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  • FIRST POST
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 10th Jan 18, 7:14 PM
    • 18Posts
    • 13Thanks
    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 2
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Jan 18, 8:24 AM
    • 16,718 Posts
    • 41,337 Thanks
    FBaby
    They have agreed over the phone that paying on the 30th was no issue.
    That could be your interpretation though. What they might have meant is that they can't force you to pay on the 25th, so if you pay on the 30th, that's your choice, but that doesn't mean they would have considered this acceptable.

    Also, you say they put 'multiple late payments'. This implies that the late payments were irregular. At one point did you change the arrangement? Was there any new contract signed in between?

    Really it comes down to either them disagreeing with you that you had an arrangement, so they won't change what they've said, or the whole thing is so bureaucratic that the agreement got lost in transition as it was only verbal.

    Your best option is to ask the new agency if there is any chance you could meet/speak with the new LL. The LL will have gone through the agency to sort everything out on their behalf paying them for it, so the agency is unlikely to take the initiative to do so, all they care about is finding a tenant that ticks the boxes so that the LL can't complain if the tenant turns out to be a bad one.

    However, it is very possible that the LL is actually prepared to be more flexible than the agency and is happy with your explanation if you can show that you have indeed just changed the payment date and paid each time by standing order.

    If they are refusing to give you the LL contact details or to ask them to contact you, or the LL says they don't want you as a tenant, there is nothing you can do in this occasion, but next time you go for another property, do enquire from the start whether you could meet/talk with the LL directly.

    In all circumstances, I personally think that LL and tenants should always meet before taking on a tenancy as both should personally feel satisfied with first impressions rather than relying on a third party that couldn't care less about the interests of either party.
    • ciderboy2009
    • By ciderboy2009 11th Jan 18, 8:50 AM
    • 419 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    ciderboy2009
    OP - what proof have you got that they agreed to changing the date?

    If it was just agreed over the phone then there's a strong possibility that the letting agents don't have any record of it - hence the reference they have provided.

    If you haven't got anything in writing from them then I feel that it's unlikely that they will change what they have said.
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 11th Jan 18, 8:53 AM
    • 24,300 Posts
    • 51,356 Thanks
    LandyAndy

    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.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts

    My interpretation is that the OP moved from paying on the 25th for the period ending the next 25th to paying on the 30th for the period ending the next 25th. That ties in with the 18 months of payments constituting 'multiple late payments', every one late by 5 days but still for the period ending on the next 25th. What was changed was the payment date not the rent due date.


    I don't believe there are any arrears. The reference would have stated '5 days in arrears' not 'multiple late payments'.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Jan 18, 11:50 AM
    • 4,410 Posts
    • 6,333 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    The problem with all of this is that there is no evidence to support the fact that the agent agreed to change the date. There is also no evidence that agent told the landlord what had happened or even that the person at the letting agent told anyone else at the agency that the date of payment was changing. This is why it is important to get all changes in writing otherwise it comes down to your word against their's.

    This has happened a few times with our tenants. Our letting agent asks us if we will agree to change the date of payment. We could say no although we haven't.

    In this case there is no evidence that the landlord was even aware that the date had changed because there is nothing in writing.

    Someone who knows that a letting agent only has 1.8 stars is already aware that they are not very good so why risk them not being very good when it matters.

    We are only getting one side of the story. It is quite possible that the letting agent didn't agree to the date being permanently changed but only changed once to the 30th and then to return to payments on the 25th. Who knows?
    • Smoothape
    • By Smoothape 11th Jan 18, 5:31 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Smoothape
    I spoke to both parties and was able to get it sorted after a lot of diplomacy and back and forth speaking to the director of the agency. Happy to confirm I'll be moving. Just takes some persistence and tact sometimes to get what seems like a hopeless situation sorted.

    I assumed my current letting agency would be as presumptuous uncompassionate and brutal as cakeguts but I'm glad they weren't and that I was able to get this sorted.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Jan 18, 7:08 PM
    • 4,410 Posts
    • 6,333 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    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
    This actually isn't the complete problem. The problem is that there is no evidence that he got permission from anyone because it was a telephone call and as he said he didn't think the agent was very good. So instead of getting evidence that a change had been made he assumed that a telephone call to the not very good agent was enough.

    It is recommended that contact for repairs is in writing to the landlord. Photographs of condition on moving in and moving out for proof of condition. Yet for a change to a legal document all the proof needed is for the tenant to say "I made a phone call." What the tenant needed to do was to write a letter to the agent to confirm that the change had been made. In some cases they might need to also write to the landlord to confirm the change.

    If you don't get permission in writing you are opening yourself up to problems because you don't have any proof that a) you made the phone call and b) they gave permission for the change.

    The person who took the phone call at the agents office didn't add the change to the record so when it came to reference time it became a case of the tenant saying they made a phone call and the agent saying that there is no record of it? A letter of confirmation of the change would have solved this.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 11th Jan 18, 7:35 PM
    • 5,855 Posts
    • 12,425 Thanks
    marliepanda
    A sudden change from 25th to the 30th, with no complaints from the landlord. I reckon they!!!8217;d have a good chance that it was agreed to.

    I mean, if it wasnt, the landlord/agent will be able to evidence months of !!!8216;late payment reminders!!!8217;
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 12th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    • 1,247 Posts
    • 870 Thanks
    saajan_12
    Goodness, all this right to pay late, verbal permission etc is irrelevant! The current agent / LL is under no obligation to provide any reference, let alone a favorable one. They cannot outright lie to defraud you, but as the end result was you paying later than initially agreed, they could reasonably have considered it late (they simply accepted there's little they can do about it). So legally the current agents have done nothing wrong. The new LL/agents can specify any requirements they choose before letting a flat, and are under no obligation to accept anything less than a formal reference. So legally they have done nothing wrong.

    The bottom line is you want to move to a place requiring a formal reference. Your options are
    1) Convince the new LL/agents to accept the explanation without the formal written reference
    2) Convince the current agents to amend the reference stating the 'late' payments were by agreement.
    3) Find another property - not all will be so rigid in their referencing process.

    But remember these are all negotiations, you're requesting they do it your way but they don't have to so no point arguing!
    • PersianCatLady
    • By PersianCatLady 13th Jan 18, 12:16 AM
    • 456 Posts
    • 412 Thanks
    PersianCatLady
    Goodness, all this right to pay late, verbal permission etc is irrelevant! The current agent / LL is under no obligation to provide any reference, let alone a favorable one. They cannot outright lie to defraud you, but as the end result was you paying later than initially agreed, they could reasonably have considered it late (they simply accepted there's little they can do about it). So legally the current agents have done nothing wrong. The new LL/agents can specify any requirements they choose before letting a flat, and are under no obligation to accept anything less than a formal reference. So legally they have done nothing wrong.

    The bottom line is you want to move to a place requiring a formal reference. Your options are
    1) Convince the new LL/agents to accept the explanation without the formal written reference
    2) Convince the current agents to amend the reference stating the 'late' payments were by agreement.
    3) Find another property - not all will be so rigid in their referencing process.

    But remember these are all negotiations, you're requesting they do it your way but they don't have to so no point arguing!
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    I agree.

    Whatever the situation was regarding the payment dates, as long as a reference does not contain inaccurate information, the LA / LL has done nothing wrong.
    • harrys dad
    • By harrys dad 13th Jan 18, 10:09 AM
    • 1,898 Posts
    • 2,174 Thanks
    harrys dad
    I wonder what the landlord of the new accommodation thinks. When I have had potential tenants "fail" a reference check I have been informed why, and asked if I still want to take them. I have done this twice, and both became really good long term tenants with no problems at all. Sometimes reference "failures" are just bureaucratic tick box stuff. Common sense should be applied.
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