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For thinking this new Landlord is being unreasonable/unfair

(47 Posts)
RentConfusion Sat 25-Feb-17 13:25:07

Ok I'm not sure if this is in the correct topic, but as I'm on the App it is the most appropriate Topic I could find!

So, I'm currently a Disabled single mother to a 2yr old. I have recently applied for a new house to rent as my current house is just too tiny and is no longer appropriate for me or my daughter. I am trying to find an accommodating job but despite discrimination laws, I still don't seem to be getting anywhere!

Anyway, even though I don't work, my income (of 5 different sources i.e.: Tax Credits, PIP, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit & Child Maintenance attached to ex's Earnings - all of which this guy is happy to include in affordability calculations ) is still just over £27k which is a perfectly acceptable income for the rent on the property I have applied for (via a private Landlord). I did offer him 3 months rent upfront as an added assurance, and also to encourage him to choose us over the many, many other applicants! (Rental properties in my area - Harrogate- are massively over-subscribed because of extortionate house prices!)

However, because I 'don't work' this is the proposal from the Landlord that I have just received via email:

"For the purpose of giving you confidence to give notice to your current landlord, I am happy to confirm, on the basis of the screening so far, that I will rent to you on condition of maintaining 3 months rent up to 6 month. After then maintaining 2 months in advance. All regular payments by standing order.
Day 1... £2250 (3mths)
1 mth in... £750
2 mth... £750
3 mth... £750
4 mth... £0
5 mth... £750 unless you have a job earning £460+ per month, then £0
6+ mth... £750 and monthly thereafter, on one month notice from you."

Am I right in thinking this is hugely unfair or at the very least an odd thing to expect/request?

As I am going to be borrowing the 3 months upfront payment from my Mum, I will be repaying her @ £750pm for the first 3 months. And under his proposal, I'll also have to pay him £750pm for those 3 months I'll essentially be paying £1500 in rental charges for 3 months. Which is frankly impossible!

I had to pay 6 months upfront for my current home but that meant that I only had to start paying rent on month 7....

I have asked friends who paid rent in advance in order to secure a home (very common in this area, sadly) and NONE of them were required to pay monthly AS WELL???

Am I being unreasonable? Is this common practice but I've just not come across it? WWYD?

Please no nasty/unhelpful comments. I'm asking if IAMBU in order to gain constructive criticism or reassurance.

Thanks! grin

ProudBadMum Sat 25-Feb-17 13:28:05

Tell him no way. You are paying upfront so don't start paying again til after 3 months. He doesn't sound legit.

Try find someone to speak to. Do you have a decent reference from where you are now?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 25-Feb-17 13:29:14

Sounds unreasonable to me.

But being realistic, do you have other options? <that sounds much colder than I mean and doesn't acknowledge how hard and unfair the situation is>

Have you tried Shelter for advice?

RentConfusion Sat 25-Feb-17 13:29:23

I have a perfect reference from my current Letting Agent and a 4.5 years perfect reference from previous Letting Agent!

RentConfusion Sat 25-Feb-17 13:29:50

Moving I will try Shelter, thanks

worridmum Sat 25-Feb-17 13:32:45

So the landlord wants 1 year rent in 6 months? thats obcene i would not use this landlord as sounds dogey as what is stopping him giving you notice at 6 months (so you have paid for 1 year) so gets 1 years rent out of 6 months use

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 25-Feb-17 13:34:44

So it's really a deposit equal to 2 months' rent he wants isn't it?

So on day 1 you pay the 2 months worth of "deposit" plus the first month's rent and then carry on paying rent monthly.

Or is there a deposit to pay too on top of this?

If you view it as a £1500 deposit plus one month's rent, it actually doesn't sound that abnormal TBH.

Lazyjane76 Sat 25-Feb-17 13:39:39

Don't touch it, it's taking advantage of your vulnerability and quite frankly it's obscene. i hope that you can find an alternative.

mrsm43s Sat 25-Feb-17 13:41:42

It looks like he wants an additional deposit of 3 months rent for the first 3 months, dropping to 2 months after that. It doesn't seem that unreasonable to me, as what he wants is security that if you can't pay then he holds the money in hand for the period it would take to evict you. Your way would mean that after 3 months that he would have no further security at the end of 3 months, but nothing will have changed regarding your "risk" as a non-earning/non-working tenant.

I think the confusion comes because the additional deposit is being called "rent in advance". In a 3 months rent in advance situation, I'd expect 3 months rent to be paid month 1, then 3 months rent month 4 then 3 months rent month 7 etc.

Is your mum prepared to lend you the money long term? If not, I'd find another property. However, be aware that lots of insurance companies and mortgage companies explicitly forbid renting to benefit claimants as part of their T&C, so you are going to come across problems, as unfair as that may be.

AnnieAnoniMouse Sat 25-Feb-17 13:44:20

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but actually, I don't think it's unreasonable for you to start at 3 months in advance & drop to 2 months in advance after 6 months and dropping down to zero in advance if you get a job. All of your current income is from benefits linked to your ex's income - that's not exactly reliable from your Landlords POV, he's taking a big risk. Also, you aren't paying £1500 per month in rent, you are paying your rent & repaying a loan. It's nothing to do with him that you're borrowing the advanced rent. Can your Ex not lend you the money & wait longer to be repaid? Can your Mum not wait longer?

Good luck getting a job soon 💐

londonrach Sat 25-Feb-17 13:48:54

Walk from this one op.

Trifleorbust Sat 25-Feb-17 13:56:33

Taking the piss, thinking you can afford to pay him more so why not take more from you. Steer well clear.

Floggingmolly Sat 25-Feb-17 13:57:51

It's actually not that unusual to expect several months in hand...

GreyStars Sat 25-Feb-17 13:59:28

I'm guessing a deposit will be required in addition to this? Make sure that if it is a private landlord that it is kept in a scheme.

If I have understood correctly what they are wanting is three months rent in advance on a rolling basis, to cover themselves should you find you cannot pay the rent anymore, where as most ask for just a month in advance.

I don't think it's that unusual, I'm sure it does seem very unfair to you though as you know you can afford it, are a sensible person and in control of your finances but for them it is a business decision, based on horror stories of bad tenants.

They have given the option to reduce this to two months after they have seen payments being made and will reduce to the "normal" monthly in advance if you find employment. So they are putting in caveats should your situation change.

I don't think you would be unreasonable to point out your history, and ask for normal one month in advance or to ask for them to reduce it to two monthly rolling.

I hope it works out for you, it is unfair that the majority of good people get penalised for the minority's arseholes tenants out there.

BeBeatrix Sat 25-Feb-17 14:21:01

Honestly, it doesn't sound ridiculous. Not many landlords want unemployed tenants, and he's covering himself.

MustBeThursday Sat 25-Feb-17 14:25:14

I used to be in a rental contract where we paid 6 months upfront - we then paid another 6 months worth 6 months later, so in effect paid rent in 6 monthly blocks twice a year.

In your situation as he has explained it I'd expect to pay a deposit (usually about 6 weeks rent or so?), and 3 months' rent day 1, 3 months' rent again 3 months in, then 2 months' rent 6 months in and every 2 months after until you find work.

He cannot keep an additional 3 months' rent (which is what he's asking if he wants you to maintain being 3 months ahead) as additional "deposit" unless he specifies it as a deposit not rent upfront and it's in a proper tenants' deposit scheme.

So if he's saying he wants 3 months rent as an extra deposit, in the proper protection scheme, fine. If he wants 3 months' rent upfront AND monthly rent to be paid also, that's mad (and surely possibly illegal or against regulations?). I hope you manage to get something sorted soon.

LakieLady Sat 25-Feb-17 14:28:59

It's not unusual here in the south-east. I work with people who are homeless/at risk of homelessness, and big upfront payments are often the only way of getting landlords to accept people on benefits.

Some will reduce the amount of money they require by not expecting rent as well, somme don't.

You don't mention ESA in your list of income sources. If you're not getting it, you may well be entitled to it. Only £73.10 pw, but every little helps.

BarbarianMum Sat 25-Feb-17 14:29:35

Sounds rather a small buffer tbh, I've heard of similar cases where 6 months rent in advance were offered and accepted.

HaPPy8 Sat 25-Feb-17 14:33:11

I think its reasonable from his point of view but can see how it makes things difficult for you. You actually have a very good income!

EmeraldScorn Sat 25-Feb-17 14:44:50

Of course it's unreasonable but as is well known in the realm of landlordism they for the most part lack any degree of moral fibre.

You're being treated as "second class" because you're on benefits but the reality is that no one's income working or not is guaranteed, anyone could lose their job as quickly as someone could have their benefits stopped.

I understand that you need a bigger house but if I was in your shoes I'd decline his proposal; He blatantly thinks you're untrustworthy and therefore expects you to pay ahead of schedule but why should you? You shouldn't!

"If the men of property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community – the men of no property."

He is not doing you a favour by offering to rent to you, so don't let him behave like he is; If your money isn't good enough stick it out where you are for now, that's far better than having someone look down their nose at you!

Floggingmolly Sat 25-Feb-17 14:49:00

Op is not doing him a favour by renting from him either Emerald, it's a mutual business transaction. One where the owner is taking all the risk.

BarbarianMum Sat 25-Feb-17 14:57:54

The OP is under no obligation to accept the terms but it doesn't sound as if the landlord will have trouble finding a tenant if she declined.

1frenchfoodie Sat 25-Feb-17 15:03:55

I think the way the landlord has worded it is a bit strange but it is essentially (as others have said) 2 months rent deposit on move dropping to 1 month after the third. Doesn't seem crazy steep though I am used to London housing market..

Yes the landlord is dictating terms and seems overly suspicious given your excellent long term renting record but it sounds like there is lots of competition and it would have been even easier for them to not consider you at all.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sat 25-Feb-17 15:05:21

I know of cases where people have been asked for - and paid - up to a year's rent.

SilentlyScreamingAgain Sat 25-Feb-17 15:32:46

If you do decide to pay in this way, ask for proof that the mortgage payments or any loans secured on the house are up to date.

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