Guarantor, 5 weeks deposit, 6 months rent advance?


A Ukrainian lady has signed a STA in desperation for a bedsit in Surrey but had to pay 5 weeks deposit, 6 months rent in advance and in 2 months, the agency/LL requires another 6 months! Is this legal?

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Hi. As a rule, agencies ask for 6 months rent in advance from TT who have bad credit or can’t be credit checked, like this Ukrainian lady. I personally would do the same. Also, I suspect they communicated to this T about advance rent, so that she could save the money for when the time comes? What does TA say?

I would never ask for 5 wks deposit and while I have accepted 6 months advance rent initially, for someone without a uK credit history or guarantor, I accepted normal monthly payments thereafter. This insistence on having another 6 months after only 2 months seems unreasonable?

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It’s a matter of a personal opinion, but knowing how it works with EA, it’s a common practice. I had a friend who went bankrupt, and he had to pay 6 months in advance again and again. He didn’t like it, but no use blaming anybody else. That’s just how it is. It may be more flexible with private LL.

They can only ask for further rent when the first 6 months has been used. If that is the case, then yes, its legal.

I have done exactly this with a previous tenant who had no UK financial footprint. 6 months rent in advance every six months. Did it for a couple of years whilst he built his credit record and spending patterns. As soon as those were established, flipped to monthly. Stayed for 6 years in the end.

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The downside of this is that you will likely have created a tenancy with a 6 month period, not monthly. Therefore if you ever need to serve notice, you would need to give 6 months, not 2.

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Indeed. In fact it was a post from you several years ago that bought this oversight on my part to my attention. I count my lucky stars that I had a decent tenant. I’ve not repeated it.

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Ok good. Im afraid I do end up repeating myself quite a lot on here.

I hope you continue to do so. There are a handful of people in this OR community whose advice and opinions I pay attention to and value. Thank you.

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