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Luke
06-11-2009, 20:23 PM
I am not a professional landlord , I work in other fields .
Due to the lack of work I decided to go on a World tour , I decided to fund this by renting my apartment out . I was going to be an accidental landlord for a year or so and come back once the economy picks up a bit . Rents have dropped and the Pound has fallen and so my spending power abroad has been diminished . The rental market is also quiet and thus there arent many tenants about .
I phoned the Local Council and asked whether they wanted to rent my apartment directly , they put me in touch with an agent who primarily deals with Council cases (HB) .
I contacted him (Simon) and he said that he could find me tenants immediately.
Within a few days he had bought a Single mother and her two kids around to see the apartment and they liked the place and she said that she would like to move in , so far so good .
She did seem quite affluent for a single mother , running a car , computer and was well dressed .
She came around a few days later and said that she wanted all the furniture moved out , this quite surprised me , I have about £5000 worth of furniture that I was going to give her, but she was adamant that she wanted it all removed .
We agreed a moving in date . I went down to the agent during the week and asked about the procedure for her moving in . I was expecting to be told the Ladys full name , her current address and proof that she is entitled to Housing benefit .
Simon the agent wouldnt give me any of this information , He just said that I would have to trust him . When I pushed this on this , he got quite offended .
He told me that she would be moving in in two weeks time . I asked him whether I could see the tenancy agreement . He told me that he would get the tenant to sign it on the day that they move in .
I said that I would like to see the tenancy agreement BEFORE I leave the apartment and before they move in , but he said that it would be done on the day of the move
The tenant is currently staying elsewhere and Simon is her agent for her current place , Simon tells me that she is reliable for the rent payment .
The move is due to take place soon , BUT , I know nothing about this Lady , I dont even know her full name , let alone her previous rental history .
All I have is what Simon tells me .
I also asked her when her current tenancy is up and she said that it is already up, Strange, because she is still living there. For all I know, she could have had her benefits stopped and she could be facing eviction from her current address . All I have is Simons reassurances.
So: I am about to let my apartment out to a person whom I know nothing about, not her full name, her current address or her benefit entitlements. She will have all her furniture in my apartment and her two kids . This will all count against me, if I need to evict her.
I have bought it up with Simon that I am concerned that I have so little knowledge about her, but he just tells me to trust him . BUT, if he isnt being honest , he can just walk away, whilst I will have a bad tenant in my apartment and all the costs and hassle that that will involve .
I am going to see Simon tomorrow, what documents should I request to make sure that she is legitimate ?
I am getting a bad feeling about this deal. Should I walk away from it ?

mind the gap
06-11-2009, 20:28 PM
I am not a professional landlord , I work in other fields .
Due to the lack of work I decided to go on a World tour , I decided to fund this by renting my apartment out . I was going to be an accidental landlord for a year or so and come back once the economy picks up a bit . Rents have dropped and the Pound has fallen and so my spending power abroad has been diminished . The rental market is also quiet and thus there arent many tenants about .
I phoned the Local Council and asked whether they wanted to rent my apartment directly , they put me in touch with an agent who primarily deals with Council cases (HB) .
I contacted him (Simon) and he said that he could find me tenants immediately.
Within a few days he had bought a Single mother and her two kids around to see the apartment and they liked the place and she said that she would like to move in , so far so good .
She did seem quite affluent for a single mother , running a car , computer and was well dressed .
She came around a few days later and said that she wanted all the furniture moved out , this quite surprised me , I have about £5000 worth of furniture that I was going to give her, but she was adamant that she wanted it all removed .
We agreed a moving in date . I went down to the agent during the week and asked about the procedure for her moving in . I was expecting to be told the Ladys full name , her current address and proof that she is entitled to Housing benefit .
Simon the agent wouldnt give me any of this information , He just said that I would have to trust him . When I pushed this on this , he got quite offended .
He told me that she would be moving in in two weeks time . I asked him whether I could see the tenancy agreement . He told me that he would get the tenant to sign it on the day that they move in .
I said that I would like to see the tenancy agreement BEFORE I leave the apartment and before they move in , but he said that it would be done on the day of the move
The tenant is currently staying elsewhere and Simon is her agent for her current place , Simon tells me that she is reliable for the rent payment .
The move is due to take place soon , BUT , I know nothing about this Lady , I dont even know her full name , let alone her previous rental history .
All I have is what Simon tells me .
I also asked her when her current tenancy is up and she said that it is already up, Strange, because she is still living there. For all I know, she could have had her benefits stopped and she could be facing eviction from her current address . All I have is Simons reassurances.
So: I am about to let my apartment out to a person whom I know nothing about, not her full name, her current address or her benefit entitlements. She will have all her furniture in my apartment and her two kids . This will all count against me, if I need to evict her.
I have bought it up with Simon that I am concerned that I have so little knowledge about her, but he just tells me to trust him . BUT, if he isnt being honest , he can just walk away, whilst I will have a bad tenant in my apartment and all the costs and hassle that that will involve .
I am going to see Simon tomorrow, what documents should I request to make sure that she is legitimate ?
I am getting a bad feeling about this deal. Should I walk away from it ?

In a word : no, I wouldn't walk away.

I would run - like hell - in the opposite direction from this tenant and in particular from this agent.

Advertise the property yourself, or use a reputable letting agent to find you a tenant. If you are going abroad you should appoint someone you can trust to manage the property. This guy sounds Very Very Dodgy.

Luke
06-11-2009, 20:34 PM
In a word : no, I wouldn't walk away.

I would run - like hell - in the opposite direction from this tenant and in particular from this agent.

Advertise the property yourself, or use a reputable letting agent to find you a tenant. If you are going abroad you should appoint someone you can trust to manage the property. This guy sounds Very Very Dodgy.


He is affiliated with the Council though, he seems to be their agent of choice.
The Council put me in touch with him . He only deals with referals, he doesnt advertise . That us why I have trusted him so much up until now

mind the gap
06-11-2009, 20:41 PM
He is affiliated with the Council though, he seems to be their agent of choice.That in itself would worry me even more.



The Council put me in touch with him . He only deals with referals, he doesnt advertise . That us why I have trusted him so much up until now From what you have said, it sounds as though he is totally incompetent. Steer clear. There are plenty of agents, and if this is your first experience of letting, you would be advised to avoid LHA claimants anyway. They can be very high maintenance and you may be better off with 'young professionals'.

Poppy35
06-11-2009, 20:48 PM
so, will the council take responsibility should anything go wrong?

no, did not think so, like mtg says - run or if possible sprint!

Luke
06-11-2009, 20:51 PM
That in itself would worry me even more.


From what you have said, it sounds as though he is totally incompetent. Steer clear. There are plenty of agents, and if this is your first experience of letting, you would be advised to avoid LHA claimants anyway. They can be very high maintenance and you may be better off with 'young professionals'.

Thnx.
When I told Simon that I would like to see the Tenancy agreement BEFORE they move in and sign it , I just asked to view what was written and he replied "Are you sure that you want to go through with this deal ,I'll give you until next Wednesday to give me an answer"
WTF , He could write anything on the tenancy agreement.

Luke
06-11-2009, 21:00 PM
Could She be one of those * professional tenants* ?

mind the gap
06-11-2009, 21:25 PM
Could She be one of those * professional tenants* ?
She could be anybody and so could he, by the sound of him.

islandgirl
06-11-2009, 22:30 PM
get the full info (refs, NI number, full details etc etc) or walk away - it costs THOUSANDS to get rid of a bad tenant in court and lost rent costs - do you think "Simon" will help pay those?

Luke
06-11-2009, 22:41 PM
I am going to ask Simon for some info about her . When he tells me that I should trust her and him , I will ask him whether he really, really trusts her to pay the rent .
If he says that he does (which he will) then I will ask him to act as her guarantor , if he refuses, then I will walk away from the deal .

justaboutsane
06-11-2009, 22:51 PM
How do you know he is the "Council" agent of choice... could he and the council employee be in collusion....

Sorry am in Paranoid mode at present! It just screams SCAM to me. It is your property and you are entitled to know the ins and outs of a ducks behind! Without it I would be running for the hills.

mind the gap
06-11-2009, 22:59 PM
It is your property and you are entitled to know the ins and outs of a ducks behind! Without it I would be running for the hills.

Yes, run to the hills everyone and join us in the middle of nowhere! Good views of sheep.

Izzycam
07-11-2009, 02:30 AM
If you do nothing else, listen to the advice given by these people, they would have prior knowledge of the devastation caused by a bad tenant.
Don't even think about it, go to an accredited letting agent and leave it in their hands.
Unless of course you fancy being contacted whilst down a back street in Bombay to be told your property is wrecked and you need to come home to sort it out.

jta
07-11-2009, 07:30 AM
I will ask him whether he really, really trusts her to pay the rent .
If he says that he does (which he will) then I will ask him to act as her guarantor , if he refuses, then I will walk away from the deal .

^^I like that thought^^. From what you say though they are in collusion and up to something, trust your instincts, don't get involved with them.

havensRus
07-11-2009, 14:36 PM
Is Simon an accredited letting agent? member of ARLA, NALA or any such body?

Whilst the idea of asking this Simon to be a guarantor is a good one, he could also be more trouble than its worth.

I take on LHA claimant tenants, but would not recommend it for a first time and accidental landlord. Not worth the hassle, unless the person comes fully referenced and with a home-owning, working guarantor.

Find another agent - fast.

islandgirl
07-11-2009, 14:49 PM
If he is an agent he will be unlikely to agree to be a guarantor! Also it is pointless making him one unless you are sure he is financially personally solvent etc. We can only say it so many times, get him to stump up the info and a good guarantor (not himself) or walk away...

Luke
08-11-2009, 13:24 PM
get the full info (refs, NI number, full details etc etc) or walk away - it costs THOUSANDS to get rid of a bad tenant in court and lost rent costs - do you think "Simon" will help pay those?

Thanks. The mistake that I made was that I became friendly with Simon .
I did initially think that he was a friendly trustworthy person , but now I think that he befriended me with the sole aim of making the deal go through .
He says things like *Her current Landlord really wants her to stay, because she updates the apartment and always pays on time* , and when I ask for the current landlords contact details , Simon looks at me in disgust and says "Dont you trust me ?" , So i am left with the option of either saying *No I dont trust you, give me her current LLs details* or saying * OK, I trust you*.
It puts me in a very awkward position .
I have learnt my lesson : Dont befriend people whom you are dealing with

Luke
08-11-2009, 13:32 PM
How do you know he is the "Council" agent of choice... could he and the council employee be in collusion....

Sorry am in Paranoid mode at present! It just screams SCAM to me. It is your property and you are entitled to know the ins and outs of a ducks behind! Without it I would be running for the hills.

Well, the Council said that they deal with him often and gave me his contact details .
I am not sure who is in collusion with whom, but going by the Council workers attitude, they have no affection for LLs and I get the impression that they wouldnt care if a LL gets ripped off .
Is Simon colluding with the tenant ?
I am sure that he knows what she is up to , but whether he is receiving a kick back , I dont know.
I feel that the tenant could be a friend of his and she is doing him a favour .
Simon deals with lots of clients, so he cant be ripping them all off

fthl
08-11-2009, 13:55 PM
Simon deals with lots of clients, so he cant be ripping them all off

That's what I thought when I tried to help this Nigerian widow who wanted help getting $14.5m out of the country...

westminster
08-11-2009, 14:01 PM
Just to echo all the other comments. Get rid of Simon immediately. Find a new agent. Don't take on an LHA tenant.

It's pointless trying to work out what the exact nature of the scam is, all that matters is that Simon's behaviour is extremely suspicious and he's obviously trying to take advantage of your inexperience.

domino
08-11-2009, 14:11 PM
Simon deals with lots of clients, so he cant be ripping them all off

Probably not, but you don't want to be amongst the ones he does!

Luke
08-11-2009, 14:20 PM
Just to echo all the other comments. Get rid of Simon immediately. Find a new agent. Don't take on an LHA tenant.

It's pointless trying to work out what the exact nature of the scam is, all that matters is that Simon's behaviour is extremely suspicious and he's obviously trying to take advantage of your inexperience.

Yes, last week I said to Simon that I was a bit concerned about letting a person rent my apartment and I didnt even know their full name . I said that I would like all their details .
And he said that I am not emotionally ready to go through with the deal . He said that I need to prepare myself to rent my apartment out .
I did tell him that its has nothing to do with anything emotional, I just want details of the person whom will be living in my apartment !!!!!!
I did also tell him that I want the seal signed before I move out, he told me that we all have an agreement and it cannot be broken .
I told him that the only agreement that we have is verbal and it counts for nothing and that anyone can pull out of the deal anytime they like.
Why was he trying to convince me that a vague verbal agreement is a legal document ?

mind the gap
08-11-2009, 15:44 PM
Yes, last week I said to Simon that I was a bit concerned about letting a person rent my apartment and I didnt even know their full name . I said that I would like all their details .
And he said that I am not emotionally ready to go through with the deal . He said that I need to prepare myself to rent my apartment out .
I did tell him that its has nothing to do with anything emotional, I just want details of the person whom will be living in my apartment !!!!!!
I did also tell him that I want the seal signed before I move out, he told me that we all have an agreement and it cannot be broken .
I told him that the only agreement that we have is verbal and it counts for nothing and that anyone can pull out of the deal anytime they like.
Why was he trying to convince me that a vague verbal agreement is a legal document ?

You have signed no agent's agreement with him; you have not even clapped eyes on the potential tenant.

You do not have a contract in place with either of them.

Walk away!