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Letting agents ... can't let from us due to maternity leave

(10 Posts)
Bethan86 Thu 26-May-11 17:54:38

My partner and I have been looking for a bigger property to let as we have our first baby on the way. All our financial stuff is my name because he has had past problems with credit history. Today I was told by a letting agent that they would not let me a property in my name as I will be going on maternity leave, therefore the property has to go in my partners name. I was very suprised, has anyone else experienced this problem? Or does anyone know if they can actually refuse to let to me? My first thought was how on earth would I rent somewhere if i was a single mum, if they won't let to someone on maternity leave It just didn't sound quite right to me!

MoreBeta Thu 26-May-11 18:03:35

The letitng agents usually have to check your ability to pay the rent. If on maternity leave you will not have significant income.

One way round this is to offer to pay say 6 month rent up front so your future income becomes irrelevant.

Ishani Thu 26-May-11 20:11:25

Or ask somebody to act as a garantor for you or fund a property not using a letting agency, in fact that's not a bad idea anyway them it can be in joint names and your partner is jointly liable for the rent.

microserf Thu 26-May-11 20:50:07

I have had a similar problem and the agents insisted on knowing when i would go back to work and what my salary would be when i started again. It is very annoying, but I suppose they are just trying to make sure you'll have enough income to cover rent during the leave.

lechatnoir Thu 26-May-11 21:27:22

Just tell them your company are either paying you extra on top of SMP or that you're only taking 3 months maternity leave because you've got rent to pay :grin:. The only other option is find someone to act as guarantor (who will have to be referenced) or offer to pay quarterly or 6 months up front or a bigger deposit.

lechatnoir Thu 26-May-11 21:28:15

Oh, and ask whether they kick out all their pregnant tenent's 'just in case' they can't pay the rent hmm

Firawla Thu 26-May-11 21:37:07

We are facing a similar thing, people just won't rent to us at the moment due to 'they don't want people with kids' and as there is so much demand for rental at the moment it seems that landlords are free to do this as they will always find someone else to rent from them. I am not even on maternity leave (sahm) we just rely on dh's income which can cover the rent, so the kids/pregnancy thing should be irrelevant but for some weird reason it seems to put landlords off. We have also been asked for like 6 months rent in advance, or deposits of 3 months but i feel its take the piss a bit, because why should having kids really necessitate you stumping up huge amounts of cash when noone else has to? An agent told me its not actually legal for the landlords to be discriminating in this way, but unfortunately these days that is what they are all doing
If you have proof of your income/maternity pay see if they will take any notice of that maybe, but i suppose they are thinking like what if you don't go back to work after the baby or something like that?
Maybe if you can find a sympathetic/understanding landlord who is just letting it out themselves, without going through an agent, then you can explain situation and maybe get lucky with renting somewhere? but I think you might face these difficulties from quite a few landlords as renting places is just a nightmare these days.
When are you due? hopefully you got enough time to get it sorted and find somewhere

StormBird Fri 27-May-11 22:06:21

Wow.........and I just thought it was us.

We're due our first child on 14th July. We've been looking to rent for the past 3 months.Twice now we have put holding deposits down on properties and then been told that becuase of demand they have taken the holding deposit of 5 or 6 couples and then let the landlord decide who they would like to let to. That sounds like bollocks to me, cos not long after the same Estate Agents called us asking if we were still looking and that they thought we might struggle doe to the fact we have a baby on the way.

So what! What problems is a baby going to cause?

Yes I will be taking maternity leave and if they like they are welcome to see my companies Maternity Policy so they can see that I will be on full pay for the first 20 weeks (around 5 months) and half pay for 19 weeks after that...I'm only planning on taking 6/7months off.

The other thing we have to contend with is the fact that my partner is self employed - apparently this is als not desirable.

What are we going to do. We currently live with my partners father (who isn't a very understanding man) and he wants us out asap. I've even resorted to putting our names down on the housing register but to no avail because apparently we have the finacial means to resolve our own housing situation.

We haven't been told that my maternity could cause a problem but after reading the previous posts I'm beginning to think this is another obstacle we will need to try and get across eventually.

What else are we meant to do???

I'm at the end of my tether here....

Sorry for the rant and a belated hello to everyone on the thread.

Does anyone have any advice please?

Ta! STORM x

northerngirl41 Fri 27-May-11 22:48:41

So what! What problems is a baby going to cause?
Well potentially if the landlord has other flats in the building and the soundproofing is rubbish, they could lose rent because of your baby if it disturbs the other tenants.

Also wear and tear is a lot more when you have kids drawing on walls, inserting banana into the floorboards and puking on the carpets (and that's just what my kids have managed this week!!).

HollyBollyBooBoo Sat 28-May-11 09:08:07

I was on mat leave when we rented our house and our letting agent didn't even mention it as an issue. Rent is 50/50 between DH and I though rather than all in my name.

Honestly not sure what the solution is for you (not helpful I know) the rental market is so strong and houses are going to whomever the LL wants.

Keep looking, try different agents, try private rental properties?

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