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An Idea To Make Things Fairer For Tenants

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If you're a tenant you'll know the rigmarole you now have to go through when moving into a new place, references, credit checks and like are all geared to shining the light on you as a tenant in a very thorough and invasive way.

So how about references from the flat your moving into, making it a legal requirement for the previous tenant to provide a reference for the flat before you sign on the dotted line. Never again would you find yourself in a place that has all the hidden annoyances the the estate agent carefully left out.

I think this would force landlords to take better care of the properties and put stop to the disappointments you can get after the deal is done. I for one would of loved to know a building waste company delivers tons of concrete to the adjacent building every morning at 7am but someone forget to mention this.

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If you're a tenant you'll know the rigmarole you now have to go through when moving into a new place, references, credit checks and like are all geared to shining the light on you as a tenant in a very thorough and invasive way.

So how about references from the flat your moving into, making it a legal requirement for the previous tenant to provide a reference for the flat before you sign on the dotted line. Never again would you find yourself in a place that has all the hidden annoyances the the estate agent carefully left out.

I think this would force landlords to take better care of the properties and put stop to the disappointments you can get after the deal is done. I for one would of loved to know a building waste company delivers tons of concrete to the adjacent building every morning at 7am but someone forget to mention this.

Runs into libel problems.

If a prospective new tenant for my current place asked me for a reference for my current landlord, I can refuse to provide it. My refusal can be construed as saying a lot, while actually saying nothing.

By making it a legal requirment, I either tell the new people how much of an assclown he is, which even if true, can cause proceedings to kick off, or lie saying he is awesome, which is of no use whatsoever to the new people when they find out quite quickly it is not the case.

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Runs into libel problems.

If a prospective new tenant for my current place asked me for a reference for my current landlord, I can refuse to provide it. My refusal can be construed as saying a lot, while actually saying nothing.

By making it a legal requirment, I either tell the new people how much of an assclown he is, which even if true, can cause proceedings to kick off, or lie saying he is awesome, which is of no use whatsoever to the new people when they find out quite quickly it is not the case.

I don't really mean a personal reference for the landlord or though that could be included, but rather and appraisal of the flat itself and the location. Some things like early morning noise and problems with insulation are things that as a tenant you are unlikely to find out until its too late.

The point is once a measure like this was in place then the landlords would have to act more reasonably so libel shouldn't be an issue either. If it was landlords could sue easily enough.

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This would be a kind of HIPS vfor tenants. However the problem is that a seller can be sued for giving false information. Would you have it that a tenant could also be sued? I don't think I would be happy to do it. I might be happy to talk to the tenant if s/he rang me and chatted informally. Isn't that much better?

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Like any reference you should tell the truth, I really don't think people would bother lying as is wouldn't be worth the consequences, plus in most cases there's enough truthful information to not have to lie.

Maybe a form of contact information form the old tenant for the new one would be enough, then at least they can say what they want.

One thing for sure is that at the moment it is very unbalanced and in favour of the landlord who very often get away with a below par performance.

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Like any reference you should tell the truth, I really don't think people would bother lying as is wouldn't be worth the consequences, plus in most cases there's enough truthful information to not have to lie.

Maybe a form of contact information form the old tenant for the new one would be enough, then at least they can say what they want.

One thing for sure is that at the moment it is very unbalanced and in favour of the landlord who very often get away with a below par performance.

It is, but putting a requirement on a previous tenant where they have no incentive to tell a difficult truth is not the answer.

Surveyors get paid.

HIP compilers get paid.

Previous tenants do not.

Giving contact information for the previous tenant to the new one without permission is also a DPA breach by the way, so those rules would also have to be amended.

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Why are credit checks and other references "invasive"? There are plenty of tenants out there who are basically crooks and stop paying the rent as soon as they move in, trash the place and so on. If you were letting your house to a stranger would you not want to check up on them?

Also the references available are hardly thorough. I've just let a room in a houseshare to a guy who was living with his parents - hence no reliable character references available from a landlord or other person. He seemed OK but he's turned out a nightmare for my other tenants: regularly gets drunk, stays up to 3 a.m. playing loud music, leaves the back door open all night, eats in front of the TV and dribbles his food on the carpet, then never clears up or washes up, etc. They are trying to persuade him to how some give and take, but eventually I may have to get involved, and I can't get rid of him for six months now. Of course everyone has their problems but why inflict your resulting behaviour on other people?

As regards references from an existing tenant, there's nothing like doing your own research. Re-visit the flat at different times of day to see what the surroundings are like. Ask the neighbours how they like the area. If the tenant is still there, re-visit in the early evening, knock on the door and ask for a quick chat. You'd do the same if you were buying a huose, so why not renting too?

If you're a tenant you'll know the rigmarole you now have to go through when moving into a new place, references, credit checks and like are all geared to shining the light on you as a tenant in a very thorough and invasive way.

So how about references from the flat your moving into, making it a legal requirement for the previous tenant to provide a reference for the flat before you sign on the dotted line. Never again would you find yourself in a place that has all the hidden annoyances the the estate agent carefully left out.

I think this would force landlords to take better care of the properties and put stop to the disappointments you can get after the deal is done. I for one would of loved to know a building waste company delivers tons of concrete to the adjacent building every morning at 7am but someone forget to mention this.

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