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  • FIRST POST
    • nnb
    • By nnb 5th Jul 17, 1:18 PM
    • 46Posts
    • 6Thanks
    nnb
    Suddenly can't even get to rental referencing stage!!!
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 17, 1:18 PM
    Suddenly can't even get to rental referencing stage!!! 5th Jul 17 at 1:18 PM
    I just want to pick your brains to see if anyone can help me work out what's going on here as I am mighty confused! it could just be purely down to being unlucky, but I have never had so many rejections on the trot!

    I am in the rental market and have been for about 5 years. I am self employed which does put fear into agents but when they find out it's been a long time (nearly 15 years now) and they see my bank statements showing earnings, they calm right down. I have never had a problem getting accepted by an agent. UNTIL NOW.

    I relocated 200 miles away to a cheaper part of the country. As I am self employed, my work came with me and I am getting more work than I was back home! Where I am living was only available for 5 months as the previous tenant had to break out of her contract and it was only meant to be a short term let for me so it all worked out great! However, the agent refused to let me pay weekly or monthly like they advertise and wanted me to get a guarantor. I'm in my 30s! I decided to avoid running to mum and dad for help and just paid my 5 months rent upfront as I could afford this.

    Now I am coming to the end of my tenancy and it's all going to hell trying to find a new place! I have put in the initial application on 4 properties and been rejected by every single one. It's not even the main!referencing / credit check part - it's just the initial one which they then present to the landlords for them to pick who they would like!!!

    So no one has looked into my references or credit history (I've looked on Experian etc and they're not showing that I've had any recent checks made). I always try to strengthen my application by emphasising how long I have been self employed, and that I'll happily put up a few extra months rent at the start to reassure them. You need to earn 2.5x what the monthly rent is - I easily pass this criteria, and I was paying DOUBLE the rent back home as it's so expensive there, so I can clearly afford it?! The application forms don't ask how long I have been in my current property (one did, and I clarified why it!is so short).

    I do not have pets or!kids, I don't smoke or have parties, I'm not a student or on DSS, and I am basically a really good tenant! The viewings themselves go really well and the agents who hold the viewings always seem really positive about me applying!!

    So why on earth can I not find somewhere??

    I have spoken with all the agents who I applied for houses with and politely asked if they had any feedback on why I may not have been picked. Generally they're happy to help if they know - one of them was just preferring that there was a couple, one was my self employment, other two unknown and one of those was downright rude to me so lucky escape there!

    Is there anything I am missing here that just makes me highly off-putting to landlords in this area? Unless they just hate southerners! haha
Page 2
    • nnb
    • By nnb 5th Jul 17, 2:36 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    nnb
    LAs don't get to know anything about you. The credit checks only see public records (I assume you definitely don't have a surprise CCJ?)
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Nope no CCJs showing on my checks. I am signed up to Noddle, Experian, and another I am having a mindblank on the name of! No CCJs are showing, no one has even credit checked me except my bank when I changed accounts recently or insurance places when I bought a car in 2016.
    • Vectis
    • By Vectis 5th Jul 17, 2:38 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    Vectis
    It's not unheard of for LLs to ask for 6 months rent upfront from a tenant whom they consider to be slightly problematic. It wouldn't be amiss for a tenant who is struggling to get a LL to take him on to offer the same. So, you might consider that route if you have the resources (6 months rent in advance plus the deposit).

    I think the problem, from what you say here, is the type of self employment work you do - mainly the fact that it's so spread around. It possibly makes you sound a bit less reliable when compared perhaps to someone who has spent the same length of time in a single, or a couple, of jobs. The tax return idea might solve that, assuming you are declaring ALL your earnings? If you were applying for a mortgage, would you be able to show all your earnings, and how would you go about doing that?

    The other alternative is to go direct to the LLs, through private ads etc, rather than through an agent. That way you get the chance to talk to them directly.
    • nnb
    • By nnb 5th Jul 17, 2:44 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    nnb
    It's not unheard of for LLs to ask for 6 months rent upfront from a tenant whom they consider to be slightly problematic. It wouldn't be amiss for a tenant who is struggling to get a LL to take him on to offer the same. So, you might consider that route if you have the resources (6 months rent in advance plus the deposit).

    I think the problem, from what you say here, is the type of self employment work you do - mainly the fact that it's so spread around. It possibly makes you sound a bit less reliable when compared perhaps to someone who has spent the same length of time in a single, or a couple, of jobs. The tax return idea might solve that, assuming you are declaring ALL your earnings? If you were applying for a mortgage, would you be able to show all your earnings, and how would you go about doing that?

    The other alternative is to go direct to the LLs, through private ads etc, rather than through an agent. That way you get the chance to talk to them directly.
    Originally posted by Vectis
    As I said in my first post, I paid my full tenancy rent upfront for my current place and with every application I have made, I have stated I am more than happy to pay X months upfront to reassure everyone.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 5th Jul 17, 2:46 PM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 761 Thanks
    Arleen
    As I said in my first post, I paid my full tenancy rent upfront for my current place and with every application I have made, I have stated I am more than happy to pay X months upfront to reassure everyone.
    Originally posted by nnb
    Then I will be the one to finally ask - what do you do?

    I am self-employed, with only a few years in the UK, but I didn't have that much trouble finding a place, without offering six months rent in advance. There must be something about you that raises an absolute red flag.
    • nnb
    • By nnb 5th Jul 17, 2:54 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    nnb
    Then I will be the one to finally ask - what do you do?

    I am self-employed, with only a few years in the UK, but I didn't have that much trouble finding a place, without offering six months rent in advance. There must be something about you that raises an absolute red flag.
    Originally posted by Arleen
    I work in sales but for different clients on short term contracts hence agency work. I guess I am basically what most would call a "temp"

    It is sales not retail, and I earn well above minimum wage. It is all made clear in my application.

    Definitely nothing dodgy, I'm not a hooker or a drug dealer or something!!!!

    I have NEVER EVER EVER had a problem getting to the referencing stage before. This is why I don't believe it is my work and am insanely confused!!!!!
    • SuboJvR
    • By SuboJvR 5th Jul 17, 2:55 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 325 Thanks
    SuboJvR
    Is it possible you're just not getting in quick enough?

    When we got our rental, I remember the LA saying they would discuss with the landlord and I had the impression we were being assessed so to speak.

    I also know we were the first to view, and the second viewers also put an offer in. They're nice people too although they do have a cat so I'm not sure if the LL knew that at that point (they moved in next door, same agency, different LL)!

    As we got in first, I assume that's why we got the place. It's also a 2 bed, they now have a 3, and since when we were moving the lady was heavily pregnant I wonder if the LL thought that might mean they wouldn't have enough room and be keen to move on after a certain time.

    Something else I did was offer that we would commit to a 2 year fixed term. I thought that this may appeal as, unless a LL wants to sell, they want someone reliable in their house for a set time. We had a mutual break clause for 12 months as well though but it showed our intention to stick around.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 5th Jul 17, 3:00 PM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 761 Thanks
    Arleen
    I work in sales but for different clients on short term contracts hence agency work. I guess I am basically what most would call a "temp"

    It is sales not retail, and I earn well above minimum wage. It is all made clear in my application.

    Definitely nothing dodgy, I'm not a hooker or a drug dealer or something!!!!

    I have NEVER EVER EVER had a problem getting to the referencing stage before. This is why I don't believe it is my work and am insanely confused!!!!!
    Originally posted by nnb
    Is that what you put on the application? Because... I still don't know what do you do, and when it's not clear to people what do you do, but you have money to fling around for six months rent - it's suspicious. I really wouldn't expect a "temp" to have this amount of money laying around.

    Maybe there is a better way to put it, one that makes it clearer?

    And why now, well, the market turned, and there are too many people per available house, so they get pickier than before. Also, I guess more landlords are also now aware how expensive a bad tenant could be, so are less willing to take a chance.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 5th Jul 17, 3:02 PM
    • 9,038 Posts
    • 59,498 Thanks
    LEJC
    Could it be something as simple as when you mention self employment and a small online business this is having an adverse reaction.

    A LL can only be guided by what they are told by the LA when deciding whom to offer a tenancy to....however many LL's may have restrictions in their insurances that prevent or at least increase their premiums if they let to someone who is self employed.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • SuboJvR
    • By SuboJvR 5th Jul 17, 3:08 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 325 Thanks
    SuboJvR
    Could you not class yourself more as a "sales consultant" or something?
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 5th Jul 17, 3:31 PM
    • 9,038 Posts
    • 59,498 Thanks
    LEJC
    Maybe it is just a case of demand for rental properties in your area is higher than supply.

    The last property we rented out to tenants we had 3 prospective ones to choose from....
    I don't think there are a hard and fast set of rules that can be followed by LL's to choose the ideal tenant for their property...but in our case we had to let 2 down as we simply couldn't let the property to all 3 who wanted it.
    I've actually said that hindsight is always the best deciding factor......!!!!

    I am aware that we have a clause in our tenancy agreements evolving around the running of a business from the premises and it also does impact the buildings insurance premiums so from that point of view if I were told you were self employed I may choose to discount you in favour of someone who wasnt....but again it depends what the LA tells me about the situation.

    Have you thought about making yourself potentially more "tenant attractive" by suggesting a longer tenancy....round here most start at 6 months but if you were to offer the commitment of a 12 month one up front do you think that might make you more appealing than someone who was just initially wanting a 6 month agreement....

    Just a thought....
    Last edited by LEJC; 05-07-2017 at 3:37 PM.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 5th Jul 17, 3:34 PM
    • 60,985 Posts
    • 356,214 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Are you a chugger?
    • paddypaws101
    • By paddypaws101 7th Jul 17, 2:45 PM
    • 2,047 Posts
    • 2,449 Thanks
    paddypaws101
    Hmm, tricky.
    I would suggest trying to forge a relationship with one or several local agents so that they actually put you forward for available properties as they come on to the books.
    Visit the agent office in person and chat to them, maybe even offer to get credit checks done up front at your own cost, let them know you are a serious shopper.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 7th Jul 17, 6:45 PM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 6,798 Thanks
    Murphybear
    Good point!! Although LAs you can easily research online for reviews etc. Gumtree just has a lot of people renting out their home or spare bedroom or cupboard and are not regulated or protect your deposit. I've had bad experiences, as you can tell! I am sure there are good ones but filtering through it all is just scary.
    Originally posted by nnb
    There are good ones on Gumtree. We found a 5 bedroomed house at a good rent. The owner was experienced and insisted on referencing, bank statements and protected deposit.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 7th Jul 17, 7:14 PM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 6,798 Thanks
    Murphybear
    We have been looking for a while and, like you, couldn't get to the referencing stage. We thought it was because we were retired but one one agency said 50 % of their tenants are retired. We made a few offers on bungalows but were not offered anything. Having a cat was a sticking point.

    Sometimes it's a case of your face fits, a bit like getting a job. We went to see a big converted barn on a farm at a very reasonable rent. It was managed by the owner and he and my OH got on like a house on fire and he told the agency he was happy to have us as tenants. We've passed referencing and hopefully move next month.

    Do you live in an area where every property goes immediately or some seem to stick, then the rents are reduced. We live in a very rural county and quite a lot of properties are a bit back of beyond and have been on the market for months. If you could find something like that it may reduce the competition.

    Good luck with your search.
    • sheff6107
    • By sheff6107 7th Jul 17, 7:56 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    sheff6107
    "But the best way for a self-employed person to prove their income is to attach last 3 years of tax returns, that makes it crystal clear that you are making stable and set amount of money every year."

    Pretty standard to have to provide 1-3 years worth of SA302 forms.
    Not that they demonstrate in any way shape or form how much your take home pay is considering everyone under-declares their turnover and inflates their expenses.
    • Annie35
    • By Annie35 7th Jul 17, 10:25 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    Annie35
    Just a thought but is it the type of property you're applying for? For instance a 3bed semi landlord will prob want a family.

    Tbh ive never come across agents putting forward applicants for landlords to choose from, its always been 1st to put down cash gets it, thou i guess that could be down to areas/demand, thou i agree its been getting harder to rent last few years in general. Have you tried just asking to put down the deposit at viewing 'yep, this is fine, here's my card...' type thing?

    Dont discount private landlords, all our best homes have been private landlords & the worst have been managed by agency. (always found agency try to steal deposits!)

    Openrent is a good site.

    Also agree with murphybear that out of area, & also quirky & higher priced homes, seem slow to rent as less demand. Flats tend to be a good bet too as there are usually lots available.

    You might just have been unlucky mind, get a few more viewings in this weekend, good luck!!
    • michael1234
    • By michael1234 7th Jul 17, 11:12 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    michael1234
    My gosh this is all very scary but nevertheless understandable.

    We've just sold our place and at one stage were thinking about renting whilst deciding what to do next (our two cats have quashed any thoughts in that direction). Buying is at least very straightforward - its only about cash. The main downside is the stamp duty.

    From reading threads like this, renting sounds awful. I do get however that LLs need to be very careful about tenants but still the whole thing has a whiff of unpleasantness.

    I do wish the OP well in finding a nice place to live.
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