“My landlord wants to prepay 6 months’ rent.”

Pass the key to the agent

Daud says his landlord has requested a second lump sum payment of rent for another six months.

Daud (not his real name) hit the landlord and the wall.

Last year he borrowed money to prepay six months’ rent in a new apartment shared with a friend.

The six-month rental contract was about to end, and he was asked for another six months, about £ 5,000.

In an interview with Wake Up to Money at BBC 5 Live, he said:

However, the landlord refused.

He said, “I want a prepayment, or I’ll bring the flat back to market.”

“They don’t care about me being homeless or having another place. They don’t care about that. They just want money.”

“I don’t know anyone who meets the guarantor’s standards.”

Daud is a civil engineer from Syria and currently lives in Manchester. He came to the UK as a refugee and is trying to rebuild his career, but he is currently unemployed and claims Universal Credit. He is currently afraid of the homeless. Because he expects the same barriers elsewhere.

He says he initially imposed a six-month rent requirement because the landlord couldn’t provide a guarantor.

“I asked them what criteria they needed. They paid 28 times the monthly rent of an apartment-about £ 30,000 a year-have a high credit score and UK citizenship,” he said. It was. A person who has that standard. “

Wake Up to Money is in contact with another case where they have no rental history or have been required to rent for 6 months due to an inadequate credit score.

One complained that even with a guarantor, it would be required for six months.

Landlords require prepayment of rent to minimize the risk of non-payment, with a minimum rental period of 6 months.

New rules

According to the government, 45% of private landowners own one property and are prone to delinquency. However, the National Association of Residential Landlords says it advises against high prepayments.

A spokeswoman said, “We encourage landlords to look for alternatives instead of prepaying high rents. Usually, tenants and tenants get guarantors and appropriate insurance products to cover their rents. It’s easier to guarantee to the landlord. ” BBC.

In 2019, the government introduced new rules in the UK, banning most of the tenant’s prepaid fees and introducing a deposit limit. However, there are no legal restrictions on how many months of rent you can charge in advance.

Although it is difficult to get a clear figure on the scale of this issue, online rental agent OpenRent keeps books on rent requests from landlords. Calling itself the UK’s largest rental agency, it rented 175,000 properties last year.

In most cases-95%-tenants had to prepay a month’s rent. Of the 9,000 cases that took more than a month, almost a quarter (2,000) requested 6 months.

Real estate agent window

The National Residential Landlords Association advises not to require large down payments

In nearly one-third of cases, we had to prepay three months’ rent. The average was 4 months.

“The most common historical scenario is for international tenants who haven’t worked in the UK for a long time, or for UK-based guarantors to support their applications,” said Adam Hyslop, founder of OpenRent. Often there is no access to.

“Recently, the pandemic has destabilized tenant income and most rent-guaranteed insurance products have been withdrawn, so if you feel the risk is high, some landlords will ask the tenant for the previous rent. It is quite possible that you are considering. “

“Lose confidence”

Jonathan Ward explains that he is a director of a well-paid company, but when he booked a tour of Bradford’s apartment, he got a new job in just five weeks.

He was asked if he would prepay 6 months’ rent (£ 5,000 and deposit) if he couldn’t provide a guarantor.

“We had to be employed and own the property,” Jonathan said.

“It’s very important to ask someone for the guarantor. I couldn’t ask my parents because my parents are retired. I don’t want to hold him accountable.

“I said I don’t like it, but they asked,’Can you pay up to 6 months in advance?'” I can do it. I have savings to do that, but I asked. Who is the landlord, company, or individual?

“They said it was an individual and sounded a warning. I’m not willing to prepay an individual for six months’ rent.”

He adds: “I lose confidence when I throw these barriers, even before I see the property.

“Will it be the same if I go to another real estate agent? Do I probably have to wait more than a year before I can rent somewhere while surfing the couch in the extra bedroom? “

Generation Rent’s director Dan Wilson Claw said the six-month rent demand reflects a shortage of affordable housing, inadequate benefits, and the power of the landlord. It states.

“If the landlord doesn’t have a market for suppliers, it would be much harder to impose these conditions,” he says.

Another group looking for tenants, Acorn, told the BBC: “Unfortunately, it’s not surprising to hear that people are forced to prepay six months’ rent, even with a guarantor.

“This large amount of money is out of reach for most people, a barrier for many lessors, pricing people and dividing the community. This is because the housing system and the rental market It shows that it is collapsing and we need to end the practice. “

Starting June 1, Covid-related restrictions on the private rental sector will be relaxed. The ban on deportation by the court iff has ended and the notification period for deportation has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months.

A housing, community and local government spokesman said, “We have introduced a tenant fee law, where tenants pay higher for a month or months, and rent is not” prepaid “in the first stages of a tenant. I did it. After this, lower the amount.

“The landlord and tenant must agree on the rent and prepaid amount to be charged, but do not expect the landlord to request it months in advance.”