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CoffeeCup
06-03-2006, 15:35 PM
Hi Folks, 1st post as well as a 1st time landlord!

I am letting my property through an agent. They have found a couple interested in renting my property on a 6 months contract, although preferably on a 12 month contract.

Now the dilemma I have is the male half of the unmarried couple has recently been made redundant(with a sizable payout. allegedly), the female half is working, but would be unable to pass the appropriate income test to pay the monthly rental is full.

The agent has suggested a 6 month contract with a payment upfront to cover half of the 6 months rent.

Does this like a reasonable approach to take?
Does this scenario ring alarm bells with any of the more experienced landlords?

Thanks in advance for your help.
CoffeeCup

P.Pilcher
06-03-2006, 16:09 PM
Rent out in haste and repent at leisure! Unless there is a shortage of good tenants in the area, I would not chance it. Of course he may get another job, but this may mean that he has to move anyway. If he does not however, you are stuck with receiving no rent and a costly court action to get them out. At the very least I would go for a six month agreement (the minimum term after which they can be evicted), six month's rent up front, and serve a section 21 notice on them at the start so that if they cannot pay and won't budge when their six months is up, you can instantly start eviction proceedings under section 21. Although this is the accelerated proceedure, you may have to put up with them for a further month or two before the bailiffs do the necessary.
Beware of agents trying to get you to accept unsuitable tenants so that they get their commission as quickly as possible.

P.P.

Tweedle Dum
06-03-2006, 17:02 PM
I would take them on a six month contract with six months rent in advance. If he got a sizeable redundancy this shouldn't be a problem for him. If they refused I'd walk away.However, saying that, doesn't accepting so much rent in advance cause other legal issues? I've gone and confused myself now!

CoffeeCup
06-03-2006, 21:24 PM
P.Pilcher/Tweedle Dum food for thought - After the initial elation of someone saying they want the house (1st people to view) the reality has set in.

Half of the 6 month rent is a tidy sum upfront but as the months pass by it leaves me increasingly vunerable with a tenant that didn't pass the appropriate checks at the beginning of the agreement.

The agent has stressed that when you take on a tenant you never know if they may be made redundant part way through the contract. I pointed out that I accepted that, but it is a bit different to taking on someone who is already out of work!

How does the suggestion they pay a deposit equal to 6 months rent (held by the agents) plus the standard 1 month in advance rent?

If they agree to this then surely this puts me in a very strong position should they default on payment.

davidjohnbutton
06-03-2006, 21:49 PM
P Pilcher has warned you - do you want cake with it as well? (food for thought perhaps?)

CoffeeCup
08-03-2006, 05:13 AM
If he does not however( get a job), you are stuck with receiving no rent and a costly court action to get them out..

As I mentioned in the original post the female half of the partnership is working, so they do have an income.

The male partner is seeking employment. I've been made redundant a couple of times, it's not that unusual in this day and age of flexible working.

If they have funds to pay 6 months as a deposit + 1 month in advance on a 6 month contract, surely this affords me pretty good protection if things go wrong?

Other factors like a previously reliable work history, a record of reliable payments on their current rental property are in their favour.

I appreciate your feedback and I know you can't make the decision for me but given the above facts am I really leaving myself open to major problems?

P.Pilcher
08-03-2006, 09:52 AM
I appreciate your need to get a tenant and an income as quickly as possible. When I was a less experienced landlord, I felt an identical pressure and paid for it by selecting the first tenant that showed interest to whom I did not take a dislike. You want a tenant who you can be certain will pay the rent, will look after your property and will end his tenancy on the correct terms leaving the property in a state at which it can immediately be rented out again so that you can refund his deposit with a smile on your face.

Once they are in, getting them out again is a very lengthy and expensive process while you receive no rent. There are plenty of tenants out there as I said before so take your time finding the best one.

P.P.

CoffeeCup
08-03-2006, 22:32 PM
I appreciate your need to get a tenant and an income as quickly as possible. When I was a less experienced landlord, I felt an identical pressure and paid for it by selecting the first tenant that showed interest to whom I did not take a dislike. You want a tenant who you can be certain will pay the rent, will look after your property and will end his tenancy on the correct terms leaving the property in a state at which it can immediately be rented out again so that you can refund his deposit with a smile on your face.


PP spot on! The agent wants a Yes or No ASAP ... as they have taken a holding deposit and are unable to re-market the property until I make my decision.



Once they are in, getting them out again is a very lengthy and expensive process while you receive no rent. There are plenty of tenants out there as I said before so take your time finding the best one.


I'm approaching being a landlord as dispassionately as possible and treating it very much a business decision. To that end is it possible to put a monetary value on the cost of evicting someone. I've trawled through old posts and the closest I've come to is a figure of 800(pounds) legal fees plus 5 months lost rent.

Is this the maximum financial risk I am exposed to, or can they 'play the game' and screw me over for a lot more?

Based on the opinions expressed on this board I'm now inclined, to decline the offer from these potential tenants (I really do value the experience of members who have been there before!)

Anyone else who is reading this thread and wants to chip in with a view on my situation ..... please feel free:)

islandgirl
09-03-2006, 09:40 AM
Hello! There is a danger that what happened to us will happen to you. Tenant working when moved in with family. Received good references. Soon became clear male half only ever held down a job for a few weeks and soon was on HB (which he did not bother to pass onto us). We finally got them out owing us over £2000 plus they left the house a wreck. If he does not get a job and his redundancy begins to run out (and his partner's income is too low as you have said) the family will go onto HB and be even harder to get out if they do not pay. It's a tough one. How about asking for more info about his employment history if this is allowed? My tenant would have had an awful one and I would not have touched him with the proverbial barge-pole. If the man has worked solid for 20 years prior to redundancy he is likely to want to work again at whatever job he can get. A scrounger like my tenant won't. Difficult decision - I wish you well and pls keep us informed as to what you decide.

RichieP
09-03-2006, 09:57 AM
How about asking for more info about his employment history if this is allowed?

Ask anyway. I don't see how it won't be allowed. If they're reluctant to provide any information, there's something to hide.

justaboutsane
09-03-2006, 10:20 AM
I have to agree with Islandgirl. We have a tenant who worked for Transco for over 16 years.. He had an accident and suffered head injuries and is now unable to work. He has the support of Social Services and a bond scheme so we have taken him on! Turns out he is the Uncle of the tenant upstairs, a young girl in her first home, again supported by social workers and the bond scheme but got herself in with a not so good crowd that hang around the flats on occasions.. Uncle downstairs has managed to get her free of these people and they have moved on! So we have a block of 4 tenants looking out for each other.. all on HB, all doing well supported by a bond scheme!

MrShed
09-03-2006, 10:45 AM
In my opinion, I would accept him ONLY if they pay 6 months rent up front. Seeing as though their rent money would basically be coming from the redundancy payment(and so money they already have anyway), if they refuse this then it would be ringing major alarm bells. If they accept, then I personally really cant see a problem. However, I would certainly be serving a Section 21 at the start of the tenancy.

Caburn5
04-05-2006, 20:35 PM
I think that the problems could start if they decide not to leave after 6 mths. It's all very well taking the rent upfront, but if they do not get a job you are going to be stuck with them.

My belief is always best to get as good a tenant as you can, I have rented out lots of properties over the past few year & only got a problem whilst 'doing a tenant a favour'

There are a lot of dodgy tenants out there who think we all owe them free accommodation.

ALIEN1X
04-05-2006, 21:01 PM
Yes,

These days difficult to find good tenants,the law is on the tenants side including letting agents.Its the easy wasy out for agents to favour tenants and the landlord pays the expenses.

I just wonder why people rent out and have to face the hassle knowing at the end the landlord looses.

I had no rent since christmass + some damage to property and tenant walks free, agent dose not give a dam.Then again none of them do..

But at least I have been renting for 18 years and the last 2 years has been hassle. But I can see it happen again to me.

One example...I work for a housing association and we have tenants on £5000-10000 non rent payments walk free, then again the association cant afford court action as to many tenants do this.

May be I should be a tenant and get free acomodation....its easy.....SORRY just upset from what Ive been thru recently.

Regards
Alien1x

Caburn5
05-05-2006, 17:20 PM
I am totally with Alien1x on this one.

It is too bloody easy for a tenant to commit to a contract (allegedly a legally binding agreement!!) Then to quit or lose their job, not bother getting a new job, then finally apply to the council for rent assistance, at which point the council decide that they only justify a one bed house & agree to pay half of the rent. The tenant then refuses the properties that the council offers, I have heard that if they refuse too many they get removed from the waiting list. All the time the landlord is down half of his rent, we then have to waste time & money applying to the courts for possession only to have the tenant ignore it, then waste further money obtaining a warrant for a bailiff.

Someone out there tell me that this is fair!!

I believe in naming & shaming these people, trust me the minute they leave I will flag up their name to every agent within a 20 mile radius, nothing libellous, just the plain truth that this guy cannot be trusted.

I feel better for that!!