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Guarantor demands from letting agent - who do these people think they are?


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Eldest son is looking for digs with student friends at college in London. They think they've found somewhere half decent, and now the landlord wants a guarantor for each of the tenants...  All good so far - I'm happy to put myself down so he has somewhere to live, and I don't mind making sure he's OK. But here comes the interesting bit.

 

Letting agent uses some "outside" agency to "vet" guarantors; they are not willing to do any sort of proper credit referencing process - instead they are insisting on either my last tax return, or a full 12 months of personal bank statements.

 

Is this normal? I've rented myself plenty in the past, and been a guarantor for others in a similar situation, but I have NEVER come across anything this intrusive before. Who the f*** do these low-lifes think they are - or is this the "new normal...?"

  • Apart from the total invasion of privacy, neither a tax return nor any amount of bank statements tells them if I can - or will - cover my lad's rent in the event of default. All smacks a bit of them having one off the wrist at the power they think they have, or sneaking through someone's daily finances "just because they can..."

Thoughts welcomed. Thanks in advance.

B 2

 

 

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Guarantors for students are pretty common in London, and have been for a while. When i was at uni 20 years ago they insisted on this too. It's also common nowadays for private companies to handle the vetting of tenants and guarantors rather than agents directly.

My last two rentals had a private firm do this and they did seem a bit intrusive. Asking for payslips, sure that's ok, but then they also wanted a letter from my boss to say i was working and in a permanent position, and they then wanted to speak to him. They finally grade the potential tenant and inform the letting agent. It all seemed a bit much.

My only guess with asking for 12 months bank statements is that these companies make a point of being overzealous to cover themselves and justify their service. The irony is the landlord probably only needed to provide 3 months bank statements to buy the house!

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I experienced this recently. It is one thing handing over two recent payslips. It is another when you are generating admin for your employer who has to fill out a form as well confirming certain details. I am not convinced that the process was GDPR compliant. Anyone who knows my e-mail address and DOB can access my NI number.  The reality is that landlords have the whip hand in certain cities. You do what they say, or the property goes to someone else…

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On 10/06/2021 at 01:08, DonJop12 said:

I experienced this recently. It is one thing handing over two recent payslips. It is another when you are generating admin for your employer who has to fill out a form as well confirming certain details. I am not convinced that the process was GDPR compliant. Anyone who knows my e-mail address and DOB can access my NI number.  The reality is that landlords have the whip hand in certain cities. You do what they say, or the property goes to someone else…

I wonder how these agents would react to the ICO getting involved.

Wouldn't it be worth contacting the OFT? Surely this level of personal intrusion would be considered unreasonable?

I mean for many mortgages you only need to supply three months back statements, seems a bit OTT to send 12 to some non-descript private company who you fear aren't complying with data protection when banks that are heavily regulated only require three to borrow tens of thousands of pounds?

Edited by spacedin
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