Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To be shocked at the incompetence of the estate agent industry?!

101 replies

HayzCo · 01/05/2021 18:18

We are expecting a baby very soon, so sold our flat and have decided to rent as we aren’t sure exactly where to buy next and we’re happy to sell chain free.

My husband started his own business last year and I’m currently not working, but we can put up the full cash of a 12 month contract. It’s like talking to a brick wall trying to get EAs to understand the benefit of making this offer to a landlord. It’s literally like talking to the “computer says no” character from Little Britain. They’re telling me an employed couple paying monthly is more attractive but can’t explain why.

I’m sorry if this offends any estate agents, I’ve written the subject partly to grab your attention, as I would genuinely like to understand how a couple that doesn’t quite meet the “standard form” criteria can secure a rental! Surely putting the money up front is more security for a landlord.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

picturesandpickles · 01/05/2021 18:21

Oh EA are very frustrating! They are especially risk averse on the lettings side but I think like the Police they have seen too many cases where things go bad so now see rent arrears, eviction, bailiffs as the possible ending to everything.

The thing is if you pay one year then don't pay after that - the landlord still has to evict you which could cost a lot. So they won't feel so reassured.


icedgem85 · 01/05/2021 18:30

Unfortunately renting really sucks. They won’t want the hassle of dealing with you. Most landlords like someone to stay for more than a year even if it’s a 12 month contract, if you pay up front they’ll assume it’s for that time only and you’ll move on and they have the cost and bother of finding new tenants. Plus if you damaged the property they may assume you couldn’t pay etc.


Tippexy · 01/05/2021 18:31

YANBU they really are the worst of society.


user113424742258631134 · 01/05/2021 18:35

So from their point of view, you're both unemployed and have no secure income stream to show you could meet the rent commitments?

Surely it's not that difficult for you to understand why they might be wary.


littlepattilou · 01/05/2021 18:37


Why are you offering up 12 months rent in advance? Confused


wombatgoeswild · 01/05/2021 18:38

It's probably more to do with not having possibly dodgy people in the property. Large chunks of money are difficult to account for and historically may have indicated money laundering.

I've had tenants who paid 12 months in advance, the letting agent holds onto it & pays us monthly.


user113424742258631134 · 01/05/2021 18:38

Offering to pay a year in advance probably makes you sound a bit suspect too. You must have seen news reports of people doing similar and then turning properties into cannabis farms or subletting?


warmandtoasty2day · 01/05/2021 18:39

too many LL have had bad experiences it seems, but i would be wary too if i was one tbh. no matter how decent my would be renters appeared to be.


jimmyhill · 01/05/2021 18:39

Yeah. You have an insecure income. Your lump sum implies a risk that you'll be out after a year. And these arrangements are often a warning sign of bad tenants, in particular in relation to cannabis factories.

I'm not a landlord but an experienced enough tenant to know that you are not the attractive prospect you think you are.


littlepattilou · 01/05/2021 18:40


It's probably more to do with not having possibly dodgy people in the property. Large chunks of money are difficult to account for and historically may have indicated money laundering.

I've had tenants who paid 12 months in advance, the letting agent holds onto it & pays us monthly.

This. ^ I would wonder where someone had got hold of potentially £7000 to £8500 (or over 10 grand if in a major city,) to pay a full 12 months rent in advance!

ohpleasesleepbabysleep · 01/05/2021 18:48

We’ve recently done this. Similar situation. Sold our house and we are now renting in a new area while we decide where to buy next. Husband is self employed and I’m a SAHM. We paid one year upfront (and it was quite a lot more than the figure mentioned above!) no one questioned where the money came from because we’ve obviously just sold our house so it’s not difficult to figure out why we have the ability to pay in a lump sum Confused Every estate agent we dealt with told us that in order to do this we would have to evidence that we had x times the monthly rental rate in our bank account, on top of the amount needed to pay 12 months in advance (I can’t remember what this amount was unfortunately.) but it wasn’t an issue for any of them... we also had to pass a credit check. It really didn’t seem that unusual to anyone, considering our circumstances Smile


HayzCo · 01/05/2021 18:49

It’s a said state of affairs that people who decide to start businesses are seen as so risky and lumped into the bracket of drug dealers, no wonder entrepreneurship so pathetic in the UK compared to most other developing countries. But yes, some of these responses do make me see. We have income, we are making money from the business, but we don’t have the usual payslips.

We can pay 12 month upfront because we just sold our house, and understand need for additional security since we don’t have “traditional” employment currently.

Anyone can lose their job... the risk after 12 months is the same for anyone if LL (via EA) considers what we are saying.

OP posts:

HayzCo · 01/05/2021 18:50

self employed isn’t same as unemployed and shouldn’t be seen as such should it?

OP posts:

ohpleasesleepbabysleep · 01/05/2021 18:51

Also before anyone jumps on me, my point about what we paid is to show that they really weren’t questioning why we had that amount of money to hand - we absolutely aren’t rolling in it or anything but we do live in the South East and it’s not particularly cheap to rent a family home. (Although it’s still less than the rent we paid on a one bed in London zone 2 several years ago!)


PoTheDog · 01/05/2021 18:52

Oh I agree! Selling EAs are bad, but they seem to put the most useless ones on the lettings side... less money involved I suppose.

I have spoken to the loveliest (but useless) ea lady three times today about sending me some paperwork. It's still not arrived in my inbox so I'll chase again on Tuesday. And this is not an isolated occurrence with just her.


DelurkingAJ · 01/05/2021 18:53

Now DH and I had this when we were PhD students. We were 25 and 23 with guaranteed income and yet because we were students they couldn’t show us anything that wasn’t a student property. We eventually found one who would, LL was happy and his DM described us as model tenants when we moved out four years later.


AnyFucker · 01/05/2021 18:54

You are not “offering the landlord more security” by offering 12 months upfront

What happens at the end of 12 months ? It is a known risk that potential tenants are offering blocks of money are 1) trying to evade comprehensive referencing 2) are trying to circumvent inspections for nefarious reasons eg. setting up a marijuana farm

I am a landlord and I would not consider you because you are trying to push money upfront


lastqueenofscotland · 01/05/2021 18:57

Paying rent up front is a massive red flag in terms of money laundering or using the property for illicit purposes.
It doesn’t lump you into the category of drug dealers, stop being so bloody dramatic, but estate agents have a duty of care to their clients and may well be once bitten, twice shy, and prefer to take someone with stable employment. It’s much less risky for them especially given the fines for misconduct.


ohpleasesleepbabysleep · 01/05/2021 19:02

@HayzCo I completely agree with you - anyone can lose their job and everyone’s circumstances can change. As long as you can pass a credit check then it really shouldn’t make any difference. We’d been paying a mortgage for years, why would we suddenly be more unreliable because we are renting? At the end of our 12 months, we switch to a rolling monthly contract; subject to exactly the same rental conditions as anyone else. We also know that the previous tenants only stayed for 8 months because they were from overseas and he was recalled back home by his company. The house was the empty for a month while they found another tenant. So at least our landlord now has the security that no matter what, they have 12 months rent.


HayzCo · 01/05/2021 19:03

Genuine question here, why are you finding it hard to account for our situation other than to presume we are drug dealers or dodgy people? If you start your own business but need to move before you have 12 months of accounts? It seems this just doesn’t allow people access to the rental market. Very much regretting selling to rent now, given the incredible close mindedness to the varied situations people live, not least the literally millions of self employed people (who as a country we claim to wish well!)

It’s amazing to see three separate people jump to conclusion of cannabis farms! You have to laugh.

OP posts:

HayzCo · 01/05/2021 19:05

Thanks for offering some hope. Sounds like exactly same position, also in SE. Hope we come across an open minded landlord or atleast able to have a human conversation soon to provide what is needed.. second baby due in July 😬

OP posts:

AnyFucker · 01/05/2021 19:08

I didn’t “jump to conclusions” about anything

The agents don’t know you. I am sure you are wonderful people. But your situation is high risk for a landlord. If a CV professional advised you to sell and go into rented in your current circumstances they want sacking. It was a bad idea I am afraid.


TakeYourFinalPosition · 01/05/2021 19:09

I’ve been self employed for nearly a decade and rented for five years of that, and I was never treated like I was unemployed or asked for accounts. I had to produce accounts for my mortgage, but never to rent...

Upfront payments just aren’t popular. Most landlords prefer the money coming in monthly, and it’s harder to account for the lump sum upfront. It’s also perceived to increase the risk of letting to you, rightly or wrongly.

I’m not sure if the accounts thing is a Covid thing, and related to the speed of the market right now, but I don’t think it’s normal across the board. I’d be trying to find an EA happy for you to pay normally.


AnyFucker · 01/05/2021 19:10

I don’t know where “CV” came from there


DobbyTheHouseElk · 01/05/2021 19:12

I’m a LL. I have experienced this a few times. EA are very odd about this.

I had a tenant who had divorced and was looking to rent for a short time while she got herself together and was ready to buy. She had the cash in the bank from her divorce, but the EA wouldn’t let her rent as she didn’t have an income.

I said look this is bonkers. I’m happy to let to her. EA said no it’s too risky. I said I’m fine, go,ahead.

Then I had someone who needed to live somewhere for 6 months for work, but no more. The company gave me 6 months rent in advance. Worked out fine.

I’ve had tenants with low income jobs, lose the job and have nothing. I don’t understand the way EA work out risk. To me it’s all a risk. I’m happy to let a property to someone if I think they are going to be a good tenant regardless of the financial situation.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?