention the married name debts you discovered, but can't hurt to let HA know she has a married name...(though surely it would appear on a credit check anyway; I mean, the two names must be linked as past addresses/NI number etc will be the same?)

"Dear HA,

I let [address of property] to Miss XX (a.k.a. Mrs XY) on an AST between [date] and [date] at a monthly rent of £xx. I obtained a CCJ for unpaid rent at [Anytown] County Court, (Claim number XXXXX), on [date], in the sum of £xx, which Miss X has not satisfied as at [today's date]. On [date] she accepted a police caution at [Anytown] Police Station for obtaining goods by deception using my identity.* I regret I am unable to express any opinion with regard to Miss X's conduct during the tenancy.

Yours etc"

* Add any case/reference numbers you might have.

Yes, it's okay to pass on her new address to debt collectors. And why not use one yourself? - make sure they are licenced, though. And find one which only charges you when and if they get money off Miss XX. The CCJ can be enforced up to six years later.

westminster
30-05-2010, 19:20 PM
Personally, I wouldn't mention the fraud as it's not strictly relevant to a new LL.
I'd think it was relevant if I were the potential new landlord!

Ericthelobster
31-05-2010, 16:04 PM
don't know about the rest but always pass on details to those chasing my bad tenants for money I'm afraid I don't - unless I'm not chasing the tenants for money myself. If I'm going to be going for ar Attachment of Earnings order I don't want that to be diluted be the tenant having to pay off umpteen other debts at the same time... personally, I believe my need for being paid is much greater than that of a national utility company; they can do their own legwork to track the tenant down if they want to!

Once my debt's paid, then all bets are off, however... bring on that warm glow!

bullybantam
31-05-2010, 16:24 PM
No action can however be taken if you refuse to provide a reference, and there is nothing to stop you telephoning the potential new landlords to verbally inform them why a reference is not available.

P.P.

If you phone them and spill the beans it's still a reference, albeit a verbal one. You could in theory be sued for slander rather than libel, but the chances of that are slim.

Wickerman
31-05-2010, 16:52 PM
I have received a reference request from a Housing Association for a former tenant of mine. This tenant left owing rent for which I have a ccj against her. She only paid rent on time 3 months out of 12. She left the property in an unlettable condition - dirty, damaged and with large amounts of refuse I had to pay to clear. She left large utility bills/credit card bills which were passed to collection agencies which, 4 months on, are still turning up at the property looking for her.

She also fraudulently obtained goods and credit in my name. She was arrested, admitted the offences and accepted a police caution. After she had left with no forwarding address I also discovered the police used to attend the property regularly due to disturbances there.

The reference specifically asks did she pay her rent on time and were there arrears which I feel pretty confident I can tell the truth with no comeback. However what is more ambiguous is it asks whether there were "management issues" and how she conducted the tenancy. I have documented proof to support that everything above is truthful and accurate so am I ok to pass this info on?

I also noted on her application which they handily enclosed with the reference request (and which has her current address on) she has put that she has never been known by a different name. I discovered this was not true when going through a lot of the rubbish she had left in the property. She held a tenancy in a married name with the local council and according to one letter I discovered was being taken to court for 5k in arrears. Would I be breaking any laws by passing this info on? I no longer have that letter to prove what I saw.

Would I also be ok in passing on her current address to credit agencies? I don't expect to ever recover my arrears as she is no longer working but the thought she will be having to hide behind her net curtains for a while while others chase her fills me with a warm glow.:D

"I am glad Mrs X is a former tenant of mine".

mind the gap
31-05-2010, 18:59 PM
"I am glad Mrs X is a former tenant of mine".

This is the best of the lot. :)

westminster
31-05-2010, 23:15 PM
This is the best of the lot. :)

Yes, but it's expressing an opinion, not facts which are a matter of public record, and therefore potentially libellous (devil's advocate, blahblah...)

Heatheraster
03-06-2010, 15:14 PM
With regards to tenants absconding properties and owing rent, is there such a scheme as a register to inform other Landlords of their names or would it be illegal to blacklist the tenant in that way?

I would be interested in other Landlords replies and views.

thesaint
03-06-2010, 15:50 PM
With regards to tenants absconding properties and owing rent, is there such a scheme as a register to inform other Landlords of their names or would it be illegal to blacklist the tenant in that way?

I would be interested in other Landlords replies and views.

There is a few threads about this somewhere. Basically, there isn't.
It would not be illegal to post facts though.

jeffrey
03-06-2010, 16:06 PM
No, there isn't. It's raised every few months here but the difficulties are thought insuperable.

LesleyAnne
03-06-2010, 17:59 PM
We are in this position at the moment; T left earlier this week as far as we know, but has not handed back the keys. He is 2 months in arrears and our LA is putting together a case for a claim, but we suspect as someone earlier in the thread suggested, T will plead poverty and pay £1 a week for a few weeks, then default and we'd have to go through it all again.

I would love to blacklist this T as heard from another LL in the same town that he did this in his last place. Our LA checked out his credit refs etc, and all seemed OK. T said he had to leave last place as it was sold, but since found out he was in arrears there as well. He was late paying rent every month, until we gave him S21 notice, and then he stopped paying altogether.

I know T's need protection from unscrupulous LL's but sometimes feel the law is more in the T's favour and LL's have the raw deal. T's like this know where the land lies and what they can get away with, and I think they take the mick knowing we can't do a thing about it.

jeffrey
04-06-2010, 12:23 PM
Here's what happens when a blacklist/register's victim sues for defamation: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/solicitor-settles-action-against-solicitorsfromhellcouk;

TenantsLuvMe
05-06-2010, 03:35 AM
Yet again, many landlords are having a problem that can be largely avoided by focusing on the proper and careful assessment of the person(s) you are considering taking into your properties.
This is on the assumption that these landlords are decent people, who have not behaved badly towards their tenants in some way, or who do not have a poor attitude or approach to lettings and tenants and who are accessible and responsive to their tenants.

If more time and care was spent in this initial phase (which I don't think enough people do) including reading little signs that people give off all the time, you would know what kind of person you are dealing with and whether they are likely to be a good tenant or not.

Everything after this point is easy peasy lemon squeezy when you have good tenants, and soul and cash destroying when you have bad ones.
With the good ones, you never have to worry about whether they are going to do the right thing in this or that situation, because you already know, pretty much 99% of the time, that they will.

Given the litany of problems that feature on this site (and which are problems that go back many decades), I would think that there are many landlords who are not good enough at or not focused enough on judging & selecting people and perhaps they are only looking at things in purely financial/business/matter-of-fact-way or that they only consider things that are easily evident on the surface.

This could be because such landlords don't have the time to do things properly or because they allow an agency to handle their properties who are not skilled at choosing people effectively.

In addition, in my experience and from what I have read, there are many people who think that renting residential property and becoming a landlord is easy and so they just dive in without much thought about what would happen if this or that, etc., happened and also, it appears that there are many people have very little breathing room between their mortgage and other costs and the potential rent that can be achieved, forcing them to accept tenants when they should not be, less rent when they should not and to take other decisions or actions when they should not.
The financial situation is not just in these times, but going back many years.

Most prospective tenants try to be on their best behavior when trying to secure a property and the job of a landlord at this stage is to dig a little deeper and find out those who have or are likely to have bad behavior in their intentions, before you let them into your homes.

Landlords should also follow their "gut instinct", which is never wrong.

I know my methods work because my record in over 22 years of letting homes to hundreds of tenants, is:

No evictions
No court appearances
No warning letters, etc.
No lost rent
No deposit issues
No property damage
No thefts
No police issues
No neighbour complaints
No council complaints
No co-tenant issues

Rabbit
15-07-2010, 09:45 AM
I have a tenant who has now left my property and is staying with friends or family (not sure which) until he can find somewhere permanent to rent.

He didn't always pay the rent (couple of 'bounces' and then he stopped paying altogether) and he certainly didn't keep the place clean (an understatement). He also smoked inside.

If I am asked for a reference, e.g. whether he always paid on time, kept the place in a tenant-like manner etc., what do I say? Would there be any comeback on me for, effectively, lying?

Many would ask why I'm not just truthful? I suppose I could be, but to be honest I don't want to see him on the streets, which I think will happen if he can't get anywhere else to rent. Okay, I know, perhaps I'm just too soft for my own good!

All advice gratefully received.

sparrow
15-07-2010, 09:58 AM
The problem here is that you aren't just doing a good deed for one person but in doing this you are potentially going to do harm to someone else.

This lad does not deserve a good reference and if you write truthfully then any difficulties he has are of his own doing. What about the unfortunate landlord who has done nothing wrong but ends up with a terrible tenant on the basis of the false reference?

I don't think you should be asking what would be the comeback but rather what is the he morally right thing to do.

On another note, you aren't always helping people by being lenient. Sometimes the only way people learn to better themselves is by others being firm with them.

islandgirl
15-07-2010, 10:24 AM
I think I would refuse to do a verbal reference and write merely to confirm the dates of occupation - you have to be very very careful with references!

Rabbit
15-07-2010, 15:56 PM
I think I would refuse to do a verbal reference and write merely to confirm the dates of occupation - you have to be very very careful with references!I think this is a good idea. Thanks.

dominic
15-07-2010, 16:14 PM
The general rule with references (thanks to recent case law on libel) where you have bad things to say is to either refuse to give a reference at all, or only state the remaining good things about the tenant.

people in receipt of references know to read between the lines. The absence of "he always paid his rent on time" is interpreted as "he was late in paying rent". &c

Rabbit
15-07-2010, 16:44 PM
I suppose my real concern is if I receive a phone call or a form to fill out, where the person seeking the reference asks specific questions. If that happens I shall have to be 'unavailable' (abroad?!), as I can't think of anything to say that is positive.

However, although I can't give a positive reference, I'm guessing that just as you're not supposed to give a bad reference about an employee (or former employee), the same applies with regards to a prospective tenant?

I suppose one really needs to be neutral and that is best done in writing, where one has a free hand to write a letter. That said, I'm guessing 'free rein', to write what one wants is very rare, especially when a letting agent is involved.

dominic
15-07-2010, 16:45 PM
If asked a question by phone, just say "no comment" or "I am unable to comment" if you don't have anything good to say.

JK0
15-07-2010, 18:49 PM
Anyone remember Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street?

On one occasion she asked Annie Walker (landlady of local pub who Hilda cleaned for) for a reference for another cleaning job.

Annie wrote, 'Mrs Ogden has been employed by me for the last five years. Her work is everything I have come to expect it to be.'

Hilda was very pleased with it!

Rabbit
15-07-2010, 18:59 PM
Anyone remember Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street?

On one occasion she asked Annie Walker (landlady of local pub who Hilda cleaned for) for a reference for another cleaning job.

Annie wrote, 'Mrs Ogden has been employed by me for the last five years. Her work is everything I have come to expect it to be.'

Hilda was very pleased with it!
Good one! "Mr X was living here for the last 4 years. He was everything and more that I expected a tenant might be."

JK0
15-07-2010, 19:15 PM
Good one! "Mr X was living here for the last 4 years. He was everything and more that I expected a tenant might be."

How about:

'Mr X was living here for the last four years. His diligence as a tenant was everything that I came to expect it to be.'

Poppy35
15-07-2010, 19:27 PM
I get this all the time with other agents or landlords wanting refs off our tenants, we want rid of them but cant lie so I just state the dates they rented from us and there are currently no arrears. That way it avoids me having to say they were filthy and never paid the rent on time even though they paid it in the end!

Editor
15-07-2010, 19:37 PM
Don't forget - giving an honest and factual reference helps your fellow landlords. Next time it may be you who seeks a reference.
You have nothing to fear so long as you stick to the facts. If he was late with rent 3 times out of 6, or left owing money, say so. On the other had, if he was a model tenant, say so.

Lawcruncher
15-07-2010, 21:04 PM
If you cannot give a good reference do not give one at all. Saying things like: "The rent is currently up-to-date" is potentially misleading to someone who does not read between the lines. Simply respond by saying that it is not your policy to give references.

mind the gap
15-07-2010, 23:54 PM
Simply respond by saying that it is not your policy to give references.That may not of course be the case, though.

I like Wickerman's suggestion best : 'I am glad Mr X is an ex-tenant of mine'.

maxine
16-07-2010, 07:05 AM
I was recently in this situation, and asked for advice from this forum. I’d had a nightmare tenant who for some unfathomable reason gave my details to a housing association for a reference. The form asked specific questions – i.e was the rent paid on time (no), were there arrears (yes) were there “management” issues (yes). I answered all honestly because I can prove all. I was informed (off the record) her application was subsequently being rejected. I will do the same again if I receive another reference request for this tenant. By not providing a reference more experienced landlords may “read between the lines” – unfortunately others may just assume you are too busy or lazy to do so. I did ask the housing officer I was speaking to what they do if landlords don’t provide references, and she said they have so many applicants from so many backgrounds they cannot infer anything from not receiving a response, and so the application will be processed using a prior landlord reference if one can be found, - or more often - a personal reference. Another bad tenant gets re-housed and no doubt down the line when they are once again evicted or abandon their property the whole cycle will start again. It may be naïve of me but if they are left to crash on friends’ sofas or take temporary B&B accommodation for a good while, it may help them focus on how a tenancy should be conducted. If they end up living in a poor standard property owned by a landlord who is not so concerned with following procedure – or the law, I’d call that justice.

LoneFlowerpot
16-07-2010, 07:16 AM
Probaly fairest to say he was a tenant and not put anything else down and leave it to the other person to take the risk without a false sense of security from you.

islandgirl
16-07-2010, 08:39 AM
As I suggested - just the dates! If he was a perfect tenant you would say so. If not, say nothing....(unless you can prove it ie I evicted him via a section 8)

mind the gap
16-07-2010, 08:44 AM
I agree that in fairness to Ts and LLs, agents should provide references if requested and that they should contain accurate and objective information (whatever light this then casts upon the tenant).

Alternatively, you could make it company policy to give only positive references and for scoundrels, decline, explaining that because of this 'positive reference only' policy, you regret that you find yourselves unable to provide a reference in Mr X's case.

islandgirl
16-07-2010, 08:51 AM
ohh very clever....

trumpeter
06-08-2010, 20:50 PM
I have been signed off work for six years now due to my health condition and have been receiving HB in full.

I am currently looking to rent a 1-bed flat in East Central London in order to be closer to my family. I have viewed several flats recently and expressed my interest in renting them with the landlords and agencies involved. However, on each occasion I have been informed that before I can go any further, a 'reference check' must first be undertaken.

They have informed me that a reference check must be undertaken in order to confirm my identity, to check my bank account, my job status, references from my previous landlord and so forth. They seem entirely unwilling to even consider anyone who is not working and in receipt of HB, treating me almost like a leper the moment I mention it.

My question is, what is involved exactly in these 'reference checks'? Might I simply be able to get through this process by informing them that I am self-employed? I have sufficient savings to cover the required deposits, admin fees and first month's rent, and I have good references from previous landlords.

Springfields
06-08-2010, 21:27 PM
No you wont. The council will send documentation to the Letting agent or Landlord to confirm the tenancy and you will be discovered, you would then be out of pocket for referencing fees etc. In addition to this how far could you take this fib ..... false accounts?

I know that some agents can make things difficult for you and it does not help that a lot of mortgage lenders do not allow HB tenants in property.

The best advise is to keep at it, you will find somewhere eventually. Have you tried calling shelter and explaining the difficulties you are having. They will be able to point you in the direction of more helpful companies to deal with.

Snorkerz
06-08-2010, 21:29 PM
Self employed would just open up more problems - as well as opening you up to eviction under section 8, ground 17 of the 1988 Housing Act.

The key things a landlord is looking for - and you will have to provide proof (or re-assurance at least) of are:

1) Can he afford the rent
2) Will he look after the place
3) If he decides to do neither, will I be left out of pocket.

I have no idea how much a one-bed in your area costs - but remember the government is planning to reduce the 1-bed LHA amount to a maximum of £250 per week from April 2012, which may not be enough to cover your new rent.

trumpeter
06-08-2010, 22:15 PM
No you wont. The council will send documentation to the Letting agent or Landlord to confirm the tenancy and you will be discovered, you would then be out of pocket for referencing fees etc.

But if I haven't yet taken up tenancy of the property, how could they confirm it?

Also, I thought the housing benefit didn't inform landlords any more. When I first started receiving benefits I remember the first payment had to be made by cheque directly to the landlord. But in the last few years they have paid it directly to my account. When I asked them about this they told me the measure was in part introduced to help HB recipients avoid the kind of difficulties I am facing now.

I'm pretty sure my current landlord has no idea.

Snorkerz
06-08-2010, 22:25 PM
But if I haven't yet taken up tenancy of the property, how could they confirm it?

Also, I thought the housing benefit didn't inform landlords any more. When I first started receiving benefits I remember the first payment had to be made by cheque directly to the landlord. But in the last few years they have paid it directly to my account.

I'm pretty sure my current landlord has no idea.My LA sends me a nice list of all the payments hey have made to my tenants once a fortnight.

Your credit check will show you can't afford the rent without housing benefit. If you don't admit to the benefit, you won't pass the check.

trumpeter
06-08-2010, 22:50 PM
My LA sends me a nice list of all the payments hey have made to my tenants once a fortnight.

I think your tenants must have elected to allow you to know on their HB application forms. I elected to keep it confidential on my application.

Ericthelobster
07-08-2010, 08:05 AM
But if I haven't yet taken up tenancy of the property, how could they confirm it?Well if you applied to me and said you were self-employed, I'd ask to see your accounts for the last two years, or failing that your bank statements showing regular credits from sources confirming your income; in the absence of those I wouldn't even be bothering about doing credit checks on you.

mind the gap
07-08-2010, 08:15 AM
trumpeter : you may get further in your search if one of you relatives who is in full time work (and preferably owns their own home) could stand as our guarantor. Is there anyone who could do this?

Snorkerz
07-08-2010, 10:36 AM
My LA sends me a nice list of all the payments hey have made to my tenants once a fortnight.

Your credit check will show you can't afford the rent without housing benefit. If you don't admit to the benefit, you won't pass the check.


I think your tenants must have elected to allow you to know on their HB application forms. I elected to keep it confidential on my application.My tenants don't have the choice - they agree (LHA or not) before the tenancy is granted.

Just to add, if you don't reveal your need for LHA, you could be evicted under ground 17 of the 1988 ousing Act (section 8).

Just to be clear, I wish you all the luck possible but the moment you bring any element of dishonesty into the equasion (even a 'white' lie) my sympathy evaporates immediately :cool:. I am guessing you would be furious if a landlord lied to you?

Springfields
07-08-2010, 10:47 AM
But if I haven't yet taken up tenancy of the property, how could they confirm it?

Also, I thought the housing benefit didn't inform landlords any more. When I first started receiving benefits I remember the first payment had to be made by cheque directly to the landlord. But in the last few years they have paid it directly to my account. When I asked them about this they told me the measure was in part introduced to help HB recipients avoid the kind of difficulties I am facing now.

I'm pretty sure my current landlord has no idea.


I suppose it depends on the council and what paperwork they require. I deal with 3 councils which cover our area.

2 Insist on a property visit, EPC and landlord consent to let and tenancy agreement the other insists on consent to let and tenancy agreement.

Even if you get through that stage what will you do about the proof of earnings? I know your having a hard time of it but honesty in these situations are so important, do you not have a friend or family member to stand as guarantor?

thesaint
08-08-2010, 22:05 PM
My question is, what is involved exactly in these 'reference checks'? Might I simply be able to get through this process by informing them that I am self-employed?

Yes, telling lies is the way forward.

LesleyAnne
16-09-2010, 20:15 PM
I had email notification that my report is ready. Tried first the click on the link in the mail message, but got an error message here saying pdf file incorrect attached. So I went to the site an logged in to my account, but cannot open it there either - get a message here saying Internet Explorer cannot find website. My Adobe Reader is up to date. I have sent TV a message asking to how to sort the problem, but obviously won't get an answer until tomorrow now. Anyone else had a problem?

Thanks

Wickerman
16-09-2010, 21:21 PM
Try again tomorrow and speak to them - they may well email you the report.