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About Ged

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    Northwich, Cheshire
  1. Sorry, no, I wasn't being sarcastic. That's one of the problems with using a text only medium, you can come across as being a complete k**b without meaning to! I do ask let-only lls to pay for their own insurance, but very, very few take it up. We bundle the insurance into our managed fees because, as we're new we need to encourage lls to sign with us and that's quite a major "perk". Yep, the reference including the guarantee is £58. We've only got one let-only on our books - all the rest are under management - so the majority of our references are going to cost £58. I suppose we could do "free" referencing in order to let more managed properties and then just have the monthly management fee as the total office income, but it's a bit of a risky decision to take right now. I did actually speak to my wife about it, but we don't think it's the right time for us to go down that route. Whereabouts are you based? Ged
  2. It's usual for a tenant to pay one months rent up front and a sum equal to one months rent as a deposit. Sometimes, landlords will accept less than that, but it's very rare. I know of only one case in six years where that's happened. Something your brother could look into is that some Councils run a "bond scheme" whereby they say that they'll pay the deposit if required. Usually, the letter from the Council is enough to convince the landlord and they don't actually take the money from the Council - it's just there in case. He'll probably need to speak to someone in Housing at his local Council. If he's on the scheme, he'll only need ot find the advance rent. Hope this helps, Ged
  3. Too late now, but in my opinion, you shouldn't have signed it. However, when you sign a tenancy agreement, you're entering into a legally binding contract that says that you will rent this property for a period of how ever long the agreement lasts. If you want to end your tenancy before then, you would either have to comtinue paying the rent for complete length of the tenancy or you could ask your landlord to release you from your obligations. Now, if that property was to go onto the market again, the landlord would incur charges for readvertising, etc, so it's normal for him to pass those charges onto you - hopefully this would be considerably less than the cost of continuing to pay the rent! However, to leave it open-ended and not give you any idea of costs is a bit of a non-no. I think you're misunderstanding the situation - the landlord can't simply knock on the door, tell you that he's going to move back into the house and hoick you out. He needs to give you the notice that's required by law - usually two months. I'm assuming you're on a fixed term tenancy, so what'll happen is that the landlord will let you know at least two months before the end of your tenancy whether he's going to renew or not. If he's going to renew, then that's fine. But if not, you'll have two months in order to find alternative accommodation. But there have been significant reforms to tenancy laws in recent years and there's more to come - see http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/rent...privaterenting/ for details of the latest paper regarding private renting in the UK. Regards, Ged
  4. We're not ARLA accredited - partly because ARLA wants us to pay a membership fee, pay for and attend some of their courses - none of which are anywhere near me and basically want to make me jumps through hoops. I think it was going to cost nearly 2k for the first year? Soon or later though, I'm going to have to join. Well, it's for the tenants benefit too, in a way, as we can say to the landlord "Look, they've been credit=checked and we've also got a rent guarentee on them too..." I would like to think that, in time, we could "lose" tenant charges and load the landlord charges, but then I'd get it in the neck from them! Doesn't charge landlords at all? How's he going to make any money? One thing that personally annoys me is that if you ask some LA what their application fees are, they'll quote you a figure. Usually, the figure is very attractive. So, you view a property, fill out the forms and pay the fee. Some time down the line, they ask you for another fee - they'll call it administration or something. Now, by that time, you've viewed the property, you've committed to it and you know you won't get the original fee back, so you bite the bullet and pay this additional charge. No, sorry, I think you misunderstood me - I said that landlords would never pay for the tenants referencing fee. I also said that referencing landlords might be a good idea, but didn't know how that could be done. I read recently that some lenders are allowing tenants to complete their tenancy where properties have been repossessed by mortgage holders, especially if the tenants can show that they've paid the rent on time. However, I do understand your principle...actually, do you know what? I'm going to suggest to my wife that for a limited period, we don't charge tenants any fee at all. We couldn't load the landlords charges to make up for that missing income, but it might be a useful exercise to see what response there is - or isn't. It does mean though, that each applicant is going to cost me something in the order of £58, as they'd still need to be referenced. Any of the previous posters want to chip in some cash to help me out? Regards, Ged
  5. You misunderstood, it wasn't sarcasm, it was disbelief. I really don't understand your concern about checking salary details. If they can't be checked, then what would be the point of asking? Regards, Ged
  6. I don't understand your point about being Devils Advocate. However, we charge the tenant an application and referencing fee - hopefully that fee covers the admin involved, the cost of reference and the cost of the policy, but in some cases we've had to stand that additional cost. At the moment, we charge tenants £67.50 for application/referencing/credit check. Actually, the first tenant gets charged that, any subsequent tenant get charged £45. You'll know, I imagine, how much people like Homelet charge lettings agents, so you can see that we don't, in my opinion, over-charge. We don't charge landlords a set-up fee, an arrangement fee or anything like that. For a let-only service, we charge 50% of the first months rent and for managed properties, we charge a flat fee of 10% on-going. How do your charges compare? Regards, Ged
  7. Which referencing agency did you go though? _All_ of the ones I've had dealings with over the years have a consent section that you as a tenant have to sign. I'd be very surprised if you hadn't given consent, whether you realised it or not. Did you just think that referencing agencies simply accept what people put on their application forms? What would be the point in referencing anyone if that were true? Regards, Ged
  8. It would be unusual for a vacating tenant to pay for an outgoing inventory - whatever that is. Usually at the end of a tenancy, there is a check-out procedure whereby the property condition gets checked against the inventory that was given to you at the beginning of the tenancy. Perhaps this is what your landlady means? Personally, I wouldn't pay, but do check your tenancy agreement. Regards, Ged
  9. Er, yes, as their employee - you - has given permission for the referencing agency to approach your employers for the information. Regards, Ged
  10. Well, you - the applicant - gives me/them that information in the application form. You also consent to the referencing agents contacting your employer to confirm the information given. Regards, Ged
  11. Is this the part where we're supposed to start ranting and insulting each other then? Just one thing from my side first though - I'm not your mate. OK, off you go then... Ged
  12. Negotiate down to £20 a head? It costs me more than that to do the credit check/referencing! Oh and you might be surprised to know that estate agents - why are you renting through an estate agent, by the way, don't you know that they're the scum of the Earth? - and letting agents - who are nothing but kindness and beauty personified - have to abide by exactly the same data protection rules as anyone else? You're happy to give your information to a non-UK based establishment that, legally, doesn't have to abide by the UKs data protection laws, but you are reluctant to give that same information to a company that is UK-based and does comply? Regards, Ged
  13. Why would any landlord agree to paying for you to be referenced? It's not going to happen. We don't charge a renewal fee - not to the tenants and not to the landlords. Now if I were a landlord and you came up to me with a list of things you'd been charged for and said "Right mate, I'll have your property if you knock of this amount..." then my answer would be "Thanks, but no thanks. I'll just wait for the next tenant to come along who won't give me any grief!" so what happens to you? Well, you've already paid those charges, so you'll lose them. You'll lose the house and when the next property comes along, you'll have to pay them all over again. Unless the property has been on the market for a long time, unless you're the only people who've shown any interest and unless the landlord is desperate, you are on a hiding to nothing. It'll probably make you feel better, but it won't work. Regards, Ged
  14. How much do you think it costs letting agents to reference tenants? £125 for two is actually not much more than the actual cost to the agent, so you got a pretty good deal there. And so what if prices drop? If you're selling, as long as the property you're buying also drops by the same amount, then you're not in any worse a situation, are you? The situation isn't as bad as some peolpe would have you beleive, but as that argument is outside the scope of "Tenant Credit Checks" then perhaps we shouldn't go there. Regards, Ged
  15. Good grief, is someone paying me to answer all these? This is my personal take on these two imaginary tenants and other letting agents will have different views, so don't start shouting at me - OK? TENANT A - the short answer is yes, I do trust that the rent will be paid. Either the tenant will pay it or the insurance we take out against the tenant defaulting will pay. The long answer is - a referencing check is sort of like an MOT on a car - it's really only valid at the time you take it out. So, the tenant could be perfect in every way during the process and then lose their job - stuff happens. As a tenant, they should let us or the landlord know what's happening, so that as problems can be managed. I haven't come across a situation like you're describing, so I really can't tell you what I'd do in that situation. As an aside, a lot of letting agents are becoming more reluctant to deal with people on LHA because it does go straight to the tenant and they're wary of what the tenant will do when they get hold of that money. From a business point of view, I'm more than happy to deal with people in receipt of benefits and can put them through the referencing process and ultimately take out insurance against default. You can't take out the insurance unless the prospective tenant is referenced, by the way. From a slightly more personal point of view, I realise that due to the current climate, a lot more people are having to claims benefits - they're not all spongers and lay-abouts, so we'll work with them to find them a landlord who will accept them. I see that as being part of my job really, convincing landlords who might otherwise not accept tenants on benefits. OK, so TENANT B - you have to show that you have an income of about 2.5 times the monthly rent - that doesn't always mean that you get paid that, as you can take into account other means of income (savings, pensions, etc), so strictly speaking, in the situation you've described, the tenant would pass referencing. However, if the landlord or agent is at all twitchy, then the tenant could offer to pay an amount of rent in advance. Look, it's about minimising risk to the landlord, so if you paid six months rent in advance, then you've absolutely minimised any risk for the first six months, haven't you? After that period, the landlord/letting agent will see that they have a history with you and should be able to extend your tenancy under more normal terms. The implied question is which one get the property...well, that's easy...the one who shows me how keen they are by completing the eight page application form first! Oh and I forgot to mention earlier - I had to do a company referencing check on The Walt Disney Corporation a year or two ago when they rented out a property I was looking after - it was easier from them to rent a large property for several US based members of staff who were over here on a relatively short-term project rather than booking them hotel rooms on a week by week basis. Some of the figures that came up on that form were so huge as to be almost unbelievable and we were only looking at the UK arm of the corporation too! Actually, that might also be a solution to your TENANT B too - get the company to apply for the tenancy and go through referencing? Hope this helps, Ged
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