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AIBU to think it shouldn't be this hard to rent a house?!

(94 Posts)
Someonefindmeahouseplease Mon 25-Sep-17 12:15:53

We have been looking for somewhere to rent for the last three months. We don't live in the country we are moving to which makes it all the more difficult.

We have found several houses and applied for them only to be messed about by agents or told the landlord has chosen someone else.

We now have two weeks until DH starts his new job and we have no where to live.

Why is it so difficult!
AIBU to ask for Mumsnetters help to find me a house?

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Mon 25-Sep-17 12:19:20

Are you in a position to offer say 3 months rent up front? Always attractive to potential ll. Have you got fab references? Pets - have you offered a separate pet bond?

Silvertap Mon 25-Sep-17 12:20:06

Where in the country are you?

5rivers7hills Mon 25-Sep-17 12:22:10

So much easier to sort out once you are in-country. Can you rent something short term (airbnb, serviced apartment etc) whilst looking?

Sprinklestar Mon 25-Sep-17 12:22:31

I'm an expat, most people come here and rent a serviced apartment for a few weeks whilst they find a home to rent. No one seems to take you seriously whilst you're still in your home country. If you're relocating for work, why isn't DH's company helping you with the move?

Someonefindmeahouseplease Mon 25-Sep-17 12:44:03

We can't afford to rent something short term. Money is very tight, we have enough saved for a deposit and moving costs but that's all.

He is working for the government. They have been no help at all with moving.

It seems to be a thing in England that the landlord gets to choose who to rent to rather than it being first come first served like it is where I am now. We lost out on the last house because the landlord chose a single person to live in their three bed house rather than us (a family with two children) because they didn't want children in the property. Why a single person would need a three bedroom house is beyond me!

We are looking in Wiltshire.

Fannylodger Mon 25-Sep-17 12:47:58

In the UK the landlord chooses from a pool of applicants, unless it's a not great house with no applicants. I'd wait until you get to Wiltshire. Stay in a short term let or airbnb for the first few weeks? Added bonus is airbnb/holiday let will be furnished and have everything you need so you won't need to shop immediately.

HaudYerWheeshtBawbag Mon 25-Sep-17 12:49:02

Landlords need to be sensible, so I don’t blame them being very careful, I’d be very reluctant to let my property soemone whose homeless and just starting a new job tbh.

If a single person can pay the rent and in advance if go for that option, before a family.

WishfulThanking Mon 25-Sep-17 12:50:50

When I'm looking for renters I don't even consider people not currently staying in the country. Sorry.

Someonefindmeahouseplease Mon 25-Sep-17 13:04:43

Good to know that. We are in Scotland so not a completely different country. Its first come first served here, I've never come across this system of the landlord getting to choose.
We have all of our furniture and two cats so staying in an air BnB wouldn't be an easy answer.
There is hardly anything to even enquire about as it is. I just had no idea it would be this hard!

Justanothernameonthepage Mon 25-Sep-17 13:06:34

You might have a slightly better chance if you join a local Facebook group and explain asking if anyone knows of anywhere.

m4rdybum Mon 25-Sep-17 13:09:00

When I'm looking for renters I don't even consider people not currently staying in the country. Sorry.

Why is that? I'm curious.

Justanothernameonthepage Mon 25-Sep-17 13:09:18

Xpost. If you have cats, you might have more success if you can rehome them with friends/family. Or if you can afford to offer a larger deposit.

jay55 Mon 25-Sep-17 13:16:18

I sympathise. I'm struggling to get somewhere right now and living in travelodges etc mon-fri.
Tired of being shown round places only to be told the landlord has an offer, just wanted everyone's time.

GreyHare Mon 25-Sep-17 13:23:24

What bit of Wiltshire are you looking in? I know the Salisbury area is popular and nice affordable houses do tend to go very quickly round here. The over priced and grotty ones tend to linger for a while.

JustPutSomeGlitterOnIt Mon 25-Sep-17 13:26:26

Same here I'm afraid. We looked for 6 months to upsize from 2 bed to 3, as we had a 1 year old and were expecting twins.
This is in an upmarket, central area of Bristol.

Got told:
No children
No pets
1 child but no more
2 children but no more
1 child per bedroom
No under 5s
No self employed

Well, we have 3 children and a dog, and he's self employed, so we're fucked haha!

Despite us both earning very well, offering 6 months up front, guarantors and immaculate references, we still found landlords of 3/4 bed houses choosing childless couples or sharers (WTF!)

In the end we gave up and currently are still in our little 2 bed 😂

But basically it's legal discrimination. Yes it's a free market but God knows how it's legal to discriminate entirely as the landlord wishes. I've even seen adverts specifying 'All girl sharers only'!

I've written to our local MP about it.
Yes, trying to rent is shit.

5rivers7hills Mon 25-Sep-17 13:30:00

I've even seen adverts specifying 'All girl sharers only'!

The worst tenants I ever had were a group of all girl sharers!

Chloebobbins Mon 25-Sep-17 13:32:56

We are in Scotland too, I find it like a race to rent over here. You turn up to view a property with three or so other people, and it is literally like a race to get back to the estate agents to pay a holding fee for the property before one of the other people does.

innagazing Mon 25-Sep-17 13:35:51

I'm a landlord too, and wouldn't rent to someone still living in a different country, or in fact to anyone I hadn't actually met regardless of which country they lived in.
I would never adapt a first come first served approach!
I see meeting the people as an important part of the referencing process and whether I think they will make suitable tenants and look after my property whilst they live there.
Referencing is also much more difficult when someone doesn't live in the same country, and gives you much less information-eg have they got any county court judgements against them. Also can't use a guarantor when required from a different country. Also, transferring monies is more time consuming and difficult.

Unihorn Mon 25-Sep-17 13:37:10

Have you tried OpenRent or Gumtree? We always rent directly with the landlord to avoid messing about with agencies.

VacantExpression Mon 25-Sep-17 13:38:29

Whereabouts in Wiltshire, specifically OP?

alltouchedout Mon 25-Sep-17 13:38:59

You may get results joining local Facebook groups for the areas you are looking at and asking about private lets.

HamishsMomma Mon 25-Sep-17 13:42:11

OP I really sympathise - I was looking for ages but have a small dog which puts 99% of landlords off - despite many Agents telling me in their experience dogs are better than children! The mind boggles about that statement - have just secured a place after 6 months of searching and moved in 2 weeks. Keep going you will get there and 'Good Luck'.

Amd724 Mon 25-Sep-17 13:43:25

I moved to the UK from the US for my MSc. I was going to find my own place, but found it so difficult to do outside of the country, that I ended up living on campus for a year. I couldn’t even find out how to get utilities set up before I moved in. It was going to be 12 weeks before internet was set up and they were going to make me pay a deposit.

It’s why my Uni (York) guarantees housing for all international students, because its just really difficult to rent as a foreigner, in the UK or outside. When my friend and I moved off campus, as we started our PhDs, we found that she couldn’t use a guarantor from her home country (Costa Rica) and had to pay 6 months upfront in cash. I was able to pay for a guarantor from the US, but the fees from the agency totalled up to £700 each, not including deposit and first months rent. It was a scam, and they only charge these fees to international students. If we had been working, even as someone who is international, we wouldn’t have been charged these fees. I couldn’t afford to repay the same fees the second year to renew my lease so my friend and I moved on campus before I met my future husband. After about 7 months I moved into the flat he owned. He saw how high my rent to the University was, essentially to rent without paying fees, and said to just move in with him. I saved £400 a month by moving in to his flat and contributed by paying half utilities and mortgage. He had previously had a lodger in his spare bedroom, and she moved out when I moved in. Paying half the mortgage and utilities and I still saved £400 a month!

It’s utterly ridiculous, and I definitely know the rental market takes advantage of anyone who is not from the area, let alone the entire country.

CitySnicker Mon 25-Sep-17 13:45:34

Scottish landlord here.
I definitely don't rent automatically to first come, first served.
I wouldn't be happy renting to someone I hadn't met
Pets and small children are risky so, given the choice, I would rent to someone without either as long as I got a good vibe from them and they were in steady employment.

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