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  • FIRST POST
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 10th Jan 18, 7:14 PM
    • 18Posts
    • 12Thanks
    Smoothape
    Unable to rent new flat because of "adverse" UNFAIR reference.
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 7:14 PM
    Unable to rent new flat because of "adverse" UNFAIR reference. 10th Jan 18 at 7:14 PM
    I recently paid a deposit on a new property and was ready to move in, expecting nothing to go wrong, but they rejected my application due to an "adverse" reference.

    I have recently started a new job and my social mobility has increased. I have no bad debts.

    The currently rental agency submitted a reference which stated.

    "Maintains property"
    "Happy to deal with and would rent again'

    However they wrote that I make late payments. Originally I was setup to pay on the 25th but because of payroll scheduling with my former employer I asked over the phone if I can pay on the 30th of the month.

    The agency never had a problem with this and never made any issues about this until they were contacted by the new letting agency.

    I am really in a bind here because I was planning to move quite soon because of my new employer but now the implication is that I am stuck in an old poorly maintained flat. My current flat has loads of maintenance problems and a nice infestation which the agency ignores. Hence the reason for wanting to move.

    I have spoken to both agencies to try and clarify that this is a misunderstanding. That I had an agreement I will pay on the 30th rather than the 25th because of my pay schedule. The new letting agency was quite nice and are still holding the flat for me in hopes I can rent still but this is all quite insane to me.

    I'm now barred from ever being able to rent again because I paid my rent on the 30th rather than the 25th?


    I have no recourse as the agreement to pay rent after the 25th was agreed on the phone. I'm quite worried now. Please help.
    Last edited by Smoothape; 10-01-2018 at 8:14 PM.
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • 1,727 Posts
    • 1,568 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    Have you offered to show payments to prove you pad regularly?
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 10th Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Smoothape
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    Yes. I have specifically mentioned that to the new letting agency however they say that the old agency will have to update their reference of me on Let Alliance to show as favourable. Very formal and bureaucratic.

    I have contacted my current letting agency and was quite upset and threatened legal action due to unlivable conditions and going to the property ombudsman preventing me from moving but now I am really worried I am now barred from renting a new property.

    My current flat has anti social neighbours which I have had to call the police on 3 times. I have had consistent severe maintenance issues such as wood rot causing the floor to concave in the bathroom, the toilet is about to break off and fall through the floor, an upstair neighbours pipe recently burst and flooded my kitchen. The water boiler and bedroom heater have failed in the last month. There is a mice infestation. I have a spinal cord injury and heart condition (yet still work full time for a good company now) and cannot deal with these repeat failures hence wanting to move to a nicer area and property.

    It is all real absurd to me and I feel trapped now without much recourse.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • 24,206 Posts
    • 67,007 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    Go and sit in their office until they change it!
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • thelem
    • By thelem 10th Jan 18, 9:30 PM
    • 661 Posts
    • 460 Thanks
    thelem
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:30 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:30 PM
    As with most disagreements you take one of two approach: ask nicely, or fight them (hopefully in court!)

    Going through courts or complaints procedures will take ages and there is no guarantee you will get what you want.

    If you want to move to the new property you've found I'd recommend being *friendly* to the agent. Forget about the problems with your current flat, make the agent like you so they want to help you. Use sob stories so they feel sorry for you. Just make sure you don't accuse them of wrong doing, because their natural reaction will be to disagree and that's not going to help you get what you want.

    BTW the problems you mention might be your responsibility. As a tenant you need to keep the floors clean to avoid attracting mice, and it's your responsibility to get rid of them if you do get any. Why is the bathroom rotten? If it's because you always let the bath spill over then again that could be your responsibility. You want to move out anyway, so I'd ignore these issues and just get your reference sorted.
    Note: Unless otherwise stated, my property related posts refer to England & Wales. Please make sure you state if you are discussing Scotland or elsewhere as laws differ.
    • stator
    • By stator 11th Jan 18, 12:28 AM
    • 5,941 Posts
    • 3,909 Thanks
    stator
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:28 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:28 AM
    Put in a formal complaint with the agency giving the bad reference. Do this in writing.
    Set out the facts simply and without too much emotion. Don't make too many accusations and don't get sidetracked with other issues that aren't relevant to the reference. Keep it short and sweet.
    Tell them what you want them to do about it.
    Ask for a copy of their complaints procedure.

    When you get a response from them you may be able to appeal to an ombudsmen, depending on whether they are signed up to any. The ombudsmen may be able to help and order the agency to change their reference.

    However this might not happen quickly so you need to be prepared that you might lose the new flat. I'm sure you will get it sorted out in the not too distant future.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Jan 18, 12:41 AM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 4,864 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:41 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:41 AM
    You were making late payments. You were not paying on the day that you signed to say that you would pay. A tenancy agreement is a contract and a legal document. When you signed it you agreed to pay the rent on a certain day you can't just change the day because it doesn't suit you. If you had wanted to pay on the 30th you should have set it up to pay on that day rather than the one you agreed on.

    The day that you get paid should make no difference to when you pay the rent. You get paid on 30th and you put the rent money aside so that it is ready to go on the 25th. If you know that the day that you pay is going to change you make savings so that you can still pay on the correct day.

    You have actually caused this problem by trying to alter a contract without the landlord's permission in writing.

    When you decided to break the contract by changing something in it did you make up the difference between the 25th and the 30th or do you have rent arrears as well?

    Remember a tenancy agreement is a contract. It is a legal document. You cannot change it unless you have the agreement of the person who is party to the contract. This would be your landlord not the landlord's letting agent. You need to get permission from the landlord in writing. You have to remember that the day that you pay your rent is the landlord's pay day. So for example if you pay your landlord on 25th and they have a contract with someone else to pay on the 27th using your rent and you just decide that the 25th is no longer convenient for you how would expect the landlord to make their payment?

    You did sign a legal document to say that you would pay on a certain day.

    Do not try to change contracts just to suit you. To alter a contract you have to have the agreement of all parties in writing.
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 11th Jan 18, 12:54 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Smoothape
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:54 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:54 AM
    They have agreed over the phone that paying on the 30th was no issue. If it had been an issue I would have made alternate arrangements. I have no reason for making "late payments" outside of that they agreed it would be ok to coincide with my payroll.

    It's difficult to put money aside when you've lost your job due to your company going into insolvency and having to take on temp contracts with inconsistent payroll for a period of time. I specifically asked them over the phone if they were ok to take payments on the 30th rather than the 25th and they said it was fine and made no big deal about it. I've been paying them this way for 1 year and 6 months and they never said anything about it.

    It's only until the new agency contacted them for a reference that they made a big deal out of it.


    In the mean time I have sent them an appeasement letter politely stating the issues and if they could please alter their let alliance reference.


    I should not be barred from renting a flat because I consistently paid on the 30th rather than the 25th due to one of their staff telling me over the phone it wasn't a problem to do so.


    As for the wood rot. It was their slightly before I moved in. The bathroom is not fit for purpose as the shower floods every time the laundry machine runs or when I wash dishes in the sink. It will spill over occasionally into the floorboards. I keep a mop in the bathroom to wipe away any excess when I shower or when it floods over due to the laundry machine but even so over time it has caused the wood to buckle and rot with minimal excess flooding into the poor laminate sealing.


    Mice shouldn't be able to enter to property in any event however the floors are kept clean extremely clean. They scurry from a gap from the outside front area in the living room into the kitchen under the counters into the neighbours property.

    If you had read my first post the landlord has no issue with how I maintain the property or cleanliness of the property and even wrote that they would rent to me again. The issue is the misunderstanding over "late" payments.

    It's absolutely insane and absurd I should be effectively barred from any opportunity to rent a new property because I consistently paid on the 30th rather than the 25th because a member of their staff said "no problem".
    Last edited by Smoothape; 11-01-2018 at 12:58 AM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Jan 18, 12:55 AM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 4,864 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:55 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:55 AM
    Yes. I have specifically mentioned that to the new letting agency however they say that the old agency will have to update their reference of me on Let Alliance to show as favourable. Very formal and bureaucratic.

    I have contacted my current letting agency and was quite upset and threatened legal action due to unlivable conditions and going to the property ombudsman preventing me from moving but now I am really worried I am now barred from renting a new property.

    My current flat has anti social neighbours which I have had to call the police on 3 times. I have had consistent severe maintenance issues such as wood rot causing the floor to concave in the bathroom, the toilet is about to break off and fall through the floor, an upstair neighbours pipe recently burst and flooded my kitchen. The water boiler and bedroom heater have failed in the last month. There is a mice infestation. I have a spinal cord injury and heart condition (yet still work full time for a good company now) and cannot deal with these repeat failures hence wanting to move to a nicer area and property.

    It is all real absurd to me and I feel trapped now without much recourse.
    Originally posted by Smoothape
    Your landlord has no control over what the neighbours do. The landlord also has not control over burst pipes in the flat above. For a mouse infestation you call the pest control people especially if there were no mice when you moved in.

    For the bathroom floor and the water heater you write to your landlord and ask them to repair them. None of this makes it all right for you to decide to alter the contract that you signed without permission in writing from your landlord. It is probably going to turn out to be cheap lesson in not trying to change contracts just to suit yourself

    You need to check that you are not 5 days in arrears. If you had been paying on 25th and you changed to the 30th there are 5 days that you have not paid for.

    It could be that you are in rent arrears as well as paying late. If this is the case then the referrences are stating something that is true and they are not unfair.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Jan 18, 12:59 AM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 4,864 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    They have agreed over the phone that paying on the 30th was no issue. If it had been an issue I would have made alternate arrangements. I have no reason for making "late payments" outside of that they agreed it would be ok to coincide with my payroll.

    It's difficult to put money aside when you've lost your job due to your company going into insolvency and having to take on temp contracts with inconsistent payroll for a period of time. I specifically asked them over the phone if they were ok to take payments on the 30th rather than the 25th and they said it was fine and made no big deal about it. I've been paying them this way for 1 year and 6 months and they never said anything about it.

    It's only until the new agency contacted them for a reference that they made a big deal out of it.


    In the mean time I have sent them an appeasement letter politely stating the issues and if they could please alter their let alliance reference.


    I should not be barred from renting a flat because I consistently paid on the 30th rather than the 25th due to one of their staff telling me over the phone it wasn't a problem to do so.


    As for the wood rot. It was their slightly before I moved in. The bathroom is not fit for purpose as the shower floods every time the laundry machine runs or when I wash dishes in the sink. It will spill over occasionally into the floorboards. I keep a mop in their to wipe away any excess when I shower or when it floods over due to the laundry machine but even so over time it has caused the wood to buckle and rot with minimal excess flooding into the poor laminate sealing.


    Mice shouldn't be able to enter to property in any event however the floors are kept clean extremely clean. They scurry from a gap from the outside front area in the living room into the kitchen into the neighbours property.

    If you had read my first post the landlord has no issue with how I maintain the property or cleanliness of the property and even wrote that they would rent to me again. The issue is the misunderstanding over late payment.
    Originally posted by Smoothape
    So did you make up the 5 days difference between paying on the 25th and paying on the 30th.

    Paying on the 25th means that you have paid up to the next 25th. If you change to the 30th you pay from the 30th to the 30th but there is a gap of 5 days between the 25th and the 30th of a few days that you will not have paid for so did you make up the difference in rent to include those days?

    The important point still remains though that you cannot alter a contract unless all the parties are in agreement and it sounds as if you did not agreement from your landlord? The letting agent can't make decisions on behalf of the landlord regarding the contract because they are not on it.
    Last edited by Cakeguts; 11-01-2018 at 1:01 AM.
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 11th Jan 18, 1:10 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Smoothape
    I "altered" the contract because they gave me a verbal agreement over the phone that it was ok to pay on the 30th rather than the 25th. Ive done so without issue for 1 year and 6 months. They never made issue of it at all until a new letting agency contacted them for reference. If I hadn't gotten an ok from them over the phone then I wouldn't have done so. I didn't fail to pay rent because of the maintenance or issues with mice but because they told me on the phone it was ok to do so to coincide with my payroll.

    How can I tell if there were mice when I first moved in and then they miraculously appeared and it's all my fault because a single rice crispy was left on the floor for 10 minutes?

    I am not in any rent arrears at all. I am paid up for a other 28 days actually despite all these problems. I am in no financial peril at all. The new flat I was going to rent is 2x more expensive than this awful flat I am trying to move from. You must have extremely poor reading comprehension issues as the issues I've stated are in no way anything to do with vindictive late payments due to maintenance move propblems or rent arrears.

    If I have consistently paid on the 30th for over year and they've never said anything about it then it is a failure on their part and in no way should I be barred from being able to move from this property.

    It is obvious they are forcing me into the property and not allowing me to leave. They have ratings online and everyone else has given them 1 star. I am not the only one so stop blaming me.
    Last edited by Smoothape; 11-01-2018 at 1:28 AM.
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 11th Jan 18, 1:33 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Smoothape
    You were making late payments. You were not paying on the day that you signed to say that you would pay. A tenancy agreement is a contract and a legal document. When you signed it you agreed to pay the rent on a certain day you can't just change the day because it doesn't suit you. If you had wanted to pay on the 30th you should have set it up to pay on that day rather than the one you agreed on.

    The day that you get paid should make no difference to when you pay the rent. You get paid on 30th and you put the rent money aside so that it is ready to go on the 25th. If you know that the day that you pay is going to change you make savings so that you can still pay on the correct day.

    You have actually caused this problem by trying to alter a contract without the landlord's permission in writing.

    When you decided to break the contract by changing something in it did you make up the difference between the 25th and the 30th or do you have rent arrears as well?

    Remember a tenancy agreement is a contract. It is a legal document. You cannot change it unless you have the agreement of the person who is party to the contract. This would be your landlord not the landlord's letting agent. You need to get permission from the landlord in writing. You have to remember that the day that you pay your rent is the landlord's pay day. So for example if you pay your landlord on 25th and they have a contract with someone else to pay on the 27th using your rent and you just decide that the 25th is no longer convenient for you how would expect the landlord to make their payment?

    You did sign a legal document to say that you would pay on a certain day.

    Do not try to change contracts just to suit you. To alter a contract you have to have the agreement of all parties in writing.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    So did you make up the 5 days difference between paying on the 25th and paying on the 30th.

    Paying on the 25th means that you have paid up to the next 25th. If you change to the 30th you pay from the 30th to the 30th but there is a gap of 5 days between the 25th and the 30th of a few days that you will not have paid for so did you make up the difference in rent to include those days?

    The important point still remains though that you cannot alter a contract unless all the parties are in agreement and it sounds as if you did not agreement from your landlord? The letting agent can't make decisions on behalf of the landlord regarding the contract because they are not on it.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    I'm not in any arrears. The reference stated multiple late payments but otherwise said I am a good tenant that keeps the property clean and that they would rent to me again....

    The agency speaks on behalf of the landlord. I do not have any contact with the landlord whatsoever. They were completely fine with me making payments on the 30th up until a new agency contacted them for reference. On agency rating websites they are rated 1.8 out of five stars. They are just a scummy agency putting me into a bind so they an continue to make money off of me.
    • PersianCatLady
    • By PersianCatLady 11th Jan 18, 5:55 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 387 Thanks
    PersianCatLady
    I'm not in any arrears. The reference stated multiple late payments but otherwise said I am a good tenant that keeps the property clean and that they would rent to me again....

    The agency speaks on behalf of the landlord. I do not have any contact with the landlord whatsoever. They were completely fine with me making payments on the 30th up until a new agency contacted them for reference. On agency rating websites they are rated 1.8 out of five stars. They are just a scummy agency putting me into a bind so they an continue to make money off of me.
    Originally posted by Smoothape
    If you think the agency is doing it out of spite then why don't you write to the LL directly and ask him for a reference?
    • PersianCatLady
    • By PersianCatLady 11th Jan 18, 5:56 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 387 Thanks
    PersianCatLady
    1.8 stars totally irrelevant.
    • beeg0d
    • By beeg0d 11th Jan 18, 6:36 AM
    • 146 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    beeg0d
    The letting agent can't make decisions on behalf of the landlord regarding the contract because they are not on it.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Of cause they can. The key is in the name "agent" the Letting agent is the landlords appointed agent. That is what the word agent means, someone appointed to represent and work on behalf of another party. If the agent went beyond their authority by agreeing to vary the rent day is an issue between the agent and the LL NOT the tennant and LL.

    The tennants only issue is proving the agent gave permission to vary the rent date, as permission was granted verbally ruther then in writing.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Jan 18, 7:29 AM
    • 14,568 Posts
    • 39,927 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    It was your mistake in the first place to ask if you could vary the payment date. That is not the tenants decision. The decision on payment date has already been made and has to be accepted.

    You will know in the future to have sufficient savings available to do any swopping over from one rent contract to another and wouldnt have "asked" to unilerally vary the contract at the outset on current place.

    I've had tenants before now (ie lodgers in my last house) and their finances were not my concern and I've refused to vary any agreements because of their financial issues.

    To date - you've been lucky on this current place that you've been allowed to change their decision for them.

    Forget the maintenance issues. They are now irrelevant - as you intend to move. I'd follow Doozergirl's advice actually and go and visit their office in person. Take all relevant paperwork with you (receipts from them/bank statements/etc) and explain what happened and tell them the name of person/time/date of the phonecall you had with this person that agreed to vary the payment date with you. That person made a mistake to make that agreement with you and I doubt the firm will be very happy with them for having done so and broken their procedures - but if you can give the name of this person then they will probably recognise them as being "That M. surname that did make rather a lot of mistakes" and you might be lucky and they'll agree to amend their reference on you.

    For future reference - don't ask anyone to vary their terms of their agreement again to suit yourself.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 11th Jan 18, 7:52 AM
    • 2,059 Posts
    • 1,936 Thanks
    steampowered
    A letting agent represents the landlord. That is what the word "agent" means in legal terms. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apparent_authority.

    If a matter is within the apparent authority of the agent, the landlord will be legally bound by that.

    I'd think the agent does have apparent authority to agree a minor variation to the payment date on behalf of the landlord.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 11th Jan 18, 7:55 AM
    • 2,059 Posts
    • 1,936 Thanks
    steampowered
    I've had tenants before now (ie lodgers in my last house) and their finances were not my concern and I've refused to vary any agreements because of their financial issues.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    It is a bit hypocritical to act as a landlord - making money and profit from other people's inability to buy a house - and then complain when they have the occasional financial issue.

    The fact that people don't have enormous savings is the reason why they are renting in the first place. If you don't want to deal with people who have the occasional financial issue then don't be a landlord.

    It comes with the territory. Your post is a bit like selling cigarettes in the day and complaining about people smoking in the evening.

    I'd think most landlords would be much more reasonable about the odd financial issue (provided that tenants catch-up, otherwise pay the rent on time and look after the property).
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 11th Jan 18, 7:58 AM
    • 4,997 Posts
    • 10,133 Thanks
    marliepanda
    There is literally nothing wrong with asking to change a payment date!

    Not sure what cakeguts and moneyistooshorttomention are so upset about. He didn’t just start paying 5 days late, he asked and got permission from the landlords agent, so as good as from the LL himself.

    Literally nothing wrong with asking, getting permission, and then doing.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 11th Jan 18, 8:04 AM
    • 24,206 Posts
    • 67,007 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    There is literally nothing wrong with asking to change a payment date!

    Not sure what cakeguts and moneyistooshorttomention are so upset about. He didnít just start paying 5 days late, he asked and got permission from the landlords agent, so as good as from the LL himself.

    Literally nothing wrong with asking, getting permission, and then doing.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    Agree. Itís certainly no reason for someone to be refused future accommodation. I wouldnít have bothered engaging with cakeguts at all if I were the OP. Thereís nothing to justify.

    Someone at the letting agency needs to employ a bit of common sense.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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