Corporate letting

I’m just advertising my first property (2 bed flat) and have been approached by a company who want to use it as a corporate let. Does anyone have any experience of this? Down sides, up sides? Thanks

Signing a tenancy with a company is generally not advisable unless you have specific experience / advice on this, since it means the contract you create won’t be an AST (which provides statutory protection to landlords and tenants via the Housing Act).

Our usual suggested workaround is to have the individual as tenant, and add the company as guarantor. This provides you with financial security (we can reference the company if you wish) while retaining the legal status of the AST.

Our Rent Now process is designed to create ASTs, and as such have individuals as tenants, so if having a company as tenant is a firm requirement we’d recommend you take legal advice to fully understand the implications of this.

Kind regards,
Dominic

1 Like

Hi Sonia, in addition to Dominic’s comments, a housing lawyer put this guide together for us:

May be helpful!
Sam

3 Likes

Hi Sonia2

I note the response from OpenRent regarding renting to a company and would not argue with what they are saying other than the statement “it is generally not advisable”.

As per the article added by Sam, it can be a very satisfactory arrangement and more secure than renting to an individual. Whilst I cannot comment on the legal aspects of an AST in such circumstances, the company I work for entered into an AST (via a national letting agent) to accomodate its workers and there were no issues. The trick is to ensure that it is a bonafide company with sufficient assets to pay the rent.

3 Likes

be aware that your mortgage company and buildings insurance would need to be happy with a corporate let and you wouldn’t be able to have an AST either.
I further advise you to dig deep as most stated offered corporate lets are usually a scam where it is a rent to rent type of set up packaged as a corporate let, to get the answer you will need to dig deep on what the said corporation is proposing to do with the property as you may find they intend to re-let it out to many different people thus presenting further issues for you with the local authorities, i have seen this game done far to many times myself btw.

3 Likes

I had two ‘looks’ at this prospect, about three years apart and with two different set ups.

For me it was a clear no-no each time and, essentially, for the same reasons. Two main issues for me and various other issues that made me feel uncomfortable about the whole idea.

  1. You should anticipate you will have no effective control whatsoever over occupants - including meeting them or being any part of the decision process - and probably will subsequently not be allowed to visit the property on inspections or even told when they will take place, if ever, other than as a ‘one-off.’ The not inconsiderable investment was yours; I felt very uncomfortable about this.

  2. While attempting to assure you that your income is ‘guaranteed’ irrespective of occupancy for the agreed fixed period i.e. a promise of no voids, as such, bear in mind the payments you receive will also be ‘fixed.’ Their rental income will increase as they see fit, by charging their tenants (not unreasonably per se) higher rental fees year on year. By their standard business model, you, however, will be stuck at the agreed initial or ‘base’ rate.
    In tentative negotiation, I attempted to ‘index link’ this. It was obvious I had rumbled their business model. They were not happy with that idea at all. They wanted a 5 year tie in. And so, for their margins to increase year on year while mine remained static at best.
    But let’s be more honest; I would be on a sliding scale of loss.
    Not worth the ‘void-free’ pipe dream then, thought I.

Their ‘guarantee’ would also need to be indemnified and all this certified by a specialist lawyer. Who would pay for that? Can’t remember the special term for the indemnity now but I would be very surprised if anyone you met had such a third party insurance in place to pay this - and without delay or condition -should they go bust, decline to pay etc.

And so, for me… I sensed I had smelt a rat both times and I most definitely wouldn’t consider it again. Not least, your mortgage company would either say no or charge an absolute fortune which the agency would likely be disinclined to cover. I can hear their reply now… that’s your expense.

To me, the whole concept felt as ‘sharp’ or ruthless as the very worst of timeshare or equity release schemes. The lack of control was a massive turn off for me. Ultimately, I took the view that it didn’t fit with the basic premise of buying a property to let in the first place.

I sought advice of NLA (National Landlords Association) on my second enquiry; verbatim to follow: "Don’t touch it with a barge pole! "

It would be so interesting to hear from an owner who has a directly opposing view to mine and, better still, direct experience to qualify same.

I am not going to hold my breath.

Good luck in whatever you do.

Peter
Member NLA
Reg ICO

1 Like

Thanks Peter. Having done a bit more investigation and considering people’s experiences, I think we’ll be avoiding!

If you do decide to take up the offer be very thorough in checking out the company, In a nutshell: I use an agency called Professionals In Property, PIP Vauxhall/Croydon, and ended up with an over crowded flat, no rents, and had the expense of persuading the tenants to leave. All at a loss of over £6K!

1 Like

Would you and other landlords on here deny that dss needs a garanture even if they can’t as it’s asking a lot. That I am now effectively turned down because I am disabled and not able to work. Show me one land lord now that would give me , a reliable tenant of twenty years who can provide a reference from current landlord and deposited and first month rent from council. No no no. THIS is legal discrimination.

1 Like

Not really relevant to the topic…

1 Like

I agree with the words of caution, and would add that last time I let our 2-bed semi there was a LOT of corporate let interest. I managed to filter out most with screening questions but one was quite deceitful and attended a viewing. She was willing to sign the AST as the tenant but when I probed deeper it appeared she was intending to let it as an HMO to newly arrived immigrants for periods of less than a month… I was very skeptical of the legality of the scheme as well as the risks it posed as a tenancy- steer well clear in my opinion.

1 Like