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tsu3000
12-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Hello

I recently got a new tenant via an agency. He was reference checked and passed and a standing order was set up for the rental payments by the agent, etc. So far so good. The tenant now wants to change his bank and has asked me for my bank details so he can set up a new standing order. Its only been a few weeks into the tenancy so I am a little cautions about his intentions. I have asked the agent to act as the middleman to handle the standing order and they have refused. What can I do?

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

J

Poppy
12-03-2007, 10:53 AM
Write a letter to the tenant. Provide your sort code, account number and account name. It may also be prudent to remind them that, say, rent is due on 4th of each month, therefore money should leave their account on the 1st to ensure that it arrives on time every month.

It's folly to hinder their rent payments to you.

tsu3000
12-03-2007, 11:02 AM
I might be paranoid here, but is it safe to give someone I've known for a few weeks my bank details? I know the other alternative is to get a cheque off him on a monthly basis.

Thanks.

Beeber
12-03-2007, 11:03 AM
There might not necessarily be anything sinister to this request. If a tenant doesn't want to pay their rent, they don't need to set up an excuse not to pay it, they simply stop paying...

I am currently in the process of changing my bank account because my bank has now started to levy monthly charges, for example.

Beeber
12-03-2007, 11:10 AM
I might be paranoid here, but is it safe to give someone I've known for a few weeks my bank details? I know the other alternative is to get a cheque off him on a monthly basis.

Thanks.

The information that you give - account name, sort code, etc - is not normally anything more than is already present on any cheques you write. Fraud usually requires ID, passwords and so on.

Here's some info and a template here

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/standing-order.htm

Perhaps you can get them to complete their part of the SO with their details and forward it to you to complete your info and send it onto their bank?

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/standing_order_mandate.htm

I imagine from their bank statements - I could be wrong - that it will show up where they are paying their money into...

Is any of your mail being delivered to the property? If so, set up mail direction.

http://www.pattinson.co.uk/public/content/Articles/Landlords_in_identity_theft_threat.htm

set up protective credit registration from that address

http://www.cifas.org.uk/protective_registration.asp

Sure, if the tenant doesn't make the next rental payment, start dealing with the arrears in a businesslike way but its a bit premature to worry about it before it happens.

Beeber
12-03-2007, 11:15 AM
Also, by the sounds of it, you either don't fully understand what the agent is responsible for in terms of service so need to read the terms and conditions of the contract you signed with the letting agency to identify what is in or out of scope.

or your agent should be doing this but is lazy.

the point of employing an agent is to make life easier for you so potentially you either requested the wrong type of service or employed the wrong agency to meet your needs.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/agents.htm

tsu3000
12-03-2007, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the info Beeber.

I will probably get him to half fill in the SO form. Maybe I am worrying too much?

Beeber
12-03-2007, 11:24 AM
It's probably best with letting property to hope for the best but prepare for the worst and always be prepared to act promptly to deal with any issues.

An optimistic interpretation is that there is just an honest and simple reason for the tenant to change bank accounts and it is a mark of their diligence that they have flagged this up in good time to enable the next month's rent to come out on time.

A pessimistic interpretation is that the tenant is laying the ground-work to provide a plausible excuse to evade the next payment of rent by blaming it on bad admin by the bank for not processing it.

However, if you receive the SO from him before completing your part and sending it to the bank by registered delivery, then perhaps at least you have a bit more control on its outcome.

By the sounds of it, your agency was probably engaged on a letting only basis to find the tenant, rather than on a management basis to look after the property and rent collection going forward.

Does your agency belong to a professional body? And did they give you an idea of the tenant and ID checks that they undertook and give you a copy of the report?

tsu3000
12-03-2007, 11:27 AM
Also, by the sounds of it, you either don't fully understand what the agent is responsible for in terms of service so need to read the terms and conditions of the contract you signed with the letting agency to identify what is in or out of scope.

or your agent should be doing this but is lazy.

the point of employing an agent is to make life easier for you so potentially you either requested the wrong type of service or employed the wrong agency to meet your needs.

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/agents.htm

Well the Agent has done what was required of him according to the Agent's T&C's eg do the referencing and set up the initial SO. What is unclear is what happens if after the first few weeks the tenant decides to change his bank details. Is the Agent still responsible for the extra work to set up a new SO? I've asked them and they said no. They said once the initial stages are dealt with and the tenant has moved in, the rest is up to the Landlord (for a Find a tenant only service). They did say however if I were to go onto their fully managed service then yes they will do the extras.


Thanks.

tsu3000
12-03-2007, 11:36 AM
The information that you give - account name, sort code, etc - is not normally anything more than is already present on any cheques you write. Fraud usually requires ID, passwords and so on.

Here's some info and a template here

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/standing-order.htm

Perhaps you can get them to complete their part of the SO with their details and forward it to you to complete your info and send it onto their bank?



Beeber, I have never had to create a SO before. Will the template be accepted at any bank?

Thanks.

Poppy
12-03-2007, 11:40 AM
You have described that the agents successfully fulfilled a tenant find only contract. Therefore they have done their job.

It's now your turn to manage this letting. Send the letter and a standing order form without delay to your tenants. You could help further by supplying a stamped addressed envelope to either their bank (being instructed) or your home address.

If you don't feel able to manage the property yourself, you should consider employing an agent to do so on your behalf.

jeffrey
12-03-2007, 13:28 PM
There is no need for a specific standing orderform, although T's Bank might have a pet form available. A SO can be set up by letter or even telephone call from T to his/her Bank.

Tenantzone
12-03-2007, 17:23 PM
If you want the rent you needs to tell him where to pay it.

I wouldn't faff around with forms in the post. Tell him your details and he will probably set it online. I have swapped current acounts twice since being with my current LL (to get best deals). Not that he would know unless he compared my details each month. I just set up new SO online then cancel the old one online. Takes 2 min.

Tenantzone
12-03-2007, 17:28 PM
Having re-read your post, surely if he currently pays you by SO then he must know your bank details already???

If he does online banking he can just look online to get your details. If not, he can phone the bank and they will tell him the account number and sort code of the person he is paying.

You don't need to be involved in this at all. He can just get your details off his old bank and give them to the new one.

Joannepowell
13-03-2007, 00:14 AM
Just in addition, the tenant doesn't even need to set up a standing order to make deposit into an account. If your tenant does on line banking he can set up a bill payment and just organise a transfer from his bank to yours. Again, on line bill payments need to be actioned 2 to 3 days in advance of the payment becoming due.

I pay several of my bills by this method and it suits my purposes wonderfully.

You might want to consider opening a seperate bank account for the deposit of the rents and this would prevent you having to pass your personal account details on and make it easier to spot if anything untoward starts going on with the account.

I totally understand your worries regarding the issue of divulging your bank account details as I have recently become the victim of identify theft myself (by a tenant no less)! However, you have to consider that your tenant might also be worried about passing you his bank details.... touche!

Regards

J

Furat
13-03-2007, 07:32 AM
When you change your bank account, doesn't the new bank helpfully transfer all you SOs and regular payments automatically?

The inof the tenant wants is on your cheques, too.

Tenantzone
13-03-2007, 11:51 AM
When you change your bank account, doesn't the new bank helpfully transfer all you SOs and regular payments automatically?

Lots will if you ask them to. It's often easier to do SO yourself though. It's easier to let the banks change over your DD's though as that actually involves contacting each company which can be a pain.

rewop46
14-03-2007, 15:23 PM
As a matter of course we fill the SO in with the tenant and then take it to their bank ourselves, however inconvenient it is. This makes sure you know it's done properly; if the tenant is happy with this then you don't have to worry. If they are not then you have to wonder why they don't want you to save themselves the hassle. In the case of an agent, check how they do it, they may just leave it to the tenant.

I may sound paranoid but I go through the rubbish bags when a dodgy tenant leaves. It shocks you when you find credit card applications filled in with your details on them. Even more when you pick up the post and find a letter - addressed to you - asking for further information before they can issue a card.

Fortunately no one's succeeded because they're not clever enough but it does make you think.:confused:

jeffrey
14-03-2007, 15:34 PM
As a matter of course we fill the SO in with the tenant and then take it to their bank ourselves, however inconvenient it is. This makes sure you know it's done properly; if the tenant is happy with this then you don't have to worry. If they are not then you have to wonder why they don't want you to save themselves the hassle. In the case of an agent, check how they do it, they may just leave it to the tenant.

I may sound paranoid but I go through the rubbish bags when a dodgy tenant leaves. It shocks you when you find credit card applications filled in with your details on them. Even more when you pick up the post and find a letter - addressed to you - asking for further information before they can issue a card.

Fortunately no one's succeeded because they're not clever enough but it does make you think.:confused:

But then see today's Times article re twelve Banks criticised for disposing of customers' ID/financial details forms etc. in paper-bins: unshredded ammo for any passing crook or conman.

rewop46
14-03-2007, 16:57 PM
Yes I know, it is very worrying.

I also read that interest rates should be raised to steady the property market. If it does that then we (landlords) are all in deep s**t

I'm not worried though, with what I've learnt from this business I could live for free for as long as I like in the best of flats - anyone know which letting agency Tony & Cherie Blair use?;)

Joannepowell
14-03-2007, 17:05 PM
Better still rewop46 - why don't you run for the position of primeminister! In that role you might be able to pull a few strings and even out the playing field /level the scales of justice...

I'd vote for you! ;)

J

Miffy
14-03-2007, 17:14 PM
I'm not worried though, with what I've learnt from this business I could live for free for as long as I like in the best of flats - anyone know which letting agency Tony & Cherie Blair use?

Heh heh. I was just thinking the same thing this morning. Sell the rented properties and my own property and become a professional tenant forever! A different luxury flat every 6 months or so for free :cool: .

Ericthelobster
14-03-2007, 18:02 PM
As a matter of course we fill the SO in with the tenant and then take it to their bank ourselves, however inconvenient it is.Never heard of the Royal Mail?! :D


I may sound paranoid but I go through the rubbish bags when a dodgy tenant leaves. It shocks you when you find credit card applications filled in with your details on them. Even more when you pick up the post and find a letter - addressed to you - asking for further information before they can issue a card.

Fortunately no one's succeeded because they're not clever enough but it does make you think It might make you tighten up your vetting procedures too, I'd have thought. Does this happen to you regularly, then?

rewop46
14-03-2007, 19:57 PM
I was just watching "Watchdog" on the TV and they said that Royal Mail lose 15m letters a year!

Seriously, you must think we are very sloppy but even letting agents are not infallible. We used to get our own tenants through the local press and this is where we picked up most of the rubbish. We now use agents for letting only, managing ourselves. We only had one who knocked us for the rent last year plus a naive gentleman who went guarantor for a prostitute (family friend!). She run off with her boyfriend leaving him to pay the rent. Both were referenced by the separate agencies. (see my post on guarantors)

jeffrey
15-03-2007, 10:06 AM
Yes I know, it is very worrying.

I also read that interest rates should be raised to steady the property market. If it does that then we (landlords) are all in deep s**t

I'm not worried though, with what I've learnt from this business I could live for free for as long as I like in the best of flats - anyone know which letting agency Tony & Cherie Blair use?;)

There is likely to be a vacant property at 10 Downing Street soon- but apparently the neighbouring tenant wants to move in. Why not try to gazump him?

over graced
19-03-2007, 19:14 PM
Thanks for the info Beeber.

I will probably get him to half fill in the SO form. Maybe I am worrying too much?

I don't see the point in doing this. Once the standing order is set up, your tenant will have access to the information anyway.

:)

og

lorenzo
19-03-2007, 20:08 PM
There is likely to be a vacant property at 10 Downing Street soon- but apparently the neighbouring tenant wants to move in. Why not try to gazump him?
Just be sure to issue the SoD s21 if Crash Gordon slips in... and ENFORCE IT!